D'Olier & Westmoreland St.

Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:42 am

It consumed another too I'm afraid - currently an average replica added on the side. A better replica that the ICS (frankly they're not even on the same planet) but not great all the same.

The Ballast Office chimney is one of the greatest losses - what a spectacle, almost back to the days of Tudor chimney-wars :)
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:44 pm

Oh yes, forgot about that one....

the odds were so stacked against the old then....
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:11 pm

This side of the street is probably one of the most unnoticed terraces in the city because everyone mushes in on that pavement directly below Ballast House; the opposite side from where it can be seen being rarely used.
There's some more Victorian additions on the remaining WSCs there too, excluding Bewleys.

Here's the remaining four on the east side of the street - all retaining their beautiful original granite dressings.

Image

Look at how utterly horrendous Spar is, esp how it forces the ground floor windows to perch atop that yoke of a shopfront.
Presumably these buildings could be easily restored to their former glory - indeed it's surprising how many Georgian sashes have survived in spite of all the other alterations, some of which look 20th century.

Also here's the corner building on the opposite side next to Bewley's. Interesting to compare the gable fenestration with that of Devin's earlier pic - there may well have been windows in the blank area of the wall originally, let alone the blind granite mouldings.
Also what's with all the fans scattered all over this facade - presumably for bathroom/wardrobe ventilation or something - they look awful. They run down the front facade too.

Image
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:22 am

Here's a few more WSC images (sorry if you're on a dial-up, once you get the broadband all morals go out the window :) - tried to keep them small though)
They include this lesser known feature below - the D'Olier St-Pearse St signature buildings facing each other to create a striking composition.

Here's one today, Doyle's - a building for the render-strippers if ever you saw one. How could anyone in any age possibly view the addition of the render and later shutters as an improvement?! It's really quite bizarre - looks like a before and after Photoshop job :)

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Note how the lovely corner setbacks with quoins at each side are mirrored in the Pearse St building below, now of course the Garda Station (pic from Ken Finlay's great site, what a resource):

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Also the much celebrated Irish Times corner - an unusual shape too not being quite symmetrically rounded.
I love how this corner shows up the WSC terrace for what it is - a stage set, the way it wraps round the corner to cover the side view and then falls away to nothing:

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The beautiful capitals of the remaining IT shopfronts - have to be one of the finest features of Georgian Dublin:

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And their context with pilasters on a shopfront:

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Finally the red bricks on D'Olier St - in an appalling state of repair just yards from O'Connell Bridge - wonder if the left-hand one had an oriel window too at one stage:

Image
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EBS House

Postby burge_eye » Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:47 am

I was - as usual - stuck in traffic on Westmoreland street today and was looking at the EBS building and thinking what a nice vertical entrance "strip". It's hard to appreciate tho due to the mirrored horrors on either side. Does anyone have a pic of its original self?
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Re: EBS House

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:59 pm

Image
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Re: EBS House

Postby phil » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:06 pm

Interesting shot Paul. I always assumed that the middle section of the EBS was the left overs from an older building and that an old photo would reveal symetrical side pieces. Shows how wrong it is to assume about history!

On another note, that Irish Times clock seems to just keep moving east doesn't it?
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Re: EBS House

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:07 pm

I think most people suspect that....

yeah by 2030 it'll be in Irishtown
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Re: EBS House

Postby StephenC » Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:02 pm

Wow - I have never before seen what this stretch looked like before the EBS got their hands on it. What a shame. What a nice interesting mix of buildings. Very much a mirror of the opposite side of the street.
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Re: EBS House

Postby hutton » Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:55 pm

In defence of Sam (!)

I like the EBS - or more specifically the EBS as planned originally - before the planners directed Sam S. to insert the grey modular grid into the facade left of entrance. Its one of those few instances where the best of planners intentions led to limp consequences - apparently they felt it necessary for the EBS to incorporate the drab grey grid so that the block would fit in better with the rest of the terrace. Unlike the Wood Quay bunkers, this I think would have been more aesthetically complete had Sam been left to his own devices; very po-mo with the older central element balanced by reflective contemporary elements. Don't suppose:
A - the chemists shop facade was saved for salvage?
B- in view of the visually limp outcome, that the grey grid can be got rid of - thus rendering the EBS building aesthetically balanced/ complete?
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Re: EBS House

Postby GrahamH » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:06 pm

hutton wrote:
before the planners directed Sam


And what about the first time round - the opposite was the case!
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:11 am

I'd say it had. That was done a lot to Georgian buildings; - removal of the first floor window pier and insertion of a fancy oriel window. There's a lot of them around. But now some of them have had the oriel removed to reveal an ugly rectangle. Like this and the "Funland - Come in and See" building on Upper O'C St.


[align=center]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align]

Image

Shaw’s directory of 1850 as discussed earlier showing the quay-end buildings on the west side of Westmoreland Street prior to the 1860s alterations that made them into the Ballast Office corner landmark. The only difference in the two buildings that became the landmark from the rest is that they were 3 bays, not 2.


[align=center]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align]

Image

And – photographic proof – a circa 1860 photo from The Heart of Dublin showing the uniform parapet running up to the corner of Aston’s Quay.

I find this picture spooky – the sense of a continuous Georgian streetscape along Westmoreland Street, across the narrower hump-backed O’Connell Bridge and into O’Connell Street (different names then, of course) – with the larger mass of the circa 1840 Imperial Hotel/Clery’s in the distance.

And all the top hat people – wonder what kind of a day were they having?....

You can see that most of the WSCs granite shopfronts on the west side of the street had already been altered to bracketed timber types - after only about 50 years. The significance of D’Olier/Westmoreland Street as a piece of unified design must never have been highly regarded – strange.

But - I can’t get it in because it’s too close to the fold of the book - just out of the picture on the left, there’s an unaltered original on the Fleet St corner, where Coleman’s/Spar is now – however it seems to be gone by the 1920s picture posted on the previous page…
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:30 pm

Some great images - that's interesting about the 3-bay buildings, why go for just two 3-bayers at the end of the terrace?
Also interesting to note that despite this, the regular chimney placement is still maintained over the buildings.

I find the regular chimneys the most striking feature of all WSC development - they helped not only to enliven the roofscape and looked visually pleasing, they also demarcated each property from the whole. The view of O'Cll St's rooftops from here was always impressive, esp at that raking angle.
Also nice to see the corner there with College St and the shopfront wrapping round.

You can also make out the time dropping ball on the roof of what is now Ballast House :)

Here's a view of D'Olier St from c1900 where you can at least see the irregular make-up of the buildings, whatever about detail, including the big stone building in the middle. Note that even the terraces on either side of it aren't the same:
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Morlan » Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:58 pm

Are there any plans to give West Morland St the same makeover as O'Connell St.? I would like to see the O'C central median continue up West morland with the same lighing and trees and with the same GPO type plaza outside BOI. Any thoughts?
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:57 pm

WestMorland St :) is part of the IAP area, but was given little attention as one might expect really in the O'Connell St IAP.

What little that was drawn up envisages D'Olier St lined with an avenue of trees along the edges of the existing/widened pavements, while Westmoreland St is more up in the air because of the Luas proposal. Presumably until this is sorted, little will happen on this street.

What was drawn up shows Luas using the eastern side of the thoroughfare with no trees here as a result, a large platform outside the Westin, and the western (Bewley's) pavement widened with trees running along its edge, along with suggestions for coordinated street furniture etc.

Personally I'd like to see Westmoreland St maintaining its existing layout, but made into a grand avenue with a rigid planting of trees along widened pavements.
Assuming the Luas does not come this way, it could be one of the most successful avenues in Europe with its impressive dimensions, absolutely no clutter in the centre, and only the single break of Fleet St to disrupt things a little.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Morlan » Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:09 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:WestMorland St :) is part of the IAP area, but was given little attention as one might expect really in the O'Connell St IAP.
.


:) Thanks for that Graham, another kind and informative post. I guess it will be another 3 years at least before anything starts happening there. Can't wait to see what they do though, it has mahoosive potential!
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:10 pm

Yes it has great potential - it's crucial that it loses its motorway-like status and is turned into a proper city street where pedestrians hold sway.
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Back to the boring stuff!

Postby Devin » Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:01 pm

Image

A similar view to the 1860s pic above, but about 20 years later (WSC shopfront on Fleet St. cnr. is visible this time :) ).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Image

This must have been taken in the late '40s (as the trams stopped in 1949, didn't they?).

Trinity's grounds look so different without the Arts Block....
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:32 pm

Yes - almost like a rolling country estate :)
Often wanted to have a wander around the Provost's tranquil gardens - must be the most desirable (and expensive) back yard in the country!

Interesting to see the rear of the screen walls of the BoI - one of the most well-worn shams in the book I know, but never fails to fascinate all the same.
And look at how fine the BoI-to-Fleet stretch of buildings on Westmoreland St is without those trees - looks like they're lining a street in Belfast!
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby wrafter » Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:33 pm

That aerial shot makes me feel all tingly - I'd love to go back there for a day and have a stroll around. Catch a tram. See if any of the pubs of today are still in place and go in for a pint.

@Graham - when you say "Provost's tranquil gardens", where would I find this on the aerial shot.

And a newbie question - when you guys are referring to abbrev WSC what is it you're meaning?
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby LOB » Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:51 pm

WSC = Wide Streets Commission
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby adhoc » Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:09 pm

wrafter wrote:@Graham - when you say "Provost's tranquil gardens", where would I find this on the aerial shot.



The area between the Exam Hall and the 1937 Reading Room, on the northside, and the Nassau Street railings, on the southside.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Mon Jul 18, 2005 6:00 pm

Yes, just left of centre at the top of the image there. You can catch a glimpse of them when walking between the Old Library and the Arts Block.

The Wide Streets Commission was a body of influential and 'enlightened' :) individuals which had great power in dictating the shape of 18th century Dublin, and to a lesser degree the 19th century city - spanning from 1757 through till about 1849-51 or so (always forget the latter date).
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Re: Back to the boring stuff!

Postby Rory W » Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:34 pm

Devin wrote:Image

A similar view to the 1860s pic above, but about 20 years later (WSC shopfront on Fleet St. cnr. is visible this time :) ).



Spooky Image above - it looks like the spire has ghosted into view above the buildings on the left about 140 years early
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby StephenC » Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:05 am

Dublin centre traffic ban could aid retailers
Arthur Beesley, Senior Business Correspondent



Traffic should be banned from Westmoreland Street, one of Dublin's main thoroughfares, in order to boost the city's retail business in the face of growing competition from out-of-town centres, according to a report commissioned by Dublin City Council.

The report by property consultants Bannon Commercial said that the creation of pedestrian-only zone on the street would make it easier for shoppers to move between the main retail centres on Grafton Street and Henry Street.

Bannon listed the recommendation among a second strand of measures which should follow an initial series of efforts to stimulate the retail trade in the city centre.

Dublin City Council has already adopted some of the first phase measures, including efforts to encourage developers to make "larger floorplate" units available on Grafton Street and surrounding streets. The council also wants to see more leisure and night-time activities available in the Henry Street.

The report was commissioned last year, amid increasing concern about the quality of retailers now on Grafton Street and concern that a major portion of the money spent by city centre shoppers was "leaking" to other retail locations.

It said recent changes in Dublin's traffic management had substantially reduced the traffic on Westmoreland Street, noting that its dimensions create the opportunity for a large scale public space between the two retail main retail zones.

"Removing all the traffic from Westmoreland Street will open up substantial redevelopment opportunities on the eastern side of the street where a number of large scale potential development plots are currently in office use."

Dublin city manager John Fitzgerald said this recommendation was "aspirational", but added that the council would be considering the future use of Westmoreland Street once its efforts to boost Grafton Street and Henry Street were further advanced. "It would be much too early to suggest that that's going to be the logical outcome of it," he said.

The discussion would depend on traffic issues, the likely footfall on the street and the location of the linkage between the two Luas lines. A Government decision on this point is likely in the autumn.

One possibility under consideration is that the Sandyford Luas line would join O'Connell Street from St Stephen's Green, via Westmoreland Street. If adopted, this proposal would have a major impact on traffic levels on the street and the scope to increase pedestrian access.

The report does not mention the Luas, but makes clear the challenge facing retailers in the city and the "opportunity" to redress the balance.

"From a position of limited competition before the development of the the Square in Tallaght in 1990, Dublin city centre now represents less than half of the significant retail offer in the Dublin area," it said.

"A key goal of the growth of the city in the longer term must be to reinforce the linkage across the city. Re-invigorated shopping zones north and south of the city, if combined to a single shopping trip, will prove very difficult for any other shopping proposal to match." Bannon said the council should remove retail services from the list of normally permitted uses on the two main shopping streets.

Mr Fitzgerald said the council was reluctant to intervene in the market but said such action may be justified. "If there's a demonstrative requirement to intervene in the market through the planning process, then I think it's the job of local government to do that to whatever extent we can."




© The Irish Times


QED I would have thought? I wonder what sort of strategy will come out of all this deliberating by the CC.
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