Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:10 pm

They have just published a little gem of a book dealing with their numerous projects from 1983 to 2008.

There is a pretty neat piece by Denis Leonard in his ‘Personal Retrospective’ from the book where he recalled a local residents meeting, which was called to discuss a poorly maintained, open space green area that was overgrown and was a social problem. Lengthy, sometimes angry, speeches were the norm. A proposal was put to the meeting to form a delegation that would go into the County Council to harangue a few officials and so on.

Common sense was introduced to the meeting through a civic minded resident who pointed out that if just some of the people at the meeting went out and cut the grass themselves, instead of trying to force the Council into doing something they didn’t want to, it would have been done in half the time of this meeting.

He also said that if we adopted the site we could then ask the Council for a grant or for the supply of shrubs, trees etc. in support of our local initiatives. That course of action ‘would succeed far faster and easier than agitation’ he suggested.

This lesson became Denis Leonard’s modus operandi and also became Limerick Civic Trust’s motto ‘Improvement of our Environment by Positive Action’.

Improvement of our Environment through Positive Action

It is now generally recognised that local authorities or state agencies can no longer be expected to meet all of society's needs in relation to the protection and enhancement of the environment and heritage. Based on these concerns a group of local citizens established Limerick Civic Trust. As our motto states the Trust is an action driven organisation which undertakes a wide range of projects to improve and preserve Limerick's Architectural Environment and Heritage.

From Limerick Civic Trust Web Site

RTE’s Nationwide interviews Martin Bourke, Denis Leonard who takes the viewer through its short history and presents their achievements to date. (Real Player)
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:15 pm

The Peoples Park Structures

Below are images of the type of restoration / environment projects that the civic trust has achieved in just the peoples park alone.

Bandstand

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Drinking Fountain

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Two Victorian Pavilions (Shelters)

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Kiosk

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Spring Rice Memorial (cleaned off graffiti)

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Built New Entrance (Colbert Station)

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Provided New Seating (20 Benches in all)

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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:50 pm

Sweet smell of success for People's Park

Limerick Post 13/07/08

Limerick 'treasure' captures first for Ireland award

ONE of Limerick city’s environmental treasures, the People’s Park, has just been awarded a highly prestigious award for excellence.

Next week Mayor of Limerick, John Gilligan, will be accompanied to Liverpool by Denis Leonard, director of Limerick Civic Trust, to receive the special Green Flag Award.

This will be the first time that the award has come to Ireland.

A delighted Michael O’Halloran, parks superintendent with Limerick City Council, said that while great credit must go to the park’s staff who are "extremely proud” of the city centre oasis of mature trees, rolling grass lawns intertwined by labyrinthine pathways and flower beds ablaze with seasonal colour, "the man to whom credit must go is Denis Leonard”.

Mr Leonard told the Limerick Post that he is delighted and very proud that the park has scooped the top level award.

"This award is a big cheese award in England and we put in a huge effort in making our pitch for it. We submitted our presentation in March, and I can say, we were determined to get it.

"The judges were very impressed”.

The man responsible for the decision to locate the new Park Gate entrance to the park (constructed around 1877 - the landmark Spring Rice Memorial was in situ since the 1820s) modestly confirmed that the handsome new Park Gate entrance significantly enhanced the park’s chances in securing the award.

"”There are maps from the 1870s setting out the design of the 10 acres that became the People’s Park. This is not very big, compared to many city parks but it is fairly unique in that it is not a flat area - you don’t see it all in one go - it has hollows and rises and curves and the original pathways have been retained. Also the judges were impressed by the accurate replacement of some of the original trees in the park.

"Basically, some 140 years of great care and attention has gone into maintaining the character and original allure of the park but another great plus that the judges were impressed with is the children’s playground”.

Mr Leonard said that an observation of the judges is that a panel should be erected inside the main entrance, that carries a message of welcome as well as an informative history of the People’s Park, which was donated to the people of Limerick by Lord Limerick.

"I’m also working to have a column inscribed with 1,000 years of Limerick’s history, adjacent to the entrance”.

Mr Leonard, who has steered hundreds of civic projects to fruition, since he established Limerick Civic Trust 25 years ago, said the Green Flag Award has spurred them on to pitch for the Green Heritage Park Award.

"Meantime, I’m hoping to use the winning of this award to persuade City Hall to embark on an important restoration project within the park”.

The Limerick Post believes this would involve the restoration of the park’s decorative drinking fountain, one of just two such fountains in the British Isles.
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:13 pm

Merchant’s Quay ~ St. Mary’s Cathedral (1982)

Limerick Civic Trust’s first project (1982) on the corner of Merchant’s Quay with Bridge Street really brings back memories of the dire state of the city’s old building stock. These decaying derelict eye-sores blighted the physical appearance of Limerick back then.

I can understand how tracts of wasteland came into existence as a result of the exodus from the inner city lanes to modern housing in the suburbs (1930-1960’s). But that city centre buildings especially non-used commercial ones were allowed to go so down-hill is difficult to accept.

I presume one reason that could have caused derelict eyesores was the removal of roofs from old non-used buildings so as to avoid paying rates. I don’t know if this behaviour was a myth or not but I do remember hearing it been mentioned in the past.

The two images below shows how in a short period (1940-1970’s) these three houses and a shop on the corner of Merchant’s Quay with Bridge Street ended in dereliction.

Apparently the Limerick Civic Trust choose this derelict site first, because of its central location and when successfully transformed it would be highly visual for all to see.

Basically it seems to me (correct me if I’m wrong) that they extended / completed the cut-stone boundary wall of St. Mary’s Cathedral. They laid a small plaza / footpath on the old site along with a few planted trees. Location in the Aerial image below marked A.

I could not source an image of the exact finished work on the corner but the third image below should give an idea of the completed boundary wall from its middle section.

Anybody got images of the finished work?

See also this post

Images Limerick Museum 1 2 and Flickr
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:23 pm

Merchant’s Quay ~ St. Mary’s Cathedral (1991)

Staying with the same location on Merchant’s Quay, but this time on the opposite corner with Augustine Place. Here it seems that the Limerick Civic Trust relocated the gate (1991) from Augustine Place to Merchant’s Quay. Thus creating a straight pathway from the main doorway, down along a flight of steps to Merchant’s Quay.

I presume the pillars are the original ones from Augustine Place. The gate itself is a nice piece of recycling as they acquired them from a residence in grounds of St. Joseph’s Hospital after they had widened theirs.

Image of original gate entrance (ca. 1900) on Augustine Place and the new moved gate on Merchant’s Quay. Location in the Aerial image above marked B and C. The area marked D was the site of the Exchange.

Images Limerick Museum and Flickr
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:50 pm

Merchant’s Quay ~ St. Mary’s Cathedral (1982)

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I eventually found two halfway decent images of their first project at the corner of Bridge Street / Merchant’s Quay.

Images gabig58 and Nick Gent
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:11 pm

Cars, Cars, Cars …… Grounds of St. Mary’s Cathedral

A down side in my opinion that undoes the positive environment work done here by the Limerick Civic Trust, are the car parking permits issued by St. Mary’s Cathedral to park cars “literally” between their gravestones and thus aesthetically spoiling views of the main entrance.
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:41 pm

Potato Market ~ Sylvester O’Halloran Footbridge ~ Merchant’s Quay (1987)

This was once the site of Limerick’s first port, the Potato Market was built around 1843. In the early 1980’s the Potato Market was used as an unauthorised halting site and in the words of Denis Leonard “By good fortune all the occupants left one summer to attend the Puck Fair Festival in Kerry.” ;)

Limerick Civic Trust thus seized the opportunity and secured the site for restoration. The Market was a success initially but the fact of it been very exposed to the weather elements from the river it never achieved its potential. Maybe the Milk Market was also a factor.

Another lesson revealed by Denis Leonard was the water feature running the entire length of the Market. This was to depict the river Shannon from its source, flowing through the lakes down to the estuary. This had to be filled in as their insurers refused public liability cover! See aerial image below.

Apart from a Christmas market / ice rink, this market space is now mainly used for car parking.

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Architects Murray O’Laoire

The brief called for the development of stalls for a Craft Market, the refurbishment of the original Potato Market site and the creation of a new performance space on the edge of the River Abbey on the Historic Kings Island quarter of Limerick City.

The works included the repair and reinstatement of the original quay walls and boundary railings with external works including paving of landscaping and the development of a new linear market building structure.

A new pedestrian bridge links the site with the Hunt Museum Park on the opposite river bank creating a vital link in extending the Limerick City Walk from King Johns Castle to the Limerick Docklands.


Silversmiths (Mathew Bridge)

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Change of Colours (White is in at the moment)

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Stalls / Shelters

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NIAH writes the following ....

An irregular-shaped five-sided enclosed former market place, begun in 1843, with a river fronting multiple-bay two-storey rubble limestone faced building, extensively restored during the 1980s, with a covered loggia facing the confluence of the Abbey and Shannon Rivers. Pitched artificial slate roof to this building with steel column supports to loggia, rising from a carved stone coping on rubble limestone quay walls to Abbey River. Two gauged red brick elliptical arches to south; one forming a balcony with steel balustrade; the second opening onto the Sylvester O'Halloran Footbridge. To the north elevation this building appears to be a single-storey facing the cobbled market area, with a gable-fronted platform section. The market area is enclosed on the other sides by squared limestone ashlar wall supporting wrought-iron railings with cast-iron spear and axe-head finials. Massive limestone ashlar Greek Revival gate piers with tapering shafts having incised Greek key motif, and triangular capping stones with cat ear corners; supporting wrought-iron gates with spearhead finial and axe-head finial to slam bar.

William Henshaw Owen prepared plans and specifications for the erection of the potato market in 1843. A very impressive open market space with fine railings enclosing it from the public footpath approaching Mathew Bridge and along Merchant's Quay. The riverside appears to be mostly of recent origins and forms an attractive backdrop to the Abbey River at this point.


Limerick History Sylvester O'Halloran

Limerick Museum original aerial image (1991)
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:24 pm

St. John’s Church ~ Graveyard ~ Unthank Crypt ~ Daghdha Dance Company

St John's Church

This deconsecrated Church of Ireland church was in a ruinous state when we got involved in its restoration some years ago in association with Limerick Corporation. The entire building has been re-roofed and work is on-going on the restoration of its exterior. Meticulous attention is being given to the architectural features and where necessary precise replicas are being provided to replace perished areas.

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St John's Churchyard Wall

This wall was built in 1697 after the sieges. The vibrations from the heavy traffic using the nearby road have weakened St Johns Church wall foundations. The wall is being rebuilt on reinforced foundations in exactly the same location using the original salvaged stone.

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The Unthank Crypt

A full restoration of this important Monument.

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Daghdha Dance Company

Daghdha Dance Company is dedicated to developing, producing and presenting contemporary choreography and dance. From its home at John’s Square in Limerick, Daghdha aims to engage audiences nationally and internationally in a socially relevant programme that integrates research, professional development, repertoire and performance. Daghdha collaborates with other fields of inquiry and expression as it strives to develop and promote a choreography that engages with and contributes to contemporary ideas and social realities.

Daghdha Dance Company’s home, St. John’s Church, was opened in 2004 and provides ‘in loco’ access to resources including dance rehearsal space, meeting space, books, videos, computers, broadband wireless internet, tea/coffee making. The main space is designed as a creative ‘living space’, with physical work areas in the centre and various niches along the perimeter, while a more specialised media centre is located in the nest. Daghdha Space, St. John’s Church is used as a laboratory by Daghdha’s artists on a daily basis and is also accessible to working/student dancers and choreographers.

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It is amazing to think that this church was once used as a works-store for the Limerick Corporation. Another good example of intervention by the Civic Trust as they nipped its decline in the bud before the vandals had a free run of the place.

The walled railings of the entrance-side were part of the first phase of boundary restoration. Though similar to the work done to the stone railings of St. Mary’s Cathedral (Bridge Street), alas the quality of the stone work here in my opinion seems to be very rough looking.

The jewel in the crown for the Civic Trust here is its successful use as a cultural venue by the dance company.

Anybody images of the restored wall from the John’s Hospital side?

Images from mcgervey “Limerick City Album”

Previous Posts Johns Square 1 2 3
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:00 pm

Barrington’s Hospital ~ Refurbished Gas Lanterns (1985)

These lamps have been a feature of the hospital since its establishment in 1829. This public hospital was closed in the 1980’s and has re-opened as a privately run clinic in the last decade or so. The new owners have since further enhanced its entrance.

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Images from Garry32owen and Alexia Golez

The Trust published the findings of a survey on Limerick’s Street Antiquities. In it they recorded the location of all the existing street furniture and relics of past times such as horse troughs, fire plates, gas lamp posts, postboxes and street signs.

I wonder do they collect / save such items before they are lost altogether like one of the last remaining ornate lamp posts on Steamboat Quay?
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:12 am

Limerick Canal Bridges

They conserved first the 251 year old red brick bridge in 1995 which is the oldest bridge structure in the city today. They also cleaned up the derelict building at the lock and converted the old tow paths into public pathways to the Groove Island apartment complex.

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At the other end of the canal they constructed the new Guinness Foot Bridge in 1997 thus connecting directly Corbally with Plassey. This was a very simple and pragmatic idea by the Trust thus giving walkers, joggers etc, etc. a straight through path without having to detour down the canal and back up again.

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Images Garry32owen and bjg
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:35 pm

Bishop’s Palace

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The Bishops' Palace is the headquarters for Limerick Civic Trust.
The Palace was faithfully restored 1990 becoming the winner of The Best Old Building Category in the City Neighbourhood 2005 Awards.


Side view of Bishop’s Palace, the North Munster Masonic Centre on the left with the spire of St. Munchin’s Church in the background.

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Rear view of Bishop’s Palace

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Front view of Bishop’s Palace

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Images Garry32owen

The following is a good account on the Bishop’s Palace from the Limerick.com’s archive.

Bishops Palace best historic building in Ireland

While the face of Limerick city centre is changing almost every day with new development occurring the level of the restoration work being carried out on a number of buildings of significant historical worth is also commendable.

One such that has recently won the National Award for the best historic building in Ireland is the graciously restored Bishop’s Palace that has become the jewel in the crown of historic King’s Island.

This is a building that, lovingly and painstakingly restored by Limerick Civic Trust draws spontaneous admiration from Limerick people commuting to and from work, who are fortunate enough to pass the cornerstone building that exudes the period and character of a bygone era.

Limerick Civic Trust which acquired the building in 1986 has some points of historic information regarding the building.

According to the Trust, the Bishop’s Palace is steeped in history.

Under the Acts of Settlement after the Cromwellian Wars, 1649-51, when it was acquired from Alderman Stritch, it was granted to the Church of Ireland bishops.

The earliest known maps and histories of Limerick have recorded a castellated town house standing on this site.

The present-day building is an early 18th century adaptation/rebuilding in Palladian of a medieval castellated town house, which is the only example in Limerick city of Palladian architecture in a domestic building and is also the oldest of its kind standing in the Englishtown.

The Civic Trust believes that Church of Ireland bishops occupied the building from 1651 to 1784 after which it went into private ownership.

When they purchased the building in 1986 it was a derelict ruin, its occupancy having ended in the 1960s when it was a condemned building and some say that even today the Bishop’s Lady, as immortalised in the Bard of Thomond, Michael Hogan’s masterpiece, Drunken Thady and the Bishop’s Lady, still haunts the house.

The Trust successfully completed to the highest of standards a total restoration of the building, transforming it into one of the most prominent and attractive landmarks in the historic area of King’s Island.

An outstanding feature is the building’s unique Venetian doorway that leads to a hall and stairwell adorned by a specially commissioned brass light fitting and a bull’s eye window in stained glass featuring the Limerick Civic trust crest in the centre. The fireplaces in each of the ground floor rooms display original relics from former times.

Especially interesting is a mill wheel which came from the Harris Mill on Henry Street (the family business of the late actor, Richard Harris) and the gothic arched entrance into the rear yard was salvaged from St Mary’s Convent grounds during he building of the northern relief road and another interesting feature is the cast iron gate which was once a wicker gateway into the medical residence at St Joseph’s Hospital


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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby gunter » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:32 am

I was well impressed with the city on a recent visit to Limerick, but, apart from Sarsfield House, the biggest blot on the city's copybook has to be the degree of urban regression within the medieval core.

A quick look at the Thomas Phillips' panoramic view of the city in 1685 shows the degree to which the original core, 'The English Town', has been eroded to be almost a suburb of the present city, with the scale of streetscape reduced to an average of two storeys and many blocks derelict or cleared of buildings completely.

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Panoramic view taken from the west bank of the Shannon with Thomond Bridge on the left and 'Baal's Bridge' in the distance on the right.

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A detail of the medieval harbour (Potato Market) showing tall, three and four storey, gabled houses in the background on Merchant's Quay and George's Quay close to the junction of present day Bridge Street.

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A detail showing the rear of tall gabled houses on St. Nicholas Street at a location perhaps corresponding to the (slightly later ?) five storey Dutch gabled house seen in a 19th century photograph of the Exchange (recently posted by CologneMike on the 'Dutch Billy' thread)

One key derelict site, no. 1 George's Quay, on the corner with Bridge Street is the subject of a current planning application by the owners of the adjoining pub/restaurant, 'The Locke Bar', but again the proposed development is just a disappointing two storeys!

I think we seriously need to get our heads around regenerating our historic urban cores in ways that do some justice to the scale and prestige of what went before. It's bad enough that the whole of Merchant's Quay, the other side of Bridge Street and the very site of the Exchange itself have all been absorbed into the ever expanding cemetery, without going totally suburban on key sites like this.

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Another cologneMike posted image of the last remains of houses on the cemetery side of Bridge Street.

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A great high level view of Merchants Quay when it still had buildings on it and also showing the corner of George's Quay with Bridge street, where the two storey corner building is now proposed.
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:32 am

Georgian House & Garden

To create public awareness about the decline of period buildings in Limerick, and to promote a better appreciation of the city’s built heritage, Limerick Civic Trust decided in 1996 to purchase No.2 Pery Square in order to restore the house to its former glory: minute attention being paid to the décor and architectural detail. Work commenced in November of that year involving 18 people employed on a FAS job initiative scheme, the restoration took three years.

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Restored back to its original state, the Georgian House and Garden Visitor Centre was officially opened to the public in December 1999 by Mary Mc Aleese, President of Ireland. The restoration project can be judged a major success for it has made a lasting impact in raising awareness among the general public of Limerick’s Georgian architectural heritage and the need to protect this rich legacy.

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“Private gardens were the great unseen asset of the city”

At the start of the Georgian era, gardens were rigidly formal in style, but with the passing of the years, these formalities became more relaxed both in plan and layout as interest turned more and more towards the plants themselves rather than towards the creation of a classical style, with gardens eventually being based upon the principles of the landscape and picturesque movements.

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The Georgian Garden at No. 2 Pery Square is the only example of such a restored urban garden open to the public in Ireland. Belinda Jupp designed the layout and the planting plan of the Georgian garden gives the background to the restoration.

Images by JennyWenny22 :cool:
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:27 pm

Progressive Trust has faith in ability to deliver

Limerick Post 10th January 2009
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:31 pm

Restoration of No. 4 Patrick Street (Catherine Hayes Project)

As the principal part of the Catherine Hayes project Limerick Civic Trust are embarking on the complete restoration Catherine’s birthplace, No. 4 Patrick Street. Built in the early 1700’s this shop fronted building, four storeys over basement does not have any ornate plasterwork or fancy woodwork but it does represent an important example of early Georgian architecture being part of the earliest developments in Newtown Pery.

Trade directories, census records and so forth record that No. 4 was a busy place, at various times selling confectionary, straw hats, tobacco, toys and fancy goods on the first floor. The earliest lease found dates to 1754. The interior of the shop is possibly the oldest surviving in the city. Its quaint charm is unique and something special. No. 4 Patrick Street holds an important social history by the very fact that it was the birthplace of Catherine Hayes.

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No. 4 Patrick Street was generously donated to Limerick Civic Trust by Mr. Suneil Sharma of Regeneration Developments Ltd. Mr. Sharma is developing a new retail facility aptly name The Opera Centre after Catherine Hayes. Once No. 4 has been made structurally sound by Regeneration Developments Ltd, Limerick Civic Trust will fundraise actively invest a further €2 million to cover the costs of a faithful restoration of Catherine’s birthplace.

The restored building will include a shop and accommodation with a museum honouring the life of Catherine Hayes. The house will also become a civic amenity, similar to Limerick Civic Trusts Georgian House at No. 2 Pery Square. Once fully restored No. 4 Patrick Street will be available for visitors, small events, meetings and private functions.

Currently the building is in a ruinous state of disrepair.

Source Limerick Civic Trust


NIAH

Description
Terraced two-bay four-storey over concealed basement red brick building, built c. 1780 :confused:, with a timber shopfront at ground floor level, c. 1880. Coach house to rear site lane. Pitched artificial slate roof concealed behind parapet wall with large red brick chimneystack to party wall, possibly rebuilt during the late nineteenth century. Square-headed window openings with red brick flat arches, rendered reveals, painted limestone sills, and six-over-six and three-over-six timber sash windows. Timber shoring to openings, c. 1980. Timber shopfront comprising fluted pilasters to either end supporting cornice fascia board with painted name plate. Two door openings each with overlight, one to shop floor and one accessing upper floors, flanking four-paned display window with metal sheet lining to stallriser. One flat-panelled timber door, contemporary with shopfront, and a plank timber door, c. 1980. Tensile cast-iron grille to pavement illuminates basement cellar. Gable-fronted single-bay three-storey rendered coach house possibly enlarged to form a commercial store, with roughcast rendered finish. Pitched slate roof with ridge perpendicular to lane.

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Appraisal
This house forms one of four terraced two-bay two-storey houses and as such one of the most intact lengths of Georgian streetscapes on Patrick Street. Patrick Street derives its name from the Arthur family who were distinguished in history for among other things, the laying out and construction of Arthur's Quay, which is now demolished. Patrick Street is roughly contemporary and dates to the last decades of the eighteenth century. The survival of this house and coach house, which is of some rarity in this part of the city, is to the enrichment of Limerick City. A plaque on the façade suggests the house was that of Catherine Hayes (1825-1861).
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:55 pm

Gas Meter

Denis Leonard told members at the annual general meeting . . . . .

With reference to the city’s gas meter, he said:

“I’m trying to identify a suitable prominent site along the riverside where the meter can be located. This is a substantial item and is designed like a Grecian Temple. It’s the only one of its kind in the country.”


The Limerick Museum has an image of this gas meter. It looks like a piece of ornamental ironwork? I wonder is the riverside the ideal location for it? Would not an industrial museum be more appropriate for it, like maybe a “Made in Limerick Museum”?
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby justnotbothered » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:01 pm

CologneMike wrote:The Limerick Museum has an image of this gas meter. It looks like a piece of ornamental ironwork? I wonder is the riverside the ideal location for it? Would not an industrial museum be more appropriate for it, like maybe a “Made in Limerick Museum”?


Yeah, a riverside location would be great, then, in a few weeks, we could knock it down and replace it with ikea-designed buildings.
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:22 pm

Fountain plea: Limerick Civic Trust seeks old photos

Limerick Leader 06 March 2009

By Alan Owens

LIMERICK Civic Trust is appealing for old photographs of the ornate drinking fountain in the People's Park, which is to be taken away for repair in April.

The Richard Russell Memorial Fountain, built in 1877 when the park opened, is to be restored to its former glory after falling into disrepair in recent years.

The feature is identical to the Jaffe Fountain in Belfast's Donegall Square.

Denis Leonard of Limerick Civic Trust is appealing for old photographs of the fountain, which could help with the restoration work.

"The fountain is to be taken away in April and it would be great if people had photographs of it, not modern photos, I have plenty of them, but older photographs, and in particular close-up photos, would be perfect," he said.

Mr Leonard appealed for photographs from "around the turn of the 19th century and right up to the 30s, 40s, and 50s" in order to help with the restoration work, and to build a photographic archive of the familiar fountain, which, along with the Belfast fountain, is possibly one of only two made.

"I am certain there are only two in the country, and I am reasonably sure there were only two ever made," said Mr Leonard.

"They were made by the George Smith Foundry in Glasgow, the Belfast one being ever so slightly older than the Limerick one, which was built in 1877, when the park was opened. Richard Russell was a well-known local businessman, and the fountain was paid for by subscription by the employees of his various businesses."

The restoration will take about six months and has been funded by several bodies, including Limerick City Council, the Earl of Limerick Fund, the People's Park Trustee Fund, Civic Trust resources and conservation money.

If you have old photographs of the fountain, you can email them to
info@limerickcivictrust.ie or drop them into the Georgian House, Pery Square.


How the fountain looked in its heyday
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:44 am

Johnsgate City Wall Project (1997)

The 200 metre stretch of the city wall was caught in time by the Civic Trust, as photos taken before its preservation reveal it in a pretty bad state. A lot of the wall seemed to be plundered as a source of building material. The Trust also provided a linear public park that runs parallel with wall.

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Junior wrote:I’m jumping threads again “Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park”

. . . . . . . . The Limerick Civic Trust has come into some criticism of late for not having a continuous management plan for the upkeep of the numerous sections of the town walls that they conserved in the early nineties. . . . . . .


I presume the Local Authority blocked off the access (2009) to the walls / park-lane at the Sally Port Pub (now closed). When I see this type of railing, often it is a symbol of a bankrupt declaration of not been able to deal with anti-social behaviour. Vegetation growth and keeping it in check is an on going battle which requires manpower alas funds to do it.

I definitely agree with you that some form of a “continuous management plan” for the upkeep of the numerous sections of the town walls that they conserved and others like the canal bridge are needed. Otherwise their great efforts will be un-done.
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby Tuborg » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:23 pm

Limerick Civic Trust, continuing their fantastic work at the People's Park.

Restored Limerick park feature will be a fountain of knowledge

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By Anne Sheridan

IN 150 years time people in Limerick will discover what was making the news locally and nationally in 2009, as a sealed time capsule has been placed in a renovated fountain in the People's Park.
The Limerick Civic Trust initiative, which has been supported by Limerick City Council, saw the front page of this Wednesday's Irish Times, as well as a copy of the Limerick Leader, enclosed in the capsule.

Other items include the annual report of Limerick Civic Trust, as well as press cuttings and photographs relating to their work.
Gabrielle Wallace, the trust's first female chair, said she hoped her descendants will discover the capsule in years to come.

"I find it very exciting that the fountain is coming back to Limerick fully restored. I really love the idea of the capsule because there is so much history attached to the park itself," said Ms Wallace.
The fountain was erected in 1877 in honour of Richard Russell, a highly regarded employer in Limerick.

An exact date to remove the capsule has not been confirmed, but the trust believes that the fountain may need to be restored in another 150 years.

When the original columns were removed they discovered some old coins, which may have been placed there intentionally, and hence decided to leave a remnant of the past for future generations.

It had been mooted to paint the fountain white and green, in the colours of the trust, but when layers of paint were peeled back it was discovered that it was originally painted red, and thet trust chose to remain with that colour.

Ms Wallace said credit must be given to Denis Leonard, trust director, for spearheading the plans,. He was unable to attend the event in the People's Park this Wednesday afternoon.

For the past seven months, a British conservation company, Eura Conservation, has been working on restoring the Richard Russell fountain to its former glory at a cost of approximately €80,000.
There are only two of these unique fountains in Ireland, with the Belfast model used as an example in restoring the Limerick version.
Both structures were made by the Sun Foundry in Glasgow by George Smith & Co Ltd, and the castings were considered to be the finest available at the time.

The fountain will be officially opened on November 6 by the Mayor Kevin Kiely at 11.30am.

To coincide with the return of the fountain, a nine-minute documentary will run in the Georgian House, Pery Square, from October 22 to October 30. The film includes footage of the fountain being dismantled, along with the intricate restoration in Britain. Phone 061-313399 for further enquiries, and booking is advised.


There are no decent pictures of the newly restored fountain knocking around as of yet. Below is an image from a couple of years back.
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:21 pm

Wow . . . . that is some restoration!

See larger image from Sparky No.1

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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby Tuborg » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:40 pm

Looks like an absolutely superb job, really looking forward to seeing it for myself! :)
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:27 pm

Exchange Wall

ACP Group Architectural Conservation Professionals

The Limerick City Exchange was built in 1673 to house the city's covered market and council chamber. The Exchange and nearby Cathedral provided a city centre to 17th century Limerick. In 1702 the Exchange was demolished and replaced by a new larger building that didn’t project onto the street, as the previous one had. This was advantageous in allowing for the development of straighter wider streets in the city. During the mid-1800s, the Exchange fell into disuse as a new town hall was constructed across the bridge in Rutland Street. All that remains of the Exchange now is a row of Tuscan columns in the wall surrounding St Mary’s graveyard. This is a Protected Structure within the terms of the Planning Act RPS no. RPS010 and is within the Archaeological Zone.

Limerick Civic Trust engaged us to prepare a conservation report on the wall with a view to undertaking emergency repairs.

The wall had fallen into considerable disrepair owing to the growth of vegetation including Virginia creeper, Hedera helix (ivy) and Fraxinus excelsior saplings (ash) in crevices in the stone. This growth posed a significant risk to the wall in the short term and a project to remove the vegetation and repair the wall top was undertaken by the Civic Trust in Spring 2009.

Pollution damage was also noted which was a less serious threat but would degrade the fabric in the medium term.


See other posts from thread “Old Illustrations of Limerick” 7 and 45.

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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby gunter » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:47 pm

The Exchange was probably built as an open structure on the ground floor, like the Tholsel, with a stone flaged floor.

With the ground level being so much higher on the cemetry side of the wall, there's a good chance that much of this stone paved ground floor survives, along with the lower sections of the back and side walls. If the burials could be relocated, it would be great to see the floor plan of the old Exchange excavated and the Tuscan arcade opened up again as some kind of outdoor exhibition space.

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the Tuscan columns peeping through the masonry in-fill on the inside of the street facade.
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