Foard, Osborne G. (1883-1960)
Osborne G. Foard (December 7, 1883- December 11, 1960) of Wilmington practiced architecture in that city for many years, most of them as partner to architect James B. Lynch, also of Wilmington.
A son of Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard M. Foard of Wilmington, Osborne Foard showed artistic talent at an early age: the Wilmington Morning Star of January 14, 1899, praised a sample of his “work as an artist”—a crayon drawing of two pointer dogs—on exhibit at a local bookstore. Wilmington city directories indicate that Foard held some white-collar jobs—a clerk for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1905, a bank teller in 1907—before pursuing training as an architect.
Foard entered Trinity College (later Duke University) in Durham and was a member of the class of 1906. In 1910, the United States Census listed him as a student aged 25 residing in his parents’ household in Wilmington. The Trinity Chronicle of October 15, 1913, noted that Foard had “finished work at the School of Architecture, Columbia University, and has recently been associated with the Architectural Firm of Walker & Gillette, New York City.” At Columbia, according to American Architect and Architecture, vol. 101, Foard was awarded an annual medal given to the “student in advance design who has achieved the greatest proficiency in design as indicated by the quality and quantity of problems worked upon.” How long he continued with the New York firm is not clear. Upon returning to Wilmington, Foard worked in various positions, including as a clerk for the railroad and as a draftsman. In 1920, he was a draftsman in an architect’s office in Florence, S. C.
By 1922, according to the Wilmington city directory, Foard found lasting employment with architect James B. Lynch. He began as a draftsman, and between 1924 and 1926, the two men formed an architectural partnership. They were about the same age, but probably their different architectural educations provided complementary strengths. (Lynch had worked as a draftsman in Wilmington and then studied at present North Carolina State University in Raleigh.) In 1930, the United States Census listed Osborne, an architect, and his sister, Katie, living with their father in Wilmington. The 1940 census showed him as an architect aged 57, heading a household that included his wife, Elsie (Elise).
The division of work in the partnership between Lynch and Foard is not known, but their firm lasted for several productive years (see building list). At his death on December 11, 1960, Foard was identified as a retired architect. He was buried in Wilmington’s Oakdale Cemetery.
Note: Osborne Giles Foard of Wilmington was part of a large Foard family long established in piedmont North Carolina. Family trees indicate that an ancestor was the Osborne Giles Foard of Rowan County, who was known for his traditional association with the man some believed to be French officer Peter Stuart Ney; there is abundant literature on that subject.
- Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
- Dates:1939Location:Wilmington, New Hanover CountyStreet Address:511 S. 11th St., Wilmington, NCStatus:No longer standingType:Health CareImages Puslished In:Beverly Tetterton, Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten (2005).Note:The hospital for black patients began in 1920 in a former drugstore building on 7th St., but the needs were more than it could accommodate. With local support and funds from the WPA, the larger brick hospital was built in 1939. It closed in 1967.
- Dates:1930-1931Location:Wilmington, New Hanover CountyStreet Address:1702 Wrightsville Ave., Wilmington, NCStatus:StandingType:PublicImages Puslished In:Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).Note:Designed in a restrained Mission style, the 2-story building of stuccoed masonry has served various purposes.
- Dates:Ca. 1931Location:Wilmington, New Hanover CountyStreet Address:319 S. 10th St., Wilmington, NCStatus:No longer standingType:EducationalImages Puslished In:Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).Note:According to Susan Taylor Block in "Wilmington Outskirts," at http://louistmoore.com/outskirts/, Lynch and Foard designed the brick high school, the third by that name, which was built for black students in 1930 or 1931; it burned in 1936.