Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Principal surveyor of buildings with the Board of Public Works, Ireland, 1909-1923. Andrew Robinson was born on 17 February 1858, the youngest son of George Robinson of Ballytweedy, Muckamore, Co. Antrim. He went to school locally and in Belfast. Although he originally intended to train as a lawyer or doctor, instead he became a pupil - and subsequently the principal assistant - of LUKE LIVINGSTON MACASSEY LUKE LIVINGSTON MACASSEY , engineer to the Belfast City and District Water Commissioners. He entered the architectural department of the Board of Public Works as an assistant surveyor on 30 April 1884(1) and was given responsibility for the north city and county of Dublin and the Phoenix Park. He rose through the grades, until, on 1 October 1909,(2) following the retirement of ROBERT COCHRANE ROBERT COCHRANE , he joined JOHN HOWARD PENTLAND  JOHN HOWARD PENTLAND and SAMUEL KERR KIRKER  SAMUEL KERR KIRKER as one of the three principal surveyors. Included in his duties were the arrangements for several royal visits;(3) the last was that of King George V in 1911, when a new wing was added to the Vice-Regal Lodge and a supper room to the Castle. At the end of the visit the King conferred upon him the honour of membership of the Royal Victorian Order.(4) When Kirker died in 1913 and Pentland retired in 1918, neither man was replaced. Robinson, who was created a Companion of the British Empire in 1918, was left in sole charge of the department, his designation being changed to that of principal architect in 1920. Following Cochrane's death in 1916, he was also appointed Inspector of Ancient and National Monuments.(5) In 1921 he was appointed a Commissioner.(6) His last seven years with the Board coincided with a period of turbulence and change: he found himself responsible not only for dealing with the widespread damage and destruction of public buildings in 1916, 1921 and 1922 but also, in the early months of 1922, for implementing the transfer of the Board's functions to the new governments of the Free State and Northern Ireland.

Robinson retired on his sixty-fifth birthday, 17 February 1923, to be succeeded by THOMAS JOSEPH BYRNE THOMAS JOSEPH BYRNE . After his retirement he returned to the Northern Ireland, where he divided his time between Belfast and Ballytweedy. He died in Belfast on 22 October 1929. His wife Robina, daughter of James Salmond of Perth, Scotland, whom he had married in 1885, died about two years before him. He had three sons.   His  diaries for the years 1882 to 1928 are in PRONI, D2031/1.

RSAI: elected member and fellow, 1894.(7)

Addresses: Home:(8) 3 St Patrick's Terrace, St Laurence Road, Clontarf (renumbered by 1900 as 116 St Laurence Road), <=1890-1923; Cooleen, Donegall Park, Belfast, and Ballytweedy, Muckamore, Co. Antrim, at time of death.

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Who was Who, 1929-1940, 1156, from the biography by 'Oculus' in IB 65, 30 Jun 1923, 493-4, and from the obituary in IB 71, 7 Dec 1929, 1084. Another obituary (not seen) in JRSAI 60 (1930), 101. There are photographs of Robinson in IB 53, 22 Jul 1911, 478, and IB 65, 30 Jun 1923, 493. See also Frederick O'Dwyer, 'The architecture of the Board of Public Works 1831-1923', in Public Works: the architecture of the Office of Public Works 1831-1987 (AAI, 1987), 29-30, and Rena Lohan, Guide to the Archives of the Office of Public Works (OPW, 1994), 40,87.

(1) Jones's transcript from Board of Works records.
(2) See note 1, above.
(3) IB 65, 21 Apr 1923, 274.
(4) IB 53, 22 Jul 1911, 478.
(5) IB 58, 13 May 1916, 215.
(6) IB 63, 8 Oct 1921, 650.
(7) JRSAI 24 (1894) , list of members.
(8) From Thom's directories and Jones's transcripts from same.


10 work entries listed in chronological order for ROBINSON, ANDREW


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE
Date: 1911
Nature: Improvements for visit of King George V, including new carriage entrance, Lower Castle Yard, new supper room on W side of Upper Castle Yard, redecoration of State Apartments, removal of paint and cement from coumns of portico. Builders: H. & J. Martin. Decorators: J. & P. Good.
Refs: IB 53, 18 Feb,8 Jul 1911, 114,445; Building News101, 7 Jul 1911, 35

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PHOENIX PARK, VICE-REGAL LODGE
Date: 1911
Nature: New building, for visit of King George V. Contractor: J. & P. Good, Gt Brunswick St.  (According to Casey new bedroom wing was designed by J.H. Pentland.)
Refs: IB 53, 18 Feb 1911, 114;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 295.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LINDSAY ROAD (DRUMCONDRA), NATIONAL SCHOOL
Date: 1911a
Nature: New school opened 7 Jan 1911. Architect: Andrew Robinson, CE. Contractor: T. Farquharson.
Refs: IB 53, 21 Jan 1911, 45

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, MERRION SQUARE, NO. 044-45
Date: 1912
Nature: 'being thoroughly overhauled' and new building added. (for National Health Insurance Commissioners?). Contractor: Thomas Farquharson, Jones's Rd.
Refs: IB 54, 14 Sep,26 Oct 1912, 535,611

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST STEPHEN'S GREEN, NO. 051 (OFFICE OF PUBLIC WORKS)
Date: 1912
Nature: Alts, extension, new offices.
Refs: IAA, PKS 0921, B21/72

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, LORD EDWARD STREET, NO. 014 (LABOUR EXCHANGE)
Date: 1913
Nature: New, with M.J. Burke and H.G. Leask. Contractor: Collen Bros, East Wall..
Refs: IAA, PKS B22/07; IB 56, 18 Jul,29 Aug 1914, 448,517; 57, 31 Jul 1915, 352; Frederick O'Dwyer, 'The architecture of the Board of Public Works 1831-1923', Public Works: the architecture of the Office of Public Works 1831-1987 (AAI, 1987), 29

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, PEARSE STREET, NO. 001-8 (POLICE HEADQUARTERS)
Date: 1913
Nature: New. In course of erection, Aug 1913. Designed with M.J. Burke and H.G. Leask.  Walls of Co. Dublin granite with Ballyknockan grantie dressings. Contractor: J. & R. Thompson, Fairview..
Refs: IB 55, 2 Aug,8 Nov 1913, 502,708,722(illus.); Building News 105, 8 Aug 1913, 203;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 453-4.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SHELBOURNE ROAD (BALLSBRIDGE), POST OFFICE
Date: 1914
Nature: Adds., for telephone exchange. Contractor: F.B. McKee, Belfast.
Refs: IAA, PKS B22/11; IB 57, 6 Nov 1915, 485

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, SIR JOHN ROGERSON'S QUAY, NO. 013? (GOVERNMENT STORES)
Date: 1918
Nature: New government stores on site formerly owned by Mssrs. McCormack progressing quickly.. Contractor: Collen Bros.
Refs: IB 60, 2 Mar 1918, 121

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, GARDINER STREET LOWER, NO. 050 (TRINITY LABOUR EXCHANGE)
Date: 1920
Nature: Adds. and alts. to convert church into labour exchange.
Refs: IAA, PKS 0139, B22/36