Architects Murray Oâ€™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.
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.
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.
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.
The Unthank Crypt
A full restoration of this important Monument.
Daghdha Dance Company
Daghdha Dance Company is dedicated to developing, producing and presenting contemporary choreography and dance. From its home at Johnâ€™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 Companyâ€™s home, St. Johnâ€™s Church, was opened in 2004 and provides â€˜in locoâ€™ 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 â€˜living spaceâ€™, 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. Johnâ€™s Church is used as a laboratory by Daghdhaâ€™s artists on a daily basis and is also accessible to working/student dancers and choreographers.
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.
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 Bishopâ€™s Palace that has become the jewel in the crown of historic Kingâ€™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 Bishopâ€™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 Bishopâ€™s Lady, as immortalised in the Bard of Thomond, Michael Hoganâ€™s masterpiece, Drunken Thady and the Bishopâ€™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 Kingâ€™s Island.
An outstanding feature is the buildingâ€™s unique Venetian doorway that leads to a hall and stairwell adorned by a specially commissioned brass light fitting and a bullâ€™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 Maryâ€™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 Josephâ€™s Hospital
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 Catherineâ€™s birthplace, No. 4 Patrick Street. Built in the early 1700â€™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.
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 â‚¬2 million to cover the costs of a faithful restoration of Catherineâ€™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
Terraced two-bay four-storey over concealed basement red brick building, built c. 1780 , 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.
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 faÃ§ade suggests the house was that of Catherine Hayes (1825-1861).
Denis Leonard told members at the annual general meeting . . . . .
With reference to the cityâ€™s gas meter, he said:
â€œIâ€™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. Itâ€™s the only one of its kind in the country.â€
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 â€œMade in Limerick Museumâ€?
Junior wrote:Iâ€™m jumping threads again â€œRegeneration of Kingâ€™s Island ~ Saint Maryâ€™s Parkâ€
. . . . . . . . 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. . . . . . .
Restored Limerick park feature will be a fountain of knowledge
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 â‚¬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.
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 didnâ€™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 Maryâ€™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.