Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

City architect of Dublin, 1922-1945. Horace O'Rourke was born on 21 March 1880 at 34 Richmond Place North, Dublin, a son of Francis Patrick O'Rourke, an accountant, and his wife Martha, née Rafferty.(1) AUBREY VINCENT O'ROURKE  AUBREY VINCENT O'ROURKE was a younger brother. His name appears on his birth certificate as Horace Patrick Joseph O'Rourke, but later his second and third names were replaced by 'Tennyson'. He was admitted a pupil at the Christian Brothers' O'Brien Institute, Marino, on 1 July 1892.(2) According to the account of his early career in the Directory of British Architects, which is based on his RIBA nomination papers, he attended classes at the Dublin Municipal School of Art and the Architectural Association of Ireland and was an assistant to GEORGE COPPINGER ASHLIN  GEORGE COPPINGER ASHLIN for five years, to WILLIAM MANSFIELD MITCHELL  WILLIAM MANSFIELD MITCHELL for three years, to JAMES PURCELL WRENN  JAMES PURCELL WRENN and to WILLIAM HENRY BYRNE  WILLIAM HENRY BYRNE for two years before setting up in independent practice in Dublin in 1907.(3) A reconstruction of his early career from other sources is somewhat different, indicating that in 1905 or 1906 he moved to Limerick - though still apparently maintaining a toe-hold in Dublin(4) -  and that in 1908 he formed a partnership with JOSEPH O'MALLEY JOSEPH O'MALLEY , of Limerick, which practised as O'MALLEY & MALLEY & amp; O'ROURKE  ROURKE and lasted until 1910, when O'Rourke returned to Dublin. It was from a Limerick address that he exhibited his competition design for the Limerick Technical Institute at the RHA in 1908,(5) while the 1911 Census of Ireland records that his eldest daughter, Ethel, was born in Limerick in 1907 or 1908, and his son DERMOD BREFFNI O'ROURKE  DERMOD BREFFNI O'ROURKE was also born there in 1909.   At the time of the census, in April 1911, the family was living in lodgings in Phibsborough.  In the same year, O'Rourke started a new architectural journal, the Irish Architect and Craftsman, in collaboration with GEORGE PATRICK SHERIDAN GEORGE PATRICK SHERIDAN . The magazine, renamed the Irish Architect & Building Trades Journal in 1912, only survived for three years.(6)

On 6 March 1916 O'Rourke was appointed to the permanent staff of Dublin Corporation, for which he had previously been working in a temporary capacity. He became assistant city architect on 1 April 1918 and succeeded CHARLES JAMES MCCARTHY  CHARLES JAMES MCCARTHY as city architect on 13 February 1922(7) at a salary of £800 per annum, rising to £1,000 by £25 increments.(8) As city architect he was responsible for rebuilding the Upper O'Connell Street area after the hostilities of July 1922.(9)

Not long after his appointment, O'Rourke threw his energies into the preparation of The Dublin Civic Survey Report which was published by the Civics Institute of Ireland in 1925. In the same year he visited Holland with THOMAS JOSEPH BYRNE  THOMAS JOSEPH BYRNE to study Dutch methods of house construction.(10) He nevertheless remained a traditionalist in his architectural taste and by the mid 1930s was expressing open hostility to the modern movement, 'the soapbox style of Jewish origin'.(11)

O'Rourke retired at the end of June 1945.(12) Around the time of his retirement he was awarded the new RIBA Distinction in Town Planning.(13) He died, aged eighty-three, on 30 December 1963 at the St John of God Hospital, Stillorgan, his wife, Anna, having predeceased him.(14) He was survived by his son, Dermod, and five daughters.

AAI: elected member, 1900;(15) winner of travelling studentship, 1905;(16) winner of Downes Bronze Medal for sketches, 1907;(17) unsuccessful entrant for Institute Prize (design for a country house), 1908;(18) winner of Institute Prize (design for a golf pavilion), 1909;(19) reads paper on housing, 2 March 1916;(20) reads paper on 'Control of building elevation', 12 November 1940;(21) no longer on list of members after 1927.
RIAI: elected member, 1920;(22) raised to fellow, 1924;(23) resigned 1947.(24)
RIBA: elected licentiate, 7 November 1910, having been proposed by J.P. Wrenn and G.P. Sheridan;(25) elected fellow, 4 July 1932, having been proposed by FREDERICK GEORGE HICKS FREDERICK GEORGE HICKS , JOHN JOSEPH ROBINSON  JOHN JOSEPH ROBINSON and HENRY JOHN LYONS. HENRY JOHN LYONS. (26)

Addresses:(27) Work: 10 Glentworth Street, Limerick, 1908-1910; 11, O'Connell Street Lower, 1911;(28) 23 Bachelor's Walk, 1912-1914;(29) City Hall, Dublin, 1916-1945.
Home: Bellevue, Haddon Road, Clontarf, <=1903-1905; Mortelle Villas, Munster Terrace, Limerick, 1906; 8 Crescent Avenue, Military Road, Limerick, 1907-1909; Haddon Road, Clontarf, 1910; 52 Cabra Park, Phibsborough, 1911; Lytleholme, Cabra Road, Dublin, <=1914-1927; Brentwood, Brendan Road, Donnybrook, <=1928-1947.

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY ; see also works of O'MALLEY & MALLEY & amp; O'ROURKE. ROURKE.



References

Portrait photographs of O'Rourke - both the same - appear in IB 78, 22 Aug 1936, 739 and IB 87, 8 Sep 1945, 450.


(1) Information from copy of birth certificate in Jones file.
(2) Information from Jones file.
(3) Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), II, 290. 
(4) He advertised himself as a perspective draughtsman at 15 College Green (his father's business address) in November 1906  (see his business card, designed by himself, in IAA, James Purcell Wrenn collection, Acc. 2009/20 (miscellaneous papers) on loan from Mrs Dympna Carton and Mrs Oonagh Maguire.
(5) RHA 1908, no. 297; in the same show he exhibited 'Sketches at Westminster' (no. 293) and 'Sketches in Ireland' (no. 300), both for sale at £5 each.
(6) IB 53, 18 Feb 1911, 109; Sean Rothery, Ireland and the New Architecture 1900-1940 (1991), 34,58-59. The journal was acquired by the Brunswick Press Co., and O'Rourke was retained as editor for a much reduced salary for a further 18 months until his dismissal in 1914 (see Freeman's Journal, 30 Jun,10 Nov 1914).
(7) Dates and details of O'Rourke's career with Dublin Corporation are given in letter from the Principal Officer, Dublin Corporation, to Jones, 21 Jun 1968, in Jones file.
(8) IB 64, 25 Feb 1922, 101,113; Building News 122, 3 Mar 1922, 160.
(9) IB 66, 28 Jun 1924, ?; a correspondent in IB 87, 8 Sep 1945, 450, asserts that 'Upper O'Connell Street stands as a monument to the fight that O'Rourke successfully waged against business and professional interests whose rebuilding plans - had they not been brought together and co-ordinated - would have perpetuated the architectural disorders of former days', but cf. Rothery, op. cit., above, 83-85.
(10) Rothery, op. cit., above, 149-50.
(11) Rothery, op. city., above, 123-4,210.
(12) See note 6, above.
(13) IB 87, 30 Jun 1945, 307.
(14) Copy of death certificate in Jones file.
(15) Lists of members in AAI Green Books.
(16) IB 47, 3 Jun 1905, 385.
(17) IB 49, 1 Jun 1907, 385.
(18) IB 50, 25 Jul 1908, 462(illus. in supplement).
(19) IB 51, 26 Jun,25 Dec 1909, 400,402(illus.),807.
(20) IB 58, 11 Mar 1916, 109.
(21) IB 82, 21 Dec 1940, 751; 83, 4 Jan 1941, 16.
(22) JRIAI (1921), 2.
(23) JRIAI (1925), 7.
(24) JRIAI (1948), 18.
(25) RIBAJ (1910-11), 30.
(26) RIBAJ 39(1931-32), 674,725.
(27) From Thom's directories and AAI and RIAI membership lists unless otherwise attributed.
(28) Information from Jones file.
(29) IB 56, 17 Jan 1914, 48.


14 work entries listed in chronological order for O'ROURKE, HORACE TENNYSON


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Building: CO. LIMERICK, LIMERICK, O'CONNELL AVENUE, MUNICIPAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE
Date: 1907
Nature: Competition entrant.
Refs: RHA 1908, no. 297

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, RATOATH ROAD (CABRA), ST MARY'S DOMINICAN CONVENT BOYS' COLLEGE
Date: 1907
Nature: Being erected; 'large and imposing designed in a modern period of classic'. 120 by 40 ft., approx. Ornamental ventilator centrally situated on roof. Contractor: Molloy, Dublin.
Refs: IB 49, 1 Jun 1907, 393

Building: CO. KERRY, LISTOWEL, HOUSES (030)
Date: 1909
Nature: To be built under Workmen's Dwelling Act.
Refs: IB 51, 18 Sep 1909, 597

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MUNICIPAL ART GALLERY (PROPOSED)
Date: 1913
Nature: Sketch proposal for gallery on island in middle of river.
Refs: Irish Architect & Building Trades Journal, 30 Aug 1913, 378,383, cited by Sean Rothery, Ireland and the New Architecture 1900-1940 (1991), 50.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CABRA ROAD, NO. 20 (LYTLEHOLME, LATER ST JOSEPH'S)
Date: 1913ca
Nature: New Arts & Crafts style house for himself.
Refs: Information from O'Rourke's grandson, Bernard Tennyson Moore.

Building: ?, NEWCASTLE, CHURCH
Date: 1914
Nature: Tenders invited for erecting new church.
Refs: IB 56, 17 Jan 1914, 48; B 106, 16 Jan 1914, 87

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, FAIRVIEW PARK
Date: 1915
Nature: H.T.O'R placed second in competition advertised by Cleansing Committee of Dublin Corporation for laying out reclaimed slobland at Fairview as public park
Refs: Building News 109, 24 Nov 1915, 606

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MARINO, HOUSING SCHEME
Date: 1919-25
Nature: Erection of 428 houses, for Dublin Corporation. With F.G. Hicks. Clerk of Works: Robert Payne.
Refs: Perspective view by H.T. O'Rourke dated Jun 1919 repr. in David O'Connor, 'Housing in Dublin 1887-1987', Irish Architect 67 (Jun-Aug 1988), 30; IB 65, 27 Jan,2,30 Jun 1923, 53,426,498; 66, 17 May 1924, 446; 67, 30 May,11 Jul,17 Oct 1925, 440,557,852

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CLARENCE MANGAN ROAD, FAIRBROTHERS FIELDS HOUSING SCHEME
Date: 1921-23
Nature: It is an impressive scheme of 370 houses...nominally by C.J. McCarthy biut very probably by Horace O'Rourke.'(Casey)
Refs: Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 660.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CABRA, HOUSES (298)
Date: 1930
Nature: Housing scheme of 298 rental houses for Dublin Corporation. Contractor: G. & T. Crampton (£113,228).
Refs: Ruth McManus, Crampton Built (Dublin: G. & T. Crampton, 2008), 109.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MARROWBONE LANE, HOUSING SCHEME
Date: 1930-31
Nature: New housing scheme, for Dublin Corporation. Contractor for first section (90 houses): James Beckett, Ringsend(£34,995). Contractor for second section (137 new houses & reconstruction of 8 existing houses): G.& T. Crampton, Ballsbridge (£43,700).
Refs: Architect & Building News 124, 4 Jul 1930, 30; 127, 4 Sep 1931, 284

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PARNELL SQUARE, CHARLEMONT HOUSE (MUNICIPAL GALLERY)
Date: 1931
Nature: Reconstruction to form art gallery, with R.S. Laurie, for Dublin Corporation.
Refs: Municipal Gallery of Modern Art and Civic Museum, Dublin' (1933), unpaginated; IB IB 71, 23 Nov 1929, 1057; 73, 21 Nov 1931, 1016; 75, 5 Mar 1933, 225(illus.); Architect & Buildng News 125, 16 Jan 1931, 132;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 149-152.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MAPLE ROAD (CLONSKEAGH), NO. 001
Date: 1944-45ca
Nature: New house.  Builder: G. & T. Crampton.
Refs: Ruth McManus, Crampton Built (Dublin: G. & T. Crampton, 2008), 144.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERCER STREET, MERCER HOUSE
Date: ?
Nature: Block of flats designed by and erected under supervision of H.J. O'R when acting as Architect for Housing to Dublin corporation. Extended by H.G. Simms.
Refs: IB 79, ?, ?

Author Title Date Details
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Dublin Reconstruction: the principle of horizontality and verticality' 1917 IB 59, 14 Apr 1917, 176. (See Rothery,Ireland and the New Architecture 1900-1940 (1991), 83-84.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Civic Committees: their needs and functions' 1923 IB 65, 11 Aug 1923, 606. (Summary and editorial comment on address given to Dublin Rotary Club.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'A Civic Survey' 1924 IB 66, 8,22 Mar 1924, 173,222; AJ 59, 26 Mar 1924, 545. (Address delivered to AAI, 19 Feb 1924.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Municipal Housing' 1928 IB 70, 29 Sep 1928, 822. (Paper submitted to Public Health Congress.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Cost per room of tenement flat' 1931 IB 73, 24 Oct 1931, 918. (Letter to editor.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'A town planning symposium' 1932 IB 74, 24 Sep 1932, 858d-859. (Contributions of Manning Robertson and H.T. O'Rourke.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Transport is Vital' 1933 IB 75, 1 Jul 1933, 556. (Report of address to Dublin Chamber of Commerce.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Town planning and industry: views of Dublin City Architect' 1933 IB 75, 12 Aug 1933, 680-82.
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Town Planning' 1934 IB 76, 15 Dec 1934, 1080. (Extracts from address to AAI, 13 Nov 1934.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Factory Planning: modern requirements in siting, lay-out and utilisation' 1935 JRIAI (1935), 29-32
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Architectural Design: Views of Dublin's City Architect'
1935 Irish Press, 10 Sep 1935. (An attack on the International Modern movement, written in response to an article by John O'Gorman, 'Ireland and the New Architecture', Irish Press, 25 Jul 1935.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Dublin Municipal Area; definition of boundaries' 1936 IB 78, 22 Aug 1936, 739. (Memorandum submitted to Local Government (Dublin )Tribunal.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Control of Building Elevations' 1940 IB 82, 21 Dec 1940, 751, & 83, 4 Jan 1941, 16. (Report of address delivered to AAI, 12 Nov 1940.)
O'rourke, Horace Tennyson 'Control of Building Elevations' 1941 IB 83, 4 Jan 1941, 16. (Report of address to AAI.)