1866 – Colonial Buildings & Galway Royal Institution, Galway

Architect: E.H. Carson


“The new institute presents a frontage of about 40 feet by 70 feet flank, each elevation harmonizing in character, and displaying architectural features, with bowed connection between the two fronts. Towards the principal street, on ground floor, is a large business concern, with about 25 feet frontage and 33 feet depth,with central doorway, also communicating with a small office, a fire-proof safe room, parlour (15 feet square), pantry, hall, and staircase of private house. Immediately adjoining same, but totally distinct, and with separate entrance in bow, is another shop, 17 feet 5 inches in length, and parlour, 14 feet 6 inches by 10 feet, in connection therewith, with special bed-room over same, approached by a separate stairs. The entrance to the institute is nearly central on flank, and is through a recessed porch and hall, 8 feet wide, to a spacious staircase, leading to first floor, on which —irrespective of the bed-room described and a drawing-room, 22 feet by 15 feet, and closet for private house—two reading-rooms, 86 feet 9 inches by 21 feet 6 inches, and 18 feet 3 inches by 13 feet 6 inches, with w, c., are situate. On second or attic floor are a library of same dimensions as large reading-room, a smoking and caretaker’s room, together with three bed-rooms for the private house. In the basement are various apartments, comprising kitchens, servants’ bed-rooms, sculleries, cellars, &c., to meet the requirements of the habitations with which they are in connection. The plans throughout are admirably arranged, and in execution will, no doubt, prove most commodious.

Externally the elevations consist of three storeys, the lower (or ground) being a pseudo arcade, with vermienlated piers, impost mouldings, and semicircular-headed opens, with a bold continuous cornice above, and circular ornaments in spandrels; the first floor having square-headed windows, with consoles, architraves, and entablatures, and the second with smaller ones without dressings— the whole surmounted with a main cornice, astragal, and open work parapet, with piers at intervals. The windows are intended for plate glass. The fronts are in cement, executed, with the rest of plastering work throughout, by Messrs. Hogan and Son, of Great Brunswick-street, Dublin; and the entire works have been carried out from designs and under the superintendence of Mr. E.H. Carson, architect, Dublin, by Mr. Austin Semple, builder, Galway; Mr. B. Killian, proprietor.” The Irish Builder, January 1 1860.

“The subject of our notice is the Colonial Buildings in Galway (an engraving of which appears in our publication of this day), which have recently been completed, from designs by Mr. E. H. Carson, C.E., F.R.I.A.I., and erected under the direction of Mr. Austin Semple, builder, Galway.

These elegant and substantial concerns are situate in Eglinton-street, Galway, in the most central and rising part of the city, adjoining Eyre-square, its principal front extending along Eglinton-street upwards of 100 feet, with an attractive and extensive frontage into William-street.

They comprise the Galway Royal Institution, which has been elegantly fitted up ; a reading, library, committee, and lecture rooms, frequented and patronised by the leading merchants, professors of Queen’s College, &c. ; also the extensive first-class establishment of Mr. McNamara, wine merchant, &c. ; and the premises of Mr. Gannon.

At the lower end, completing the buildings, three houses have been erected, each containing a parlour, drawing-room, four good bedrooms, kitchen, pantries, water-closet, &c., with thorough ventilation and abundance of room and light.

This property was partly erected by the late Mr. B. Killian, of Galway, and after his death passed into the hands of Mr. William Wight, of Newenham-place, Upper Leeson Street, Dublin, who has thus completed it.

The cost of the building is about £5,000, and all the works in connection with it reflect the highest credit on every one concerned in its erection.”Published in The Dublin Builder, November 1, 1866.