Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin. James Henry Webb was born in Dublin on 16 December 1873 into an old Quaker family. His father, Thomas Henry Webb, had a tailoring business in Dublin and later became the proprietor of the Standard Hotel in Harcourt Street. James Webb received his schooling in England, at Southport and Brynmellin, Weston-super-Mare, before being articled to WILLIAM MANSFIELD MITCHELL  WILLIAM MANSFIELD MITCHELL of Dublin in about 1890. In 1896 he opened his own office at 15 D'Olier Street. The following year, on 15 September 1897, he married Mitchell's second daughter, Laura Gertrude.

Webb worked on his own until the end of August 1908, when he entered into partnership with LUCIUS O'CALLAGHAN LUCIUS O'CALLAGHAN , practising as O'CALLAGHAN & CALLAGHAN & amp; WEBB.(1) Although LOUIS FRANCIS GIRON  LOUIS FRANCIS GIRON became a third partner in 1919, the firm continued under the same name until 31 August 1931, when Webb left to open his own office on the opposite side of South Frederick Street. He retained these premises for about twenty years, but only one architectural work by him is recorded in the Irish Builder after 1932. He was architect to the Quaker meeting house in Eustace Street, Dublin, for many years.(2) During the late 1940s he was assisted by W.G.M. Crockett. He appears to have been as well known as an arbitrator as an architect; according to his obituary in the RIAI Year Book, his name 'was so often entered in the Conditions of Contract Arbitration Clause, it almost got printed permanently therein'. He retired in about 1951.

Webb played an active part in the RIAI and AAI and was president of both bodies. According to the obituary, his professional opinion was 'constantly sought' by his colleagues. While he was still in partnership with O'Callaghan, he acted as assessor in the Mount Merrion Park housing development competition of 1928.(3)

Following his retirement and his wife's death in 1952,(4) Webb moved into the Standard Hotel, of which he was the managing director. He died on 16 April 1955.(5) According to the 1911 census, he had at least two sons and one daughter. A benevolent and genial man, and something of an idealist, he believed that 'Goodwill and Kindliness' were 'the solvent of all diffulties - social, political and international'.(6) He engaged actively in social and charitable work, campaigned for prison reform and the abolition of the death penalty, and was the co-founder of the Irish Pacifist Movement in 1936. He was also a keen sportsman, playing football, cricket and hockey in his youth and golf as he grew older.

The Irish Architectural Archive holds seven boxes of material which formerly belonged to Webb (Acc.2000/139): this includes his inscribed brass office letter box, typescript texts of three of his lectures, and slide lists for lectures on Greece, Egypt and Spain. It consists principally of a large number of 19th century photographs of buildings and landscapes in Ireland, England, Scotland, the United States (Washington and Baltimore) and the Middle East (Syria and Egypt).

AAI:(7) founder member, 1896; hon. treasurer, 1899-1903; joint vice-president, 1903-4; president, 1904-5; reads paper on Shrewsbury, 3 April 1906.(9)
RIAI:(9) elected member having been proposed by W.M. Mitchell, seconded by ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY  ALBERT EDWARD MURRAY and JAMES RAWSON CARROLL JAMES RAWSON CARROLL , 14 December 1895;(10) hon. secretary, 1907-1909; council member from 1910 onwards; elected fellow, 23 May 1911;(11) vice-president, 1923; president, 1926-1928.

Addresses:(12) Work: 15 D'Olier Street, 1897-1904; 21 Clare Street, 1905-1908 ; 31 South Frederick Street, 1909-1931; 14 South Frederick Street, 1931-1951.
Home: Ardfallen, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, 1895;(13) St Alban's Dalkey, 1903; Tinoran, Glenageary. Co. Dublin,<=1908-1952;(14) 82 Harcourt Street, 1953-1954.

See WORKS; see also works of O'CALLAGHAN & CALLAGHAN & amp; WEBB.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the biography of Webb in E. Macdowel Cosgrave, ed., Dublin and County Dublin in the Twentieth Century (1908), 269, which is accompanied by a portrait photograph, the entry in Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001) II, 945l, and the obituary in RIAI Year Book 1957, 35. Another brief obituary is in IB 97, 23 Apr 1955, 408. Other photographs of Webb are in IA & C 1, 25 Mar 1911, 121, and JRIAI (1926), facing p. 11. Webb also appears in a group photograph of members of the AAI circa 1900, reproduced in IB 69, 15 Oct 1927, 759, and in another of members of council of the RIAI in IB 74, 27 Feb 1932, 200.

(1) The dates of the partnership come from handwritten notes by Jones in file O18, his source apparently being a telephone conversation with an unknown interlocutor (probably Giron himself). See also IB 50, 19 Sep 1908, 565.
(2) D.M. Butler, The Quaker Meeting Houses of Ireland (2004), 234.
(3) IB 70, 26 May 1928, 441,464.
(4) IB 94, 25 Mar 1952, 326.
(5) IB 97, 23 Apr 1955, 408.
(6) JRIAI (1926), 14.
(7) From lists of officers and members in IAA Green Books.
(8) IB 48, 7 Apr 1906, 289; AAI Green Book (1907), 31.
(9) From Jones's transcripts from RIAI lists of officers, unless otherwise attributed.
(10) RIAI council meeting minutes, 7 Oct 1895, 324; council meeting minutes, 2 Dec 1895, 326; annual general meeting minutes, 14 Dec 1895, 317.
(11) IA & C 25 May 1911, 119.
(12) From RIAI and AAI membership lists unless otherwise stated.
(13) Seenote 8, above.
(14) See note 3, above.


32 work entries listed in chronological order for WEBB, JAMES HENRY


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, DAME COURT, NO. 002-6 (ACME PRINTING WORKS)
Date: 1896-97
Nature: JHW clerk of works for same, fo r Hely, son & Co.(Architect: W.H. Mitchell).
Refs: IB 41, 13 Dec 1899, 212

Building: CO. GALWAY, CLOGHANS
Date: 1903
Nature: Alts. and adds. being made for Capt. A.C. Lenon.
Refs: IB 45, 13 Jun 1903, 362

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET UPPER, NO. 021-22 (GRESHAM HOTEL, OLD)
Date: 1904
Nature: New dining hall to accommodate 300 diners.. Contractor: Fletcher & Phillipson, Baggot St.
Refs: IB 46, 19 Nov 1904, 784;  Irish Times, 30 Nov 1904.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DALKEY, SAVAL PARK ROAD, CUIL GREINE
Date: 1906
Nature: New house for Alexander H. Varian.
Refs: RHA 1906, no. 30; IB 48, 24 Mar 1906, 232.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DALKEY, ATMOSPHERIC ROAD, THE BARN
Date: 1906
Nature: Quantities being taken out for new house for Dr W.C. Carnegie.
Refs: IB 48, 11 Aug 1906, 648 (perhaps the 'Residence at Dalkey', exh. RHA 1905, no,. 352)

Building: CO. KILDARE, NEWBRIDGE (NEAR), HOUSE
Date: 1906
Nature: Handsome new house being erected for Capt. Graham. Builder: P.J. Byrne, Newbridge.
Refs: IB 48, 11 Aug 1906, 648

Building: CO. DUBLIN, FOXROCK, WESTMINSTER ROAD, ALEX. FINDLATER & CO.
Date: 1906
Nature: Business premises for Alex. Findlater & Co.
Refs: RHA 1906, no. 303; IB 48, 24 Mar 1906, 23; illus. in Peter Pearson, Between the Mountains and the Sea (Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, 1998), 294

Building: CO. KILDARE, CURRAGH, HUNTING STABLE
Date: 1906
Nature: New hunting stable at edge of Curragh finished. For Commrs. of Woods & Forests. Contractor: P.J. Byrne, Newbridge.
Refs: IB 48, 11 Aug 1906, 648

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DALKEY, HOUSE
Date: 1906
Nature: Villa being built at Dalkey on site facing old railway. Contractor: J. & P. Good.
Refs: IB 48, 15 Dec 1906, 1008

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUNDRUM, BALLINTEER ROAD, BALLINTYRE HALL
Date: 1907
Nature: Extensive alts.being carried out for Arthur V. Fitzherbert. Contractor: John F. Richardson.
Refs: IB 49, 16 Nov 1907, 797

Building: CO. KILDARE, CURRAGH, LUMVILLE MANSE
Date: 1907
Nature: Adds. about to be made for H.M. Commissioners of Woods.
Refs: IB 49, 21 Sep 1907, 662; illus. in Guy St John Williams, The Racing lodges of the Curragh (1997), 92

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WOLFE TONE STREET, NO. 052
Date: 1907
Nature: Rebuilding for Lawson, Wilson & Co. Contractor: Lawson & Co., Stephen's Green.
Refs: IB 49, 18 May 1907, 361

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, NEWMARKET, NO. 010
Date: 1907
Nature: Tenders being received for rebuilding, for Kraft & Hornung, Mill St.
Refs: IB 49, 21 Sep 1907, 661

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WOLFE TONE STREET, NO. 052
Date: 1907
Nature: Rebuilding, for Lawson,Wilson & Co.
Refs: IB 47, 18 May 1907, 361

Building: CO. GALWAY, WOODLAWN (BALLINASLOE), POST OFFICE
Date: 1907
Nature: New. For Lord Ashtown.
Refs: IB 49, 18 May 1907, 358

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WOLFE TONE STREET, NO. 052
Date: 1907
Nature: Rebuilding in progress, for Lawson, Wilson & Co. Contractor: Lawson & Co., Stephen's Gn.
Refs: IB 47, 18 May 1907, 361

Building: CO. GALWAY, WOODLAWN (KILCONNELL)
Date: 1907-08p
Nature: JHW architect to estate of 3rd Baron Ashtown..  Works included alts after fire, new lodge, 1907;  rebuilding of stables after fire, 1908 (Contractor: Collen Bros);  external drainage (Contractor: Maguire & Gatchell, Dawson St);  rebuilding of farm demesne and estate overseer's house; estate yard and out-offices;  new cottage, part of which to be used as post office; herd's house, &c.
Refs: IB 49, 18 May 1907, 358; 50, 13 Jun,8 Aug 1908, 378,493;  Freeman's Journal, 10 Dec 1909;  Irish Times. 10 Dec 1909.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET UPPER, NO. 021-22 (GRESHAM HOTEL, OLD)
Date: 1907-8
Nature: New supper room recently added in connection with Aberdeen Hall formally opened 24 Jan 1908.
Refs: IB 50, 25 Jan 1908, 53

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ABBEY STREET LOWER, NO. 032 & 33
Date: 1908
Nature: New garage, for J.J. Keating. Contractor: P. Shortall, York St.
Refs: IB 50, 7 Mar,27 Jun 1908, 149,406

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, RATHGAR, FAIRFIELD HOUSE
Date: 1908
Nature: Alts. being carried out. Builder: Clifton & Cooper.
Refs: IB 50, 13 Jun 1908, 373

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, TYRONE STREET UPPER, NO, 042
Date: 1908
Nature: Rebuilding. Contractor: Michael Glynn, N Brunswick St
Refs: IB 50, 11 Jul 1908, 437

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, QUEEN STREET, PREMISES
Date: 1908
Nature: Repairs being carried out by O'Shea & Liddy.
Refs: IB 50, 11 Jul 1908, 437

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, HARCOURT STREET, NO. 079-82 (STANDARD HOTEL)
Date: 1908
Nature: Alts. being carried out. Contractor: Clifton & Cooper.
Refs: IB 50, 25 Jan 1908, 53

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, TALBOT STREET, NO. 091-92 (VARIAN & CO.)
Date: 1908
Nature: Plans & specs. repaired for rebuilding after fire.
Refs: IB 50, 25 Jan 1908, 53

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET LOWER, NO. 005
Date: 1912
Nature: Rebuilding, for Great Western Railway (England). Contractor: J. J. Keatinge, Grafton St.
Refs: IB 54, 11 May 1912, 293

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DALKEY, COLIEMORE ROAD, VICTORIA HOUSE
Date: 1916p
Nature: Rebuilding after fire for - Booth.   Contractor: G. & T. Crampton.
Refs: Ruth McManus, Crampton Built (Dublin: G. & T. Crampton, 2008), 40

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CARRICKBRACK ROAD (HOWTH), HILLSIDE
Date: 1932
Nature: Alts. & adds.being carried out. Contractor: W. Lacey & Sons.
Refs: IB 74, 23 Apr 1932, 391

Building: CO. WESTMEATH, ATHLONE, PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL
Date: 1932
Nature: Alts.
Refs: IB 74, 16 Jan 1932, 69

Building: CO. DUBLIN, BLACKROCK, HOUSES (011)
Date: 1932
Nature: Joseph Rooney, Balrothery, secures contract for building ll houses at Blackrock and 37 at Glasthule for Dun Laoghaire Town Council.
Refs: IB 74, 5 Nov 1932, 996

Building: CO. DUBLIN, GLASTHULE, HOUSES (037)
Date: 1932
Nature: Joseph Rooney, Balrothery, secures contract for building 11 houses at Blackrock and 37 at Glasthule for Dun Laoghaire Town Council.
Refs: IB 74, 5 Nov 1932, 996

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, WINTON ROAD, EPWORTH HALL (FORMERLY TULLAMAINE)
Date: 1945
Nature: Proposed sanatorium, for Wesley College.
Refs: IAA, PKS 1084

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, NASSAU PLACE, NO. 001-2 (MINERAL WATER DISTRIBUTORS)
Date: 1949
Nature: Plans approved for alts. Archts: Webb & Crockett.
Refs: IB 91, 5 Feb 1949, 126

Author Title Date Details
Webb, James Henry 'The Orders of Architecture' 1902 IAA, Acc. 2000/139. (Typescript of lecture delivered to Dublin Friends' Institute, 13 Mar 1902, noted in IB 44, 24 Apr 1902, 1126 (or 1122?).)
Webb, James Henry [President's Inaugural Address to AAI.] 1904 AAI Green Book (1906), 9-23, ?, and IB 46, 22 Oct 1904, 716.
Webb, James Henry 'An idea for increasing output in the building trades' 1922 IB 64, 2 Dec 1922, 806. (Paper read to RIAI.)
Webb, James Henry 'The functions of an architect' 1926 IB 68, 20 Feb 1926, 122, and JRIAI (1926), 11-14. (President's inaugural address to RIAI.)
Webb, James Henry 'Professional Registration' 1928 IB 70, 7 Jan 1928, 12. (Paper read to Surveyors' Institute.)
Webb, James Henry 'The problems of the architect' 1929 IB 71, 5 Jan 1929, 9. (Valedictory address to RIAI, 20 Dec 1928, summarised in Irish Times, 22 Dec 1928.)