John Ely 1913-15

MAFA President 1913-1915

John Ely was the only architect to have been appointed as President of Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. He was born at Rochester, Kent, in 1848 and was educated at Silcoates College, Yorkshire.  At an early age he developed a keen interest in sketching and in the study of architecture.

After qualifying as an architect he entered into partnership with Edward Salomons and ran a very successful business until it was dissolved in 1886. Ely was an active member of the community, he joined Manchester Society of Architects and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1888. He was also a warden of St Chrysostom’s Church, in Victoria Park, which he restored after a fire in 1904. He worked on numerous country houses, including the restoration of old Manor House, Ashby Folville, near Melton Mobray and Rothley Temple, another large estate in Leicestershire. His most famous building in Manchester is the distinctive red brick and terracotta St Mary’s hospital on Oxford Road opposite the Whitworth Art Gallery.