Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and town planner, of Dublin and elsewhere. A native of the Arran Islands, Michael Francis Costello was educated at St Mary's College, Galway, and University College Dublin School of Architecture.(1) After holding a position in the Office of Public Works, he worked in Dublin Corporation town planning office. The Irish Builder continues the story: 'Superseded, for some reason, as Dublin's assistant planning officer, he could find no outlet for his "visionary" ideas in Eire. So, under the wing of Britain's Colonial Office, he made his way to "fresh fields and pastures new" on the other side of the Atlantic - thus adding one more to the list of emigrants who could ill be spared from service in a country that has little use for the vendors of new ideas; a country where the natives fall down in awe before the visiting "expert", but refuse persistently to recognize the talent and experience of the home-grown product.' The new position was that of town planning officer to the Housing and Planning Commission, Trinidad, to which Costello was appointed in 1947. The loss to Ireland was to be permanent: by 1952 he had moved to the planning authority in Georgetown, British Guiana, by 1958 to the town planning department of the Ministry of Housing in Accra, Ghana, and by 1960 he had become Planning Director of the Virgin Islands Planning Board. By 1964 he had returned to Europe to join the Architects' Department of London County Council. He was still living in London in 1972.

RIAI: registered probationer in session 1928-9;(2) admitted student in session 1935-36;(3) elected member, 1936;(4) had ceased to be a member by 1980.(5)



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from IB 89, 23 Aug 1947, 634, and IB 90, 17 Apr 1948, 296, and from membership lists in RIAI Year Book for 1951-2, 1958, 1960, 1964 and 1972.

(1) He does not appear in University College Dublin Register of Graduates (1946) however.
(2) JRIAI (1929), 7.
(3) JRIAI (1936), 13.
(4) IB 78, 14 Nov 1936, 1012.
(5) RIAI Year Book (1980), list of members.

Author Title Date Details
Costello, Michael 'The approach to architectural design' 1939 IB 81, 27 May 1939, 437.