1861 – Royal College of Physicians, Kildare St., Dublin

Architect: William Murray

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A fine Victorian interior lies behind this reproduction facade. Originally constructed with a facade of Scottish sandstone, it eroded away so badly, that it was completely replaced in 1960. The building was designed by William Murray via a competition after their previous premises burned down.

A description from The Irish Builder of June 1 1862. “THE subject of our present illustration is the design by Mr. William G. Murray, of Lower Gardiner-street, architect, selected, as already notified, in competition for the New College of Physicians, and is now being erected in Kildare-street, on the site of the old Club-house, the scene of the memorable and fatal fire some time since. Entering from the portico, the outer hall or vestibule leads by a spacious flight of five steps to the inner hall, in which the main staircase is placed. On the right and left of this hall are the entrances to the council and examination rooms, registrar’s apartments, back stairs, reading-room, &c. The College Hall is at the rere of the building, and is entered from the first landing of the main staircase, which here divides into a double flight, returning to the right and left.

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This noble apartment, 58 feet by 30 feet, and 30 feet high, will form the subject of a future illustration in this journal. It is divided into five bays in length and three in breadth by Corinthian pilasters elevated on a panelled daedo, and surmounted by the ordinary frieze and cornice from which springs a quadrant-coved ceiling with semicircular arches over each bay groined into it. This hall is lighted by five lofty windows at the rere, and also three circular dome-lights in the ceiling. The basement storey comprises caretaker’s apartments, kitchen, and other offices connected therewith. The dimensions of the library are 34 feet by 18 feet; museum 25 feet by 18 feet; council and reading-rooms each 25 feet by 18 feet. The two latter are situated on either side of vestibule under museum and library, with windows looking into Kildare-street. No particular purpose has yet been decided on for the large space under college hall, but it can be available for a lecture-room. The internal arrangements generally are most compact and suitable. The execution of the works has been entrusted to Messrs. Beardwood and Son; the front elevation to be faced with Scotch (Glasgow) stone, which, for such purposes, is highly approved of, and combines durability with good colour and sharpness of finish. It may here be appropriately mentioned that the honour of designing the respective Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians in Ireland has worthily fallen on father and son, the late Mr. Murray, sen, having designed and superintended to completion the establishment of the former body in Stephen’s-green.”