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1871, 14 Feb Marion Lucy Mahony (MLM) born, Chicago, Illinois.
1876, 24 Nov Walter Burley Griffin (WBG) born, Maywood, Illinois.
1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, frequently visited by Walter Griffin.
1894 MLM graduates in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston.
1894 MLM works for Dwight H Perkins on Steinway Hall.
1895–1899 WBG enrolled in Bachelor of Architecture, including some horticultural studies, Engineering Hall, University of Illinois, Champaign.
1895–1909 MLM works for Frank Lloyd Wright at Oak Park, Chicago, the last four years on an occasional contract basis.
1898 In Australia, a Federal Convention agreed on the need for a new national capital, but could not agree on a site.
1899 WBG graduates in architecture from the University of Illinois.
1899–1901 WBG works at Steinway Hall, Chicago, successively for architects Dwight H Perkins, Robert C Spencer Jr and Henry Webster Tomlinson.
1901–06 WBG works for Frank Lloyd Wright at Oak Park. His duties included architecture and landscape design, project administration and site supervision.
1901 The new Commonwealth of Australia declared, a federation of sovereign states, with Melbourne the temporary capital.
1903 MLM designs Unitarian Church of All Souls, Evanston, Illinois. Her first major independent project.
1903–04 WBG designs W H Emery house, Elmhurst, Illinois. First major domestic commission and first substantial house in Walter Griffin’s early style.
1904 St Louis World’s Fair, Missouri, visited by WBG.
1906 WBG sets up his own practice at Steinway Hall.
1908 After several rounds of inspections of potential sites for the new Australian capital, Federal Parliamentarians select a site on the Molonglo River that was to become known as Canberra.
1909–11 MLM works for Hermann Von Holst at Steinway Hall on Frank Lloyd Wright’s uncompleted projects and new projects including the David Amberg house, Grand Rapids and Adolph and Robert Mueller houses, Decatur.
1911 WBG designs ‘Solid Rock’ house for William F Tempel, Winnetka, Illinois. The first house erected in Walter Griffin’s mature style and his first house of reinforced concrete.
1911 MLM joins WBG’s practice.
1911, 29 June WBG and MLM marry in Michigan City. She changes her name to Marion Mahony Griffin (MMG). The international competition for the design of Canberra had been launched on 24 May.
1911 In a period of nine weeks from September 1911, the Griffins prepared and submitted their ‘master work’, the design entry for the Australian Federal Capital Competition.
1912 WBG designs J G Melson house, Rock Crest–Rock Glen, Mason City, Iowa: WBG’s first major expression of ‘organic’ architecture that anticipates later projects in Castlecrag, Sydney.
1912 Griffins win the international competition for the design of Australia’s new capital, Canberra.
1913, Aug  WBG is invited to Australia by the Commonwealth Government and in October is appointed Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction. During this visit WBG is appointed by Leslie Wade to design the new towns of Leeton and Griffith to service the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. He returns to the US for six months to settle his American practice.
1914, Feb WBG and MMG visit Europe for three weeks to appoint adjudicators for the Parliament House competition.
1914, May WBG and MMG leave America for Australia accompanied by architects Roy Lippincott and George Elgh. Of approximately 125 of their architectural projects in America since 1900, about 65 were constructed.
1914, 15 May WBG and MMG arrive in Australia from the USA.
1914–20 WBG works on the implementation of the Canberra plan and on other urban planning projects such as Griffith and Leeton in New South Wales and Eaglemont in Victoria.
1914–37 Practice established in Melbourne. Of approximately 72 projects for private residences and major buildings, 48 were completed.
1914–37 Practice established in Sydney. Of approximately 100 projects for private residences and major buildings, 33 were completed.
1914, 5 Aug Outbreak of WW1
1915–18 WBG/MMG design Newman College, University of Melbourne, in association with AA Fritsch Architects.
1916 WBG/MMG design Café Australia, Collins Street, Melbourne.
1917, May The Knitlock construction system patented by WBG and David C Jenkins. It was a system of interlocking, precast concrete tiles used to construct roofs, interior and exterior walls.
1919 WBG forms the Greater Sydney Development Association Ltd (GSDA), with the aim of purchasing land and developing a residential estate on the shores of Sydney Harbour.
1920 WBG’s position as Federal Capital Director of Construction and Design is terminated. Walter Griffin’s refusal to join the newly formed Federal Capital Advisory Committee effectively ended his role in Canberra.
1921–24 WBG/MMG design Capitol House/Capitol Theatre, Swanston Street, Melbourne, in association with Peck & Kemter Architects.
1921 WBG, with shareholders, purchases 650 acres (263 hectares) of land on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour in the areas now known as Castlecrag, Castle Cove and Middle Cove.
1922 WBG designs Leonard House, 46 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.
1925, Jan The Griffins return to the US for two months.
1925, June MMG moves to Castlecrag from Melbourne, and WBG joins her a few months later. Over the next decade, they live at various addresses in Castlecrag and design more than 50 houses, of which sixteen are built.
1929–1937 The Reverberatory Incinerator & Engineering Company (RIECo) incorporated by Nisson Leonard-Kanevsky, John Boadle and Vasilie Trunoff. WBG in partnership with Eric Milton Nicholls completed thirteen incinerators throughout Australia.
1930 WBG and Eric Nicholls partnership established; the firm, Griffin and Nicholls, continues after WBG’s death in 1937.
1930 WBG/MMG design Haven Scenic Theatre (open-air theatre), Castlecrag.
1930 MMG joins the Sydney Anthroposophical Society
1930, Nov MMG returns to Chicago.
1931 WBG joins the Sydney Anthroposophical Society.
1932, Sept  MMG returns to Castlecrag.
1932-1933  WBG/MMG design Pyrmont incinerator, Sydney.
1935, Oct  WBG travels to Lucknow, India, having received a commission to design Lucknow University Library.
1936, May MMG joins WBG in India.
1936–37 WBG designs approximately 100 projects in India, about half of which are individual buildings for the United Provinces Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition. Those built include the Pioneer Press building and pavilions for the United Provinces Exhibition, both in Lucknow
1937, 11 Feb WBG dies in Lucknow, after developing peritonitis following a gall bladder operation, aged 60.
1938 MMG returns to Chicago.
1949 MMG completes her memoirs ‘The magic of America’.
1961, 10 Aug MMG dies in Chicago of heart failure, aged 90.
1987 WBG’s unmarked grave in Lucknow is provided with a memorial slab and enclosure.
1997 MMG’s ashes re-interred with a new memorial plaque at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago
Griffin Chronology |  2

Detail from portrait of Walter Burley Griffin, from the Miles Franklin papers (ML ref. PX*D 250/3) Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Griffin Chronology |  1

Marion Mahony Griffin, c. 1935, National Library of Australia PIC P490/6


The Society is indebted to Anne Watson, editor of Beyond Architecture: Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin in America, Australia and India.  Sydney, Powerhouse Publishing, 1998, and to research by Peter Navaretti, Dr Jeff Turnbull and Robert F McKillop.