O' Connell Street, Dublin

Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Smithfield Resi » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:56 am

I shouldnt....but it is funny


Priceless.....
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Ciaran » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:05 pm

Smithfield Resi wrote:Priceless.....


^^^ love it :)
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:38 pm

The confusion generated by conflicting historical depictions of the roofline and parapets of the JWT building at the corner of O'Connell Street Upper and Henry Street, dating to c. 1751, can now be said to be largely resolved.

As previously posted here, this curious drawing of 1818 showed us a tall parapet wall with attic windows that do not align with the pitch behind, and a gabled or exposed hipped roof.

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While this image of 1827 showed a regular matching parapet. The windows were wrong though.

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A Brocas print from around the same time showed the former mismatched parapet - so two pictures against one now (though windows also wrong here).

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While 1860s and later photographs showed the parapet matched up either way by that stage.

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However, this remarkable image shows things in an entirely new light. Kindly supplied by historian Peter Walsh, the picture is from amongst the first sets of photographs ever taken in Ireland c. 1845. Here we can clearly make out the original massive Georgian hipped roof and mismatched parapets!

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Also a cute little dormer in the mix. We can also see that the vertical ranks of fenestration are not spaced evenly as they are today, confirming what we suspected - that the entire facade was likely to have been refaced in the mid-19th century.

Below is the wider view showing long-lost Victorian facades on North Earl Street, of a frothy character typical of the 19th century embellishments on Sackville Street, and very similar to elegant stucco fragments that still survive around the corner on Marlborough Street today.

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Two angled chimneystacks also penetrate the JWT corner building today - one on the back wall (in line with the fat rear chimney in the above photo) and one on the northern party wall. This is almost certainly the oldest building on O'Connell Street. It is extraordinary that one of the first buildings to be built on Gardiner's Mall is also one of the last to survive, and even more so next to the cauldron that was the GPO.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby gunter » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:03 pm

Great stuff Graham!

That window spacing is a bit of a surprise when you think that neither Grace in 1749, nor Brocas in 1818 picked it up, and given that the present, regularly spaced five bay arrangement, matches almost exactly what they drew (in error it now seems), except for the roof profile obviously.

What I wouldn't give to be able to go back in time, with a decent camera!
. . . . ok I'm not stupid, I know time travel is out of the question, . . . . but if we could just send back money, as anonymous benefactors from the future, we could put some of these guys through draughting school!

For twenty quid you could probably get the whole Brocas clan drawing like James Malton, and for another thirty quid there'd be genuine hope for Tudor :rolleyes:

Here's another old photograph that shows the building in it's later 19th century guise, before the brickwork was rendered. The tram is at it's 'Pillar' terminus and the horses are being switched to draw it back down the street. What a commanding presence the pillar was, up close!

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Graham, do you think that the windows were originally grouped, with the three central bays evenly spaced? The little dormer looks like it could be giving slight emphasis to the central bay of a uniform composition, perhaps.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:35 pm

That's what I was thinking too gunter, but would it match up with the concept of a two-bay boarding house with attendant three-bay private residence as depicted by Oliver Grace? We know only too well the Irish classical school's love affair with expressing internal functions through window spacing...

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Nonetheless, I think we can take the window spacings of all the above drawings with a pinch of salt - they're all too absract in each of their own ways to warrant in-depth analysis. I think three clustered windows to the middle are the most likely, as we know that a staircase originally ran up the centre of the building, and still does in an altered state, accessed from the street via a centrally-placed entrance door, in the early classical/baroque tradition.

What I find interesting is that the effort was made to reface the entire facade in brick, rather than just shift the odd ope, build up the parapet and smother the whole lot in Victorian icing. It would have been so much cheaper. This is especially curious given that many WSC brick facades on Sackville Street had already been given this fashionable new treatment by 1850. Perhaps there were structural problems with the building? We are also now presented with the prospect that there may be a yellow brick facade underneath that render today *rubs hands*. The fact that we know a relatively modern brick facade of c. 1850 is likely to lie underneath the render also pretty much proves that it was the impact of 1916 that caused the building to be rendered - there would have been no other reason to do so.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby gunter » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:58 pm

GrahamH wrote:What I find interesting is that the effort was made to reface the entire facade in brick, rather than just shift the odd ope, build up the parapet and smother the whole lot in Victorian icing.


In some ways it almost looks like an insurance job!

The rebuilding is virtually like-for-like, but with the windows now, almost unconsciously, spaced equally, and the roof now pitched at the prevailing lower angle, but otherwise no significant change at all and certainly no real ambition to take advantage of what would have been an exceptionally high profile commercial location. It all looks like as if some fire insurace company inspector was standing over it with a clipboard making sure that no expenditure on 'enhancement' was slipping through.

I wonder if we checked the newspapers for the years between Peter walsh's photograph (1850?) and say 1880, would we find a report that a fire took down the corner of Henry St. and O'Connell St.?
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:02 pm

Quite possible yes. It's hard to think of any other reason why a facade would be tweaked in such a minor way at such enormous expense.

The publishing period would also be quite small, ranging from c. 1845 to 1860, as we know the alterations were in place through late 1860s photographs, while the old-fashioned new Georgian windows that were installed - and as still survive to the side elevation today - date the modification to the late 1840s or early 1850s. A quick search of The Irish Times archive beckons...

It really goes to show though doesn't it - even in a solid, formulaic-looking case as this, buildings are not always as they seem.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby gunter » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:32 pm

GrahamH wrote:. . . . . the publishing period would also be quite small, ranging from c. 1845 to 1860, as we know the alterations were in place through late 1860s photographs. . . .


Just checked Shaw's Directory and it appears that the rebuilt version was in place by 1850, which narrows the alteration down now to just about five years, c. 1845 - 1850.

Image

The five bay structure (nos. 68 & 69) is shown here on the left with the evenly spaced fenestration and the heavy first floor window mouldings of the later version.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:03 pm

Ah Shaw's - of course! Doh!

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I'm delighted with this, as from day one I thought these alterations had an 1840s appearance - a rare enough survivor in the city centre. How we can now pinpoint the date of the alterations so accurately is pretty darn impressive! It's incredibly rare one encounters such a well-charted history of a modest building from its inception to the present day, especially over two and a half centuries. The symmetry of the original Georgian centrally-placed entrance and staircase is extremely apparent above, even though it's a replacement shopfront.

Also note the above Shaw's chimney is the same chimney as visible in this c. 1860 photograph, and as still evident today. This is not the rear wall corner stack, but what would appear to be an 1840s insertion into a room-dividing wall. This manifests itself as a standard rectangular stack inside the building.

Image
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:59 pm

gunter wrote:Just checked Shaw's Directory and it appears that the rebuilt version was in place by 1850, which narrows the alteration down now to just about five years, c. 1845 - 1850.


For anyone still with us on this (:o), we can now narrow down the date of alteration of this curious Georgian building to a single year. The entries for Thom's Dublin Street Directory for the premises in the relevant period are:

1845
No. 68 William Harrison, saddler and harness maker
No. 69 John Hughes, fruiterer; John Keegan, tobacconist; Maria Healy, linen draper

1846
No. 68 William Harrison, saddler and harness maker
No. 69 John Hughes, fruiterer; John Keegan, tobacconist; Maria Healy, linen draper; Mrs Robinson, dress warerooms

1847
No. 68 William Harrison, saddler and harness maker
No. 69 Edward O'Connor, fruiterer

1849
No. 68 Rebuilding :)
No, 69 Vacant

1850
No. 68 Vacant
No, 69 James Hughes, watchmaker & jeweller

1851
No. 68 Rathmines Omnibus Association - waiting room
No, 69 James Hughes, watchmaker & jeweller

Exasperatingly, the 1848 edition is the only volume out of the entire 19th century collection missing in the Pearse Street Library! Gah!

The apparent gradual depletion of tenants over the course of the mid-1840s suggests a deliberate evacuation of the building on the part of its owners, and that the alterations were planned rather than the result of a fire or other random occurance. It is likely most of the major rebuilding took place in 1848.

The gold chip omnibus tenants with their waiting rooms in No. 68, albeit under a number of different names, were still in the premises well into the 1850s, and probably for much longer.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:21 pm

A 1961 view of Lower O'Connell Street by Charles W. Cushman shows the current Grand Central Bar building by Bachelor & Hicks under scaffolding, probably for its first cleaning, 1960s-style, with a blasting of half of Dollymount Strand at the pressure of a steamroller.

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It also shows us a sophisticated streetscape of dark and sultry fenestration, where even approaches to white are toned down to an elegant cream. My, how crass we are today with our generic Dulux Brilliant White.

No matter how long you stare at the Ulster Bank, it is impossible to make out what lunacy is going on. Either there is a rank of freaky space-age lamps suspended on cables from the parapet, or there's a scaffold precariously clinging onto the upper floors.

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Or both.

A marvellous view here of the lower west side, with the last of the readable Wide Streets Commission buildings still standing on the site of the modern-day Schuh building, later to become the infamous Brutalist-with-cladding Burgerland, latterly the Crazy Pound Shop (yeah!). Now only straggling remains of the WSC survive.

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The nasty random timber glazing of modern-day Burger King appears to have only just replaced the original semi-circular steel window that used to fill the arch, while the delicate balcony has also been removed. The degrading legacy of the 1940s and 1950s can of course be seen everywhere.

O'Connell Monument is in an advanced state of neglect, and would remain so until the 1980s (to be promptly permanently damaged!), while the delightful Metropole by Aubrey V. O'Rourke can still be seen adjacent to the GPO with its ranks of grand torchieres at first floor level, to be demolished 11 years later.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Cathal Dunne » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:14 pm

Can anyone explain the prevalence of Indonesian flags on O'Connell St. in 1961? Did we have a massive state visit from them of which I wasn't aware?
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby PVC King » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:22 pm

Cork in the hurling no doubt!!!!

In de newsmedia?
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Smithfield Resi » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:27 pm

Talking of flags, does anyone feel that this facade is need of brightening up with some cheap fabric vertical banners?

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The owners apparently do...

€20 gratefully received by DCC by 8th Jan if you have the energy...


4346/09

Next stop, the Oliver St John Gogarty....

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giggerty, giggerty.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby PVC King » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:49 pm

Smithfield Resi wrote:
Next stop, the Oliver St John Gogarty....

Image





With a facade maimed in that manner no wonder that rather dapper gentleman is ducking to avoid recognition!!
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:02 pm

That application refers to the Grand Central building on the corner with O'Connell Street, not Wynns Hotel. It is the result of recent enforcement proceedings taken against the banners' illegal erection.

Of course, if our planning laws were stringent, standards were upheld, and consistency in planning practiced, no right-minded invividual would go to the effort and expense of applying for retention for such patently inappropriate structures on a Protected Structure, in an ACA and a SPAC.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby missarchi » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:22 am

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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby adhoc » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:04 pm

Has anyone got any idea what the RPA are presently doing on the central median of O'Connell St. Their contractors have erected hoarding over the last number of days on the median north of Abbey St. More test boring for Metro North, or something else?

Of course, nothing on their site.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby nfg » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:13 am

adhoc wrote:Has anyone got any idea what the RPA are presently doing on the central median of O'Connell St. Their contractors have erected hoarding over the last number of days on the median north of Abbey St. More test boring for Metro North, or something else?

Of course, nothing on their site.


Metro North Ground Investigations (PDF)
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby missarchi » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:32 am

It's defiantly one of the riskiest stations...
Add some water a bridge and a big drop...
Lets hope its neutral...
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Rory W » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:10 pm

Smithfield Resi wrote:
Image
.


Is that an image of the 'dapper gent' on the banner, or has Joyce come back for a 'diddley eye' pint at Gogarties?
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:09 am

I noticed last night while walking through town that the large "Baileys" neon sign on Batchelors Walk was being replaced. I couldn't see the new brand but its not Baileys. The lighting is now blue.

So, being curious I checked to see if a site notice was in place. No. I checked the planning register to see if an application had been made and permission granted for what are works to a protected structure, in an ACA and a Special Area of Conservation and works which would generally require planning permission in any event (unless I am mistaken). No permission in place.

Now, if I am not further mistaken, it is an objective of Dublin City Council to seek the removal of all the neon signage on Batchelors Walk under the O'Connell Street ACA and SPC schemes. To date this has never been acted on...as with so many of the ACA objectives. It would seem that this is a perfect time to hit the owners of this signage with an enforcement notice to have them remove the sign fully given that they havent applied for permission.

Any thoughts? Is it worth a letter to Planning Enforcement.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:44 pm

It would also appear that the original permission for the sign from 1997 included a condition limiting the life of the permission to 2000 and requiring its removal after that..
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby hutton » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:16 pm

Interesting thoughts there StephenC. It would of course be an ideal time to act on actually enforcing the law here. But then again, the primatic trivision sign directly below the former Baileys sign was erected since the IAP was embarked upon, with no authorisation.

Who is the main city official for this patch? Who is at the rank of say, Assistant City Manager? What are they at and why are they being paid for services not done?
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby aj » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:40 pm

Lads,
hate to break it to you but DCC dont care, they have simply given up enforcing any of their own planning laws.
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