William A. Kirk


Kirkor's head shot from his emigrant registration card, 1939

William Alexander Kirk (1901–after 1952)

Всеволод Александрович КИРКОР (1901–после 1952). Русский текст – внизу страницы

Architect, civil engineer, realtor

Real name – Vsevolod Alexandrovich Kirkor. Father A. N. Kirkor operated Kirkor Pharmacy, first in Harbin and later in Shanghai.

Born in Petrograd on 15 January 1901. Graduated from the Khabarovsk Marine Academy in 1919 and joined the Siberian Fleet, which soon retreated to Shanghai. In the 1930s, Kirkor was member of the Russian National Committee and instructor of the Russian Scouts Association; he always retained links with Russian naval officers.

Kirkor practiced architecture in Shanghai since 1925, under the name Wm. A. Kirk 高尔克, with an address at 133 Yuen Ming Yuen Road. He claimed to have been educated in the USA and to have briefly worked in C. H. Gonda's architectural firm.

In early 1934, the Belmont Apartments for Joseph G. Bell was built upon Kirk's design – "a six story reinforced concrete building with 18 units and separate garages." In May 1934, Wm. A Kirk published ambitious designs of a large hospital and a railway station reception hall for Peiping-Liaoning Railway in Tianjin. The hospital was built at the cost of $210,000 and inaugurated in March 1936.

In 1935, Kirk published the design of a 23-story office tower for downtown Shanghai. Later that year, he partnered with the Dutch architect G. Th. Ubink and changed the English name of the firm to Kirk & Ubink. The duo publicized the project of the Massenet Apartments for the French Concession. In November 1935, the cornerstone was laid for a large hospital for the Russian community. The construction, however, halted, the partnership with Ubink dissolved, and Kirk left for the USA.

In June 1937, Kirkor was extradited from the US to face multiple charges in Shanghai, for "having defrauded Norman Yu, building contractor, of $1,500, which he allegedly received as commission of a building job that never materialized." Another charge was by the owner of an iron factory, for the commission of $2,244, and by a landowner in the French Concession. Kirk was found guilty and sentenced to an 8-month imprisonment.

In July 1939, Kirk was arrested again, for attempts "to defraud 20 newly arrived German Jewish refugees of about $10,000." Together with his accomplice Naum Droos, Kirk opened the Canadian and Oriental Exporters, with an office at Jinkee Road, and concluded contracts with the refugees, "promising them cheap houses on Tongshan Road against the advanced payment of key money and rentals." Because the houses were actually constructed – as confirmed by the well-known Shanghai architect C. H. Gonda – Kirk was acquitted of fraud, but found "guilty of intimidation when pressing payment of key money and rent." He was sentenced to a fine of $630 or a 6-month imprisonment.

As a result of these cases, Wm. A. Kirk was marked as a criminal in the police files of both foreign settlements. He was also suspected of ties with the Soviet spies.

In 1939–1941, Wm. A. Kirk was agent for a number of trade companies in Shanghai and traveled extensively to North China and Japan. At the same time, he continued his architectural practice from an office at 445 Rue Cardinal Mercier. From the look of his projects, it appears he preferred additive shapes and complex facades.

In 1951, Kirkor was in Sverdlovsk, USSR, working as a constructor at a copper plant, when he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years of forced labor. (Openlist.wiki) His life after 1952 remains unknown.

Belmont Apartments, Rte Tenant de la Tour


Railway Station Reception Hall, Tientsin

1934 (unrealized?)

23-story Office Tower, Central District

1935 (unrealized?)

1935 (unfinished)

Massenet Apartments, Rue Massenet

1935 (unrealized?)

Railway Hospital, Tientsin


List of known works by WM. A. Kirk 高尔克

  • Reception hall of the Tientsin Central railway station, Tientsin (1934) – state and location to be confirmed

  • Hospital for the Peiping-Liaoning Railway 铁路医院, Tientsin (1936), now 3 Zhongshan Road 中山路3号

  • Belmont Apartments, 240 Route Tenant de la Tour (1934), now 240 South Xiangyang Road 襄阳南路240号

  • Hospital of the Russian Orthodox Confraternity, corner of Avenue Joffre and Route Pershing (1935) – unfinished

  • Massenet Apartments, Rue Massenet (1935) – state and location to be confirmed

  • 23-story office tower, Central District (1935) – state and location to be confirmed

Listing for Wm. A. Kirk, July 1934
Listing for Kirk & Ubink 高尔克, Jan 1936

Belmont Apartments (1934)

Wm. A. Kirk's drawing of the Belmont Apartments. Shanghai Sunday Times, Dec 1934
Belmont Apartments. F Thomas on flickr

Peiping-Liaoning Railway Central Station (1934)

Reception hall of the Tientsin Central Station on the Peiping-Liaoning railway, proposed by Wm. A. Kirk in 1934

Massenet Apartments (1935)

Drawing of the Massenet Apartments, in the French Concession, published in December 1935. Shanghai Sunday Times

23-Story Office Tower (1935)

Design of a 23-story office building for central Shanghai, published in 1935. Builder 建筑月刊
Project of the Russian Orthodox Confraternity Hospital, by Kirk & Ubink. The Builder 建筑月刊, Vol 4, No 1, 1936

Peiping-Liaoning Railway Hospital (1936)

Hospital for the Peiping-Liaoning Railway in Tientsin (Tianjin), designed by Wm. A. Kirk in May 1934
Another drawing of the Peiping-Liaoning Railway Hospital for Tientsin (Tianjin 天津), published in 1935. Builder 建筑月刊
Hospital for the Peiping-Liaoning Railway in Tientsin (Tianjin), built in 1936. North China Railway Archive (華北交通アーカイブ)
Hospital for the Peiping-Liaoning Railway in Tientsin (Tianjin), built in 1936. North China Railway Archive (華北交通アーカイブ)
Hospital for the Peiping-Liaoning Railway in Tientsin (Tianjin), built in 1936. North China Railway Archive (華北交通アーカイブ)
West facade of Kirk's building, now used as the administrative building of Tianjin's No. 4 Central Hospital 天津市第四中心医院行政楼. Baidu

Всеволод Александрович Киркор (1901–после 1952)

Архитектор, инженер-строитель, риэлтор

Известен также под псевдонимом Вильям А. Кирк.

Родился в Петрограде 15 января 1901 года. Отец Александр Николаевич Киркор владел аптекой "Киркор Фармаси" в 1920-е годы в Шанхае. В. А. Киркор состоял в Хабаровском кадетском корпусе в 1919 году и позже был гардемарином Морского училища во Владивостоке. Летом 1921 года воевал в белых войсках в составе Сибирской флотилии и после отступления оказался в Шанхае.

В Шанхае был инструктором скаутов и членом Русского национального комитета. В 1925 году молодой Киркор под псевдонимом Вильям А. Кирк открыл одноименную архитектурную фирму. В 1934 году спроектировал 18-квартирный дом "Бельмонт" на рут Тенант де ля Тур. В 1935 году началось строительство следующего проекта Киркора – Больницы Православного братства, ради которого Киркор взял в партнеры голландца Убинка и переименовал фирму в "Кирк и Убинк". Проект не был закончен.

В 1936 по проекту Киркора в Тяньцзине была выстроена железнодорожная больница (здание сохранилось).

Киркор уехал в Соединенные Штаты, откуда в июне 1937 года его выслали в Шанхай, где он предстал перед судом. Два подрядчика и один заказчик выдвинули ему обвинения в расхищении средств, полученных на строительство, за что Киркор получил 8 месяцев тюрьмы.

В июле 1939 Киркор был снова арестован по обвинению в вымогательстве 10,000 долларов у двадцати немецких евреев, недавно прибывших в Шанхай. Вместе с сообщником Наумом Друзом Киркор создал фиктивную фирму, которая заключала контракты с беженцами, беря у них залог и арендную плату авансом. Фирма обещала клиентам предоставить жилье в районе Хункоу, но строительство не было закончено к моменту суда. Киркора оправдали, так как задержка была незначительной и дома были близки к завершению, но признали виновным в запугивании и вымогательстве, назначив штраф в 630 долларов или 6 месяцев тюрьмы.

Киркор числился в списках преступников в полицейских досье обоих иностранных сеттльментов; кроме того, он подозревался в связях с советскими шпионами. В 1939–1941 годах Киркор состоял в штате ряда торговых и фотографических контор и выезжал в Манчжурию и Японию. Также он продолжал числиться практикующим архитектором. Киркор репатриировался в СССР, где работал конструктором на Кировградском медеплавильном заводе. В 1951 году он был арестован и получил 10 лет ИТЛ (источник). Его судьба после 1952 года неизвестна.