Fonds Accession 2001-036. - Aza Avramovitch fonds

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Aza Avramovitch fonds

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NSHP Accession 2001-036.

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Physical description

  • 90 cm of architectural drawings
  • 45 cm of textual records
  • 15 cm of photographs

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Aza Avramovitch was born in Belgrade on 27 March 1921. He was educated at Belgrade University and the School of Architecture, University of Geneva, from which he received a diploma in 1951. From 1941 to 1943 he was interned in a concentration camp in Italy; he later escaped to Switzerland but lost the rest of his family in the Holocaust. From the late 1940s to 1953 he was an architect in Geneva and France before emigrating to Canada with his first wife, Margot Machler. He practiced architecture in Montreal until 1959, when he moved to Halifax. After working briefly with Keith Graham and Associates, in 1960 he established his own practice, Aza Avramovitch Associates Ltd. (later Aza Avramovitch Architect Ltd.) For a number of years he had his office in the historic Century House at 1714 Robie St., Halifax, which he fully restored. He retired in 1994. Among his projects were the Northwood Centre (Halifax), Church of Christ ( Fairview), the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children (Dartmouth), Dartmouth Academy, Shubenacadie Post Office, and several apartment buildings. He also assisted in the planning of several large-scale development projects such as the Pinecrest Housing Project (Bridgewater) and Tantallon Woods Subdivision. In addition to his career as an architect, he was an amateur artist and poet. In 1995 he published Poems of Dreams and Smiles, a book whose theme was life and loss. In 1998 he married his second wife, Francene Cosman. He died on 26 May 1999.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of records documenting Avramovitch's private life and architectural career. His personal papers include a few reminiscences of World War II, correspondence with friends and family, 1940s-1950s (written mostly in French, German, Italian and Serb), correspondence with Canadian government officials regarding his emigration to Canada, and various notes, drafts and typed booklets of poetry he produced from 1979-1995. The records relating to his architectural career are not business records as such but materials accumulated for personal reasons. They include academic papers written as a student, architectural drawings and plans from his early career in Europe and Montreal, and his Halifax firm, 1950s- 1980s. In addition there are reminiscences and notes about his career as an architect and files regarding some of his major projects in Halifax. Most of the latter contain photographs of buildings and sites, sketches, drawings and plans, architect's notes, clippings and similar material. Many files include handwritten explanatory and contextual notes inserted after his death by his widow, Francene Cosman Avramovitch.

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Physical condition

Condition of the material varies. Some of the correspondence has a musty odour.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Francene Cosman Avramovitch.

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File list available.

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