Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin. Thomas Aloysius Coleman, a son of John Coleman, baker, and his wife Margaret, née White, was born on 4 April 1865 at 61 Lower Clanbrassil Street, Dublin, .(1) After receiving his preliminary education at the Christian Brothers schools,(2) he became an articled pupil in the office of GEORGE COPPINGER ASHLIN GEORGE COPPINGER ASHLIN .   He was to remain in the same prectice for the rest of his career, first as an assistant, then as principal assistant and then as manager. In 1903 he was taken into partnership by Ashlin to form the firm of ASHLIN & ASHLIN & amp; COLEMAN COLEMAN (3) which he carried on after Ashlin's death in 1921.

As well as being a highly-regarded architectural draughtsman,(4) Coleman was a keen sketcher. In 1900 he visited Italy with his friends the architect, GEORGE PATRICK SHERIDAN GEORGE PATRICK SHERIDAN , and the sculptor, EDMUND SHARP. EDMUND SHARP. (5) In the same year he joined the Architectural Association's trip to Bury St Edmunds(6) and two years later, in the summer of 1902, its excursion to Banbury. He exhibited sketches of Venice and Warwick with other 'Leaves from a Sketch Book' at the RHA in 1903;(7) other sketches made on the English excursion were published in the Irish Builder of 1902.(8) Some sketches of Celtic ornament were published in the Irish Builder of 1904.(9)

Coleman died on 14 January 1950 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery next to his partner, Ashlin, and in the same grave as his wife, Gertrude, daughter of Nicholas White of Dublin, whom he had married in 1906; although some eighteen years his junior, she had predeceased him in 1937.(10) The practice of Ashlin & Coleman was carried on after his death by his eldest son, HERBERT THOMAS COLEMAN. HERBERT THOMAS COLEMAN.

An interesting series of five note-cum-sketchbooks, largely relating to projects in hand, which were kept by Coleman between 1892 and 1912 is in the possession of Jones & Kelly, architects, Dun Laoghaire.(11)

RIAI: elected member 16 Dec 1899, having been proposed by G.C. Ashlin, seconded by JOHN HOWARD PENTLAND  JOHN HOWARD PENTLAND and FREDERICK BATCHELOR FREDERICK BATCHELOR ;(12) elected fellow, 1920.(13)
AAI: founder member and committee member of revived association, 1896;(14) no longer on list of members after 1905.

Addresses: Work: 10-12 Trinity Street, 1888-1893; 3 Merrion Street Lower, 1894-1895; 7 Dawson Street, 1896 until death.
Home: 44 Richmond Place, Dublin (with John Coleman), <=1896 until >=1900;(15) Claddagh, 9 Temple Villas, Palmerston Rd, Dublin, <=1907 until >=1937.(16)

See WORKS; see also works of ASHLIN & ASHLIN & amp; COLEMAN. COLEMAN.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the biography (with photograph) of Coleman in E. Macdowel Cosgrave, ed., Dublin and County Dublin in the Twentieth Century (1908), 265, and from the brief obituary of Coleman in RIAI Year Book (1950), 41.

Birth certificate; in 1863 John Coleman's address was 125 Dorset St Upper. In Cosgrave, loc. cit. above, Coleman's father is described as 'the late John Coleman, of Bridesbush, Duleek, Co. Meath'.
Information from Jones, source not given.
Cosgrave, loc cit., but Jones gives the date of partnership as 1902.
Several of his architectural drawings are reproduced in the Irish Builder, e.g IB 45, 12 Feb 1903, supplement; 46, 30 Jul 1904, 473; 47, 21 Oct 1905, 745; 54, 29 Jan 1912, 58; for architectural drawings exhibited at RHA, see IB 26 Mar 1903, 1651.
This trip was the subject of a paper, 'A Holiday in Italy' given by Sheridan to ?RIAI, see IB 44, 30 Jan 1902, 1015.
His sketches were reproduced in AA Notes, see IB 42, 15 Sep 1900, 482.
Nos. 223,224,227,232.
IB 44, 11 & 25 Sep 1902.
IB 46, 21 May 1904, 313,326.
Information from John A. Kinahan, Secretary, Glasnevin Cemeteries Group.
Photocopies in IAA, RP.B.30. The sketchbooks were exhibited as the work of Alfred Jones in The Architect and the Drawing (RIAI, 1989).
IAA, RIAI office archives (Acc. 93/136), membership forms 1878-1909 (extremely fragile);  RIAI minutes, 16 Dec 1899. 340.
JRIAI (1921), 2.
AAI Green Book (1918), 18.
Post Office Dublin directories.
Cosgrave, loc. cit.; Thom's directories.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for COLEMAN, THOMAS ALOYSIUS

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Date: 1899-1900
Nature: New monument to Billy Byrne, hero of 1798 rebellion. 23 ft high, facing court house. Statue of Byrne by George Smyth on limestone pedestal with 4 Sicilian marble panels representing Erin, Michael Dwyer, General William J. Holt and William Michael Byrne.  FS laid, 27 Jul 1899.  Scupture by George Smyth, Great Brunswick Street.
Refs: IB 41, 1 Sep 1899, 121; 42, 15 Jan 1900, 240; 43, 1 Jan 1901, 584(illus.).

Date: 1902
Nature: Payment of £273 for adds. 'Coleman archit'.
Refs: Clonliffe college Archive, MS p1/2