Diagrams illustrate the changing face of Cork

Preparing for the Chillingworth & Levie exhibition are Louise Harrington, exhibition curator, and Brian McGee, chief archivist, Cork Archives

Hand-drawn architectural diagrams by two men who helped shape the face of Cork are to go on public display for the first time.

The Chillingworth and Levie Collection, which comprises of nearly 4,000 drawings dating from 1911 to the early 1980s, will be unveiled at the =Cork City and County Archives Building in Blackpool tomorrow. The exhibition is accompanied by a five-week lecture series to highlight the city’s modern architecture and consider its historical context.

The exhibition curator, architectural and landscape historian Louise Harrington, said the collection is an important repository of information on the modern architecture of Cork City.

“It is a hugely significant resource in supporting our appreciation of the form and appearance of the city today,” she said.

Robert Boyle Chillingworth (1878-1916) was a Cork engineer and architect, who worked at the offices of WH Hill and Son.

Aberdeen-born Daniel Andrew Levie (1875–1963), who moved to Cork in 1901, met Chillingworth at WH Hill and Son, and in 1911, they set up in practice together under the name of Chillingworth & Levie.

Chillingworth caught died on Dec 2, 1916, after contracting tuberculosis.

Levie carried on the practice, working through a period of major social and architectural transition, with most of his clients drawn from the established commercial and business community.

The firm worked on the design of some of the city’s landmark commercial premises, including the Roches Stores building, the Eagle Printing Works, the Beamish & Crawford Brewery, the Odlums building on the city’s quays, the redesign of the Victoria and Imperial Hotels, and the Winthrop Arcade among others.

Diagrams illustrate the changing face of Cork

Beamish & Crawford Brewery

Levie also had a personal interest in social housing provision — designing vast swathes of housing in Turner’s Cross and Capwell — and the firm designed many private houses.

Most of the sketches in the collection are working drawings rather than presentation drawings.

They were all purchased with the assistance of the Crawford Gallery after they were retrieved from a skip in 1986. Computer-aided design means such drawings are increasingly rare and will likely become artifacts of the future, Ms Harrington said.

* The exhibition runs at the Cork City and County Archives, Seamus Murphy Building, 33A Great William O’Brien Street, Blackpool from Nov 14 to Dec 4, and from Jan 6 until Mar 2, 10am–1pm and 2.15pm–5pm.

* Ms Harrington has published a book, An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Cork City for the Department of Arts and Heritage.


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