Dublin Street Lighting

Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Morlan » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:21 pm

Graham, hope you don't mind that I stray off from Dublin for a bit. I couldn't resist posting up some of my other lamp shots. :) I'm sure you'll like them.

Gaudi's first ever municipal commision. The fabulous lanterns in Plaça Reial.

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Look at those evil heads. These are the lamps outside Government Buildings in Plaça Sant Jaume.

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You call that a lamp? This is a lamp! Have you ever seen anything like it?

Image
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:12 am

:D

Yikes! Drool or what! :)

Beautiful images, particularly the second one - what lovely detailing.
Those lamps are interesting outside Govt Buildings there in that they are but a set of many such lamps around the world's capitals that have been specifically designed for public spaces, or to tie in with municipal/government buildings.
Right across Europe and seemingly South America you see them a lot - or in the US the lamps outside the Capitol spring to mind.
Or the Mall & Palace in London, or outside the Parliament Building in Vienna etc etc.

Unfortunately a practice that never developed in Ireland :(
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Morlan » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:29 am

Graham Hickey wrote::D

Yikes! Drool or what! :)


Indeed! :)

These lamps below are standard all around the city but they vary slightly depending on where you are.
These ones below are outside the government buildings. They are well looked after, in fact most of them look brand new. They are adorned with the city's coat of arms (vertical stripes for Catalonia) topped with the King's crown.

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Here is a different version of the lamp. Oddly, some of the crown prongs the lamps appear warped and bent. I don't know if this is weathering or perhaps Gaudi gave them his organic treatment. :) I really don't think these are his lamps though.

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This Chinese lamp belongs to the former umbrella shop on La Rambla. I can't find much info on it unfortunately but the shop owner was obviously not short of cash at the time.
Look at his fierce fangs and fiery beard, his sharp claws gripping the bamboo. The crafting on the bamboo is spectacular also.

Image

Anyway, that's me all out of Barcelona lamps!
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:06 pm

Gah - out with you! -->

:)

Very striking images there Morlan - you captured the first 3-arm one just at the right time with that shaft of sunlight creeping in! What a fine collection of lamps they have.
If only we had ones like them, or these, in Dublin:

Image

oh wait...
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Devin » Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:33 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:1870s
To start, these small gas-powered column lanterns were used to light O’]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Dublin1/1870s.jpg[/IMG]


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Close up:
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Among the other places where the 1870s lamps appeared were on the two arched-back bridges flanking the Four Courts: O'Donovan Rossa Bridge (seen here circa 1900) and Father Mathew Bridge.


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In the early years of the 20th century, the single heads were replaced with these great looking double heads, seen here on Father Mathew Bridge in the 1950s....


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....and here on O'Donovan Rossa Bridge in 1922.
The two bridges at the Four Courts seem to have been the only place in the city that these particular double heads were used (special treatment for the special building).


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[align=center]Image[/align]

But, being the great pioneers in conservation of the historic urban environment that we are, what do we do with these lovely lamps? Yes, we remove them (in about 1970) and put them (one of them) in the city lamp “museum” in the park in Merrion Square, to complement the "fussy municipal flower beds" and "tree plantings commemorating minor dignitaries" :D as planner Fergal McCabe so aptly put it recently.


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Image . . Image

And finally, a comparison of the 1950s picture with the same view today. The corner building in the '50s pic was demolished in 1983 to create a slip lane for traffic turning left from Bridge Street onto the Quays :rolleyes: , destroying the enclosure of the bridge.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Morlan » Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:09 pm

Good finds there, Devin. Look at how uncluttered and clean the city looked back then :(
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:18 pm

Indeed - must take a closer look at the Merrion lamps. Most of them seem to be 'novelty' lamps from the period from parks and promenades etc, with very few used on the city streets, so it's great to see the double-header in real life!
There definitely ought to be a little plaque of info regarding each lamp in the Park.
The fact that it probably wouldn't be possible to do this because no one knows where most of them came from is indicative of the piece-meal tokenistic nature of their placing here - any old lamp from any old place popped in any old corner.

The proportions of those converted double-headers are just ridiculous (!), but were fantastic pieces of street history :(
(dare I say they're frighteningly similar to 80s shopping centre lighting :) - the Frascati Centre springs to mind :eek: )
The little bulbs/glass cases of the lamps are particularly interesting.

Miniature lamps ought to be reinstalled on these bridges, in character with their historic scale; there's nothing worse than full size streetlights poking up from old bridges.
Had to laugh at the Michael Collins film at the way that all they could do was paint the crude unfinished modern posts a dark green on O'Donovan Rossa :)
Should have left them that colour...
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Re: Lamps in Merrion Square Park

Postby Devin » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:05 am

There are some taller street ones in there as well – ones that should never have been removed. The whole concept is so dodgy, isn’t it? – to paraphrase Joni Mitchell “we take all the lamps and put ‘em in a lamp museum, then charge all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em”! (well not quite). The surviving genuine historic street lamp standards in the city have basically been reduced to two types; the silver ‘feminine’ shamrock heads & the ‘masculine’ stout bases, with a few stragglers like some swan necks in the north & south inner suburbs, and a few shorter posts there as well.

By ridiculous do you mean the head being too big for the post Graham? Yeah they were a small post but I think they looked great on the bridge with the double heads! True, full size ones on the bridges would be so wrong - except in the case of some of the larger bridges (e.g. the cool-looking black modern lamps on Grattan Bridge).

For the last 20 years at least, the mock-Victorian gaslamp has been a staple of suburban shopping centre landscaping, regional town regeneration, dickieing-up of villages etc etc. (smug, smug, smug... :D )
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:20 am

:)

Yes the double head is way too big for the post, and the large pedestal base ends up consuming half of the shaft!
But lovely pieces, and their miniature proportions were just perfect for the bridges.
To be honest I'm not sure about the black Grattan Bridge posts either - they look great in themselves but think they still look a bit daft sticking up in the middle of the river in the fashion they do.
Surely the now-exceptionally bright seahorses are sufficient to light the bridge? (were the fridges not there of course).
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Devin » Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:18 am

Have to say I thought that was an excellent piece of historic/modern street furniture juxtaposition; the minimalist black lamps being placed in front of (but not too close to) the ornate seahorse lamps. This was subsequently ruined on the east side when the fridges were put between the modern & old lamps.......more reason to remove the damn things!!!
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:34 pm

There's an interesting related point to that, that you can't as such put your finger on when crossing the bridge, but it's the fact that the kiosks block you views as you cross the river, whether it be in a car or on foot; there's no real sense of crossing the Liffey from one side to the other, the very point that the O'Connell Street IAP highlights about O'Connell Bridge, the very point - and yet the CC seek to ignore this issue that is pointed out in one of their own documents in the case of Grattan Bridge.

Very much so a case as Garethace has highlighted, of the CC putting the effort into 'flagship' projects but ignoring the fundamentals in the average space in the city. O'Connell is worthy as part of a grandiose scheme, but Grattan is not.

In the 'before' pictures Devin posted previously , it is without doubt the broad flat expanse of Grattan Bridge that is of greatest appeal, with sweeping views of the quays on both sides, and the delightful seahorses framing the views whilst simultaenously marking the river crossing by marching along on both sides, acting as architectural and practical beacons on the river, both day and night, as all similar lamps do on most bridges around the world - Westminster Bridge being a grand example of such.

The fridges have taken this away from the city, dividing it in two - the only bridge on the Liffey other than O'Connell that generated this effect :(

As for the black posts - fully agreed about the juxtapositioning, it's very successful. And the lamps are great in themselves (even if they'd remind you of larger versions of the Texaco forecourt model :)) - just I think they take away from the purpose of the seahorses, relegating them to a bit of frilly Victoriana in the side, when they ought to be dominant.
To see them sticking up in the distance in the middle of the river is clumsy, and kinda smacks of 'let our modren paraphernalia handle this one lads' :rolleyes:
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:26 am

1/9/2005

Went to have a closer look at the Merrion posts to see if if any other posts are recognisable from the olden days, and I came across the one below. Nver looked at it closely before but interestingly it's a much larger chunkier version of the c1903 posts that went up around the city centre (and that lined O'Cll St as seen before). I wonder why it is bigger than usual - maybe it stood in a prominent place, perhaps the one in front of O'Connell Mounument or at the junction of South Grafton St?

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Anyway, all was fine and interesting etc until I glanced upwards. Having seen the smashed lamp up there before I didn't pay much attention until I walked around a bit more. Recognise anyone? :mad:

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Morlan wrote:Image
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Devin » Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:43 am

Yeah, it's such a jumble isn't it.. We'll stick this bit here & we'll stick that bit there.....that park encapsulates "Pat Liddy Dublin" for me.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:03 am

Had to laugh at how insulting Evelyn O'Rourke on the radio must have been to him during the week - introducing him as 'Pat Liddy ah the Pillar's gone, ah 1916, ah aul Dublin's gone to pieces...' etc :D

What's annoying about the copper lamp is not what it's attached to, but rather where it should still be - ON A CITY STREET!!!
Still, more importantly again, does its presence here suggest that all the concretes are still in storage somewhere?!
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Devin » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:28 am

I'd say when the vast majority of them were taken up in the late '70s they were dumped or destroyed, because very few cared about things like that then. But I'd really like to know what happened to the 2 or 3 that were inexcusably removed (from the last surviving group of them) just a couple of years ago on College Street - as noted by Phil - & replaced with heritage reproductions.

Will stick this, one of the 6 remaining, here (pic has appeared before):

Image
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby PVC King » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:51 am

I'd say that most of them ended up in landfill unfortunately; I've seen quite a few corporation iron posts put into driveways on large one-offs over the years. I've never seen one concrete post anywhere than in operation. I very much doubt many of them were even taken out of the ground intact which really is a pity.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby hutton » Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:08 pm

Was in Belfast yesteday, and i thought i would catch a snap of these for the record - standard lamps. Must say, I think their street seats (black metal grid style) are superior - more comfortable and perfectly functional. H
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Wed Sep 14, 2005 1:53 am

Ah yes, 'those' lamps ;)
Can't say I'm a fan, and am sure they're not exactly hot with astronomers either given their huge level of pollution!
A classic British High Street staple.

They featured very prominently in that Guinness Christmas ad with City Hall in shot didn't they? (ooh how exciting, it's only 12 weeks till that starts airing again :))

Lovely palazzo style facade in the background in you picture hutton.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Plug » Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:49 pm

If "Those lamps" are what I think they are, they have an internal baffle that reflects light down and brings upward light polution in line with reccomendations from the dark sky association.

I'm sure there a shonky versions without the baffle, but setting aside the light polution factor, there are standards to be followed for light levels in pedestrian areas, and if, as a lighting designer you're trying to adhere to these standards, the last thing you want is for all your light to be shooting upwards. So choosing the version with the baffle may be nore exspensive in the short term, but you need less fittings, therefore you're more energy efficiant.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Devin » Thu Oct 27, 2005 7:26 pm

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Originally posted by Graham Hickey (as file)
Image . . . Image

Image

We've established that the magnificent 1930s concrete Art Deco lamps which once lined (primarily) the main streets of what is now the O'Connell Street IAP area were removed wholesale in the late-'70s, except for a cluster around College Street / D'Olier Street, and, scandalously, that several more were removed within the last five years: the two seen on College Street outside the now Wesin Hotel in the top left picture, which were replaced with 'heritage reproduction' (the top right picture shows the heritage repros being put in) - a piece of official cultural vandalism - and two more on O'Connell Bridge, one of which is seen in the above picture (the other having been in the same position on the other side of the bridge).

I think it is reasonable to suggest that the two on O'Connell Bridge that had survived up to this time had lost their context; they were just two leftovers at the south end of the bridge and did not relate to anything else in the vicinity. Given this, the obvious thing to do was to carefully lift and relocate them so as to consolidate the surviving cluster on College Street / D'Olier Street, where they looked so good next to the stone and brick buildings, NOT simply remove and/or destroy (?) them.

What happened to these lamps removed in recent years? It’s our city – we have a right to know. If anyone in lighting (Plug? Eric Woods? or anyone else) knows or could find out what happened to them, or indeed the bulk removal of 25 yrs ago, it would be very helpful.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby lunasa » Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:04 am

I recall seeing the lamp heads, three if not four, for sale at a stand in Mother Redcap's "antique" market back in the early eighties. What surprisesd me was how large they were. The casings were copper, although somewhat tarnished,and the glass opaque and yellowish. Not the kind of thing that might have ended up in a bedsit (remember them?) off the South Circular Road. That crowd went for the smelly "fir ag obair" lights. As for the standards,alas, methinks they got ground up.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:37 am

That's interesting lunasa, especially as the date ties in with the removal of the lamps from most of the city centre. Whatever about the standards, the lamps no doubt even then would've been quite desirable being of high quality copper, and somwhat quirky in appearance - suited to many commerical premises.

When you think that at about 32 posts went up on O'Cll St - sure that's 64 lamps alone! Add to that Westmoreland St, College Green and Dame St and you're approaching 150!
Where the heck did they all go?! The fact that a handful turned up in lunasa's market perhaps suggests that a wholescale sell-off or disposal was not carried out by the Corporation....

It is sadly ironic that when a lamp moves from the busiest streets in the country to its final 'resting place' away from danger, that it is only then it gets destroyed :(

Image

Looks like this one was cleaned up to its original state before re-erection in the park.
It seems highly likely the standards were ground up alright - there's no way 70+ of these could have been kept in storage :(
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby StephenC » Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:48 pm

I think the Globe Bar on S G Georges St have a couple of the lanterns
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby phil » Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:18 pm


We've established that the magnificent 1930s concrete Art Deco lamps which once lined (primarily) the main streets of what is now the O'Connell Street IAP area were removed wholesale in the late-'70s, except for a cluster around College Street / D'Olier Street, and, scandalously, that several more were removed within the last five years: the two seen on College Street outside the now Wesin Hotel in the top left picture, which were replaced with 'heritage reproduction' (the top right picture shows the heritage repros being put in) - a piece of official cultural vandalism - and two more on O'Connell Bridge, one of which is seen in the above picture (the other having been in the same position on the other side of the bridge).

I think it is reasonable to suggest that the two on O'Connell Bridge that had survived up to this time had lost their context; they were just two leftovers at the south end of the bridge and did not relate to anything else in the vicinity. Given this, the obvious thing to do was to carefully lift and relocate them so as to consolidate the surviving cluster on College Street / D'Olier Street, where they looked so good next to the stone and brick buildings, NOT simply remove and/or destroy (?) them.



Recently I have noticed that the few remaining ones of these lamps are in poor repair. There is selophane wrapped around most of them, as the concrete is starting to crumble. These lamps are an authentic example of Dublin's heritage, and it would be a pure scandal to loose them. Does anyone know exactly who to contact in Dublin City Council about them?

In fairness to them it looks like there is plans to fix them at some stage, it just seems that the work needs to be done as a matter of urgency.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby StephenC » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:42 pm

The head of the public lighting department I guess. Be on the website. The heritage officer might also be a good person to get onside.
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