Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin. William John Symes, a son of Dr Glascott Symes and Barbara (née McNally) of 2 Gresham Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, was born on 8 January 1846. His father was a first cousin of SANDHAM SYMES SANDHAM SYMES . William Symes received his architectural training in the office of JOHN MCCURDY  JOHN MCCURDY in the later 1860s.(1) He had set up in practice at 12 Westland Row by 1872. In October 1872 he was appointed architect to the Royal College of Surgeons from a field of eight applicants.(2) Later the same year he designed an addition to the college's premises on Stephen's Green. His design was finally adopted in 1875 after a competition had been held; the choice - as so often happened - gave rise to some discontent among the other competitors.(3)

In 1874 Symes became the partner of RICHARD CHAYTOR MILLAR RICHARD CHAYTOR MILLAR , the new practice being known as MILLAR & SYMES. T MILLAR & SYMES. T he partnership agreement, signed on 4 July 1874,(4) was originally for ten years; on 4 July 1884 it was renewed for another ten years,(5) only to be terminated prematurely by Symes's death.

Symes died in April 1892 at the relatively early age of forty-six He was buried in Deansgrange cemetery. He had married Emma Geoghegan in 1874 and was the father of two sons and five daughters.

AAI: elected member, 30 January 1873.(6)
RIAI: proposed for ballot as student, January 1867, having beeen proposed by John McCurdy and JAMES HIGGINS OWEN JAMES HIGGINS OWEN ;(7) on list of students, 1871;(8) elected member, 2 March 1885, having been proposed by WILLIAM MANSFIELD MITCHELL  WILLIAM MANSFIELD MITCHELL and seconded by THOMAS DREW. THOMAS DREW. (9)

Addresses: Work: 10 Leinster Street, 1867;(10) 12 Westland Row, 1872-1874;(11) 197 Great Brunswick Street, 1874-1886; 186 Great Brunswick Street, 1887 until death.
Home: 22 Mount Street Lower, 1875; 17 Corrig Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, 1876; 1 Adelaide Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, 1877; Ailesbury Villa, Glenageary, <=1879 until death.

See WORKS, works of MILLAR & SYMES MILLAR & SYMES , and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.



References

Genealogical information in this entry was supplied by Glascott Symes, King's Hospital, Palmerstown, Dublin. All remaining information not attributed to other sources is from Thom's directories and Jones's transcripts from the same.

(1) This is inferred from his address in 1867 and from the fact that McCurdy proposed him as a student of the RIAI.
(2) IB 17, 15 Aug 1875, 230.
(3) See note 2 above; also B 33, 17 Apr 1875, 355, and IB 17, 1 Aug 1875, 230.
(4) Articles of agreement in collection of Mrs D. Millar, 1976.
(5) Diary of R.C. Millar (entry for 4 Jul 1884) in collection of Mrs D. Millar, 1976.
(6) IB 15, 15 Jan,15 Feb 1873, 25,56.
(7) RIAI council meeting minutes, 8 Jan 1867, 71; general meeting minutes, 17 Jan 1867, 201.
(8) RIAI Sessional Papers 1863-4 to 1869-70, List of members [1871].
(9) RIAI council meeting minutes, 1 Dec 1884, 240; 2 Mar 1885, 241.
(10) See note 6, above.
(11) Jones trasnscripts from Thom's directories.


3 work entries listed in chronological order for SYMES, WILLIAM JOHN


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ST STEPHEN'S GREEN, NO. 123 (ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS)
Date: 1872;1876-78
Nature: WJS submits designs for new hall, library, museum, 1872, and wins competion of 1875 with same by which time he was in partnership with R.C. Millar as Millar & Symes, q.v..
Refs: Drawings in Royal College of Surgeons collection (photographs in IAA); IB 17, 1,15 Aug 1875, 215,230; 18, 18, 1 May 1876, 120; B 33., 17 Apr 1875, 355; Colin Brennan, 'The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland: an architectural history 1805-1997', unpublished MA thesis, Univeristy College, Dublin, 1997, 24-30, Figs. 24-26

Building: CO. DUBLIN, MONKSTOWN, BELGRAVE SQUARE, HOUSES (003)
Date: 1873
Nature: 3 new houses, for - Donovan. Builder: William Carroll.
Refs: IAA, PKS B06/20

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUN LAOGHAIRE, GRESHAM TERRACE, NO. 006
Date: 1873ca
Nature: Proposed porch for William Gibton.
Refs: Undated design in collection of Glascott Symes, King's Hospital, Palmerstown, Dublin

Author Title Date Details
Symes, William John '"The Royal College of Surgeons' competiton"' 1875 IB 17, 15 Aug 1875, ?. (Letter to editor.)