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Male, US, born 1847-07-05, died 1900-12-14

Associated with the firms network

Percy and Hamilton, Architects; Percy and Polk, Architects

Professional History


Draftsman Apprentice, Francis H. Fassett, Architect, Portland, ME, 1866-1869. According to his obituary, "He took several sea trips and then devoted himself to the study of architecture under Mr. Fassett in Portland." (See "Death of G.W. Percy, Well-Known Architect," San Francisco Call, vol. 87, no. 15, 12/15/1900, p. 11.)

Architect, Stockton, CA, 1869-1872. Percy moved to Stockton to design and supervise construction of the Stockton Insane Asylum from 1869-1972.

Following the firestorm that destroyed Chicago between 10/08/1871-10/10/1871, Percy worked there from 04/1872-05/1873.

Superintendent of Construction, Bradlee and Winslow, Architects, Boston, MA, 1873-09/1875. He moved to Boston, MA, following a large fire there that occurred on 11/09/1872 that killed 14 people and leveled hundreds of buildings. In Boston, Percy worked on Bradlee and Winslow's costly $1.5 million office building for the Equitable Life Insurance Company at 67 Milk Street (1875).

Principal, George W. Percy, Architect, San Francisco, CA, 1875-1880; in 1877, Percy had his office at 120 Sutter Street. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1877, p. 692.)This business address was also used by architects Theodore Augustus Eisen (1852-1924), H. Hochholzer, and George W. Page in 1877. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1877, pp. 465 and 920.) In 1879, the Oakland City Directory listed an address of 318 PIne Street in San Francisco for Percy; it is likely that Percy lived and worked in the same space during the late 1870s in San Francisco, at both 120 Sutter Street and 318 Pine Street. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1878, p. 678 and Oakland, California, City Directory, 1879, p. 166.) Percy was listed in the 1879 San Francisco City Directory (p. 935) as having his own firm, but Hamilton was not. Hamilton worked as a draftsman for the City Hall Commissioners in 1879 (p. 393).

Partner, Percy and Hamilton, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1880-1900. In 1900, Percy had his office at 532 Market Street.

Partner, Percy and Polk, Architects, San Francisco, CA, 1900.


Before the creation of an architectural department at the University of California, George Percy involved himself in efforts to create a curriculum in architecture at the Hopkins Art Institute. A notice in the San Francisco Chronicle noted these efforts in 1895: "A number of architects and architectural students met last evening at the Hopkins Art Institute, corner of Mason and California streets, with George W. Percy, chairman, and S.A. Cooper, secretary. A students' class of architecture was formally organized, with B.R. Maybeck, Willis Polk, George H. Sanders, directors, and S.A. Copper, secretary. This board will meet soon for the institution of regular class work. The conditions of membership proposed by the Hopkins Institute were adopted with modifications, and a committee will confer with the directors of the Art Association as to the terms of admission for the class. Representatives of the faculty of the University of California, the Chapter of Architects [presumably the local AIA chapter] and the Guild of Arts and Crafts were present and promised co-operation with the organization. The class will have the benefit of the university extension lectures." (See "Young Architects," San Francisco Chronicle, 05/19/1895, p. 12.) The formation of this architectural curriculum at the Mark Hopkins Art Instittute was eight years before John Galen Howard founded the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), in 1903.

Professional Activities

President, Technical Society of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, c. 1900.


High School

Percy attended the Kents Hill Academy in Kents Hill, ME, c. 1865.



Born in Bath, ME, Percy worked in Stockton, CA, (1869-1872), Chicago, IL, (1872-1873), Boston, MA, (1873-1875), and San Francisco, CA, (1876-1900). He resided in Ward #3 in Stockton in 1869, at the age of 23. He registered to vote here on 04/03/1869. (See, Source Citation California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 118; FHL Roll Number: 977281, accessed 02/24/2017.)

He registered to vote in San Francisco on 10/31/1876, at which time he lived at 120 Sutter Street. See Source Citation California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 44; FHL Roll Number: 977099, accessed 02/27/2017.) In 1877, he resided in a building on the northwest corner of Bush and Steiner Streets. (See (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1877, p. 692.) The San Francisco City Directory of the following year indicated that Percy lived and worked at 120 Sutter Street, Room #81. (See San Francisco, California, City Directory, 1878, p. 678.)

It appears that around 1880 he may have resided at 318 Pine Street in the office that he worked. (See Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: 74; Family History Film: 1254074; Page: 572C; Enumeration District: 044; Image: 0065, accessed 02/27/2017.) He returned to Portland, ME, to get married in 12/1881. In 1886, having had two children, Percy and his wife moved to Oakland. He was not listed in the Oakland City Directory of 1884, but was listed in that of 1888. In the latter year, they lived at 1165 Jackson Street. (See Oakland, California, City Directory, 1888, p. 600.) No Oakland City Directory was published in 1885 or 1886, so these dates cannot be checked easily. His obituary in the Oakland Tribune indicated that he had lived in the city for 14 years.

By 1890, at least, Percy and his family resided at 318 Boulevard Terrace in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood. (See Source Citation California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 - 2A; CSL Roll Number: 2; FHL Roll Number: 976448, accessed 02/27/2017.) He stayed in this house for remainder of his life, commuting to his San Francisco office. Percy died at home on Friday, 12/14/1900, following a short and mysterious illness. He complained of having a cold, and his wife convinced him to stay home on a day of inclement weather. He developed a severe headache just before midday and a doctor was summoned. Before the physician could arrive, Percy had died. Percy passed away a little over one year following the premature death of his business partner, Frederick F. Hamilton.

In 1903, his widow, Emma Percy, continued to live at this address with their children. (See Oakland, California, City Directory, 1903, p. 351.) She would outlive her husband by about 46 years, dying in 1948.


His father was Isaiah Percy (1806–1888), who, in 1860, earned a living as a master joiner. Isaiah had real estate worth $12,000 according to the US Census of 1860, a considerable sum. He had a personal estate valued at $200. His mother was Beulah Bisby Bowker (1806–1885), a homemaker. He had one brother and two sisters as per the 1860 census: Gresham Hyde (born c. 1838 in ME); Charlotte B. (born c. 1840 in ME); and Philena S. Percy Cobb (spelling of first name not clear, born c. 1844 in ME). In 1892, Gresham lived in Los Angeles, CA, where he worked as a millman. (See, Source Citation Year: 1860; Census Place: West Bath, Sagadahoc, Maine; Roll: M653_448; Page: 369; Family History Library Film: 803448,accessed 02/27/2017.)


George W. Percy married on Emma Washburn Clark (1855-1948) on 12/29/1881 in Portland, ME. Rev. John C. Holbrook performed a Congregationalist ceremony. At this time, Percy resided in San Francisco, Clark in Portland.


He and Emma had four children: Isabelle Clark Percy (1882–1976), Arthur Lowell Percy (1886–1911), Millicent Washburn "Carmen" Percy (1888–1909), and Earnest Leslie Ransome Percy (1890–1966). The last child was named for the engineer, Ernest Leslie Ransome (1844-1917), a pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete.

Biographical Notes

At age 49, Percy stood 5-feet 10-inches tall, and had a light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. See, California Voter Registers, 1866-1898, California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4-2A; CSL Roll Number 4; FHL Roll Number: 976450, accessed 02/24/2017.)

Associated Locations

  • Bath, ME (Architect's Birth)
    Bath, ME

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  • Oakland, CA (Architect's Death)
    Oakland, CA

PCAD id: 2004