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Memorable Manitobans: William Paul “Bill” Thompson (1942-2006)

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William Paul Thompson
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Architect, architectural historian, educator.

He was an architect and architectural historian specializing in preservation and restoration. He gave courses in history and theory of architecture, in preservation of architecture at the University of Manitoba. Active as an advocate for building conservation, he was President of the Manitoba Historical Society and Vice-President of Heritage Winnipeg. His research projects included databases for identifying building styles and types, programs for maintenance management of historic buildings, and methods and procedures for establishing cultural conservation regions.

Bill obtained a BArch from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, an MA in history of architecture from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and a PhD in history of architecture and urban development. Following his first teaching position at Hampton Institute, Virginia he went on to teach the history of architecture from 1967-1969 at the School of Architecture, University of Kansas. From 1969 to his retirement in 2002, he taught in the Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba, a variety of history, theory, and practice of architecture and urban design and both under grad and graduate design studies.

His architectural works involved renovation and restoration of historic buildings including two residences of the 1880s, one reconstruction of a 19th century farmhouse, and one apartment building of the turn of the century. His written works include:

Nineteenth Century Houses in Lawrence Kansas, guidebooks to the architecture of Lawrence, Kansas (1969)

Winnipeg Architecture: 100 Years (1975, revised edition 1984)

He has written documentation reports on:

Georgetown Architecture - Northeast (1969)

Historic American Buildings Survey: Indiana (1990)

Design Guidelines for Historic Residences in Brandon (1985), Guidelines for compatible renovation of historic structures as for Brandon, Manitoba

A major report and feasibility study on Winnipeg’s Historic Warehouse Area (1976) that was the basis for its renewal as a conservation district and its expansion to what is now called ‘The Exchange District.’



Margaret McWilliams Award for his book Winnipeg Architecture: 100 Years


the prestigious Canada 125 medal for “achievements in advancing knowledge of and the conservation of Canadian architecture”


the University of Manitoba Outreach Award for outstanding service to Manitoba through achievements in neighbourhood conservation

Thompson died at the St. Boniface Hospital, age 64, on 24 December 2006, after a short illness.


This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 March 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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