RYAN, FERGUS JAMES
- Born: 1901 Died: 1980/81
Architect and town planner, of Dublin, active from the 1920s until the 1960s. Fergus Ryan, who was born on 18 February 1901, was a son of John Ryan, JP, of the decorative plasterers, John Ryan & Co., Orion Works, North Strand Road, Dublin.(1) After attending Belvedere College, Dublin, he spent three years training as a quantity surveyor under Thomas Slevin of Dublin. He then went to Edinburgh, where he became first a pupil and then an assistant of the town planner FRANK CHARLES MEARS , also following courses at the Edinburgh College of Art and Heriot-Watt College. On his return to Dublin he spent eight years as principal assistant to PATRICK JOSEPH MUNDEN , during which time he was chiefly engaged on hospital and asylum design. He set up in independent practice as an architect and town planner at 3 Lower Abbey Street in 1933. He crossed swords with the City Architect, HORACE O'ROURKE , in aa letter to the Irish Press, 17 September 1935, rebutting O'Rourke's claim in a recent article in the paper (itself a response to an article by JOHN O'GORMAN ) that the architects of the modern movement were 'cheap sensationalists'.(2) In 1938 in association with Mears and the engineer EDWARD M. MURPHY he was appointed by Clonmel Corporation to make a survey of the town and prepare a town plan.(3) In 1940, in connection with the - then current - proposal to erect a Roman Catholic cathedral in Dublin, the Irish Builder published a sketch by Ryan under the title 'Dublin's Metropolitan Cathedral: a vision and vista', which showed the cathedral looming up on the north bank of the Liffey to the west of O'Connell Bridge.(4) Ryan appears to have retired in about 1965. He died in 1980 or 1981.(5)
AAI: elected member, 1926; winner of Downes Bronze Medal for session 1925-26;(6) consolation prize for entry for Institute Prize for session 1926-27;(7) joint consolation prize for entry for Association Sketching Prize,for session 1927 to 28;(8) no longer on list of members for session 1933-34.
RIAI: student, 1928; elected member, 1931; raised to fellow, 1953.(8)
Addresses: 3 Lower Abbey Street, 1933-1952; Educational Chambers, 33 Westmoreland Street, 1953->=1964.
Home: Tudor Lodge, Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, 1927-1932; 11 Kincora Road, Clontarf, 1966-1967.
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the biography of Ryan in IB 75, 18 Nov 1933, 970, and AAI and RIAI membership lists.
(1) Date of birth from Ryan's application to sit the final examination for registration as a member of the RIAI, IAA, Acc. 93/136, Box 59; his father was the bulder of nos. 50-56 Vernon Avenue, Clontarf (see Claire Gogarty, From Village to Suburb: The Building of Clontarf since 1760 (2013), 190.
(2) See Sean Rothery, Ireland and the New Architecture 1900-1940 (1991), 124-5.
(3) IB 80, 1 Oct 1938, 840.
(4) Photocopy from ?IB 82, ? ? 1940, ?, in Jones file.
(5) RIAI Year Book (1982), 39.
(6) AAI Green Book (1927), 36.
(7) AAI Green Book (1928), 47.
(8) AAI Green Book (1929), 50.
(8) RIAI Year Book (1954), 7.
4 work entries listed in chronological order for RYAN, FERGUS JAMES
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, KINCORA ROAD (CLONTARF), NO. 011 (IDRONE)|
|Nature:||House designed by FJR for himself.
|Refs:||Claire Gogarty, From Village to Suburb: The Building of Clontarf since 1760 (2013), 201.|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, KILDARE STREET, NO. 023-28 (DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE)|
|Nature:||Competition entrant 'in association with R.M. Butler'; 'appeared to be that very rare phenomenon - the competition design placed for its elevations' (John O'Gorman).
|Refs:||IB 8, 8 Feb 1936, ? (critique of entries by 'Wisbech', i.e. John O' Gorman).|
|Building:||CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL|
|Nature:||Mssrs. Mears, Murphy and Ryan appointed by Corporation to make survey and prepare town plan.|
|Refs:||IB 80, 1 Oct 1938, 840|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, BAGGOT STREET UPPER, NO. 036 (WATERLOO HOUSE)|
|Nature:||New lounge bar in International Modern style. With Brendan O'Connor.
|Refs:||Paul Larmour, Free State Architecture: Modern Movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2009),70,71(illus.).|