Basic Biographical Details

Name: Francis O'Hara
Born: 2 September 1910
Died: 12 February 1955
Bio Notes: Francis O'Hara was born on 2 September 1910. From 1929 to 1932 he served his articles with John Ross McKay, at the same time attending morning classes at Edinburgh College of Art and evening classes at Heriot Watt. He became a full-time student at the College of Art in 1932 and gained certificates in architecture and in hygiene in 1934.

He returned to John Ross McKay as an assistant in 1934 and remained there for a year. In 1935 he became chief assistant to A D Haxton but again only remained there for a yera. He moved back to McKay's office as 2nd assistant but returned to HAxton in 1938-39. At that time he was a member of the Dundee Institute of Architects and was living at 'Birch Lea', Promenade, Leven. In about 1939 or a little earlier he spent some time in Heidelberg and became interested in the work of the Bauhaus.

During the war O'Hara served with the Royal Engineers in the Indian Army, reacing the rank of Captain but was invalided out back to the UK on 9 June 1944. He was elected LRIBA on 9 July 1946, proposed by John Ross McKay, William Wallace Friskin, and T Murray ____. He was discharged from hospital about 1946 or 1947 and took a post with the Ministry of Works at Saughton in Edinburgh, thereafter practising on his own account. He designed a number of cinemas in West Lothian for David Miller, who was a prominent local businessman.

O'Hara died on 12 February 1955.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Birch Lea, Promenade, Leven, Fife, ScotlandPrivate/business1939 or 1940  
Item 2 of 2The Elms, East Calder, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate/business1946 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6Richardson & McKay 1939Assistant 
Item 2 of 6John Ross McKay19291932Apprentice 
Item 3 of 6Richardson & McKay19341935Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Andrew David Haxton19351936Chief Assistant 
Item 5 of 6Richardson & McKay19371938Second Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Andrew David Haxton19381939Chief Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2William Wallace Friskin9 July 1946For Licientateship
Item 2 of 2John Ross McKay9 July 1946For Licentiateship

Buildings and Designs

This was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 21935Binns' store  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Richardson & McKay -was particularly responsible for the torches
Item 2 of 21938Flats, Falcon Avenue  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Richardson & McKay


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional information from Matthew O'Hara, his son
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no5934 (Combined Box 108).