Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Parke, Robert (fl.1800)

PARKE, ROBERT (fl. 1800), architect and builder, whose christian name is occasionally given as Edward, and surname as Park and Parks, and even Sparks, had a large practice in Dublin. There he designed or carried out, between August 1787 and October 1794, at a cost of 25,396l., the west façade (with the Ionic colonnade from a design by Colonel Samuel Hayes), 147 feet long, as an addition to the Irish House of Commons, now the Bank of Ireland. It is claimed that this front was executed from a design by James Gandon [q. v.], but it is clear that Gandon designed only the eastern additions, which were of earlier dates (Mulvany, pp. 115, 116).

Between 29 July 1796, and 1799 the Commercial Buildings in Dublin were erected, from Parke's or Sparks's designs, at a cost of 37,000l. They were of granite, were commenced on 29 July 1796, and were opened in 1799. The ultimate conversion of the senate house into the Bank of Ireland in 1804 was conducted by Parke, from the design of Francis Johnston (Mulvany, p. 144). In 1806 he designed the Royal College of Surgeons at a cost of about 40,000l., and about 1816 the infirmary and dwelling to the Hibernian Marine School, at a cost of over 6,000l. The date of his death has not been ascertained.

[Whitelaw and Walsh's History of Dublin, 4to, Dublin, 1808, i. 234, 530, 615, 987; Mulvany's Life of Gandon, 8vo, Dublin, 1846; Dictionary of Architecture; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

W. P.-h.