The passing of this month marks the 20th anniversary of the final demolition of Frescati House in Blackrock, Co Dublin.
The late eighteenth century home of Lord Edward Fitzgerald of the United Irishmen, it contained fine interiors adorned with Adam-style plasterwork and - unusually for Ireland - painted ceilings.
The two storey house featured half-octagonal bay windows and sat nestled in a seven acre oasis of woodland just outside Dublin.
The house and lands were purchased by Roches Stores for the purposes of building a major shopping development on the site.
After nearly a decade of bitter disputes between local residents, conservationists and later Dun Laoghaire Corporation with Roches Stores, the development finally went ahead beside Frescati.
However, after years of neglect and 'alterations' by Roches, and their failure to protect the property and prosecute vandals, the house was nothing but a ruin by 1983, stripped of its wings and surrounded by car-parking.
And whereas the planning problems were largely caused by the Corporation for not listing the house and for zoning the site for commercial use, the lack of empathy and consideration shown by Roches Stores taints their business ethics to this day. And the fact that the property's footprint of land wasn't even required makes it all the more infuriating and sad.
I've never been to the Frescati Centre, nor do I want to, does anyone know if the 'commorative' plaque is still there today?
A friend once went to the centre to take photographs for a retail project she was doing - little did she know she could have been taking pictures of something infinitly more beautiful.
- Old Master
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- Location: Ireland
- Rory W
- Old Master
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- Location: Drogheda & Blackrock