Dallas D. L. McGrew, 96, an architect who worked on the restoration of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in the 1930s, died Sunday at his home in Bethesda of a coronary occlusion.

Mr. McGrew was born in Cawnpore, India, where his parents were missionaries. He had maintained a home in Bethesda since 1921. He worked for the Interior Department on the restoration of the canal from 1936 to 1939.

He undertook that job after working as an architect in the Philippines, employment with a mining company in Missouri, newspapering, banking, and eight years as an adviser to the Japanese government. During World War II, he was a structural engineer at the Washington Navy Yard.

Mr. McGrew graduated from Harvard College, where he was captain of the rowing crew, in 1903. After working in the Philippines and in Missouri, he became an editorial writer for the Boston Journal. During the World War I, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the American Field Service in France. From 1916 to 1921, he was employed by the International Banking Corp. in New York, China, Japan and France.

In 1916, he married Dorothea Gilder, who died in 1920.

The following year, he married Elizabeth Barber, and they established a home in Bethesda. From 1921 to 1929, Mr. McGrew was an adviser to the Japanese government and travelled to Peking and Tokyo as well as working in Washington.

A noted amateur golfer, he was a former president of the D.C. Golf Association. He was active in the Harvard College Alumni Association.

Survivors include his wife, of the home in Bethesda; two daughters, Helena Newman, of New York City, and Sara Barber-Braun, of Seattle, Wash.; a son, John R., of Glenn Dale, Md., and three grandchildren.