Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Ennis, Co. Clare. Henry Whitestone was born in July 1819 at Clondegad House, Ballynacally, Co. Clare.(1) After a 'long engagement' with JAMES PAIN  JAMES PAIN in Limerick, he set up in practice at Ennis, Co. Clare, in 1844. (2) In 1845 he won the competition for designing the county court house at Ennis, which was begun the following year and completed in 1850.(3) No other works by him in Ireland are known, though he is recorded as being architect to the Ennis Poor Law Union.(4) Lack of prospects led him to emigrate to the United States in January 1852, apparently via London. He carried a letter of introduction to Abbott Lawrence, United States Minister to Great Britain, from Crofton Vandeleur, M.P. for West Clare, who described him as 'a young man of respectable family in this country and by profession an architect in which he distinguished himself by building…the most commodious and handsomest courthouse in Ireland'.(5)

Whitestone eventually settled in Louisville, Kentucky, where he became the city's leading architect, designing commercial and public buildings - most notably the Galt House Hotel - and a number of large private houses. He died in 1893 and was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville. Before leaving Ireland he had married Henrietta Sautelle Baker, by whom he had two daughters, Austine Ford and Henrietta.(3)



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Elizabeth Fitzpatrick Jones, 'Henry Whitestone: Nineteenth-Century Louisville architect', MA thesis, University of Louisville, May 1974.

(1) Ambrose Leet's Directory of Noted Places (1814) names John Whitestone, Esq., as the proprietor of Clondegad. In 1834 a Francis Whitestone appointed Thomas Whitestone of Clondegad as the executor of his will.
(2) Clare Journal, 25 Apr 1844.
(3) Ciarán Ó Murchadha, Sable Wings over the Land (Ennis, 1998), 255-258.
(4) Information from Ciárán Ó Murchadha, in e-mail of 24 Jun 1999.
(5) The letter, which is still in the possession of Whitestone's descendants, was presumably intended for presentation to Lawrence in London, as Lawrence remained Minister to Great Britain until October 1852.

1 work entries listed in chronological order for WHITESTONE, HENRY

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Date: 1845-1850
Nature: HW winner of competition. Work begunm 1846. Opened July 1850. Contractor: Burgess, Limerick (£12,000).
Refs: B 9, 22 Feb 1851, 124; Clare Journal, 27 Oct 1845; Ciarán Ó Murchadha, Sable Wings over the Land (Ennis, 1998), 255-258