Dundalk

Re: Dundalk

Postby PVC King » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:53 pm

Carrolls were until the 1980's one of the most progressive if not carcinogenic firms in the Country, Don Carroll had a keen interest in the built environment and both the Dundalk facility and their HQ on Grand Parade are a testiment to his commitment.

Is the Carrolls complex protected or will it fall victim to the rush to construct yet more retail in Dundalk?
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:57 pm

It is indeed protected, and listed as being of international importance - not very many county development plans have this title featured amongst their pages.

Carroll's were without a doubt one of the best employers in the country, a sad day is about to come now with their closure - but a good day on another front.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby PVC King » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:00 pm

It is only a pity that Don Carroll wasn't involved in a business that had a more certain future he did a hell of a lot of good work for Built Heritage through the Irish Heritage Trust in the Early 1980's.

I'm happy to see that the plant is protected so many industrial structures have fallen through the cracks all over Europe in over the years, this one is an absolute cracker in its simplicity and use of top spec (then) contemporary materials.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:08 pm

Pity more firms weren't like Carrolls - two great buildings indeed.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:21 pm

There is a major BUT though (both puns unintended :)) - a huge development to the rear of the building is proposed by the ever-expanding DKIT, which includes a plan for a 12 storey hotel no less, amongst other slightly more collegiate buildings.
Where exactly the 12-storey is going I don't know, but it'd be worth a check out. Certainly the building's isolated days are numbered.

As for Carrolls dying off, a pity indeed - it seems all of its diversification plans were fraught with failure from the outset of the cigarette war. The company has left a fine architecural legacy, from the flagship 67-69 factory in Dundalk, to Grand Parade in Dublin, to the old factory on Clanbrassil St, and its striking Edwardian office building there too.
Were there any others?
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Re: Dundalk

Postby parkstreet » Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:16 pm

Very interested to see developments shaping Market Square; it's in terrible need of a facelift - perhaps, a public park instead of the ridiculous fountainscape would animate the adjoining buildings. However, I have a question to ask which has be niggling me for sometime. What plans, if any, are in the grapevine for Park Street? There was speculation a couple of years ago of pedestrianising the street; does anyone know anything?
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:51 pm

I heard that too about Park Street parkstreet :). It's a nice idea (in a restricted fashion) considering it is already a strongly pedestrian area. I'd like to see it happen along the stretch from Dunnes up Earl St, it could generate a really lovely atmosphere here. The traffic implications could be difficult though, it being such a major artery with two roads linking from the Ramparts also to consider.
This Imperial area only feels cramped though because of all the on-street parking. If this was removed and the pavements widened it would help no end.
At least further south there's lots of space for both traffic and pedestrians to mingle quite happily.

Here's a lovely Victorian on Park Street beside the old distiguished Bank of Ireland - the famous incorrectly spelled 'Pheonix Bar' :)

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It's got a fine set of original sashes with fantastic shimmering cylinder/sheet glass - wonderful survivors.

The development featured before for Market Square is underway already - the site has been cleared of all that junk!
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Re: Dundalk

Postby eamoss » Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:07 pm

The new 'The Marshes' shopping centre opened today disappointed not all shops were open but it is very nice and its very big.

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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:09 pm

Shudder, it looks like a fake English countrytown market building
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:07 am

heheheh - oh but you haven't seen so much as a crumb of this place, it is truly staggering on so many levels.
More pics soon.........
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Postby lexington » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:36 am

eamoss wrote:The new 'The Marshes' shopping centre opened today disappointed not all shops were open but it is very nice and its very big.


Irish Times Article on the new Shopping Centre opening here.

I've been hearing so much of this centre. In terms of build, from what I've seen, it seems to possess a very high standard of material finish. In terms of design, the interior format seems of good quality also - and though I know externally it will made contemporary advocates shudder - I think in its context, it possesses a more 'timeless' quality as oppose to an elaborate glass and zinc clad frontage. It makes an interesting change - mock period or not.

Having said that, as the article mentions above - where does this leave LongWalk? I remember attending the opening day about 8-years ago and the hype that filled the town. Talks were foretelling the closure of the original Dundalk S.C. on the Dublin Road - now it would seem as though The Marshes is piercing another nail into the coffin of LongWalk as Dundalk S.C. prospects redevelopment. I am curious on the logic of local planners regarding the retail environment of Dundalk - what is their strategic objective? :confused:
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:10 am

Reading the Development Plan, as with probably every town in Ireland it is the LA's aim to preserve and consolidate the existing town centre. It could be argued that the The Marshes is actually in the town centre - just 'blocked' as it were by Francis Street which gives another impression.
When the Long Walk opened, the Celtic Tiger just hadn't taken off as expected - never in a million years would it have been predicted that British multiples would be setting up left right and centre around the country.
Hence the Long Walk was only built to cater for local businesses, with a couple of national brands to boot - all tiny box units with no capacity for larger stores.

So I can see the appeal and genuine need for building a new centre, but it is a heck of a waste of development on many levels with the Long Walk - built in the lull before the storm.

As for the new centre, admittedly you cannot help but be charmed by the design, in that all the 'traditional' elements are by definition immediately familar and welcoming - but good God the sheer scale of the 'pastichity' is just mind-blowing. It is a theme park, no question, not least as it genuinely sets out to accurately reproduce the architecture of old. There's more beautiful sash windows in this building than there is in the entire historic centre of the town!!

This is literally a monster of a metal box clad in a myriad of architectural idioms, most on the same mile-long facade!
It was built to evoke a 'traditional streetscape', but clearly that of a provincial Italian town. They don't do Palladio like that in this country any more, indeed they never did.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Sat Nov 05, 2005 3:03 am

Just some pics of the latest addition to Dundalk's skyline - the much talked about DKIT wind turbine which provides the Institute with (depending on who you talk to) 50-80% of its electricity requirements:

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It is just enormous, as most of these turbines are - towering to (again depending on who you listen to) 60m or 80m at the entrance to the town.
Had to laugh at previous concerns about tall development going up behind Carrolls - literally within about 2 days this thing just appeared on the skyline to everyone's astonishment!:

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Wonder what Mr Tallon makes of it :)

It cost just over €1 million to build, and should pay for itself in 7/8 years - surplus power is expected to be supplied to the Grid.

It's very striking - you can clearly see if from two miles away south of the town.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Nov 05, 2005 3:15 am

Looks good behind the factory in the last shot
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Dundalk Clinic

Postby lexington » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:19 pm

I'd be interested to hear opinions on the Murray O'Laoire design of Dundalk's new Private Healthcare facility (valued at €35m), destined to be located by the Cooley Peninsula on the outskirts of the town.

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The building will provide a suite of four new theatres and day services together with 100 beds - services to be included will encompass areas such as; Cardiology, IVF, Diagnostic Imaging, General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, ENT, General Medicine, Rheumatology, Neurology, Pain Management, Dermatology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Haematology, Pathology, Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine, Physiotherapy and Urology.

A suite of 20 consultants clinics are included in a tower at the eastern end of the new building.

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The project will amass to an area of 12,000sq m.

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Also Graham, I had intended to travel Dundalk way before Christmas - but it's looking increasingly doubtful lately. Any further images of The Marshes since its opening? Now that the dust is settling, what are perceptions of the scheme of late? Thanks! ;)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:57 pm

Haven't been able to bring myself to take pictures of it, as it's much worse than previously thought!
What looked like a fantasically outlandish 'genuine' reproduction scheme :) has turned out to be truly appalling - quite literally it is the architecture of Disneyland. This comparison is always bandied about, but it is 100% correct in this case - the huge main entrance portico from the car park even has the audacity to use fluted Corinthian columns, which look so laughably out of place in a provincial Irish town it has to be seen to be believed. And as for the proportions :eek:
Pics soon - only your're paying for the cracked lens right?

Murray O'Laoire's building looks rather glum and corporate from the main elevation, like an American inner city hospital. From a distance though it looks well running along the landscape, being located in what is a very flat region (other than the Cooleys). Ought to reflect the often steely sky and generally glum weather conditions round here.
Hard to make out the facade treatment.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:21 pm

Got lost in Dundalk last night having taken the wrong exit off the M1, but it was a good opportunity to see some of the recent developments and older buildings in the town (though we didn't see The Marshes!).
Quick question for Graham:
You mentioned above the Carroll's buildings: "the old factory on Clanbrassil St, and its striking Edwardian office building there too." We passed a building with a fairly elaborate shopfront and the Carroll's cipher :) over the door, which is now a shoe shop- was that the office building to which you refer? Part of the reason I ask is that I think the shoe-shop owner is related to me.

One other thing- we were in town for a gig in the Spirit Store, and I just wanted to say, what a great pub, venue and location. I knew it was on the quays, but had an image of urban quays a la Waterford or New Ross, not a working fishing quay with boats and mud flats. Should have brought my concertina for the sea shanties. ;)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:00 pm

lol - they accept all types in there, so you could've gone down quite well :D

Yes a great place from what I've heard (though I've never been in there), the building is really lovely from outside, whatever about the view looking out ;) Suffers severe problems at very high tides though...

You think the shop owner is related to you?? Annnyway :), yes this building formed part of the old Carrolls Factory complex at the northern end of Clanbrassil Street.

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It seems to be a Victorian building with later ground floor additions - probably used as the retail face of the company in the town. The Edwardian office building referred to is this gem next door:

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Could it match the stereotype any more if it tried? :)
Note the 1909 inscription at the top - there was a big fire that year that resulted in much of the factory being refitted. The 1909 may refer to the time the building was designed rather than constructed as it would've taken at least a year to build.
Scandalously the priceless Edwardian office partitions with inscribed and patterned opaque glass were removed from (presumably) this building, either when or just before it was protected. They are now let's just say 'elsewhere' in the Louth area.

A fine collection of buildings.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:22 pm

Yup- that's the shop I saw. A lovely corner of the town indeed. Thanks for the pics.

Still not sure what the family connection is to the shop. I was just talking to my mother and asked her if her brother had a shoe shop in Dundalk. He's the last of the family in the shoe business and has a couple in Dublin that I know of, but she wasn't sure about any further afield. The name would suggest a connection (it's mammy's maiden name- of good Monaghan stock!), but she thought either that it might once have been in the family from my grandfather's time when they had shops in quite a few towns around the country (though the lettering looks far too recent), or that it could be a cousin who runs it, though we've no Dundalk relations that I can think of. I should just go in and try to get a discount- I'd find out pretty fast if there's any connection. :)

I'm intrigued by those glass screens. I'd like to think they're somewhere safe, but chances are they're tarting up a pub somewhere. You seem reluctant to divulge...
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Re: Dundalk

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:40 pm

Yeah, want to know about the screens - used to work for a guy who fitted out pubs in Dundalk and his mate was cheif draughtsman in Carrolls .. wondering is there a connection...
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Re: Dundalk

Postby alpha » Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:27 am

the health care facility looks like a large lorry from the distance.
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 25, 2005 1:46 am

ctesiphon wrote: You seem reluctant to divulge...


I know nothing I tells ya - NOTHING!!!

*scurries for cover*

chances are they're tarting up a pub somewhere.


You guess correctly ;)
They also fairly recently acquired sashes with original (1909-30s perhaps) gold Carrolls lettering on them, no doubt also from the factory complex, if not the very building above.
Alas I am forbidden by means of an embarrassingly unfortunate connection from mentioning any names...
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Re: Dundalk

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Nov 25, 2005 2:41 am

*runs to google "Hickey's Lounge Bar" and "Louth"*

At least someone knows where they are, someone with a bit of... influence. :)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 25, 2005 2:58 am

*mutters* dammit, they're going to find out the real reason St. Patrick's altar table and lecturn were removed *mutters*

We're slopping pints of Guinness over the altar cloth as we speak :D

Ah the connection is by no means that close now - just enough to be uncomfortable :o

Moving swiftly on, part of what seems to be the c1910 Carrolls factory building itself still stands - lovely (maybe later) steel windows:

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Grand Willy Wonka gates too (that's the third time he's been mentioned here in as many days...)
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Re: Dundalk

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:02 am

*trumpet fanfare*

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Marshes Shopping Centre Dundalk:
(Images © Walt Disney Corporation. All rights reserved)

The main entrance to the centre from the town on Ramparts Roads:

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You then turn a corner which reveals a monumental ‘streetscape’ façade, reaching as far as the eye can see. First on the cards is the noble Ramparts Palace, winter residence of Penneys and the Sweet Factory, which converts to an orangery for the summer months:

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The beautifully proportioned windows of the State Apartments above:

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(with frilly horns)


A little further down one encounters the principal entrance block, which is a cross between an American colonial district courthouse, the town hall in a Hornby train set, and a one-off ranch in Cavan:

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…with all important date-stamp in the pediment (okay tympanum).


The signature corner building at the very far end, apparently inspired by the celebrated work of Sylvanian Families, though to my educated eye I’d say there’s more than a hint of Playmobil in there too:

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…especially in the neighbouring block:

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