Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

The Board (later Office) of Public Works was established by the Public Works (Ireland) Act of 15 October 1831 to replace the earlier Board of Works, which had been separated from the Barrack Board in 1802. In addition to its existing duties - primarily the maintenance of government buildings in Dublin - the new board, which consisted of three Commissioners chaired by Sir JOHN FOX BURGOYNE JOHN FOX BURGOYNE , was given responsibility for inland navigation, the control of fisheries and the management of a fund of loans and grants for public works such as roads, bridges, canals, piers and harbours and river and field drainage. The organisation expanded significantly during the great famine of 1845-52, when it was given the task of running relief works by means of Treasury loans. In 1856 it was also entrusted with the care of police barracks, coastguard stations, national schools, post offices, customs buildings, the royal universities and lunatic asylums. In the ten years between 1854 and 1864, according to O'Dwyer, the number of buildings within the direct care of the Board rose from fifty-four to 839.

During the century following the establishment of the Board of Public Works, the number of architects and engineers it employed grew steadily. Architectural designs in the archives of the Board often bear several signatures, which makes it difficult to attribute the design of some buildings to a particular architect. Where this is the case the building is attributed to the Office of Public Works generally.




34 work entries listed in chronological order for OFFICE OF PUBLIC WORKS


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Building: CO. LOUTH, CARLINGFORD, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1848
Nature: 2-storey, 7-bay building with shhallow pitched roof. Contractor: Jordan & Son (i.e. Henry and John Jordan)
Refs: 14 drawings in NA, OPW5HC/4/484

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, MODEL SCHOOL
Date: 1858-59
Nature: Addition of girls' block. and master's residence.
Refs: Drawing(s), countersigned by James Higgins Owen, in NA, OPW archives, OPW5HC/4/820; 29th Report of the Board of Public Works, Ireland (1860), 18.

Building: CO. TYRONE, OMAGH, MOUNTJOY ROAD, MINOR MODEL SCHOOL
Date: 1858-59
Nature: New model school to new 'Byzantine' design. Single storey except for left wing. Sig-sag ornaments, unequal quoins, camfered arrises, tracery headed windows, &c. Front and flanks of squared stone with half-hammered face. Second set of designs prepared by Board of Public Works, the first having proved too expensive.
Refs: 23rd Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland (1856), xvii; 25th Report  (1858), xix;  27th Annual Report of Commissioners of Public Works (Ireland) (1858), 18;  B 16, 12 Jun 1858, 416

Building: CO. DOWN, NEWRY, MODEL SCHOOL
Date: 1863
Nature: Additional classroom.  Tenders invited, Aug 1863.
Refs: Armagh Guardian, 21 Aug 1863.

Building: CO. KERRY, LACKEEN POINT (KENMARE), COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1863;1864;1866
Nature: New coastguard station with residences for chief officer, chief boatman and other boatmen.
Refs: Drawings, dated 1863,1864 and 1866, in NA, OPW drawings collection; DB 5, 1 Aug 1863, 133

Building: CO. LOUTH, DROGHEDA, MALL, CUSTOM HOUSE
Date: 1864-1865;1867
Nature: Proposed improvements, including 2 new doors to ground floor.
Refs: Drawings, initialled by R.J. Stirling and J.H. Mellon, in NA, NA, OPW5HC/4/755

Building: CO. SLIGO, ROSSES POINT, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1866
Nature: New 5-bay, 2-storey building, very plain.  contractor: Patrick Morris.
Refs: Designs signed by C. Lanauze and examined by E.T. O[wen], 26 Feb 1866, in NA, OPW drawings collection OPW5HC/4/547.

Building: CO. SLIGO, RACHLEY, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1866-1871
Nature: New 7-bay, 2-storey coastguard station with tower;  boat house. Tenders invited Sep 1866. Estimated cost £1000.
Refs: Drawings, 1866-1871, in NA, OPW drawings collection, OPWHC/4/844;  DB 8, 1 Sep 1866, 218;  B 24, 8 Sep 1866, 673

Building: CO. WICKLOW, WICKLOW, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1868
Nature: New coastguard station 'to be erected immediately' (Oct 1868). Contractor: Edward Henry Wright, Esq, CE,  Archerfield, Kilkenny.
Refs: Contract drawings, 1865,1866, design for boat house and rocket house initialled 'E[noch] T[revor] O[wen}, 1868, in NA, Office of Public Wroks drawings collection, OPW5 HC/4/566;  DB 8, 1 Oct 1868, 238.

Building: CO. MAYO, BALLYGLASS, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1869
Nature: Terrace of cattages with tower.
Refs: 4 contract drawings, 1869, in NA, OPW5HC/4/447

Building: CO. TYRONE, DUNGANNON, BROOKE STREET, HOUSES (046)
Date: 1872
Nature: 46 cottages in course of construction at cost of £1650.
Refs: IB 14, 1 Aug 1872, 215  Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster (1979), 263 

Building: CO. SLIGO, SLIGO, ALBERT ROAD, POLICE BARRACKS
Date: 1872;1891
Nature: 1-bay, 3-storey addition. Designed by Owen or J.H. Mellon. Further adds, 1891.
Refs: Drawing 'examined by E.T.Owen' and also initialled by J.H. M[ellon] in NA, OPW drawings collection, OPW5HC/4/297;  Architect 46, 11 Sep 1891, suppl. p.3

Building: CO. LOUTH, CLOGHER HEAD, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1877-1884
Nature: Terrace of cottages with oriel window and tower (latter not built?)
Refs: 6 drawings, 1877-1884, in NA, OPW5HC/4/488

Building: CO. LOUTH, DUNDALK, SOLDIERS' POINT, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1878
Nature: Addition of second storey (to cottages?)
Refs: Drawings in NA, OPW drawings collection, old ref. B.3.7

Building: CO. KERRY, KILLARNEY, NEW STREET, POST OFFICE
Date: 1884-85
Nature: New 4-bay, 3-storey post office. Contractor: J.G. MacLean.
Refs: Drawings in NA, OPW drawings collection (old ref. E.6.2) (includes later drawings for fittings initialled C[harles] S[tewart] A[gnew]); IB 27, 15 Mar 1885, 96

Building: CO. WICKLOW, ARKLOW, COASTGUARD STATION
Date: 1885
Nature: New coastguard station.  Tenders invited for erecting same, Jul 1885.
Refs: Contract drawings, 1885, in NA,Office of Public Works drawings collection, OPW5HC/4/428;  Wicklow Newsletter, 11 Jul 1885.

Building: CO. WICKLOW, ARKLOW, CONVENT OF MERCY NATIONAL SCHOOL
Date: 1891-1895
Nature: New schools on site adjacent to convent. Government to pay £1,100 to defray cost;  people of the district to pay £600. Tenders invited Apr 1891; FS laid by Archbishop of Dublin 28 Feb 1892.  New infant boys' national school, costing, £700, 1900.
Refs: Clonliffe College Archives, MS p/1/2;  Irish Times, 11Apr 1891;  IB 33, 15 Apr 1891, 93; Wicklow Newsletter, 5,19 Mar 1892. 2 Jul 1898;  60th Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland (1893), 357.


Building: CO. TIPPERARY, TIPPERARY, POST OFFICE
Date: 1892-93
Nature: 3-storey with Doric colonettes between ground floor windows.
Refs: Design and contract drawing(s) signed E[dward] K[avanagh] in NA, OPW drawings collection OPW5HC/4/964;  IAA, PKS A07 (Jul 1892-Mar 1893, p.414)

Building: CO. WEXFORD, WEXFORD, ANNE STREET, POST OFFICE
Date: 1894-1895
Nature: New 2-storey, 4-bay red brick post office. Contractor: Patrick Sheridan, Parsonstown (£2,741.5s.2d). Clerk of Works: F.R. Coffee.  Opened for business, 1 May 1895.
Refs: Máire Crean, Lost Post: a selection of Ireland's post office buildings (Dublin, 2012), 9-11, figs.1.11-14,2.62.

Building: CO. KILDARE, CURRAGH CAMP, POST OFFICE
Date: 1899-1900
Nature: New post office, designed with Robert Cochrane. Estimated cost: £4,245.
Refs: Unsigned undated (but door inscr. '1900.VR') drawings in NA, OPW drawings collection; IAA, PKS 0800, B19/20, A08 (May 1899; here architect's name is given as Pentland);  Máire Crean, Lost Post: a selection of Ireland's post office buildings (Dublin, 2012), 70-71, figs. 4.36-38.

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, GLADSTONE STREET, POST OFFICE
Date: 1900
Nature: New post office. Estimated cost: £2,860. Contractor: Delany.
Refs: Dated drawings initialled by EK in NA, OPW collection, OPW5HC/4/606;  IAA, PKS 0822, B19/36, A08 (Aug 1900); IB 42, 15 Oct 1900, 509;  Máire Crean, Lost Post: a selection of Ireland's post office buildings (Dublin, 2012), 68-69., figs. 4.31-35.

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, GLADSTONE STREET, POST OFFICE
Date: 1900
Nature: New post office. Estimated cost: £2,860. Contractor: Delany.
Refs: Dated drawings initialled by EK in NA, OPW collection, OPW5HC/4/606;  IAA, PKS 0822, B19/36, A08 (Aug 1900); IB 42, 15 Oct 1900, 509;  Máire Crean, Lost Post: a selection of Ireland's post office buildings (Dublin, 2012), 68-69., figs. 4.31-35.

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CLONMEL, GLADSTONE STREET, POST OFFICE
Date: 1900
Nature: New post office. Estimated cost: £2,860. Contractor: Delany.
Refs: Dated drawings initialled by EK in NA, OPW collection, OPW5HC/4/606;  IAA, PKS 0822, B19/36, A08 (Aug 1900); IB 42, 15 Oct 1900, 509;  Máire Crean, Lost Post: a selection of Ireland's post office buildings (Dublin, 2012), 68-69., figs. 4.31-35.

Building: CO. SLIGO, SLIGO, POST OFFICE
Date: 1901
Nature: Designs for 2-storey building with banded brick front.
Refs: Drawings in NA, OPW drawings collection, OPW5HC/4/647

Building: CO. LEITRIM, CARRICK-ON-SHANNON, POST OFFICE
Date: 1906
Nature: New single storey neo-Georgian post office.
Refs: 22 drawings, singed by G.W. Crowe, 1906, in NA, OPW5HC/4/604

Building: CO. CORK, BANDON, POST OFFICE
Date: 1906-07
Nature: New post office. Contractor: John Jones, North Main St, Bandon.  Contract signed. 8 Dec 1906;  work not finished until July 1907, instead of Mar 1907, as stipulated. (Subject of legal action taken by contractor against Commissioners of Public Works.)
Refs: Freeman's Journal, 28,29 Oct,3,22 Nov 1909,18 Feb 1910.

Building: CO. KILKENNY, KILKENNY, ST RIOCH STREET, COUNTY & CITY GAOL
Date: 1929
Nature: Alterations to Governor's House.
Refs: Drawing, 1929, in IAA, Edward Cullen Collection, Acc. 2004/160 (not on public access).

Building: CO. TIPPERARY, CARRICK-ON-SUIR, GARDA BARRACKS
Date: 1930
Nature: New, or works at same?
Refs: Drawing, 1930, in IAA, Edward Cullen Collection, Acc. 2004/160 (not on public access)..

Building: CO. KERRY, MUCKROSS, VINCENT BROWN MEMORIAL PARK
Date: 1930s
Nature: Plans for same.
Refs: NA, OPW drawings collection (old ref. F.2.9)

Building: CO. DUBLIN, COLLINSTOWN, DUBLIN AIRPORT
Date: 1938-40
Nature: New airport on curved plan. Awarded RIAI Triennial Gold Medal, 1943. Designed by team of architects in Office of Public Works under direction of Desmond Fitzgerald;  'the most elegant, graceful and majestic example of the International Style in Ireland' (Larmour).
Refs: Drawings of airport as built and and dyeline print of entrance and rear elevations in IAA, FitzGerald Collection, Acc. 87/38; RIAI Year Book (1943 & 1944), 17(illus.);  RIAI Year Book (1945), photographic supplement between pp. 6 & 7;  Country Life, 7 Mar 1947, 420-421(illus.); B ?, 6 Jun 1947, 551-553(illus.); Architectural Design Jul 1947, 179-180(illus.); AJ , 12 Jun 1947, 492,497-499; RIBAJ 56 (Sep 1948), 500-501;  Paul Larmour, Free State Architecture:  Modern Movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2009) , 66-69(illus.).


Building: CO. DUBLIN, COLLINSTOWN, DUBLIN AIRPORT
Date: 1938-40
Nature: New airport on curved plan. Awarded RIAI Triennial Gold Medal, 1943. Designed by team of architects in Office of Public Works under direction of Desmond Fitzgerald;  'the most elegant, graceful and majestic example of the International Style in Ireland' (Larmour).
Refs: Drawings of airport as built and and dyeline print of entrance and rear elevations in IAA, FitzGerald Collection, Acc. 87/38; RIAI Year Book (1943 & 1944), 17(illus.);  RIAI Year Book (1945), photographic supplement between pp. 6 & 7;  Country Life, 7 Mar 1947, 420-421(illus.); B ?, 6 Jun 1947, 551-553(illus.); Architectural Design Jul 1947, 179-180(illus.); AJ , 12 Jun 1947, 492,497-499; RIBAJ 56 (Sep 1948), 500-501;  Paul Larmour, Free State Architecture:  Modern Movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2009) , 66-69(illus.).


Building: CO. DUBLIN, COLLINSTOWN, DUBLIN AIRPORT
Date: 1938-40
Nature: New airport on curved plan. Awarded RIAI Triennial Gold Medal, 1943. Designed by team of architects in Office of Public Works under direction of Desmond Fitzgerald;  'the most elegant, graceful and majestic example of the International Style in Ireland' (Larmour).
Refs: Drawings of airport as built and and dyeline print of entrance and rear elevations in IAA, FitzGerald Collection, Acc. 87/38; RIAI Year Book (1943 & 1944), 17(illus.);  RIAI Year Book (1945), photographic supplement between pp. 6 & 7;  Country Life, 7 Mar 1947, 420-421(illus.); B ?, 6 Jun 1947, 551-553(illus.); Architectural Design Jul 1947, 179-180(illus.); AJ , 12 Jun 1947, 492,497-499; RIBAJ 56 (Sep 1948), 500-501;  Paul Larmour, Free State Architecture:  Modern Movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2009) , 66-69(illus.).


Building: CO. DUBLIN, COLLINSTOWN, DUBLIN AIRPORT
Date: 1938-40
Nature: New airport on curved plan. Awarded RIAI Triennial Gold Medal, 1943. Designed by team of architects in Office of Public Works under direction of Desmond Fitzgerald;  'the most elegant, graceful and majestic example of the International Style in Ireland' (Larmour).
Refs: Drawings of airport as built and and dyeline print of entrance and rear elevations in IAA, FitzGerald Collection, Acc. 87/38; RIAI Year Book (1943 & 1944), 17(illus.);  RIAI Year Book (1945), photographic supplement between pp. 6 & 7;  Country Life, 7 Mar 1947, 420-421(illus.); B ?, 6 Jun 1947, 551-553(illus.); Architectural Design Jul 1947, 179-180(illus.); AJ , 12 Jun 1947, 492,497-499; RIBAJ 56 (Sep 1948), 500-501;  Paul Larmour, Free State Architecture:  Modern Movement architecture in Ireland, 1922-1949 (Kinsale: Gandon Editions, 2009) , 66-69(illus.).


Building: CO. CAVAN, BALLYHAISE HOUSE AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL
Date: 1948
Nature: Proposed addition to accommodation and survey. 
Refs: Drawings dated Jun1948 in National Archives, OPW drawings collection (copies in IAA, 86/6.1/1-6).