Articles

The Architecture of Henry Bauld Gordon in Korea (1899-1905)

In certain academic and religious circles, architect Henry Bauld Gordon (1854-1951) has been recognized as having a noteworthy role in the modernization of Korea in the 1900s. His buildings, for a time, were not only salient features of parts of Seoul, but significant for being designed by the first professional North American architect to work in the Korean world.1 Current scholarship recognizes that he had his hand in a number of buildings, but has been unable to clearly identify many of the specific works belonging to him. New findings, published here for the first time in this essay on Colonial Korea, indicate by name some of the previously unrecognized buildings Gordon designed.

The architect’s stint in Asia was made possible by a meeting with missionary-doctor Oliver R. Avison around 1899. Avison, who is credited as the founder of Severance Hospital, and his wife were on leave recuperating from illness in Canada when Avison approached Gordon about the hospital project. The result was Gordon drawing up and donating a set of plans for the building, which Avison was able to use to sustain momentum on securing support and funds for the hospital within the Christian community. According to Avison’s memoirs, it was the Presbyterian mission board that invited Gordon to personally oversee the hospital project in Seoul, allowing the architect to become involved in a number of other buildings in Asia.

Gordon was a partner in the Canadian architecture firm Gordon & Helliwell, his office responsible for almost two hundred different building works around Ontario, taking part in at least twelve design competitions between 1877 and 1928.2 The two architects were active in their community and shared an impressive, almost fifty-year partnership, leaving their mark on Canada’s urban spaces. Gordon could be described as a conservative, restrained designer who may have drawn from the traditional works of his teacher, Henry Langley. Langley’s designs were often ecclesiastical and public buildings of a Gothic style. The projects in Canada that Gordon was involved in were in many cases of the same type — often built of stone and ornamented in a Gothic Revivalist manner.

Figure 1. A published portrait of Henry Bauld Gordon, probably taken while in his 50s. Source: The Contract Record, vol. 25 no. 41 (October 11, 1911).

Severance Hospital
The design of the Severance Hospital building in Seoul was then somewhat out of character for Gordon. Not only is it odd that stone was rejected — chiefly because it was a material widely available in Korea and one that Gordon & Helliwell often relied on in Canada for institutional design — but the use of the style was a departure from the architect’s previous work.3 Instead of blocky ramparts and other Gothic features invoking the aesthetics of Old England, the brick hospital made use of Greek Revivalism in the center facade flanked by hexagonal turrets informed by the Queen Anne style. In essence, the plan was more in line with Gordon & Helliwell’s residential work, the hospital becoming something of an institutionalized version of their housing design in Canada.

Figure 2. Top: Cropped from an early photograph depicting Severance Hospital and surrounding property, Seoul. Undated, circa 1900s-1910s. Bottom: A published image depicting the unfinished Severance Hospital towards the end of construction in 1904. Sources: Presbyterian Historical Society; The Sixty-Seventh Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1904). Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

Avison was not incorrect when he called it the “first really foreign building” in Korea.4 The hospital was, for the time, an incredibly modern structure on par with newer facilities in the United States. Lacking any kind of “oriental” characteristics found in the compradoric, giyofu, or otherwise imitation Western buildings in Seoul, the building signified the quality of building finally possible in Korea.

The sanitation systems and facilities were beyond anything previously found there. By building a tile sewer under the basement — probably an open void made of up cement tiles from which all hospital waste would drain into — it was thought the basement portion above the sewer would remain moisture-free.5 From there, trenches were dug out from the building for drainage pipes. These drainage pipes were described as being “cemented” at their seams, perhaps implying they were of the ceramic Japanese type.6 The interior bathroom pipes were specifically reported as being iron and the four-inch long pieces had to be “tamped at their joints with solder.”7

At the time, there were no building contractors in Seoul familiar with these systems, leaving it up to Avison, Gordon, and Gordon’s translator — almost certainly medical student Kim Pilsun (김필순) — to handle the implementation themselves. Gordon’s time in Korea then meant becoming physically involved in the manifestation of his designs, literally placing and installing the heating and plumbing systems with his own hands. Though he “understood the method” to these tasks, he, too, had never built such things himself. At forty-nine years old, Gordon was cutting the pipes and threading them alongside Avison when it came time to install the water and heating system.8 “All parts of the building” were centrally heated with this system.9

For perhaps the first time in Korea, ventilation meant something other than opening a door or window. Every ward in the hospital featured “an outlet of special flues and inlet of fresh air which is warmed before admission.”10 Hygienic design continued with the entire interior being painted in a manner that allowed for all walls and ceilings to be washed and sterilized. Even the corners of each room were rounded to ease the cleaning of dust and prevent its accumulation.

The thirty by forty foot building consisted of two floors and a basement. The basement had a number of rooms, including “two waiting rooms for patients, a consultation room with laboratory off it, a dispensing room, a store room, furnace room, coal room, kitchen and laundry. The first story contains Physician’s office with electrical and special apparatus room off it, medical ward for men, medical ward for women, two bathrooms, diet kitchen and nurses room. The second story contains men’s Surgical ward and operating room with adjunct rooms, bath room, diet kitchen, and nurses room. [sic]”12 The building was officially completed towards the end of 1904, its dedication ceremony on September 23. It wasn’t long after that other structures — isolation and accessory buildings — were added to the property.13

Exploring Gordon’s Other Buildings in Korea
While Severance Hospital was the most noteworthy of Gordon’s projects in Korea, it was not the only one he became involved in. The exact number of buildings Gordon designed is still unclear, but there are at least four that have now been specifically identified, and as many as thirteen that were probably also of his design. In addition to Severance Hospital, the design of the first Daegu Hospital was reportedly penned by Gordon. Two residences were also documented as being Gordon designs. One of these was the Avison home next to Severance Hospital. The other was the home of missionaries Richard and Effie Sidebotham in Busan.

For Gordon, the Daegu Hospital design was a drastic departure from anything he had ever drafted in Canada. The hospital was a Western-Korean hybrid built under the supervision of a few different mission station members at Daegu, chiefly missionary Woodbridge O. Johnson. The hospital was completed between the end of 1903 and beginning of 1904, but became a massive issue over time as it was structurally unsound and suddenly demolished in 1906.14 Gordon was decidedly absent from its construction, instead working on Severance Hospital in Seoul at the time.15

Figure 3. An image of Daegu Hospital designed by Gordon, published in 1904. This was the first modern hospital building in Daegu. The hospital before this was established in a chogajip. Source: “The New Hospital at Taiku, Korea”. Marion M. Null, “The Korean Ch’im, or Needle”, The Assembly Herald, v.10 no.11 (November 1904). Hathi Trust Digital Library.

Avison’s home was completed around the same time as Severance Hospital, and was probably what one would expect of a professional North American architect.16 Its design was fairly representative of American residential architecture at the time, but it would have been luxurious in turn-of-the-century Korea. The two story brick structure featured a basement, multiple fireplaces, a porch and balcony, and a Queen Anne turret.

Figure 4. Cropped photograph depicting the Avison House on the Severance Hospital grounds, probably from circa 1900s-1910s. Seoul. Source: Presbyterian Historical Society.
Figure 5. A photograph taken by Robert Lee Dunn depicting the Avison House and Severance Hospital under construction in early 1904. Source: “First arrival pack horses, Seoul, bound north”, Library of Congress.

The design of the Sidebotham house in Busan was nearly identical to that of the Avison house. The porch and balcony were less ornate than the Avison home, but the layout and style appear to be much the same. An interior photograph showing the home’s millwork, which was probably all ordered from Montgomery Ward & Co., helps depict how it was possible to transplant American architecture into Korea so early in its modernization.17 The house was completed sometime in 1903.18

Figure 6. Top: Photograph depicting the exterior of the Sidebotham house in Busan. Bottom: Photograph depicting the interior of the Sidebotham house. Undated. Source: Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Loose papers and materials located in documents sent by Esther Berg to the Moffetts under “Missionaries – Sidebotham, Richard.”

There were then a few other Presbyterian structures appearing in Seoul that were almost certainly designed by Gordon, but have no known direct records indicating so. Specifically in what is presently the Yeonji-dong neighborhood of Seoul, four missionary residences appear to have matched the Avison and Sidebotham homes in layout or style. The nearby John D. Wells Training School (built 1906) was another Gordon-esque structure. However, a church that he was said to have built has yet to be found and identified.19

Figure 7. Images depicting the Yeonji-dong, Seoul, missionary residences and John D. Wells Training School. Building A is the John D. Wells Training School. Building C and Building D appear to be the same floor plan, with a turret like the Avison and Sidebotham homes. Building B and Building E appear to share another floor plan without turrets. All of these were probably designed by Gordon. Sources: Labeled as “1920-1929 – Yun Dong Compound – Seoul Station”, Princeton Theological Seminary Library; The Korea Mission Field, vol. 2 no. 10 (August 1906).

Gordon appears to have been doing a small amount of private work on the side while in Korea. Historian Jihoon Suk has suggested that the Astor House Hotel, a little-known hostelry built near the Seoul-Chemulpo Railroad terminus in the capital around 1904, was probably a Gordon design due to its similar characteristics. Researchers Huh Yoojin and Woo Don-Son have thought the same of the McLellan house — a Queen Anne residence built for electric company engineer Robert A. McLellan in the 1900s.20

Figure 8. Top: A postcard showing the Astor House Hotel, Seoul, probably in the late 1900s. Bottom: A photograph depicting the Astor House hotel under construction in the background, taken around 1904. Sources: Robert Neff Collection; William Dickerman Straight Collection, Cornell University Library; advertisements from The Korea Mission Field and clip from The Seoul Press in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905″, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
Figure 9. The former McLellan House, built in the 1900s, as it appeared in 2017. The home was built for a Canadian electrical engineer working for the Seoul Electric Company named Robert A. McLellan. It currently serves as an Italian restaurant called Chungjeonggak (충정각). Seoul. Source: Photographed by Nate Kornegay.

There was also the new Underwood home, completed around 1904 just outside the city wall. Not only did this residence share architectural characteristics with Gordon’s other works, but two other clues help link it back to the Canadian architect. First, the Underwood home was finished by the same contractor that worked with Gordon on Severance Hospital, Harry Chang. Second, Gordon himself is known to have become connected to the Underwood family as Gordon & Helliwell is documented as having designed an ink factory in Toronto for John Underwood (Underwood Typewriter Co.) — the same person who is recorded as having funded the construction of the Underwood home in Seoul as a gift.21 The house stood in stark contrast to the standard Gordon house plan at the time, presenting as a stylistic fusion of the old modified-Joseon style home the Underwoods had in Jeong-dong and the new Queen Anne buildings penned by Gordon.

Figure 10. The Underwood’s second home, built around 1904 roughly outside Namdaemun, Seoul. Source: Cropped from a photograph, circa 1904, by George Rose, courtesy of Rob Oechsle collection.
Figure 11. A photograph depicting the 1904 Underwood home. The house is circled in blue. Source: ‘William J.Scheifley Album, 1919-21 – “Rooftops – H.G.Underwood Home on hill”‘, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

Perhaps the most exciting of all the non-Presbyterian buildings mentioned in connection with Gordon is one in Gyeongungung [Deoksugung] — the palace complex that Gojong relocated to in 1897. Having taken an interest in foreign architecture, the emperor commissioned the construction of a number of Western-influenced halls at Gyeongungung [Deoksugung] around the turn of the twentieth century. The largest of these Western-influenced palace halls were Jungmyeongjeon (built 1899, rebuilt 1901), Dondeokjeon (built 1901-1903), and Seokjojeon (built 1900-1910).

It was just before the summer of 1901 that a Canadian trade magazine reported one of the reasons Gordon was traveling to Korea was that he had been commissioned by Gojong for work on this palace. “Mr. Henry B. Gordon,” the Canadian Architect and Builder wrote, “has gone to Corea, having received a commission from the King, to supervise the erection of a new palace, hospital, and other important buildings.”22 For researchers who have been looking for Dondeokjeon’s architect, this statement, coupled with the fact that the palace building was essentially a large, albeit “Sino-ized”, Queen Anne style building in line with Gordon’s style, comes tantalizingly close to giving us the answer.

Figure 12. A cropped postcard depicting Dondeokjeon, Gojong’s palace hall that Gordon may have been involved with at Deoksugung. There were other Chinese influenced buildings in Deoksugung that Gojong had built around the same time, yet Dondeokjeon is the most like Gordon’s other buildings. Source: Nate Kornegay Collection.
Figure 13. A comparative graphic showing the similarities between (A) Dondeokjeon, (B) one of Gordon & Helliwell’s houses in Canada, and (C, D) two typical Queen Anne plans from architectural trade publications. Plan A depicts Dondeokjeon within the Deoksugung palace grounds. Plan B depicts the house of a William Goulding on St. George Street, Toronto, by Gordon & Helliwell. Plan C depicts a Queen Anne house plan from Architectural Drawing for Mechanics (1897). Plan D depicts a Queen Anne house plan from Carpentry and Building (1900). In conclusion, Dondeokjeon’s plan resembles that of other typical Queen Anne buildings. Sources: National Archives of Korea; Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 4 (January 1891), plate 4; Isaac Perry Hicks, Architectural Drawing for Mechanics (David Williams: 1897), 37; “Residence in Cincinnati Suburb,” Carpentry and Building, vol. 22 (January 1900), 5.

Unfortunately, no other sources have been found verifying whether or not Gordon was involved in palace construction. And while it is probable that Gojong extended an offer to Gordon, the architect’s acceptance or rejection of the job remains unknown.23 Casting some doubt on the matter is the fact that Gordon spent much of this period in China, ruling out the possibility of him specifically handling construction supervision as the report suggests. He could, however, have advised on the project and, for example, provided plans for the palace hall or modified it with his signature turrets. To be clear, Gojong was drawn to places like Horace Newton Allen’s villa outside Chemulpo (built 1898-1899) and Homer H. Hulbert’s house in the middle of Seoul (built 1898) — both Queen Anne imitations constructed on the Korean peninsula before Avison ever approached Gordon about coming to Korea.24 As such, given the evidence and Gojong’s known architectural interests, Gordon is a possible contender for being the architect of Dondeokjeon.25

Figure 14. Left, Hulbert house built in Seoul in 1898, photo taken before 1904. Right, the Allen villa (“Allendale”) outside Chemulpo, built in 1899. Sources: Princeton Theological Seminary Library; licensed from New York Public Library.

Gordon’s Work in China
Gordon’s work in Asia was not limited to Korea. In its publications, the Presbyterian church called him the mission board’s architect as he worked in a number of their mission stations, and while comprehensive documentation of all he was tasked with has not been found, Gordon’s built works from the period, as well as the language used in Presbyterian texts, indicate that Severance Hospital was not his sole reason for traveling to Asia.

Gordon arrived in Seoul in the summer of 1901.26 Several accounts imply that the Presbyterian mission hoped Gordon would be able to begin work on Severance Hospital immediately. However, they were still having difficulty securing the new property that the hospital would be built on and selling the old property, located next to Gyeongungung [Deoksugung], to the Korean government.27 This setback appears to have been the reason Gordon traveled to China at the time that he did, although it remains unclear as to whether or not it was planned by the mission board for him to go around that time. Depending on interpretation, another report may imply that the mission board had not initially planned for Gordon to have traveled to two of three places he visited in China, and that it was the building delay in Seoul that allowed for his becoming more directly involved in building matters across the Yellow Sea.28 Bearing this in mind, Gordon probably handled some of the Severance Hospital building preliminaries with Harry Chang and ordered the building materials before making his way to China.29 While it remains uncertain when he departed Korea, he was reportedly already in China by October 1901, perhaps spending four or five months on the Korean peninsula before crossing the sea to China.30

In China, Gordon had been tasked with either designing or overseeing the construction of a number of new buildings in the wake of the destruction caused by the Boxer Rebellion. Remaining accounts suggest Peking [Beijing] was his first stop, working there until April 1902, if not longer.31 At Peking, Gordon not only oversaw and designed a slew of buildings there, but his expertise were reportedly frequently sought by various missionaries on other unnamed projects as well.32 Assisted by the superintendentship of missionary Charles Andrews Killie, Gordon’s buildings in the Chinese capital were reportedly a large church, a women’s hospital, and three missionary residences.33 A Presbyterian report dubbed Gordon’s buildings there “models of their kind”, partially because of the way they did not shun Chinese architecture, but adapted it, bettering the optics of Christian work in the minds of some missionaries.34 This was, reportedly, particularly true of the new church he designed there (unpictured).

Figure 15. A published image depicting the Woman’s Hospital, Peking, China, which Gordon designed. Source: “Peking Mission – 1902-1903,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903).

By November 1902, Gordon had made his way to the city of Weihsien [Weixian].35 The buildings in question were specifically for the new Shantung College (later Shantung Christian University), which he reportedly designed. There, Gordon surveyed the eight acre campus and began “dividing up the ground for buildings and drawn plans for them. [sic]”36 Supervision of construction was entrusted to a Mr. W. Russell, presumably since Gordon’s stay was temporary and the large work naturally called for a full time superintendent.37 Known records do not offer a clear, complete list of buildings Gordon designed for the college, which is unfortunate since some of the simpler buildings could have been planned by Russell or local builders, thus making it unclear what exactly Gordon drafted. However, there are a few that were probably designs made by Gordon. Around 1906-1907, an illustrated pamphlet was printed depicting the new Shantung College campus buildings, offering visual evidence of what came out of the Weihsien mission’s reconstruction following the Boxer Rebellion. The main college building was likely a Gordon design due to its similarity to one he designed for Queen’s College, Ontario, currently used as the Queen’s University Theological Hall. The campus was described as being a compound in which “unity is manifest”, showing there was a certain architectural or aesthetic order to the place.38

Figure 16. Shantung College Main Building at Weihsien, China. Source: Wei-hsien, North China (Scranton: Tribune Press). Undated pamphlet, but probably from 1906-1907. Columbia University Libraries.
Figure 17. Published image depicting Shantung College Main Building under construction. Source: “Shantung Protestant College of Arts and Sciences at Wei Hsien, China. Unfinished Main Building, South Front,” The Sixty-Eighth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1905). Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
Figure 18. A drawing of the Queen’s College building in Kingston, Ontario designed by Gordon, published in 1879. The layout and facade was strikingly similar to the Shantung University main building in Figures 16 and 17. The building still stands today. Source: Canadian Illustrated News, vol. 19 (14 June 1879). From Canadiana.
Figure 19. A published image depicting Converse Science Hall at Shantung College (also later known as Shantung Union College and Shantung Christian University). It is unclear whether this was one of the buildings Gordon designed while in China, but it does fit within the timeline, appearing completed in 1907. Source: “Converse Science Hall, Shantung Union College, China,” The Seventieth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1907). Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
Figure 20. Two published images depicting the Shantung Christian University campus as it appeared in or around 1912. The main building and Converse Science Hall are both visible here. Source: Robert Coventry Forsyth, Shantung: the sacred province of China in some of its aspects, being a collection of articles relating to Shantung, including brief histories with statistics, etc., of the Catholic and Protestant missions and life-sketches of Protestant martyrs, pioneers, and veterans connected with the province (Shanghai: Christian Literature Society, 1912). California Digital Library.

Others mentioned in connection with Gordon’s visit around 1902 include the Boys’ School, Men’s Dispensary, four missionary residences, various “Chinese buildings”, and the property wall enclosing the college grounds (unpictured). However, the Mateer Hospital and an unnamed Presbyterian church at Weihsien were possibly also buildings designed by Gordon, and may have been the “Chinese buildings” that were referred to.

Figure 21. A published image depicting the Men’s Dispensary at Weihsein. This building was one of the few buildings explicitly mentioned as being designed by Gordon. Source: The Sixty-Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1906). Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

 

Figure 22. Two published images depicting Mateer Hospital, Weihsien, China. This may have been one of the buildings Gordon designed. Source: Wei-hsien, North China (Scranton: Tribune Press). Undated pamphlet, but probably from 1906-1907. Columbia University Libraries.
Figure 23. A published image depicting Weihsien Presbyterian Church, Weihsien, China. This appears to have been one of the churches Gordon designed. Source: Wei-hsien, North China (Scranton: Tribune Press). Undated pamphlet, but probably from 1906-1907. Columbia University Libraries.

At Paotingfu [Baoding] the situation was similar. Gordon reportedly drew up plans for a “church, hospitals, schools and dwellings” there, with construction overseen by missionaries Mr. Miller and a Dr. Charles Lewis.39 The church pictured below appears to have been a Gordon design. It featured Gothic elements, a seemingly hexagonal sanctuary, and a hexagonal belfry. The women’s hospital next door was, given its proximity, probably one of the hospitals he worked on.

Figure 24. A published image depicting the Paotingfu Presbyterian Church, left, and Woman’s Hospital, background right. These appear to have been designed by Gordon and fit within his timeline as they were completed by 1906. Source: “Presbyterian Church at Paoting-fu, China. The House to the Right is the Woman’s Hospital,” The Sixty-Ninth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1906). Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

The Architect’s Return to Korea in 1903
Gordon had returned to Korea by the latter half of 1903 to work on Severance Hospital.40 In addition to the challenge of building the heating system, ventilation system, water supply, and sewer himself with the assistance of Avison, the rumors and economic changes related to the approaching Russo-Japanese War caused a surge in building material prices. This meant the loss of their contractor, Harry Chang, who was released from his contract in 1904 after showing Avison that he would be financially ruined if asked to continue the work according to his initial quotes.41 Gordon and Avison then continued construction using day labor. It was in the middle of this year that evidence emerged suggesting Gordon’s days on the job without Chang were not without incident. In May 1904, missionary Katherine Wambold wrote, “Mr. Gordon does as well as he can, but he is not a match for the queer ways of the Oriental artisan — he cannot comprehend how the heathen’s mind works, as the missionary, alas, learns.”42 He reportedly had a similar experience in China.43 To be clear, Gordon remained a seasoned, professional architect from the West who was accustomed to North American building standards — surely making building in Korea and China something of an adventure. He then returned to his hometown of Toronto in September 1904, missing the dedication ceremony of Severance Hospital on the 23rd of that month.44

Gordon’s Experience in Asia
Gordon spent just over three and a half years living and working in Asia.45 The Canadian Architect and Builder had earlier learned of his work there and, probably via a letter from Gordon himself, called his experience abroad one of a “novel and interesting character”, undoubtedly having a significant impact on him.46 In February 1905, Gordon, who was active in the architectural community and a two-time president of the Ontario Association of Architects, presented a paper entitled Impressions Concerning the Architecture Seen in North China, Korea, and Japan.47 The trade magazine indicated this paper was meant to be published, but today has yet to be found. This is unfortunate as he appears to have been a detailed and descriptive observer. In one report, again probably via a letter from Gordon whilst in Asia, the magazine printed details regarding the modified Joseon-style “hotel” he was staying at in Seoul.48 As such, the architect may have had much to say regarding his experiences in Asia.

It is important to note that, in Gordon’s mind, these experiences may have been distinct from and unrelated to his practice in Canada. That is to say, as a devout Christian that the Presbyterian mission in China attempted to persuade to stay in Asia, Gordon and his work abroad appears to have been done out of religious conviction and Christian good-will as opposed to business and professional gain. Most architects of his caliber and social standing within the architectural trade would have viewed the Presbyterian-funded works in China and Korea as relatively simple buildings — semi-modern efficiencies rather than high design. It seems likely Gordon thought something similar. To be clear, while he was paid for his work outside of Canada, his subsequent projects after returning to North America remained unaffected by his experiences in Asia. There is also little remaining documentation of Gordon’s Asian projects in North American trade publications, effectively making his buildings in China and Korea independent works unassociated with Gordon & Helliwell. In contrast to his work with the Presbyterian mission in Asia, the firm’s commissions in Canada were frequently mentioned in trade media. While the firm was presented with the opportunity to bring their practice into the Asian sphere in the form of a design competition, their design did not win. This occurred in the early 1910s when Gordon & Helliwell were invited to submit building plans for the new West China Union University.49 The attempt became Gordon’s last known foray into the Asian world.

Gordon’s experience across the Pacific Ocean remains noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, it shows that despite being a fairly conservative and traditional designer, his work in Asia suggests he was somewhat more flexible than previously believed. His buildings in Asia show he was able to draft efficient structures and adapt to the (relatively) extreme limitations set before him. Second, he fused Chinese and Western architecture together years before architect Henry Killam Murphy developed his influential “adaptive” Western-Chinese style.50 In Korea, he similarly drafted at least one confirmed Western-Korean hybrid in the form of Daegu Hospital, and probably did so for the 1904 Underwood home as well. Third, there was then the role he may have played in altering the direction of residential missionary architecture in Korea, influencing a shift away from “native [Korean] architecture” design in missionary houses towards more purely American homes. To understand this, a close look at the letters of a certain Presbyterian missionary is needed.

Criticism of Gordon’s Influence on Missionary Residences in Korea
Despite the praise that Severance Hospital received and the construction work in China that helped the Presbyterian mission after the Boxer Rebellion, not all missionaries saw Gordon’s projects in such a positive light. Marion Michael Null, who was working at the mission station in Daegu and later witnessed the demise of Gordon’s Daegu Hospital, wrote a lengthy letter in 1905 to the secretary of the mission board discussing problems related to their reliance on Gordon. Spurred by the issue of there not being enough houses for the missionaries at Daegu, Null explained why he believed Gordon’s residences in Korea cost too much money to build and that other, still-adequate homes, could be constructed for less. He was worried about the decisions being made by Presbyterian officialdom and the direction the foreign mission board was heading regarding mission facilities. He referenced a few other letters that the Daegu station had apparently kept on file, forming a compelling argument for why Gordon’s work in Korea was less than ideal and not what the mission in Korea wanted.

“In connection with what I have said [about the issue of housing missionaries at Daegu station] let me say something about building in . . . Korea in general, the policy of the Board and the work of Mr. Gordon. The houses that are being built are not what the mission wants and not what the Board wants. They are too elaberate [sic] and too expensive. It is better to have smaller houses and all the missionaries housed than to have large buildings at the expense of the native work and many of the missionaries without houses.”51

“Let me write you freely on this matter,” Null continued, “and I do so in confidence that it is to you only. I see the wrong that is being done, so I have gone over all the letters on file in the station, so I think I am not talking at random. . . . In a letter dated March 4th, 1903, Dr. Ellinwood wrote, after speaking of the special property committee appointed by the Board to build Mr. Sidebotham’s house at Fusan. ‘Resolved: That a further appropriation of 2300 yen be, and hereby is made, in addition to the appropriation of 4900 yen making a total appropriation of 7,200 yen, for the erection of a residence according to the plans prepaired [sic] by Mr. Gordon.’ Etc. [sic] After discussing this Dr. Ellinwood writes, ‘The tendency for increased structural expense in the Korean mission may well excite caution if not alarm.’”52

Null proceeded to cite an earlier letter written by Ellinwood on February 9, 1899, documenting the observations of a visitor calling the missionary houses excessively large. The third letter Null had on file at Daegu station was particularly interesting as it not only indicated what the mission board sought to spend on their buildings, but implied that Gordon and/or the local mission stations may have ignored the mission board’s direction altogether. Written by a Mr. Hand on July 11, 1901, Null quoted “‘Mr. Gordon understood that that it was the desire of the Board that the new buildings should cost about the same money as it had been customary to spend for residences in Seoul; that he was at liberty to exceed this amount where it was found necessary on account of an increased cost of material or labor, or where the perminent [sic] results justified it, this increase however, to be made as low as possible under the circumstances. — — — — [sic] The character of the buildings agreed upon comprised features of attractiveness, durable and useful, conforming as far as practicable to the features of native architecture.’” Null poignantly added his own comment in parenthesis regarding the residences funded by the Presbyterian mission, indicating the mission board’s intent was not honored: “(All of Mr. Gordon’s houses are purely American in style.)”53

Null did not quote anything more from Hand’s letter, but he did indicate it was this specific July 11 letter that allowed for Gordon and the local missionaries in Korea to have so much control over the residences. The letter “took the matter of the Seoul buildings out of the hands of the Property Committee of the Mission and placed it in the hands of a station property committee in conjunction with Mr. Gordon. Therefore the MISSION was not consulted. What was the result? Houses were put up that cost more than the mission had previously built and would sanction.” [sic54]

“I do not want to criticise [sic] Mr. Gordon nor his work. I am only speaking of the results of his work.

(1). That larger houses were built than the family actually needed excepting Dr. Avison’s.
(2). That the precedent established is too costly for the resources of the mission.
(3). That if one missionary has a big house others can justly demand the same.
(4). That if the houses are built in the Korea mission that are actually needed and must come if we consider the health of the missionaries, it will take the most of the money from the native work. [sic]
(5). That it is not fitting that some missionaries should live in 8,000 yen houses and others who live in just as unsanitary surroundings should be compelled to live for years in a mud walled hut in the squalor of some city.
(6). That the houses of Mr. Gordon are on too extensive a plan and therefore [cause] too much money to be explicitly followed by the mission.” [sic]

Though Gordon had already left Korea by the time Null prepared this letter in 1905, Null’s writings may add further evidence that Gordon’s residences were meant to be on a standardized plan, perhaps implying his housing format was intended to be continually used in the future. “Mr. Gordon built all his houses in Seoul and Fusan. When a house is brought before the mission for consideration in these two stations and any objection is made about the price the answer is that it is a Gordon plan and the Board has approved the house already. What can be said?” After discussing the cost of labor and materials in southern Korea and how it differed from building costs in northern Korea, Null brought the subject of his letter back to that of the Daegu station. He explained how a “full sized Gordon house” would, in his estimate, be just as expensive in Daegu as it would in Seoul or Busan, then arguing that good-quality houses were being built for less money by other missions.56

Null specifically mentioned a house built in Busan by George O. Engel under the Australian Presbyterian Mission (unpictured) and compared it to the nearby Sidebotham house that Gordon designed. “In Fusan Mr. Engel of the Astralian [sic] Board built a house at the same time that Mr. Sidebotham’s house was being built and also by the same contractor. It is a seven room house not counting store room, bath room and trunk room. It is two stories, built of brick and covered with Japanese tile. The cost was 225 pounds [perhaps around 2000-3000 yen]. There are some things that are objectionable about the house for instance cement floors down stairs, but that is a minor point when thare [sic] is so much difference in the cost, as . . . there is between it and the Sidebotham house; especially since the Sidebotham house leaks so that it is hard to live in it, the doors and [windows] have shrunk so that the wind blows through, etc.”57

Null conceded that the issues with the quality of the Sidebotham house were probably the result of the workers being poorly supervised. He then ended the letter with a summary of his conclusions. “I do not say” he wrote, “that the Gordon houses could be built for less money, but I do say that suitable houses can be built for less money.” Null’s final remarks summed up his thoughts regarding missionary housing in two words: “economy” and “equality”.58

Gordon’s housing plans for the Presbyterian mission may have indeed proved to be too expensive going forward, for there is no known evidence indicating that later missionary homes in Seoul were specifically modeled after his designs. Even the residences pictured in Yeonji-dong [Figure 7] were reportedly under construction while Gordon was in Korea, leaving no clear examples of a Gordon-designed Presbyterian structure built after his departure from Korea.59 He may have, however, played a role in the popularization of American architecture across protestant mission stations in Korea as, throughout the 1910s-1940s, missionary residences became larger and more Western in style after his work there. Null himself was concerned with some missionaries having such grand homes when writing of Gordon’s residences in 1905, suggesting that “Human nature is human nature everywhere, when one man has a large house all the rest want just as big. [sic] I fancy the Board will have difficulty to adjust things now since the precident [sic] is set.”60 Null’s fears were not unfounded and, given the evidence, it would not be a stretch to argue that Gordon’s arrival in Korea was a turning point in the evolution of residential missionary architecture as it gradually shied away from Korean-style architecture.61

Figure 25. A postcard depicting the Presbyterian mission station at Daegu, perhaps circa 1907-11. Unlike at Seoul, some of the missionary residences at Daegu continued to be built with Korean influence, perhaps due to the opinions of people like Null. Note that the second Daegu Hospital building is visible on the far left, completed in 1907 after being redesigned by Charles Allen Clark, but still somewhat based on Gordon’s first hospital building depicted in Figure 3 of this essay. Source: “Mission Compound, Taiju, Korea – Taegu Station”. Handwritten date of June 9, 1911. Moffett Korea Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

Conclusion
It remains challenging to offer a good, generalized characterization of Gordon’s projects and interactions with the Presbyterians in Korea. He clearly added to the Korean cityscape and helped modernize the medical mission. However, this was all somewhat underpinned by a kind of disconnect between the architect, the foreign mission board, and the missionaries living in Korea. Furthermore, though Null was of the opinion that Gordon’s residential plans were practically palatial within the Korean context, Gordon may have been drafting what he thought were efficient and economical homes relative to his works in Canada. As for why the missionary residences he designed were American in style when the mission board reportedly asked for “native architecture” wherever possible, the answer may lie in Null’s report showing how the local mission stations on the Korean peninsula took charge of building matters themselves, implying it was either some missionaries residing in Korea or Gordon who called for American architecture instead of the “native architecture” that the board wanted.62

Ultimately, only one Presbyterian building project designed by Gordon — the Daegu Hospital — became a Western-Korean hybrid. The only other Western-Korean hybrid by Gordon was the 1904 Underwood house, which was notably a private work unconnected to the Presbyterian mission. With most of Gordon’s designs in Korea being of an American style, it is unfortunate that more hybrid structures showcasing Korean influence were not made manifest, chiefly because Gordon was able to demonstrate how these styles could be combined well.63 The architect, being a professional and reputable designer, was in the unique position of being able to bring a certain legitimization to Western-Korean hybrid architecture, yet did not on a large scale due to decisions made by either himself or missionaries on the ground in Korea.

None of Gordon’s buildings remain standing on the Korean peninsula today.

 

Edited by: Jihoon Suk
Written by: Nate Kornegay



Author’s Note: This essay about Gordon is meant to be read in connection with an article published in volume 94 of the RASKB’s journal, Transactions. Please support the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch by purchasing a copy of this year’s journal. See: Nate Kornegay, “Building the Daegu Hospital (1903-1907): A Study on the Construction and Design of Western-Korean Hybrid Architecture,” Transactions, vol. 94 (2020), 69-83.



Footnotes and Citations



1 To be clear, there were American engineers present in Korea involved in building, like the firm Collbran & Bostwick. They were not, strictly speaking, professional architects in the way Gordon was.
2 See the entry for Henry Bauld Gordon in the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950, an incredible resource for information on Canadian architects and building history. Many of Gordon & Helliwell’s works have been identified through trade magazines and city registers and are listed here.
3 It is the author’s opinion that the decision to use brick was probably a financial one based on the building’s location near Seoul Station. The property, though near the foot of Namsan, did not use the mountain to quarry stone, which was common practice for Christian-led building works with stone on their properties in Korea. Historian Jihoon Suk has also suggested there may have been certain Western attitudes towards stone as being unclean compared to burned brick, perhaps influencing the decision to use brick.
4 O. R. Avison, “Building the Severance Union Medical College and Hospital,” Dr. Avison’s Memoirs (c.1940-1941), 439. Moffett Korea Collection. Series 2: Korean Material. Subseries 1: Korea Missionary Files. Box 31, Folder 7. Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
5 It is unclear exactly what this “tile sewer” was, but it was probably something like a large pan-like void beneath the building. According to current building science research, such a system likely would not have totally prevented the basement from having moisture build up. Concrete is moisture permeable and the foundations of Severance Hospital, depending on how thick they were, probably did not entirely prevent moisture from entering the basement. There is evidence of certain Western personalities considering how to deal with moisture during this time, and it would be interesting to know if anything was done in the case of Severance Hospital to combat this. The hospital was, regardless, surely the most advanced building of the time in Korea with regard to sanitation.
6 O. R. Avison, “Building the Severance Union Medical College and Hospital,” Dr. Avison’s Memoirs (c.1940-1941), 439. Moffett Korea Collection. Series 2: Korean Material. Subseries 1: Korea Missionary Files. Box 31, Folder 7. Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
7 O. R. Avison, “Building the Severance Union Medical College and Hospital,” Dr. Avison’s Memoirs (c.1940-1941), 439. Moffett Korea Collection. Series 2: Korean Material. Subseries 1: Korea Missionary Files. Box 31, Folder 7. Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
8 O. R. Avison, “Building the Severance Union Medical College and Hospital,” Dr. Avison’s Memoirs (c.1940-1941), 439. Moffett Korea Collection. Series 2: Korean Material. Subseries 1: Korea Missionary Files. Box 31, Folder 7. Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
9 Horace Newton Allen, The Severance Hospital in Seoul, Copy of Report to the State Department, November 1904. From the Presbyterian Historical Society, located in Severance Hospital and Medical College correspondence, 1904-1905.; RG 140, Box 15, Folder 28; Presbyterian Historical Society.
10 Horace Newton Allen, The Severance Hospital in Seoul, Copy of Report to the State Department, November 1904. From the Presbyterian Historical Society, located in Severance Hospital and Medical College correspondence, 1904-1905.; RG 140, Box 15, Folder 28; Presbyterian Historical Society.
11 Horace Newton Allen, The Severance Hospital in Seoul, Copy of Report to the State Department, November 1904. From the Presbyterian Historical Society, located in Severance Hospital and Medical College correspondence, 1904-1905.; RG 140, Box 15, Folder 28; Presbyterian Historical Society.
12 Horace Newton Allen, The Severance Hospital in Seoul, Copy of Report to the State Department, November 1904. From the Presbyterian Historical Society, located in Severance Hospital and Medical College correspondence, 1904-1905.; RG 140, Box 15, Folder 28; Presbyterian Historical Society.
13 The facilities of Severance Hospital and its later medical school continued to grow and change, of course, throughout the colonial period.
14 Nate Kornegay, “Building the Daegu Hospital (1903-1907): A Study on the Construction and Design of Western-Korean Hybrid Architecture,” Transactions, vol. 94 (2020), 69-83.
15 Nate Kornegay, “Building the Daegu Hospital (1903-1907): A Study on the Construction and Design of Western-Korean Hybrid Architecture,” Transactions, vol. 94 (2020), 69-83.
16 Katherine Wambold to Arthur Judson Brown, 27 May 1904. Typescript. Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Located in Transcribed Correspondence, 1870-1908 – Binder 3: 1904-1908.
17 The built-in cabinetry and moulding was probably all ordered from Montgomery Ward & Co. It certainly could have been done by Japanese carpenters as Western lambrequin and gingerbread style woodwork was being done in the Japanese world. However, it would have been an expensive custom job, one that was mostly found in institutional Japanese buildings at the time in Korea. With Gordon’s homes already being expensive, and the fact that the missionary community often relied on Montgomery Ward & Co. makes this more likely. If not ordered through Montgomery Ward, it may have been ordered from another company. Victorian period mechanization in America allowed for pre-machined millwork to flourish and was common at the time.
18 “Fusan Station”, The Sixty-Seventh Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1904), 205. Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
19 The Canadian Architect and Builder claimed Gordon would build a church in Korea. However, nothing matching his designs has been found, nor has any record of him actually doing so been found. The existence of the Methodists’ Mead Memorial Church in Seoul, which was built sometime before 1910, does perhaps raise the question of whether or not Gordon drew plans for other missions in Korea as the Mead Memorial Church had a hexagonal turret. The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 14 no. 4 (April 1901), 85.
20 Huh Yoojin and Woo Don-Son, “On the Western-Style Mansion at 360-22 Chungjeong-no 3(sam) ga,” Collection of papers at the Autumn Conference of the Korean Association of Architectural History (November 2012), 153. 허유진 & 우동선, “충정로 3가 360-22번지 양관에 대하여,” 한국건축역사학회 추계학술발표대회 논문집 (2012-11), 153.
21 “Contracts Department,” Contract Record and Engineering News, vol. 26 no. 5 (January 31, 1912), 66.; “Contracts Department,” Contract Record and Engineering News, vol. 26 no. 3 (January 17, 1912), 75.
22 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 14 no. 5 (May 1901), 117.
23 Gojong was interested in having a number of different Western engineers involved in building Deoksugung. Not all of them said yes and there is still a lack of strong evidence regarding many aspects of Deoksugung’s architectural history. John Henry Dye, an American engineer, designed the first Jungmyeonjeon (1899). It is unclear who designed the second building (1901), if it was truly a second new building. John Reginald Harding, a Welsh engineer, designed Seokjojeon (1900-1910).
24 Gojong reportedly attempted to buy Allen’s villa, ultimately buying property next to Allendale for the purpose of building another palace hall near Chemulpo. This, according to Allen’s notes on his photographs of the house, was halted due to the Russo-Japanese War. The Korean government ultimately purchased Hulbert’s house, and was subsequently used by William Franklin Sands, who served the Korean government as an advisor. Hulbert/Sands’ house was later used by Japanese officials. See Nate Kornegay, “Real Estate in Early Modern Korea,” Colonial Korea (September 8, 2019).
25 It is important to note here that Gordon’s known designs in Korea, from his dabbling in Western-Korean hybrid architecture to his using non-Gothic institutional design in the form of Severance Hospital, were out of character for him relative to his work in Canada, thus making his work on the peninsula somewhat unpredictable. That is to say, while the structures he designed give researchers clear markers to refer to when attempting to find other Gordon buildings, it appears others in the construction industry — even local builders — had learned how to build Queen Anne homes and were doing so themselves. With this in mind, it becomes somewhat more challenging to clearly identify any of Gordon’s non-American designs without direct historical references to them.
26 The Canadian Architect and Builder, a trade journal, reported Gordon was planning to depart Vancouver on May 6, 1901. The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 14 no. 4 (April 1901), 85.; Another report stated he had left Toronto in June 1901, bound for Korea. The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 14 no. 10 (October 1901), 207.; However, another report by the same journal stated he had already left in their May issue. The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 14 no. 5 (May 1901), 117.; A missionary report for the year 1900-1901 wrote that Gordon had “recently” arrived in Seoul. However, the exact date of the publishing of this report is unclear as it is a loose paper in the Samuel Austin Moffett materials. “Report of Seoul Station 1900-1901”. Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Located in Samuel Austin Moffett – Letters and Papers, 1899-1901 – 1901e, noted as being on microfilm reel 285, vol. 244, folder 1.
27 “Seoul Station,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 210.
28 “Owing to the impossibility of executing that work [in Korea] at the time proposed,” the report stated, “it was possible for Mr. Gordon to give attention to the re-establishment at Wei Hsien in Shantung and at Paotingfu, and the result has been most gratifying”. ; “Peking Mission – 1902-1903,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 92.
29 The timeline for when materials were ordered isn’t clear, but it may have occurred before Gordon traveled to China as it typically took time for such things to arrive during this time. Avison wrote that it was Gordon who did the ordering. O. R. Avison, “Building the Severance Union Medical College and Hospital,” Dr. Avison’s Memoirs (c.1940-1941), 439. Moffett Korea Collection. Series 2: Korean Material. Subseries 1: Korea Missionary Files. Box 31, Folder 7. Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
30 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 14 no. 10 (October 1901), 207.
31 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 15 no. 4 (April 1902), 63.
32“Peking Mission – 1902-1903,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 92.
33 “Peking Mission – 1902-1903,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 93.
34 In Korea, a few missionary accounts show concern for mission buildings being too Western and the questionable optics surrounding foreign style. This was probably true in China as well, and the following report indicates that the Peking [Beijing] mission wanted some Chinese-influenced buildings. “Peking Mission – 1902-1903,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 93.
35 A report for work in China shows Gordon was in Weihsien in November and December of 1902. “West Shantung Mission,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 111.
36 “West Shantung Mission,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 114.
37 “West Shantung Mission,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 114.
38 “West Shantung Mission,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 114.
39 “Peking Mission – 1902-1903,” The Sixty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (May 1903), 98.
40 Sometime while the Daegu Hospital was being constructed between April 1903 and its completion at the end of 1903 or beginning of 1904, Gordon had been asked by member(s) of the Daegu mission station to help supervise construction. It was said that he would not come as he was busy in Seoul with the Severance Hospital work. H. M. Bruen to A. J. Brown, 3 May 1906. Transcript. Located in: Clara Hedberg Bruen, “Historical Sketch,” 40 Years In Korea, 258-259. Unpublished, undated manuscript. Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
41 O. R. Avison, “Building the Severance Union Medical College and Hospital,” Dr. Avison’s Memoirs (c.1940-1941), 439. Moffett Korea Collection. Series 2: Korean Material. Subseries 1: Korea Missionary Files. Box 31, Folder 7. Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
42 Katherine Wambold to Arthur Judson Brown, 27 May 1904. Typescript. Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Located in Transcribed Correspondence, 1870-1908 – Binder 3: 1904-1908.
43 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 15 no. 4 (April 1902), 63.
44 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 17 no. 9, (September 1904), ix.
45 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 17 no. 9, (September 1904), ix.
46 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 15 no. 4 (April 1902), 63.
47 This paper, which was meant to have been published later, has unfortunately yet to be found. The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 18 no. 5 (February 1905), 24.
48 The Canadian Architect and Builder, vol. 14 no. 10 (October 1901), 207.
49 See the entry for Henry Bauld Gordon in the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950.
50 See Jeffrey W. Cody’s definitive book on Murphy’s work on adapting Chinese architectural design. Jeffrey W. Cody, Building in China (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2001); see the author’s essay on Chosen Christian College for more about Murphy’s work in Korea, Nate Kornegay, “Chosen Christian College: 1910s-1950s,” Colonial Korea (February 15, 2020).
51 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
52 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
53 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
54 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
55 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
56 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
57 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
58 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
59 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
60 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
61 There are certainly exceptions as Western-Korean protestant buildings could be found in the 1910s-1940s. It simply became less common.
62 Marion Michaell Null to Arthur Judson Brown, 22 August 1905. Typescript copy. Microfilm reel 281 vol. 235 no. 111. Located in “Taegu Hospital Historical Material (1898-1922) – Taegu Hospital, 1905”, Samuel H. Moffett Manuscript Collection, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
63 The Daegu Hospital had structural issues that may or may not have been related to the building’s planning. Whether or not Gordon was responsible is debatable given the remaining evidence. Nevertheless, he demonstrated the stylistic fusion of Western and Korean architecture well. See the author’s article on the Daegu Hospital to explore the building’s structural issues more. Nate Kornegay, “Building the Daegu Hospital (1903-1907): A Study on the Construction and Design of Western-Korean Hybrid Architecture,” Transactions, vol. 94 (2020), 69-83.


*Some of Gordon’s buildings in Canada remain today, including his own old house in Toronto. It’s possible some of his buildings in China also remain, such as at Weixian, but this remains unclear.

1 comment on “The Architecture of Henry Bauld Gordon in Korea (1899-1905)

  1. Pingback: Building the Daegu Hospital (1903-1907): A Study on the Construction and Design of Early Western-Korean Hybrid Architecture – Colonial Korea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: