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Male, UK/US, born 1870-02-13, died 1963-09-02

Associated with the firms network

Allied Architects Association of Los Angeles (AAALA); Austin and Ashley, Architects; Austin and Pennell, Architects; Austin and Skilling, Architects; Austin, Field, and Fry, Architects; Austin, John C.W. Architect; Mooser and Devlin, Architects

Professional History


Apprentice, William S. Barwick, Architect, in the UK; this was during the late 1880s.

Draftsman, Benjamin Linfoot, Architect, Philadelphia, PA, 1891-1892.

Draftsman, William S. Barwick, UK, 3 months in 1892.

Draftsman, Mooser and Devlin, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1892-1895.

Partner, Austin and Skilling, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1896-1899.

Partner, Austin and Brown, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1906.

Principal, John C.W. Austin, Architect, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1902-1909, c. 1920-1929; in 1902-1903, Austin maintained his office in the Douglas Building, Los Angeles. In 1902, he occupied Rooms #201-202, the following year, Rooms #212-213. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1902, p. 1528 and Los Angeles Classified Business Directory, 1903, p. 1705.) By 1907, he worked in Room #697 of the Pacific Electric Building. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1907, p. 1651.)

The Architect and Engineer reported in 1923:“Architect John C. Austin of Los Angeles has been in St. Louis to confer with head officials on plans for the new buildings to be erected at Sunset boulevard and Beaudry avenue, for St. Vincent’s Hospital.” (See “Personal,” Architect and Engineer, vol. 74, no. 2, 08/1923, p. 110.)

Partner, Austin and Pennell, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1910-1914.

Member firm, Allied Architects Association of Los Angeles, CA, 1921-1944.

Partner, Austin and Ashley, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1929-1935. Austin and Ashley had an office at 1151 South Broadway, Room #608, in 1933. (See Los Angeles, California, City Directory, 1933, p. 2479.)

Partner, Austin, Field, and Fry, Architects, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1948-1958.

Professional Activities

Austin joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Southern California Chapter, in 1902. He practiced for over fifty years in Southern California.

President, AIA, Southern California Chapter, Los Angeles, CA, 1912-1913. The Western Architect noted Austin's election as President of the AIA, Southern California Chapter in 11/1912: "The election of officers at the annual election of the Southern California Chapter, held at Los Angeles, October 12, resulted in re-election of John C. Austin, President, and Ferdinand Parmentier, Secretary, R.B. Young is Vice-President and August Wackerharth [sic] is Treasurer of the Chapter. The occasion was concluded with a banquet at which a general discussion of competitions for public buildings was indulged in." (See "Architectural Societies," Western Architect, 12/1912, vol. XVIII, no. 12, p. V.)

President, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles, CA, elected 01/1930.

President, State of California, Board of Architectural Examiners, Sacramento, CA.

Member, National Labor Board, Los Angeles, CA.

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Institute of Architects (FAIA), 1913.

Recipient, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Achievement Award (the first awarded), Los Angeles, CA, 1949.


High School/College

Austin received private school instruction in England; he also was tutored individually.



Born in Bodicote, Oxfordshire, England in 1870, Austin lived at 9 Church Hill Road, Milverton, Warwickshire, England, with his mother and two siblings, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, a cousin, 2 servants and a boarder.

Austin left the port of Liverpool, England for New York, NY, in 10/1888, living first in Philadelphia, PA. He returned to the UK for three months in 1892, and then left again for a job in San Francisco, CA, where he remained until c. 1894. (He came back from England aboard the S.S. Etruria arriving in the Port of New York, NY on 07/11/1892, bound for San Francisco.) It appears that Austin may have gone back to England at least twice while living in San Francisco, although this is hard to verify. In 1894, with little construction work available following the economic crash of 1893, he transplanted himself to Los Angeles, CA, in 1894. He stayed in Southern California for the rest of his life.

The Austin Family lived at 85 Madison Avenue in Pasadena, CA, in 1910 and 1920, according to the U.S. Censuses of those years. In 1910, he and Hilda resided here with their adopted daughter, Dorothy Kathleen, and children, Marjorie, Ada, William and Hilda. The Austins employed two servants, a cook whose name was misspelled by the census taker as "Gumich Nagaoaka" (born c. 1889 in Japan) and a nurse, Margaret Murray, (born c. 1870 in Ireland). (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Pasadena Ward 3, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_86; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0298; FHL microfilm: 1374099, accessed 11/19/2018.) The 1920 US Census form did not indicate that the Austins retained any servants. (See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: Pasadena, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_117; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 528, accessed 11/19/2018.)

By 1930, Austin had moved to a costly, $75,000 house at 1121 Arden Road, Pasadena. The neighborhood was filled with expensive homes, many worth as much as $75,000- $135,000. John lived here with his wife, Hilda, 6 children, and 3 servants, Harry Wilson (born c. 1899 in TX), a butler, his wife, Hettie, (born c. 1892 in TN), a maid, and Louisa McKinney (born c. 1871 in TN), a housekeeper. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Pasadena, Los Angeles, California; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 1256; FHL microfilm: 2339904, accessed 11/19/2018.)

He died in Los Angeles County, CA at the age of 93, and was buried in Altadena, CA.


His father was Richard Wilson Austin (born 07/1842 in Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire- d. 12/1916 in Headington, Oxfordshire, England).His mother was Jane Elizabeth Usher Austin. John C.W. Austin was their second son, named "John Austin." A first, born in 1863, passed away in infancy in 1864.

In 1881, Jane E. Austin ran a boarding house in Milverton, Warwickshire, England. His sister was Mabel Mary Wilson Austin (born 1868–d. 11/02/1952 in CA), his brother, William H.H. Austin (born c. 1873).


John C.W. Austin had three wives. He married Louisa Elizabeth Bell first, who passed away before

In 1902, he married 29-year-old Hilda Violet Mytton (born 1873 in England -d. 1931 in Los Angeles, CA) in Los Angeles, CA. According to the U.S. Census of 1920, Hilda came to the U.S. in 1895, six years after John Austin. She, like John and Dorothy, was naturalized in 1903. Her father was Welsh, her mother, Russian.

He wed his third wife, Dorothy Kathleen Bell Austin (1891–1974), on 03/05/1935 in Pasadena, CA. At the time of their marriage, she was the head of the English Department at Compton Junior High School. She was also the niece of first wife Louisa Elizabeth Bell, who he legally adopted when she was 2 years old.


He and Louisa adopted her niece, Dorothy R. Bell Austin (born c. 1892 in England, came to the U.S. in 1896 and was naturalized in 1903), and had by his second, Hilda, five daughters, Marjorie (born c. 1905 in CA), Ada Gwendolyn (born c. 1906 in CA), Hilda Violet (born c. 1909 in CA), Angela M. (born c. 1900 in CA) and Phyllis J. (born c. 1912 in CA) and two sons, William (born c. 1907 in England) and Harold M. (born c. 1911 in CA). According to the US Census of 1910, Hilda had had five children, but only four were alive at the time. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Pasadena Ward 3, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_86; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0298; FHL microfilm: 1374099, accessed 11/19/2018.)

In 1930, William worked as a Draftsman in his father's architectural office, Ada had become a cellist in an orchestra, and the other three children did not work and may have been in school.

Biographical Notes

In some sources, most notably the Los Angeles Public Library's California Index, his middle name has been incorrectly recorded as "John Corneley Wilson Austin," rather than "John Corneby Wilson Austin."

Austin declared his intention to be naturalized on 03/22/1900, and was naturalized on 02/04/1903. The Los Angeles architect, Chauncey Fitch Skilling (1868-1945), who was a Los Angeles City Councilman at the time, served as a character witness for Austin.

President, Los Angeles Humane Society for Children, 1912.

Member and President, Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1912.

Member, Sierra Madre Club, Los Angeles, CA, c. 1912.

President, Southern California Historical Society, Los Angeles, CA.

Austin was also a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine, Al Malaikah Temple, Los Angeles, CA.

SSN: 562-52-6213.

Associated Locations

  • Bodicote, Oxfordshire UK (Architect's Birth)
    Bodicote, Oxfordshire UK

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  • Los Angeles, CA (Architect's Death)
    Los Angeles, CA

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PCAD id: 107

1194 West 27th Street House, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA1904-1905Los AngelesCA
1st Methodist Church #2, Pasadena, CAPasadenaCA
1st Methodist Episcopal Church, Los Angeles, CA 1921-1923Los AngelesCA
Angelus Hospital, South Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Canfield-Wright House, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
City of Anaheim, Carnegie Library, Downtown, Anaheim, CA1909AnaheimCA
City of Beverly Hills, City Hall, Beverly Hills, CA1932Beverly HillsCA
City of Los Angeles, City Hall #3, Civic Center, Los Angeles, CA1926-1928Los AngelesCA
City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks, Griffith Park, Observatory and Planetarium, Mount Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1934-1935Los AngelesCA
City of Los Angeles, Public Library (LAPL), Memorial Branch, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, CA1929-1930Los AngelesCA
County of Los Angeles, Hall of Justice Building, Los Angeles, CA1925Los AngelesCA
Fremont Hotel Company, Fremont Hotel, Los Angeles, CA 1902-1903Los AngelesCA
German-American Savings Bank, Anaheim, CAAnaheimCA
Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA1906Los AngelesCA
Guaranty Building and Loan Association, Office Building, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1923Los AngelesCA
Higgins, Hiram, House, Central Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA1902Los AngelesCA
Jeffries, James J., House, Los Angeles, CA1905Los AngelesCA
Knickerbocker Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA1912-1913Los AngelesCA
Masonic Building, Temple, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA1921Los AngelesCA
Monrovia Unified School District, Monrovia High School, Monrovia, CAMonroviaCA
National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 1936-1938Los AngelesCA
Potter Hotel Company, Potter Hotel, Santa Barbara, CA 1902-1903Santa BarbaraCA
Ross, Mrs. Erskine M., House, Los Angeles, CALos AngelesCA
Shrine Civic Auditorium #2, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA1920-1926Los AngelesCA
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Courthouse #4, Los Angeles, CA1956-1958Los AngelesCA
Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL), Research Center, Brea, CA 1950-1951
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Faculty Center, Westwood, Los Angeles, CA1959Los AngelesCA
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Humanities Building Project, Westwood, Los Angeles, CA1953Los AngelesCA
"What Architects Are Talking about", American Architect, 139: 2592, 54, 1931-02. "For Distinctive Results", American Architect, 15, 1923-12-05. Austin, John C., "Relation of the Architect to the Contractor", Architect and Engineer, XIV: 2, 96-97, 1916-05. Schulze, Henry A., "Says Bixby hotel construction was not true concrete", Architect and Engineer of California, 71, 12/1906. Keough, T.E., "Failure of the Bixby Hotel", Architect and Engineer of California, 67-70, 12/1906. "Bixby Hotel", Architect and Engineer of California, 70, 04/1906. Architectural Concrete, 3: 1, 17-20, 1937. "The Griffith Planetarium, Los Angeles", Architectural Digest, 9: 2, 91, 1936-1937. Austin, John C.W., "The Los Angeles City Hall", Architectural Forum, 25, 9/1928. "Research center on the finger plan", Architectural Record, 111: 159-162, 1952-06. "Make your Clients Their Own "Weather Man"", Architectural Record, 68: 2, 136, 08/1930. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, "Shrine Civic Auditorium (Al Malaikah Temple), 1920-1926", Architecture in Los Angeles A Compleat Guide, 257, 1985. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, "House, 1904-5", Architecture in Los Angeles A Compleat Guide, 256, 1985. "Photo of Broadway between 3rd Street and 4th Street, 1907", Arrowhead, 4, 01/1908. McKaig, Thomas H., Building Failures Case Studies in Construction and Design, 29-30, 1962. Koenig, Gloria, "Book Look Iconic LA: Stories of LA's Most Memorable Buildings", Echoes, 36, 88, 05/2001. Werner, Helmut, From the Aratus Globe to the Zeiss Planetarium, 135, 147, 1957. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 259, 1994. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 130, 1994. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 246, 1994. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 246-248, 1994. Gebhard, David, Winter, Robert, Los Angeles An Architectural Guide, 130, 1994. "At the Courthouse Seek Damages from Builders", Los Angeles Times, 2, 11/07/1907. "With Thousand Tons of Concrete Twelve Men Go down to Death", Los Angeles Times, 1, 10/10/1906. "First Methodist Episcopal Church #2 completed", Los Angeles Times, 1-2, 07/09/1923. "Nobody Censured for Bixby Horror", Los Angeles Times, 1, 11/13/1906. Cohan, Charles C., "Building Honors Given to Architect", Los Angeles Times, 10, 1949-03-10. "Bixby Hotel", Los Angeles Times, 22, 11/04/1923. "Supposed Corpses Go Up To Rescue", Los Angeles Times, I6, 11/11/1906. Rasmussen, Cecilia, "L.A. Scene: the city then and now", Los Angeles Times, B3, 05/24/1993. "Theatres of Los Angeles including Hollywood and more.", Marquee, 30: 1, 4-29, 1998. Jewell, Edward Alden, "William Zorach: Sculpture for Architecture", New York Times, 119, 02/01/1931. Ritter, Paul, Planning for Man and Motor, 23, 1964. Press Reference Library Notables of the Southwest, 71, 1912. "First Methodist Episcopal Church to sell property", Southwest Builder and Contractor, 14, col 2, 05/24/1913. "Austin and Pennell, architects dissolve their partnership", Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, 10, col 1, 07/18/1914. "Architects Pennell and J.C. Austin prepare plans for remodeling the German-American Savings Bank, Anaheim", Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, 13, col 3, 02/21/1914.