Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect and amateur of the arts, of Dublin. Joseph Holloway, son of Thomas and Anne Holloway, was born on 21 March 1861 at 71 Lower Camden Street, Dublin, where his father had a bakery shop. He was a pupil at St Vincent's College, Castleknock, when his father died in 1874. After his father's death he went to various schools and lived with different relations until he finally moved with his mother and sister to 21 Northumberland Road, where he lived for the rest of his life. He attended the Kildare Street School of Art for several years, and when he was nineteen entered the office of JOHN JOSEPH O'CALLAGHAN JOHN JOSEPH O'CALLAGHAN . He remained with O'Callaghan until 1896, when he established his own office at 21 Northumberland Road.

Architecture was for Holloway only one of many interests. He appears to have designed few buildings, and his architectural career came to an end with the First World War. As a man of private means, he was able to devote himself to his other pursuits. He was interested in all the arts, but the theatre was his passion; he was described in the Irish Builder as 'the most regular and constant playgoer in the country' and a theatre critic of 'the soundest judgment'.(1) 'I love the theatre as I love my existence', he wrote in the preface to the diary which he kept from January 1895 until March 1944. This diary which provides a valuable record of theatrical life in Dublin, was left by Holloway to the National Library of Ireland,(2) together with other papers relating to his architectural practice. He was for many years assistant film censor. A collector of paintings,(3) he was appointed to the Board of Governors and Guardians the National Gallery of Ireland in 1932.(4) He was also an able caricaturist.(5)

By the end of his life Holloway had become a well-established Dublin character. A newspaper article on him published during the Second World War, when he was in his eighties, describes his appearance: 'His carelessly parted white hair looks like a sheepdog's. The cheeks with some rose in the parchment, are sagging a bit, the blue eyes underneath bushy eyebrows still steady, the white moustache curly. He wears an old-fashioned pince-nez, and has a mannerism of looking up at you sideways as he [?gra]sps the back of his chair.'(6) He died on 13 March 1944 (7) and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.(8)   He was unmarried.

AAI:(9) foundation member and vice-president of revived association, 1896;(10) member of council, 1904-1908; president, 1906-7.
RIAI: proposed as member by John Joseph O'Callaghan and SANDHAM SYMES SANDHAM SYMES , 3 June 1889, and elected, 2 December 1889;(11) proposed as fellow by GEORGE PATRICK SHERIDAN GEORGE PATRICK SHERIDAN , LUCIUS O'CALLAGHAN  LUCIUS O'CALLAGHAN and FREDERICK GEORGE HICKS  FREDERICK GEORGE HICKS and elected 2 June 1924.(12)



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituaries in RIAI Year Book (1943 & 1944), 35, and IB 86, 25 Mar 1944, 130 (by H[arry] A[llberry]). Information about Holloway's birth and early life is from Jones, who does not identify his source, which may be Hogan & O'Neill (see note 2, below). Holloway appears in a group photograph of members of the AAI circa 1900 reproduced in IB 69, 15 Oct 1927, 759. There is a portrait of Holloway by Lilian Davidson in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin (full-scale copy in IAA).

(1) IB 74, 19 Nov 1932; see also IB 55, 1 Mar 1913, 144.
(2) NLI MSS 4861-4872 (lst 12 volumes); extracts from the diary were published in R.J. Hogan and M.J. O'Neill, Joseph Holloway's Abbey Theatre: the unpublished journal of the impressions of a Dublin playgoer (Southern Illinois University Press, 1967). The papers are still unsorted.
(3) He presented 5 pictures from his collection to the RIAI shortly before bis death.(RIAI council meeting minutes, 1944).
(4)  Irish Times, 12 Nov 1932;  IB 74, 19 Nov 1932, 1022.
(5) An article by him on 'Caricature in Dublin' was published in AAI Green Book (1914), 25-30, and reprinted in IB 56, 25 Apr 1914, 252.
(6) Undated newspaper cutting in Jones files, illustrated with a photograph of Holloway.
(7) Irish Times, 14 Mar 1944.
(8) Undated newspaper notice of funeral in Jones files.
(9) From lists of AAI officers in AAI Green Books unless otherwise stated.
(10) AAI Green Book (1918), 18; notice of death in AAI Green Book (1944), 36.
(11) RIAI council meeting minutes, 3 Jun 1889, 273, 2 Dec 1889, 277.
(12) Jones, citing RIAI minutes but reference not given.

5 work entries listed in chronological order for HOLLOWAY, JOSEPH

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Date: 1904
Nature: Conversion of old hall of Mechanics' Institute and old Coroner's Court into theatre for Irish Theatre Society and National Dramatic company. Gift of Mis A.E.F. Horniman of London. Stained glass by An Tur Gloine. Contractors: R. & E. Farmer.
Refs: Plans and drawings in NLI, AD 2171-2205; IB 46, 13 Aug,3 Dec 1904, 505, 822;  Irish Times, 29 Nov 1904;   Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 176.

Date: 1908
Nature: Extensive alterations, chiefly to first floor of 'somewhat commonplace' existing building, to form new offices for company. 'The front (in Dame street) consists of an arched entrance and two large arched windows (supported on a gracefully proportioned pilaster) in the angle of the building which fronts Crow street..Irish material has been used in every instance, including Irish furniture in the baordroom and in the offices generally.  the carpets are of Donegal manufacture.' Contractor: J. & P. Good.
Refs: IB 50, 5 Sep,12 Dec 1908, 552,773;  Irish Times, 7 Dec 1908.

Date: 1908
Nature: Alts. & adds to No. 102. Contractor: Farmer Bros.
Refs: IB 50, 4 Apr,13 Jun 1908, 213,374

Date: 1911;1912?
Nature: Repairs, 1911. Creation of new dormitory at end of billiard room wing, for P.H. Pearse.
Refs: Letter-book of J.P. Wrenn, 1909-1913, ff. 455,470,472,479 in IAA, James Purcell Wrenn collection, Acc. 2009/20, on loan from Mrs Dympna Carton and Mrs Oonagh Maguire;  photocopy of tracing from drawing by J.H., 9 Dec 1912?, in IAA

Date: 1912
Nature: Proposed new balcony.
Refs: 4 plans in NLI, AD 2206-2209

Author Title Date Details
Holloway, Joseph [President's inaugural address to AAI]. 1906;1908 IB 48, 20 Oct 1906, 829; AAI Green Book (1908), 9-31. (Address delivered 16 Oct 1906.)
Holloway, Joseph [Valedictory address to AAI] 1907 IB 49, 15 Jun 1907, 410.