Architect James Cavanagh, son of John Cavanagh builder formerly of Tipperary, Ireland, was born in Melbourne in 1874 and educated at Christian Brothers College, Adelaide. After time at the South Australian School of Art he was articled to his brother Michael.

Cavanagh entered as a student at the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1891 and studied at the South Kensington Academy in London. He returned to Australia and continued working in his brother’s office for a few years. Cavanagh exhibited with the West Australian Society of Arts in 1896.

He and his brother submitted a number of architectural drawings with designs by M. F. and the drawing by J. C.. Cavanagh then travelled in the Eastern States and came to Perth in 1900 where he became a partner with his brother until 1905 when he took two years off to study some more in London and travel on the continent.

Cavanagh and Cavanagh were architects and sworn valuators who undertook much work for the Roman Catholic Church including convents, monasteries, the Bishop’s Palace, Church of the Oblate Fathers in Fremantle, St John of God Hospital in Subiaco and St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Kalgoorlie. The Esplanade Hotel was their design. James lived at “Lynton” Colin Street, West Perth from 1904-14. He was a member of the Society of Arts in 1920 but did not exhibit.

Dr Dorothy Erickson
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