Selected: POWELL, CHARLES B.


Born: 1881/82
Died: 1956?


Architect, of Dublin. According to the 1911 census of Ireland, Charles B. Powell was born in Co. Dublin in 1881 or 1882, a younger son of HENRY POWELL  HENRY POWELL and his wife Ellen McCormack(1) and a younger brother of HENRY EDWARD POWELL.& HENRY EDWARD POWELL.& #160; He would have been at most an infant when his father died in 1882. Details of his architectural training are not recorded; Henry Powell's family connections with John Hardman, the younger, and EDWARD WELBY PUGIN EDWARD WELBY PUGIN ,(2) suggest GEORGE COPPINGER ASHLIN  GEORGE COPPINGER ASHLIN as a likely master. In a talk which he gave in 1907 on 'The Education of the Ideal Architect', Charles Powell recommended 'a six-years' apprenticeship to an earnest master' undertaken at the age of fourteen or fifteen, followed by four or five years 'spent in the close superintendence of good building work under the control of a competent architect, to learn the methods and practice of the several trades'. He was strongly opposed to examinations, asserting that 'No man can examine another in such an art as this…the most magnificent and perfect of all'.(3) His views may reflect his own experience. Although he was a member of the AAI from 1899 until 1911, he was not affiliated to any professional body subsequently.    His family connections would have recommended him to the ecclesiastical clients who provided him with most of his commissions, including at least one in England, for St Mary's Catholic church in St Helen's, Lancashire. He was the favoured architect of the Dublin Jesuits, who in 1911 commissioned him to design their University Hostel in Hatch Street, a Gothic building in bright red brick, rising conspicuously above the neighbouring terraces.

Information about Powell's personal life is hard to come by; he seems to have been a man of self-effacing and reclusive habits, living until about 1940 with his widowed mother.  He worked from his home in Rathmines, and is not named in the directories at all. He is remembered by Leo Earley as a long-haired and bearded old man, living alone in a detached house on Maxwell Road, Rathmines, with two dogs 'who protected him fervently'.(4) Riding round Dublin on a bicycle, his bearded figure was known as 'God on a bike'.(5) According to Williams, he died in 1956,(6) although his last work to be recorded in the Irish Builder, an addition to Rosary House, Harold's Cross, dates from 1957,(7) while his churches at Rathangan and Caragh, Co. Kildare, were not opened until 1958.and 1960 respectively.(8)

AAI:(9) elected member, 1899; awarded Institute Prize for design for a technical school, 1902;(10) reads paper, 'The Education of the Ideal Architect', to AAI Design Club, 1907;(11) ceased membership, 1911.

Addresses: 16 Windsor Road, Rathmines, <=1896>=1900; 107 Upper Rathmines<=1903-1933; 59 Maxwell Road, Rathmines, <=1937->=1940.

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

References
All information in this entry not otherwise attributed is from Thoms' and Post Office directories. C.B. Powell may be the 'Mr J. Powell' who appears in a group photograph of members of the AAI circa 1900 reproduced in IB 69, 15 Oct 1927, 759.

(1) 1911 census, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000154618/ (last visited Mar 2009);  her surname is inferred from the fact that she was living with an unmarried sister called Agnes McCormack.
(2) John Hardman was Henry Powell's uncle, and E.W. Pugin's sister Anne was married to his brotherJohn Hardman Powell (information from Mrs S.Houle).
(3) IB 49, 30 Nov 1907, 814.
(4) Notes on the Powells given to Nicola Gordon-Bowe by Leo Earley; Earley says that Powell, who 'had been one of the architects for Whitefriar Street Church', lived in 'Maxwell House, Maxwell Road - a detached house with its own grounds'. However there is no such house in the directories; Mrs Powell was living at No. 59 until 1940 or 1941, and a William Powell was living at Salem House, Maxwell Road, in 1950.
(5) J. Williams, Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1837-1921 (1994), 135.
(6) J. Williams, op. cit., p. 419.
(7) IB 99, 2 Nov 1957, 871.
(8) Leinster Leader, 7 Jun 1958.
(9) Information from AAI Green Books unless otherwise indicated.
(10) IB 44, 16 Jan 1902, 1004.
(11) See note 2, above.

38 work entries listed in chronological order for POWELL, CHARLES B.


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MARY STREET, NO. 019-21 (TODD, BURNS & CO.)
Date: 1910
Nature: New warerooms. Original contractor: T. Pemberton, 23 Charlemont St; subsequently J. & P. Good.
Refs: IB 52, 28 May 1910, 338; IA & C 1, 25 Feb 1911, 60

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ISLANDBRIDGE, NEPTUNE ROWING CLUB
Date: 1910-11
Nature: New. Contractor: Pat Shortall, Temple St.
Refs: IB 52, 2 Apr,9 Jul 1910, 217,443; IA & C 1, 4 Mar 1911, 79

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HATCH STREET LOWER, NO. 028A (JESUIT RESIDENTIAL HALL)
Date: 1910-13
Nature: New building to accommodate 70 university students, Dean & other officials, also chapel, on site formerly occupied by premises of Donovan & Sons. Contractor: W. Connolly & Son, Dominick St Upr. Cost: £25,000.
Refs: IB 52, 24 Dec 1910, 791; 53, 15 Apr 1911, 229,245; 54, 8 Jun,26 Oct 1912, 337,601; 55, 4 Jan 1913, 12(illus.); IA & C 1, 11 Mar 1911, 88; Building News 100, 21 Apr 1911, 559;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 527.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST AUGUSTINE STREET, NO. 036
Date: 1911
Nature: Premises being rebuilt.
Refs: IA & C 1, 11 Mar 1911, 88

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MOUNT ARGUS, PASSIONIST MONASTERY
Date: 1912
Nature: New library being fitted up. Contractor: Bolger and Doyle.
Refs: IB 54, 6 Jul 1912, 405

Building: CO. DUBLIN, GOATSTOWN, MOUNT ANNVILLE ROAD, MOUNT ANVILLE, CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART
Date: 1912
Nature: Alts. & adds. Architect 'Mr A. Powell, Rathmines'. Contractor: Bolger & Doyle.
Refs: IB 54, 25 May 1912, 319

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DENMARK ST GREAT, NO. 005 (IRISH MESSENGER OF THE SACRED HEART)
Date: 1913
Nature: Extension to office. Contractor: M.J. Greene, Donnybrook.
Refs: IB 55, 2 Aug,8 Nov 1913, 501,714IB

Building: CO. DUBLIN, RATHFARNHAM CASTLE
Date: 1913
Nature: Alts. & extension, for Jesuits.
Refs: IB 55, 7 Jun 1913, 365

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, ROSCREA, CONVENT OF MERCY
Date: 1914
Nature: Repairs. Contractor: Kelly & Sons, Dublin.
Refs: IB 56, 24 Oct 1914, 602

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, AUNGIER STREET, CARMELITE CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1914
Nature: Works at same. Contractor: P. Shortall, Upper Temple St.
Refs: IB 56, 20 Jun 1914, 392

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DENMARK ST GREAT, BELVEDERE COLLEGE
Date: 1914
Nature: New sanitary annexe over passage adjoining same.
Refs: IB 56, 10 Oct 1914, 578

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DENMARK ST LITTLE, NO. 035
Date: 1914
Nature: Rebuilding.
Refs: IB 56, 4 Jul 1914, 419

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, AUNGIER STREET, CARMELITE PRIORY
Date: 1914-16
Nature: New entrance & new priory buildings, for Very Rev. J.L McCabe, Prior.Tenders invited Apr 1914. Cost of entrance: £4,000. Cost of priory: £9,000. Contractor: Patrick Shortall, Temple St. Foreman: Price. Workmanship supervised throught by M.J. Cullen, CE.
Refs: Clonliffe College Archive, MS p1/2; IB 56, 14 Mar,11 Apr 1914, 167,230; 57, 19 Jun 1915, 287; 58, 26 Feb 1916, 85; Freeman's Journal, 8 Apr 1914;  B 106, 17 Apr 1914, ?;  Building News 108, 23 Jun 1915, 737;  A. Corbett, Whitefriars Street Church Guide

Building: CO. DUBLIN, BLACKROCK, SION HILL, ST CATHERINE'S DOMINICAN CONVENT
Date: 1915
Nature: New buildings begun, consisting of enlargement of ground floor, add. to refectory, larders, sculleries, dairy, boiler house. Contractor: M.J. Greene, Donnybrook.
Refs: IB 57, 19 Jun 1915, 285; Building News 108, 30 Jun 1915, 768

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SANDFORD ROAD (RANELAGH), MILLTOWN PARK
Date: 1915
Nature: Works at same, for Jesuit Fathers. Contractor: M.J. Greene, Donnybrook.
Refs: IB 57, 28 Aug 1915, 379

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GLOUCESTER PLACE, STORE
Date: 1919
Nature: Large store for co-operative trading, for Rev. T. Finlay. Contractor: P. Watchorn, Crumlin.
Refs: IB 61, 5 Apr 1919, 163

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, TEMPLEOGUE ROAD, TERENURE COLLEGE
Date: 1919
Nature: Improvements. Contractor: P. Watchorn, Crumlin.
Refs: IB 61, 8 Feb 1919, 64

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, AUNGIER STREET, CARMELITE CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1920
Nature: Restoration of exterior in progress. Contractor: M.J. Greene, Donnybrook.
Refs: IB 62, 28 Aug 1920, 561

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, JERVIS STREET, NO. 024-29 (TODD, BURNS & CO.)
Date: 1920
Nature: New workshop (£2,500), add. to furniture depot. Contractor: P.J. Watchorn, Adelaide Rd.
Refs: IB 62, 28 Aug,23 Oct 1920, 561,670

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CIRCULAR ROAD SOUTH (RIALTO), NATIONAL SCHOOL
Date: 1920-21
Nature: New. Contractor: W. & A. Roberts, Grand Canal St.
Refs: IB 62, 23 Oct 1920, 670; 63, 19 Nov 1921, 749

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HIGHFIELD ROAD (RATHGAR), NO. 071 (ARDEEVIN)
Date: 1923
Nature: Structural alts. By 'G.B. Powell'.
Refs: IB 65, 25 Aug 1923, 655

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST STEPHEN'S GREEN, NO. 047-49 (DOMINICAN HALL CONVENT)
Date: 1924
Nature: Extension. Contractor: Watchorn & Sons, Crumlin.
Refs: IB 66, 18 Oct 1924, 905

Building: ENGLAND, ST HELENS (LANCASHIRE), NORTH ROAD, LOWE HOUSE, CHURCH OF ST MARY (RC)
Date: 1924-1930
Nature: Large new church with W tower and dome over crossing; 'an ill-advised mixture of Byzantine and Gothic' (Pevsner). For Fr. Reginald Riley, SJ.
Refs: Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South Lancashire (1969), 51,384;  exterior illus. in Holy Cross & St Mary's, Lower House, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000154618/ (last visited Mar 2009).

Building: CO. DUBLIN, MOUNT MERRION, MOUNT MERRION PARK HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Date: 1928
Nature: Competition entrant; his design for Class C house 'recommended for further consideration'. Competition promoted by Housing corporation of Great Britain, Ltd.
Refs: IB 70, 18 Aug 1928, 717

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SANDFORD ROAD (RANELAGH), MILLTOWN PARK
Date: 1929
Nature: Reconstruction. Contractor: P.J. Fearon & Co., Ranelagh.
Refs: IB 71, 28 Sep 1929, 876

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CRUMLIN ROAD, RETREAT HOUSE
Date: 1930
Nature: Alts. for Rev. Fr. Thomas.
Refs: IB 72, 5 Jul 1930, 604

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, ROCKWELL COLLEGE (CASHEL)
Date: 1932
Nature: New wing. Contractor: John Hearne, South Parade, Waterford.
Refs: IB 74, 22 Oct 1932, 948

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SANDFORD ROAD (RANELAGH), MILLTOWN PARK
Date: 1932-33
Nature: Extension, for Jesuit Fathers. Contractor: M.J. Greene, Donnybrook.. Cost: £20,000.
Refs: IB 74, 2 Jul 1932, 616; 75, 20 May 1933, 430

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CROWN ALLEY, NO. 010-13 (ANDREW PERCY & CO.)
Date: 1933
Nature: By 'R.B Powell', for Andrew Percy & Co., Fownes St. Contractor: Clifton & Cooper, 26-7 Upr Gardiner St.
Refs: IB 75, 29 Jul 1933, 654

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SANDFORD ROAD (RANELAGH), MILLTOWN PARK
Date: 1938
Nature: Extension, for Jesuit Fathers. Consulting engineeer: W.L. Scott, M.Inst.CE, Artillery Row, London.
Refs: IB 80, 16 Apr 1938, 322

Building: CO. CARLOW, TULLOW, CHURCH OF THE HOLY ROSARY (RC)
Date: 1941-42
Nature: Addition of side aisles, for Rev. James Foynes.
Refs: John McEvoy, ed., The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin 2000 AD (Strasbourg: Editions du Signe, 2000), 24(illus.).

Building: CO. DUBLIN, RATHFARNHAM CASTLE
Date: 1953;1956
Nature: Extension to S lodge, 1953, and N lodge, 1956. For Jesuits.
Refs: IB 95, 12 Sep 1953, 953; 98, 11 Aug 1956, 729

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PORTOBELLO HARBOUR, EVER READY (IRELAND) LTD
Date: 1954
Nature: Extension to factory.
Refs: IB 96, 5 Jun 1954, 555

Building: CO. CARLOW, ARDATTIN (TULLOW), CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (RC)
Date: 1954-56
Nature: New church. First sod turned, Apr 1954. ' Blessed, May? 1956. Cost: £30,000. Contractor: D. & J. Carberry, Carlow & Athy.  Attr. to Powell in McEvoy, op. cit., below.
Refs: IB 96, 2 Jun 1956, 513;  John McEvoy, ed., The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin 2000 AD (Strasbourg: Editions du Signe, 2000), 25(illus.).

Building: CO. KILDARE, ALLENWOOD, CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (RC)
Date: 1954a
Nature: New Gothic church for Rev. Edward O'Byrne, PP. Opened by Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Aug 1954. Contractor: A. J. Cross, Drimsree, Allenwood. Cost: £70,000.
Refs: IB 96, 28 Aug 1954, 839;  John McEvoy, ed., The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin 2000 AD (Strasbourg: Editions du Signe, 2000), 105(illus.).


Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HAROLD'S CROSS, ROSARY HOUSE
Date: 1957
Nature: Addition, for Very Rev. K. Brady, PP.
Refs: IB 99, 2 Nov 1957, 871

Building: CO. KILDARE, RATHANGAN, CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION & ST PATRICK (RC)
Date: 1958a
Nature: New Romasque church, for Rev. Peadar MacSuibhne. Concrete construction.  Opened by Bishop Keogh, 7 Jun 1958.  Builder: Andrew Cross, Drimsree, Rathangan.
Refs: Leinster Leader, 7 Jun 1958;  John McEvoy, ed., The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin 2000 AD (Strasbourg: Editions du Signe, 2000),110(illus.), 110(illus.);  Co. Kildare Online Electronic History, http://www.kildare.ie/library/ehistory/2009/01/new_church_at_rathangan_1958.asp (last visited Jun 2009).

Building: CO. KILDARE, CARAGH, CHURCH OF OUR LADY & ST JOSEPH (RC)
Date: 1960a
Nature: New Romanesque church, for Rev. Jeremiah Bennett, PP.  Opened by Bishop Thomas Keogh, May 1960. Builder:  Andrew Cross,Rathangan.
Refs: John McEvoy, ed., The Churches of Kildare and Leighlin 2000 AD (Strasbourg: Editions du Signe, 2000), 118(illus.).

Author Title Date Details
Powell, Charles B. 'The education of the ideal architect' 1907 IB 49, 30 Nov 1907, 814. (Paper read to Design Club of AAI.)