Re: Re: Is this the same John Graby?

Home Forums Ireland Is this the same John Graby? Re: Re: Is this the same John Graby?


@MG wrote:

Looking at “The Destruction of Dublin” by Frank McDonald, I came across the following mentions:

Page 183
“Take the case of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the state’s sea fisher- ies development board. In the late 1970s, its chairman and chief executive, Brendan O’Kelly, thought it would be a good idea for BIM to move its headquarters from Ballsbridge to a fishing port. Various sites were examined in Killybegs, Dungarvan and Galway but, in the end, the board decided to ‘decentralise’ to Dun Laoghaire -less than five miles from its offices in Hume House. There was, of course, a reason for this laughable decision. The site of the proposed new headquarters at Crofton Road, overlooking Dun Laoghaire harbour, was ‘sold’ to O’Kelly and the then Minister for Fisheries, Brian Lenihan, by politically well-connected developers, Brian and Tony Rhatigan, who had been sitting on it since 1972. Through a company called Starling Securities, they had bought the site for about £60,000 and got planning permission in the same year for a five-storey office block, designed by John Graby, their favourite architect. But the Rhatigans played it safe; they weren’t going to go ahead with this building until they had some guarantee of letting it. So they sat back and waited patiently for a good fairy to make their dreams come true.”

Page 184
“By the time this block was finished in 1972, the brothers were ‘bursting with development ideas’, as Hibernia reported, and they attracted the attention of Slater Walker, the controversial British investment vehicle whose asset-stripping operations had become part of the unacceptable face of capitalism. Several joint companies were set up -with registered offices at Haughey Boland and Co. in Amiens Street -and Slater Walker agreed to lend them £5 million to develop a selection of sites. But if the London men were hoping to hit the jackpot in Ireland, they were badly mistaken. Indeed, their brief sojourn here turned out to be disastrous. High-priced sites bought up in boom times had to be sold off at huge losses when the market collapsed in 1974 and Slater Walker decamped shortly afterwards. Suitably chastened, the Rhatigans lived to fight another day. They bought the con- demned Scotch House on Burgh Quay and built a hideous mock-Georgian office on the site, replete with aluminium sash windows and a multi-level ‘Mansard’ roof. Designed by John Graby, it was let to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and then sold to Irish Pension Fund Unit Trust. And in a consortium with the Investment Bank of Ireland and the McMullan brothers, of Maxol Oil fame, the Rhatigans built over five hundred houses in the grounds of Castletown House.”

Is this the same John Graby who is now the Director of the Institute?

Thanks for the references.

I’ll feel a lot less insecure when I lodge my Option C Application for Registration.

BIM Building aka Crofton House

Okay, no contest here.
I understand that this is the building that prompted the question by Scandinavian planners here on a junket/fact-finding visit; –
“Don’t you not have powers to pull down buildings here?” or words to that effect.

Scotch House

To be fair to Graby, you can’t always rely on the opinion of an old luvvie like Frank McDonald when it comes to design.
Scotch House is far less hideous to me than Crofton House or Hawkins House – the eye slides off it and isn’t repulsed.

Hawkins House

This is not one of John Graby’s buildings.
David Keane, Graby’s former colleague in the RIAI, since deceased, wrote Building and the Law and The RIAI Contracts.
These are standard works which I understand have been let fall out of print since 2004 by the RIAI who hold the copyright.
Apart from having a useful legal mind, David Keane apparently designed Hawkins House, about which he was later reported to have said –
“Everyone is entitled to make one mistake”.

The frightening thing is that in their day these buildings were considered by some to be cutting edge design.
[Notwithstanding Crofton House bears an uncanny resemblance to a 2nd year project I was nearly failed on in 1980]
If the sixties boom had continued past the seventies most of Dublin would have ended up looking like downtown Peterborough.
I know there’s been some new works recently, but when I went there in the early noughties it epitomised the term “concrete jungle”.


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