George Henri Desmond

Personal Data

George Henri Desmond was born on February 22, 1874, in Watertown, the son of Dennis Desmond and his wife, Mary Ann Fennell (his birth appears to have been omitted from the original birth registers, but was recorded through an amendment certified by his sister in 1937; in his World War I draft registration, he stated he was born on February 22, 1875, and a 1916 biographical sketch in The Book of Boston indicates he was born on February 22, 1876).

He married in August of 1903 to Maud Vasti Hollis (b. 2Mar1878 in Dover NH; d. 30Nov1938 in Boston), daughter of Herbert Hollis and his wife, Lotte (LNU).

He married again by 1940 to Cecelia Welsh (b. 15May1897 in MA; d. 4Jun1976 in Salem), daughter of John W. Welsh and his wife, Catherine Mahoney.

G. Henri Desmond died on July 3, 1965, in Salem. At the time of his death, he was a resident of Marblehead.


G. Henry Desmond was educated in the public schools and had no formal education in architecture. From the mid-1890s, he was a draftsman with Winslow and Wetherell (later Winslow and Bigelow).

In 1907, he opened his own architectural office, as a sole practitioner. In 1916, he joined with architect Israel P. Lord to form the firm of Desmond & Lord.  Israel Lord previously had been affiliated with the firm of Codman and Despradelle in Boston.

G. Henri Desmond’s work prior to joining with Israel Lord included several major projects in Maine, among them the Fidelity Building in Portland (1909) and reconstruction and expansion of the State Capitol in Augusta, Maine (1911), the original building having been designed by Charles Bullfinch. He also designed several buildings and fire stations to replace those destroyed in the Chelsea fire on April 12, 1908.

The firm of Desmond & Lord designed numerous commercial buildings, theatres, and public buildings. Its Boston work included the new Parker House Hotel (1927) and the Suffolk County Courthouse in Pemberton Square (1938).

Back Bay Work

1912 347 Commonwealth (Interior Remodeling)