Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Irish-born architect, who established a successful practice in New Orleans. James Gallier, a son of THADDEUS GALLAGHER THADDEUS GALLAGHER ,(1) was born in Ravensdale, Co. Louth, in 1798. According to the Dictionary of American Biography (Supplement 1), he studied architecture at the 'School of Fine Arts' in Dublin, but if by this is meant the Royal Dublin Society's School of Architectural Drawing, there is no record of a James Gallagher (or Gallier) having been admitted at this or any other time. In 1816 he worked for a while in Manchester before returning home. Back in Ireland he attended school in Dundalk and with his younger brother John (b. 1800) carried out building work at Mourne Park in 1818 and in Dundalk in 1821-22. In 1822 he went back to England, this time accompanied by his brother, and during the next ten years worked in Huntingdon and in London. In 1832 he emigrated to the United States, visiting his parents briefly before his departure. After spending about two years in New York, he settled in New Orleans, where he became a leading architect.

Gallier died in 1866, having published his autobiography two years previously.  In this he laid claim to a number of buildings, which were in fact designed by others.(2)j   His son of the same name also practised as an architect.

See WORKS, for Irish works only, and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.


Information about Gallier comes chiefly from his own Autobiography of James Gallier, Architect (Paris, 1864; reprinted New York, 1973). He is the subject of an entry in the Dictionary of American Biography. Howard Colvin, A Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840 (3rd edn., 1995), 385, gives details of his work in England, and Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects lists his American works.

(1) According to Roulhac Toledano, New Orleans, who was researching a biography of Gallier in 1972 (E.McP), Gallier was not of Breton stock as asserted in the Dictionary of American Biography but changed his name from Gallagher to Gallier after he emigrated to the United States.
(2) See S. Frederick Starr's foreword to Robert S. Brantley with Victor McGee, Henry Howard, Louisiana's Architect (The Historic New Orleans Collection and Princeton Architectural Press, 2015), 12-13.

3 work entries listed in chronological order for GALLIER, JAMES

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Date: 1818ca
Nature: Re-roofing.
Refs: Autobiography of James Gallier, Architect (Paris, 1864; reprinted New York, 1973), ? (B of I); Christine Casey & Alistair Rowan, The Buildings of Ireland: North Leinster (1993), 309

Date: 1818ca
Nature: According to Melosina Lenox-Conyngham JG 'drew up and superinteded the building of a small country house calleds Claret Rock on the borders of counties Louth and Armagh'.
Refs: Melosina Lenox-Conyngham, 'From Ravensdale to New Orleans', Ireland of the Welcomes 55 No. 3 (May-June 2006), 18, illus. (information from Willie Cummins).

Date: ?
Nature: JG and his brother John assisted their father in alterations for 12th Viscount Kilmorey..
Refs: Autobiography of James Gallier, Architect (Paris, 1864; reprinted New York, 1973), ? (B of I)

Author Title Date Details
Gallier, James American Builder's Price Book 1833 New York: Stanley, 1833.
Gallier, James Autobiography of James Gallier, Architect 1864 Paris: E. Brière, 1864.. (Reprinted New York,1973)