Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin. Charles Astley Owen, the only surviving son of JAMES HIGGINS OWEN  JAMES HIGGINS OWEN and a grandson of JACOB OWEN JACOB OWEN ,(1) was born in Dublin circa 1855 and was educated at St Columba's College, Rathfarnham, and Trinity College, Dublin. He was articled to GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON  GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON for three years, and remained Henderson's assistant for over a year longer. He then joined the staff of the Board of Works. During 1879 and 1880 he was employed as an assistant engineer in relief works in Co. Cork. In the winter of 1882-3, he took over the practice of George Carlisle Henderson - who had died from typhoid - at 16 Molesworth Street.(2) Soon afterwards he collaborated with 'Briggs' - probably ROBERT ALEXANDER BRIGGS -  ROBERT ALEXANDER BRIGGS - on a design which was entered in the second competition for the Dublin Science and Art Museum.(3) Later - from about 1887 or earlier until 1893 or later - he worked in partnership with his brother-in-law EDWARD GLOVER  EDWARD GLOVER on several projects. He practised on his own thereafter. He was architect to the Electrical Engineering Company of Ireland.(4)

Towards the end of his life, Owen's health began to fail. In about 1920 he retired from practice and moved to England, where he died in 1922. In about 1902(5) he had married Anne Grace, daughter of HENRY BREWSTER HENRY BREWSTER , by whom he had one son, Charles Brewster O'Maile Owen.

An unexecuted design by Owen for a new entrance porch on the north front of Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, dated 1909, is in the Powerscourt Albums in the Irish Architectural Archive (1/86/1, loose drawing).

AAI:(6) reads paper, 'Conditions of contract as amended by the council of the RIAI, December, 1905', February 1906;(7) elected member, 1906; resigned, 1918.
ICEI: elected member, 6 December 1893.(8)
RIAI: attends general meeting to discuss proposed reconstitution of Institute, 22 January 1878;(9) elected member, 7 April 1883, 226;(10) elected fellow, 29 May 1906,(11) hon. secretary ,1910-12;(12) vice-president, 1917-19; elected hon. member, 1920.(13)
RIBA: elected fellow, 15 May 1999; resigned, 1917.

Addresses:(14) Work: 16 Molesworth Street, 1883->=1898; 29 Molesworth Street, <=1900-1918.
Home: 9 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, 1883; 19 Simmonscourt, Donnybrook, 1911;  Llanfitzangel, 59 Ailesbury Road, Merrion, 1916-1919.

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the Dublin census of 1911, from the  obituaries of Owen in IB 64, 2 Dec 1922, 814, and JRIAI (1924), 4, ICEI membership applications, III, 11, and Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), II, 297. A portrait photograph of Owen is in IB 52, 14 May 1910, 301.

(1) He was presumably named after Charles D'Oyly Astley (1823-1872), his father's contemporary and colleague in the Board of Works (F. O'Dwyer notes).
(2) See Thom's Directory (1883), 1442.
(3) RHA 1884, nos. 373,374.
(4) Irish Times, 8 Mar 1890. 
(5) 1911 census of Ireland http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000113158/ (last visited Feb 2009). 
(6) From lists of members in AAI Green Books unless otherwise stated.
(7) IB 48, 24 Feb 1906, 133.
(8) TICEI 23 (1893-94), ?.
(9) IB 20, 1 Feb 1878, 46.
(10) RIAI council meeting minutes, 9 Apr 1883, 225.
(11) RIAI general meeting minutes, 29 May 1906, 414.
(12) IB 52, 14 May 1910, 301.
(13) JRIAI (1921), 2.
(14) From Thom's directories and lists of members of RIAI and AAI.


29 work entries listed in chronological order for OWEN, CHARLES ASTLEY


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Building: CO. TYRONE, DUNGANNON, PAROCHIAL HALL
Date: 1880;1884-5
Nature: Design exh. RHA 1880. Hall built between 1884 and 1885.
Refs: RHA 1880, no. 568;  C.W. Monteith, History of the parish of Drumglass (n.d.),16?

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, KILDARE STREET, NATIONAL MUSEUM
Date: 1883
Nature: Entrant with [Robert Alexander?] Briggs in second competition.
Refs: Design exh. RHA 1884, nos. 373,374

Building: ENGLAND, BIRMINGHAM (WARWICKSHIRE), LAW COURTS
Date: 1885-6
Nature: Competition entrant.
Refs: Design exh. RHA 1887, no. 412

Building: CO. MAYO, CASTLEBAR, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1888-89;1890-91
Nature: Enlargement, with Edward Glover. Builder: Donovan. Amount of tender: £9739. Further works, including new drainage system, with E. Glover, 1890-91. Cost: £428. Builder: Donovan.
Refs: IB 30, 15 Sep 1888, 242; IAA, PKS 0672, B15/23, A07 (Nov 1888-Jun 1891, pp.333,334,407)

Building: CO. KILDARE, NAAS, HOUSE
Date: 1889
Nature: House for S. Brown. With E. Glover.
Refs: IAA, PKS B14/50

Building: CO. KILDARE, NAAS, HOUSE
Date: 1889
Nature: Two villas to be built, one for Stephen Brown, the other for J. Smith, MD.. With Charles Astley Owen.
Refs: IAA, PKS B14/50, A07 (Jun 1889, p.352); Architect 41, 14 Jun 1889, supplement p. 2

Building: CO. KILDARE, NAAS, HOUSE
Date: 1889
Nature: Two villas to be built, one for Stephen Brown, the other for J. Smith, MD.. Designed by EG with Charles Astley Owen.
Refs: IAA, PKS B14/50, A07 (Jun 1889, p.352); Architect 41, 14 Jun 1889, supplement p. 2

Building: CO. MAYO, CASTLEBAR, STATION ROAD?, MARYLAND
Date: 1890
Nature: With Edward Glover, for Malachy Kelly, Crown solicitor. Cost: £3,400.
Refs: PKS B15/16 (old ref. D/159); obituary of CAO in IB 64, 2 Dec 1922, 814

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAND CANAL STREET LOWER, SIR PATRICK DUN'S HOSPITAL
Date: 1890
Nature: New E wing for fever patients opened Sep 1890. (Contractor: James Beckett. Cost: £2,500
Refs: IB 32, 1 Oct 1890, 236

Building: CO. TYRONE, OMAGH, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1890-1897
Nature: Extensive alts. Contract signed 1890. Subject of court case, 1902.
Refs: 42nd Report on district, criminal and private lunatic asylums (1893), 9;   Irish Times, 26 Mar 1902

Building: CO. TYRONE, DUNGANNON, POST OFFICE
Date: 1891
Nature: New post office on semi-octagonal plan. 2-storey block with 50 ft fontage. Red brick with white arches over windows and white brick string courses. Includes postmaster's private rooms, and Earl of Ranfurly's estate office. Builder: John Lowry & Sons. (Replaced by new post office by I.F.B. Richards, 1961.)
Refs: Correspondence between H.W. Chambre, agent to Lord Ranfurly, and C.A. Owen, with estimates, 16 Oct 1890 - Aug 1891, in PRONI, D4183/5/34/1-10,21-31 (see PRONI e-catalogue);  B 60, ? Jun 1891, 511.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, NO. 036 (SCOTTISH PROVIDENT INSURANCE OFFICE)
Date: 1894
Nature: -
Refs: E. MacDowell Cosgrave & Leonard R. Strangways, Visitors’ Guide to Dublin and Neighbourhoods (Dublin & London, [1907]), 123

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GRAND CANAL STREET LOWER, SIR PATRICK DUN'S HOSPITAL
Date: 1895
Nature: New operating theatre. Contractor: James Beckett. Cost: £2,500. According to Casey new W wing was added in 1897. Did this contain the operating theatre?).
Refs: IAA, PKS B17/12; IB 39, 1,15 Aug 1897, 153,157;  Irish Times, 28 Oct 1898;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 566.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERRION ROAD (BALLSBRIDGE), ROYAL DUBLIN SOCIETY
Date: 1895
Nature: Water chute for Ierne Bazaar, May 1895.
Refs: Irish Times, 3 May 1895.

Building: CO. WEXFORD, ENNISCORTHY, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1895-1900
Nature: Alts. & imps., 1895. Completed, 1900. Contractor: N. Fortune, Enniscorthy (or R.F. Lidwill, Dublin? See Modern Ireland: Men of the Period (London [1900]), 111).
Refs: IB 37, 15 Sep 1895, 218; 42, 15 Aug 1900, 451;  Irish Times, 1 Dec 1896.

Building: CO. TYRONE, OMAGH, COUNTY HOSPITAL
Date: 1895-99
Nature: New infirmary 'on an elevated site just outside the town' (adjacent to lunatic asylum). Competition held Jan 1895. In course of erection for 2 years. Opened on 13 Nov 1899. Contractor: Joseph Colhoun, Derry. Cost: £13,000.
Refs: Irish Times, 15 Nov 1899;  Architect 53, 4 Jan 1895, xxiii; Building News77, 24 Nov 1899, 692; IB 38, 1 Jan 1896, 5(illus. showing a competition entry, not necessarily the winning one); 41, 1 Nov,1 Dec 1899, 171,200; photograph exh. RHA 1901, no. 314; Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 447.

Building: CO. DERRY, GRANSHA, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM (NEW)
Date: 1897
Nature: Winner of competition, 1897. Mssrs. Owen and Fuller, send in claim for £1,963 for professional fees, 1900.
Refs: Building News 71, 25 Dec 1896, 912; Architect 58, 24 Dec 1897, 401; IB 42, 15 Apr 1900, 334

Building: CO. TYRONE, DUNGANNON, POST OFFICE
Date: 1901-1903
Nature: Extension.
Refs: Correspondence between CAO, HW Chambre (agent to Earl of Ranfurly) and W. Browne (contractor?) re same, 13 Feb 1901-18 Feb 1903, in PRONI, D4183/5/34/21-70 (see PRONI e-catalogue).

Building: CO. TYRONE, OMAGH, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1901a
Nature: Chapel for Catholic inmates erected. To seat 500 persons.
Refs: IB 39, 15 Apr 1897, 77; 43, 30 Jan 1901, 607; B 80, 19 Jan 1901, 66

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MOLESWORTH STREET, NO. 039-40 (MOLESWORTH HALL)
Date: 1908
Nature: Renovation and improvements to sanitary arrangements. Contractor: B. Pemberton & Son, Ballsbridge.
Refs: IB 50, 13 Jun 1908, 373

Building: CO. WICKLOW, POWERSCOURT
Date: 1909
Nature: Unexecuted design for porch on N front, for Mervyn, 8th Viscount Powerscourt.
Refs: Drawing, signed and dated 1909, in IAA, Powerscourt Albums, Acc. 89/62.1/86/1 (loose)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CAMDEN ROW, NO. 020 (HOME OF REST FOR PROTESTANT DYING)
Date: 1909
Nature: Contractor: J. & P. Good.
Refs: IB 51, 15 Mar 1909, 297

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CIRCULAR ROAD NORTH, NO. 191-195 (FEMALE ORPHAN HOUSE)
Date: 1909
Nature: New drainage. Contractor: Clifton & Cooper, Upr Gardiner St.
Refs: IB 51, 21 Aug 1909, 533

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DRUMCONDRA ROAD LOWER, NO. 027- 31 (RETREAT FOR PROTESTANT SERVANTS &C.)
Date: 1909
Nature: Alts. & extension to school premises. Contractor: Clifton & Cooper, Gardiner St Upr.
Refs: IB 51, 3 Apr 1909, 209

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MARY STREET, NO. 055 (SHIRLEY, SPENCE & BELFORD)
Date: 1912
Nature: Structural alts, rebuilding flat roof of several houses in Mary Street & Stafford St for Shirley, Spence & Belford, wholesale druggists. Contractor: S.H. Bolton & Sons, Rathmines.
Refs: IB 54, 23 Nov 1912, 667

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LORD EDWARD STREET, NO. 021-25 (MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS) (PROPOSED)
Date: 1913
Nature: Competition entrant.
Refs: Irish Times, 1 Apr 1913 (name gives as 'Mrs Chas. Owen').

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, TOWNSEND STREET, NO. 137
Date: 1914
Nature: Rebuilding. Contractor: Flanagan, Camden St.
Refs: IB 56, 6 Jun 1914, 360

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WILTON PLACE, NO. 002 & 3
Date: 1914
Nature: Alts. to make flats?
Refs: IB 56, 14 Feb 1914, 103

Building: CO. WEXFORD, ENNISCORTHY, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1915
Nature: Enlargement of 3 dormitories and other internal alts., 1915.
Refs: IB 57, 27 Mar,31 Jul,11 Sep 1915, 141,150,337,398,405

Author Title Date Details
Owen, Charles Astley 'Some notes on dry rot' 1910 IB 52, 5 Mar 1910, 134. (Paper read to RIAI 10 Feb 1910.)