Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin.   According to the Irish censuses of 1901 and 1911, Laurence Aloysius McDonnell was born in Donnybrook, Dublin, in 1857 or 1858.  The youngest son of Randle Henry McDonnell, solicitor, of Dublin, he served his articles with JOHN JOSEPH O'CALLAGHAN  JOHN JOSEPH O'CALLAGHAN circa 1880 to 1883.  He was described as 'a pupil in the office of an architect in this city' when his drawing of buildings on the Quay at Ilfracombe was reproduced in the Irish Builder on 1 December 1880,(1) and from 1881 to 1883 he exhibited designs at the Royal Hibernian Academy from O'Callaghan's office address at 31 Harcourt Street.(2)  He next worked for THOMAS NEWENHAM DEANE & THOMAS NEWENHAM DEANE & amp; SON, representing the practice in Oxford for two years.(3)  He then became principal assistant in the office of JOHN FRANKLIN FULLER. A  JOHN FRANKLIN FULLER. A sketch design for a high altar by him was published in the Irish Builder in 1884.(4) It was probably in 1886 that he set up his own practice, making his first appearance in Thom's Directory in 1887, with an address at 28 Pembroke Street Lower.   In the early 1890s he attracted the patronage of the 7th Earl of Aberdeen, former (& future) Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, then Governor General of Canade, and his wife.  Lady Aberdeen and her committee chose McDonnell to design an 'Irish Industrial Village' for the Chicago World's Fair of 1892, while the following year.her husband commissioned plans for 'a large mansion in Scotland' from him.   In December 1893 he was among ten candidates who applied for the vacant post of Dublin City Engineer, losing narrowly to the winner, CHARLES JAMES MCCARTHY. CHARLES JAMES MCCARTHY. (5)

Towards the end of 1910 McDonnell took ALEXANDER WILLIAM DOUGLAS REID  ALEXANDER WILLIAM DOUGLAS REID into partnership, practising as MCDONNELL & MCDONNELL & amp; REID.(6) This partnership effectively came to an end soon after the outbreak of the First World War, when Reid enlisted in the Durham Light Infantry.(7) After the war Reid decided to work in England, and in 1917 McDonnell formed a new partnership with his assistant WILLIAM A. DIXON  WILLIAM A. DIXON under the name MCDONNELL & MCDONNELL & amp; DIXON. D DIXON. D ixon increasingly took over the running of the office in last years of McDonnell's life and, after McDonnell's death on 4 December 1925,(8) carried on the practice under the same name. The firm known as McDonnell & Dixon is still in business at 20 Ely Place today (2000) and has a large archive of drawings, many of which were donated to the Irrish Architectural Archive in 2008 (Acc. 2008/81).

McDonnell was still a bachelor at the time of the 1911 census and presumably remained unmarried.   According to his obituarist in the Irish Builder, he was a kindly, unassuming man, who took no active part in the affairs of the RIAI, although a member of long standing. He also belonged to the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the Sheridan Club and was 'socially very popular'. His pupils and assistants included FRANK EDWARD SPARROW  FRANK EDWARD SPARROW and THOMAS FRANCIS STRAHAN. THOMAS FRANCIS STRAHAN.

RIAI: passed for ballot, 6 Nov 1893, and elected, 15 Nov 1893;(9) raised to fellow, 1913.(10)

Addresses:(11) 31 Harcourt Street, 1881-1883; 28 Pembroke Street Lower, 1887-1893; 54 Dawson Street, 1893(12)-1895; 33 Kildare Street, 1897-1900; 9 Hume Street, 1901-1909; 20 Ely Place, 1910 onwards.

See WORKS; for works from December 1910 to 1916 see also MCDONNELL & MCDONNELL & amp; REID; for works from 1917 until 1925, see MCDONNELL & MCDONNELL & amp; DIXON. DIXON.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of McDonnell in IB 67, 12 Dec 1925, 1020. A portrait photograph is in IB 55, 12 Apr 1913, 256.


(1) IB 22, 1 Dec 1880, 334,337(illus.); his name is given as 'A. McDonnell' in the text, but the drawing is signed 'L.A. McDonnell'.
(2) RHA Index, II, 220; he exhibited a design for semi-detached suburban residences in 1881 (no. 585), a drawing of the baptistry at the church of Notre Dame, Bruges, in 1882 (no. 653) and an elevation of the chapel at the schools of the Twin Sisters, Clontarf, in 1883 (no. 546).
(3) IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile). T.N. Deane & Son designed the Physiological Museum in the grounds of the University Museum (1883-1885) and the Pitt Rivers Museum adjoining the University Museum (1885-86).
(4) IB 26, 1 Apr 1884, 98.
(5) Irish Times, 5 Dec 1893.
(6) IB 52, 10 Dec 1910, 763.
(7) He is on the war roll which forms the frontispiece to AAI Green Book (1916).
(8) IB 67, 12 Dec 1925, 1020.
(9) Council meeting minutes, 6 Nov,7 Dec 1893, 307.
(10) JRIAI (1914), 7.
(11) From RIAI lists of members and Thom's directories (or Jones's transcripts from same) unless otherwise attributed.
(12) See note 5, above.


40 work entries listed in chronological order for MCDONNELL, LAURENCE ALOYSIUS


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Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, ROYAL AVENUE, CENTRAL LIBRARY
Date: 1883
Nature: Competition entrant.
Refs: IB 25, 15 Oct 1883, 316,322(illus.)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 064 (LAMBERT, BRIEN & CO.)
Date: 1890
Nature: Rebuilding premises of Lambert, Brien & Co.(No. 64)and of 'the adjoining house of Mssrs. Robinson' (No. 65).
Refs: Obituary of L.A. McD in IB 67, 12 Dec 1925, 1020;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 521-2.

Building: UNITED STATES, CHICAGO (ILLINOIS), WORLD'S FAIR, IRISH INDUSTRIAL VILLAGE
Date: 1892
Nature: Engaged by Lady Aberdeen and committee to design and superintend building of same. Design exh. RA 1893.
Refs: RA 1893, no. 1617; IB 34, 15 Aug 1892, 173,177(illus.); B 65, 28 Oct 1893, 320

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PHOENIX PARK, ZOO, ROBERTS LION HOUSE
Date: 1892
Nature: Roberts Lion House opened by Lord Lieutenant 31 May 1892. £4,000. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey
Refs: IB 43, 22 May,17 Jul 1902, 1255,1317(illus.)

Building: SCOTLAND, HADDO?, HOUSE
Date: 1893
Nature: Design for 'large mansion in Scotland'.
Refs: IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile).

Building: CO. DUBLIN, KILLINEY, HOUSES (002)
Date: 1895
Nature: Two detached houses for Joshua D. Chaytor, Esq. Estimated cost: £2,600.
Refs: IAA, PKS A0, p.175 (Jan 1895)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, KILLINEY, MARINO?
Date: 1895
Nature: Detached residence, for Joshua D. Chaytor, stockbroker.
Refs: IAA, PKS 0745

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, FITZWILLIAM SQUARE, FOUNTAIN
Date: 1898
Nature: Lately erected. Facsimile of celebrated gooseman fountain in market place of Nurnberg.
Refs: IB 40, 15 Dec 1898, 182

Building: CO. KILDARE, LEIXLIP, HOUSES
Date: 1899
Nature: Labourers' cottages to be erected in village for Celbridge RDC.
Refs: IB 41, 1 Nov 1899, 169

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PHOENIX PARK, ZOO, HAUGHTON MEMORIAL HOUSE
Date: 1899
Nature: New building for kangaroos and birds, with tea-room on first floor. Opened 19 May 1899. Builder: John Good. Extended in 1906 and 1912 (Casey).
Refs: Irish Times, 18 May 1899; IB 41, 15 Jul 1899, 82(illus.);  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 307.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 070 (AMERICAN SHOE CO.)
Date: 1900
Nature: New premises also including 1-2 Harry St.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Mar 1900, 308 (illus. in suppl.)

Building: CO. KERRY, TRALEE, DENNY STREET (& CASTLE STREET), MUNSTER & LEINSTER BANK
Date: 1900-01
Nature: New branch bank built at corner of Denny St & Castle St, after demolition of previous house on site. Builder: J.B. Healy.(£5,000). Furniture 'of the finest Domingo mahogany' by Arthur Jones & Sons, Stephen's Gn. Opened Apr 1901.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Jan 1900, 244; 43, 1 Jan 1901, 589; B 80, 20 Apr 1901, 398

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SHELBOURNE ROAD (BALLSBRIDGE), VETERINARY COLLEGE
Date: 1900-1909
Nature: New. To be built on Hammersmith Works site formerly occupied by George Crampton. To cost: £20,000. Contractor: George Crampton. Extended 1907-8. Contractor for extension: C.J. Crampton (£6,000). Clerk of Works: R. Wilson. New buildings opened by Chief Secretary, Augustine Birrell, 16 Jan 1909.
Refs: IB 42, 15 Jul 1900, 422; 43, 29 Aug 1901, 856; 44, 30 Jan 1902, 1020; 49, 5 Oct,2,16 Nov 1907, 693,762,797; 50, 11 Jan 1908, 16,21(illus.); 51, 23 Jan 1909, 37,49;  Freeman's Journal, 18 Jan 1908;  Ruth McManus, Crampton Built (Dublin: G. & T. Crampton, 2008), 22,25,26(illus)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GLASNEVIN, PROSPECT CEMETERY, LAWLOR & MURPHY MEMORIAL
Date: 1901
Nature: Memorial to Patrick Lawlor and Peter J. Murphy, members of Lord Iveagh's Irish Hospital Corp. who died in South Africa. Executed by C.W. Harrison & Sons
Refs: IB 43, 10 Oct 1901, 898

Building: CO. CORK, LOTA LODGE (GLANMIRE)
Date: 1902
Nature: Reconstruction and adds. after recent fire. Builder: Sam Hall (Hill?)
Refs: IB 43, 28 Aug 1902, 1376

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, EARL STREET NORTH, NO. 025 (J. NAGLE & CO.)
Date: 1902
Nature: New front to public house.
Refs: IB 43, 20 Jan 1902, 1020

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 002, & NASSAU STREET, NO. 002 (YEATES & SON)
Date: 1902
Nature: Rebuilding of premises of Yeates & Co as 'a big showy vaguely Tudor exercuse in sandstone and red brick' (Casey)  and adjoining houses.
Refs: Obituary of L.A. McD in IB 67, 12 Dec 1925, 1020;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 519.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 006 (WILLIAM PRESCOTT)
Date: 1902
Nature: New business premises for Mr Prescott. Builder: Henry Monks.
Refs: IB 43, 19 Jun 1902,1283

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, PRINCESS CAFE
Date: 1905
Nature: New café. Decoration shows 'strong Celtic touch…with a leaning towards…L'Art Nouveau'. Opened Jan 1905. Contractor: McLaughlin & Harvey. Furnishing by Millar & Beatty.
Refs: IB 47, 14 Jan 1905, 26

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 066-68
Date: 1906
Nature: Rebuilding of Nos. 66-69 Grafton St (on Corporation estate) for William Leybourne Murphy, Mrs R.G. Levers and Singer Sewing Machine Co. Contractor: J. Pemberton & Sons, Charlemont St.
Refs: IB 48, 30 Jun,11 Aug 1906, 505,648

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 069 (SINGER SEWING MACHINE CO.)
Date: 1906
Nature: Rebuilding of Nos. 66-69 Grafton St (on Corporation estate) for William Leybourne Murphy, Mrs R.G. Levers and Singer Sewing Machine Co. Contractor: J. Pemberton & Sons, Charlemont St.
Refs: IB 48, 30 Ju8n,11 Aug 1906, 505,648

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 036 (LEVERETT & FRYE)
Date: 1906-07
Nature: Rebuilding, for Leverett & Frye, grocers and wine merchants. Builder: H. & J. Martin. Electric light by Norman, Robinson & Brunker Ltd.
Refs: IB 11 Aug 1906, 648; 49, 6 Apr 1907, 252

Building: CO. KILDARE, DOLLANSTOWN (KILCOCK)
Date: 1907
Nature: Adds. for Mr P. Purcell-Gilpin.
Refs: IB 49, 9 Mar 1907, 176

Building: CO. WICKLOW, DUNLAVIN, MUNSTER & LEINSTER BANK
Date: 1907
Nature: Tenders received for alts. to premises for M & L Bank.
Refs: IB 49, 24 Aug 1907, 593

Building: CO. DUBLIN, BLACKROCK, CROSS AVENUE, NO. 014 (CHESTERFIELD)
Date: 1907
Nature: Garden house, for Howard Guinness. Breeze concrete walls covered with rustic timber.
Refs: IB 49, 24 Aug 1907, 593

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DALKEY, SEAVIEW COTTAGE
Date: 1907
Nature: Alts. & adds. for Walter (or Alexander?) Conan. Contractor: James Allen, Blackrock.
Refs: IB 49, 24 Aug 1907, 593 (are these the designs entitled 'Proposed Improvements to Seaview Cottage, Dalkey, for Alexander Conan, Esq.' repr. in Conan Kennedy, Grandfather's House (Killala, 2008), 65?)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHATHAM STREET, NO. 002
Date: 1907
Nature: Rebuilding for Mssrs. Lawson-Powell. Tender of H. & J. Martin for £999 accepted.
Refs: IB 49, 9 Mar,20 Apr,24 Aug 1907, 176,290,593

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LEESON STREET LOWER, NO. 017-18 (SACRED HEART CONVENT DAY SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES)
Date: 1907
Nature: Plans in preparation.
Refs: IB 49, 9 Mar 1907, 176

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MOUNT STREET LOWER, NO. 032
Date: 1907
Nature: Licensed premises being rebuilt for Mssr. Nolan. Limestone shopfront. Contractor: H. & J. Martin.
Refs: IB 49, 9 Mar 1907, 176

Building: CO. GALWAY, BALLYNAHINCH CASTLE
Date: 1908
Nature: Extensive alts. & adds. Contractor: H. & J. Martin, Dublin. Probable cost: £3,000. For Lt.Col. Jasper James Martin.
Refs: IB 50, 8 Feb,16 May 1908, 85,309; obituary of LAMcD in IB 67, 12 Dec 1925, 1020

Building: CO. ANTRIM, BALLYMENA, BANK OF IRELAND
Date: 1908
Nature: New cash office. Contractor: H. & J. Martin. Cost: £1,799.
Refs: IAA, PKS 0904 and A08 (Apr 1908)

Building: CO. MEATH, TRIM, MARKET STREET, BANK OF IRELAND
Date: 1909
Nature: New Tudor Revival gabled bank and agent's residence. £3,000.
Refs: Drawing(s) in Bank of Ireland archive; IAA, PKS 0937, B21/45, A08 (Aug 1909); IB 51, 24 Jul,7 Aug 1909, 469,502(illus.);

Building: CO. GALWAY, BALLINAFAD, HOUSE
Date: 1909
Nature: For A.V. Willcox. Builder: H. & J. Martin. £5,000.
Refs: IB 51, 1 May 1909, 277

Building: CO. DUBLIN, GLENMAROON (CHAPELIZOD)
Date: 1909
Nature: Erected in Tudor Manor style in 1905 for Hon. Arthur Ernest Guinness. Builder: H. & J. Martin.
Refs: IB 51, 1 May 1909, 286(illus.)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, STILLORGAN, HOUSES
Date: 1909
Nature: Cottages on property of H.S. Guinness, Esq., JP.
Refs: IB 51, 1 May 1909, 256,258(illus.)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET LOWER, NO. 001 (HOPKINS & HOPKINS)
Date: 1911
Nature: Alts., for Hopkins & Hopkins, watchmakers & jewellers. Builder: H. & J. Martin.
Refs: IB 53, 27 May 1911, 361

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET LOWER, NO. 010-11 (MUNSTER & LEINSTER BANK)
Date: 1916-19
Nature: New bank premises in 'free Classic style' on corner of Lr Abbey St in destroyed area . (Originally proposed for 20 Sackville St Upr?) Cost: £20,000. Contractor: H. & J. Martin. Opened 17 Dec 1919.
Refs: IB 58, 10 Jun 1916, 259; 59, 3,17 Mar,28 Apr,29 Sep 1917, 101,125,207,493; 60, 20 Jul 1918, 368; 62, 3 Jan 1920, 17; Building News 112, 2 May 1917, 389;  Freeman's Journal, 17 Dec 1919; description in  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 217-18, Pl.92, who dates it (surely wrongly) to 1922.


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, EARL STREET NORTH, NO. 025, & CATHEDRAL STREET, NO. 9 (J. NAGLE & CO.)
Date: 1917-19
Nature: Rebuilding (of Cathedral St part or all?). Contractor: H. & J. Martin. Opened by Nov 1919.
Refs: IB 59, 3 Mar,14 Apr,29 Sep 1917, 111,184,493,500; 60, 22 Jun,12 Oct 1918, 328,394; 61, 8 Nov 1919, 507

Building: CO. GALWAY, BALLYNAHINCH, LISNABRUCKA
Date: ?
Nature: Fishing lodge on Ballynahinch Lake, for - Willcox, a Philadelphia banker designed by 'the Dublin architect L.M[sic] McDonnell.
Refs: Patrick Bowe, 'Irish sporting lodges', Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies 7 (2004), 113

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAFTON STREET, NO. 065 (J. ROBINSON & SONS)
Date: ?
Nature: Rebuilding premises of Lambert, Brien & Co.(No. 64)and of 'the adjoining house of Mssrs. Robinson' (No. 65).
Refs: Obituary of L.A. McD in IB 67, 12 Dec 1925, 1020.