C M Crickmer

The Architect

By Jon Deville

Crickmer as an architect is most commonly known for his work in Letchworth area and is regarded as the most important Letchworth architect outside of Parker and Unwin.

Style

The most distinctive design of Crickmer’s early career was his ‘Crossways’ Hitchin Road in 1906 which is still regarded as one of his best houses and is synonymous for its ‘M’ gable infilled with studwork.

During the 1930s Crickmer updated his designs in line with the growing influence of modernism in architecture which culminated in the Letchworth Library in 1937 which with its irregular site and formal Georgian character posed an aesthetic challenge. In the end the corner entrance was emphasised by a canopy and a setback tall window, with a curved parapet rising above the roofline. The ground-floor windows on the wings of the library were treated as a continuous band and gave the library a horizontal emphasis.

Exhibitioner

Crickmer’s earliest houses No’s 121-127 Green Lane were shown in the 1905 Cheap Cottage Competition and applauded for their neat, reticent designs.

‘Breaking the Mould’

Unlike many of his contemporaries Crickmer did not retire after the Second World War and by contrast he appeared to work with a new vigour. He was over 80 when the extensions to the Letchworth Library and Museum were completed.

Come full circle…

When Crickmer approached his ‘nineties’ he accepted a small commision for alterations and new entrance gates for ‘Crossways’ Hitchin Road, one of his first Garden City houses built in 1906.

 

This page was added on 08/08/2012.

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  • Articles are posted here by individuals, who may or may not be associated with managing the site. We generally leave alterations like this to the original author of the article, rather than changing what someone else has posted. In this case, the author either hasn’t come back to the article or hasn’t chosen to make the change. However, your correction can be seen by anyone who reads the article.

    By Nicholas Blatchley (14/02/2018)
  • Two years on instead of doing something about the photograph of the Clapham Lander cottages you retain my comment – is there any point in asking for comments?

    By Allan Lupton (12/02/2018)
  • The first illustration is not Crickmer’s Crossways in Hitchin Road but a pair of Semi-detatched houses in Baldock Road (nos 35 & 37) and they were designed by H. Clapham Lander.

    See Purdom’s 1913 book

    By Allan Lupton (19/01/2016)