Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin. Thomas Francis Strahan, only son of Francis Strahan, of 27 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin,(1) was born in Co. Dublin in 1883 and served his articles with LAURENCE ALOYSIUS MCDONNELL LAURENCE ALOYSIUS MCDONNELL . At the time of the Dublin census of 1911 he was working as an inspector for the Local Government Board.  On 20 September 1909 he was elected emgioneer to Athy Urban District Council(2) with responsibility for a new housing scheme.(3) He resigned a few months later on being appointed to the staff of the Local Government Board as an Engineering Inspector in connection with the Housing Act.(4) He remained in the Local Government Department's housing section for thirty-seven years, rising to the position of Senior Architectural Inspector in 1935. In 1947, he was seconded to the newly-separated Department of Health to formulate a hospital building policy, and after his retirement he continued to act as a consultant.(5) He was particularly interested in mental hospitals. During his retirement he was also associated for some years with MICHAEL SCOTT  MICHAEL SCOTT on housing and hospital work.

Strahan died at Our Lady's Manor, Dublin, on 2 September 1968. His wife, Nina, eldest daughter of Charles Daly, solicitor, of Dublin, to whom he had been married for fifty-eight years,(6) died the following day. Husband and wife were buried at Glasnevin Cemetery on 5 September. Herbert Unger, in his obituary for the RIAI Year Book, wrote of Strahan's dedication to his professional responsibilities: 'Involved in the restoration of architecture as a social art at the formation of this State, he maintained a fascinated involvement in improvements of standards. In housing and hospital work he strove tirelessly for sociological and technologial progress. When little specialized knowledge was available here, he travelled often and studied deeply to frame the principles upon which the Hospital Planning Programme was later based.' Strahan was also a life governor of the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, and a founder member of Milltown Golf Club. He was survived by seven sons and daughters, two of whom were architects: Francis Charles (Frank) practised in London, and Anne (Nancy) worked in the Department of Industry and Commerce and later in the Office of Public Works.

AAI : elected member, 1903; wins first prize in Building Construction Class and extra second prize in Architectural History Class, 1905;(7) wins first prize in Architectural History Class, 1906;(8) president, 1922-3.
RIAI: elected member, 1919;(9) raised to fellow, 1932;(10) council member, 1926-1942,1945-1946; vice-president, 1938,(11)1941?(12)

Addresses: Home: 61 Drumcondra Road, Dublin, 1905-1906; 27 Leeson Street Upper, 1907-1910; 79 Waterloo Road, 1911-1915; 36 Marlborough Road, Donnybrook, 1916-32; 2 Ashbrook Terrace, Leeson Park, Dublin, 1933-1943; 52 Morehampton Road, 1945-1954; 1 Mount Eden Road, Donnybrook, 1955-1966.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Strahan by H[erbert] U[nger] in RIAI Year Book (1968), 33, and from RIAI and AAI lists of members. Photographs of Strahan are in AAI Green Book (1923), facing p. 25 (repr. in IB 64, 18 Nov 1922, 777) and Sunday Press [or Sunday Independent?], 8 Sep 1968 (newspaper cutting in Jones file).

(1) Irish Times, 30 Apr 1910 (notice of marriage).
(2) IB 51, 2 Oct 1909, 637.
(3) IB 51, 30 Oct 1909, 693.
(4) IB 52, 2 Apr 1910, 218; Building News 98, 8 Apr 1910, 476.
(5) His address is given as the Department of Local Government and Health in AAI lists of members from 1947 to 1952 only.
(6)   See note 1, above.
(7) AAI Green Book (1906), 41; IB 47, 3 Jun 1905, 385.
(8) AAI Green Book (1907), 46; IB 48, 16 Jun 1906, 477.
(9) JRIAI (1920), 4.
(10) JRIAI (1933), 8.
(11) JRIAI (1939), 13.
(12) JRIAI (1942), 7.

Author Title Date Details
Strahan, Thomas F. 'Current Irish urban housing' 1922 IB 64, 18 Nov 1922, 777. (Presidential address to AAI.)
Strahan, Thomas F. 'Building difficulties of Ireland' 1923 AJ 57, 9 May 1923, 828.
Strahan, Thomas F. 'Planning the county general hospital: a detailed consideration of modern requirements' 1933 IB 75, 16 Dec 1933, 1064-1066.
Strahan, Thomas F. 'Planning the county general hospital: a detailed consideration of modern requirements' 1933 IB 75, 16 Dec 1933, 1064.