St. JamesÂ’ Graveyard Feasibility Study

St. James’ Graveyard Feasibility Study

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:38 pm

The historic graveyard of St. James’ located on James’ Street, Dublin 8 is being transferred to the ownership of Dublin City Council. A feasibility study was commissioned to look at the graveyard as an accessible public amenity/ historical resource set in the context of the wider Liberties area.

We would welcome all comments and suggestions in relation to the proposed development.

To facilitate this we have put together a blog and short online survey to allow you to give your thoughts on the study. We would encourage you visit the blog site at http://stjamesgraveyard.blogspot.com/ and then follow the link to the online survey within.

Any comments can be added to the comment section of the blog. Alternatively, you can email us at bslarch@gmail.com or contact us by post at Bernard Seymour Landscape Architects, 15 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7 to obtain a paper copy of the survey and blog information.
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Re: St. James’ Graveyard Feasibility Study

Postby gunter » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:31 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:A feasibility study was commissioned to look at the graveyard as an accessible public amenity/ historical resource set in the context of the wider Liberties area.


Unfortunately, St. James' churchyard is a very secluded spot with very limited access and zero visibility from the street, that was the problem back in the '80s when all the good work done by Fás was ultimately undone because it was recognised that it would be reckless to allow public access to a space over which there was little or no passive supervision. One large apartment complex [Steeven’s Gate] has grown up along part of the western boundary of the graveyard in the meantime, but otherwise the problems remain the same.

One of the good things in the recent Liberties LAP was the suggestion that the church and graveyard be incorporated into an expanded urban park as a key element of a major urban regeneration of the area adjacent to Heuston Station, taking in the outer edges of the Guinness holding on Victoria Quay and Steevens Lane.

Image
a map from the Liberties Local Area Plan with St. James graveyard outlined in red

A terraced urban space like that could be a stunning addition to the fabric of this end of the city especially since there is the potential for a strong visual link across the river to the terraced forecourts at the National Museum complex at Collins Barracks. In fact, you could take that opportunity further than just a 'visual' link by creating an actual link in the form of a high level contemporary pedestrian/cycle viaduct [such as was suggested before to arch between Military Road and the Phoenix Park over the platforms at Heuston] generating some through-traffic and providing a new panoramic vantage point at this end of the quays [from which to observe the shopping trolleys half buried in the Liffey mud].

What I don't want to see is some half-assed Corpo landscaping proposal for the graveyard when what we need are the strong urban solutions of the LAP expanded on and developed into a plan with the power to one day shift the inertia that has left an over-rated brewing company sit on the equivalent of an entire urban quarter for close to a hundred and fifty years.

The development climate might have chilled further since the Liberties LAP was drafted, but these are the times when city planning is more necessary than ever and marking time with token gestures is a poor substitute for hammering out a urban vision.
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Re: St. James’ Graveyard Feasibility Study

Postby btdolan » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:06 pm

I blogged a bit about this here

I like the idea of a terraced park mirroring the museum but I do think its a good idea to maintain the form of the graveyard, as a place with gravestones and a church and a history integral to the city.

The last thing that is needed is another featureless void like Wolfe Tone Square with a pile of gravestones at one end. Low-maintenance 'landscaping' by the council tends to end up bland and, after a few years, very grubby.
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Re: St. James’ Graveyard Feasibility Study

Postby gunter » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:55 pm

I like the Jervis Street square, the only thing wrong with it is that it doesn't have a southern edge, the space just ends in the back of the Fás building on Abbey Street. It might be a small bit bland, even beige, but at least it's a usable space and I've seen it used pretty constantly since it went in. There was more drinking in the churchyard before they took away the railings and paved it than there is now.

I also don't have a problem with using grave stones as paving, most of the great churches of Europe are partially paved in gravestones and you just walk on them, or stop to inspect them, as the fancy takes you.

My main point about St. James churchyard is that whatever treatment is proposed for the surface and whichever way the existing gravestones are to be presented, tinkering around with the space is as pointless now as it was back in the 80s when Fás trainees repaired and transformed the churchyard, unless it is part of a much wider urban plan.

DCC constantly come up with low budget ways of doing little things that achieve very little when they'd be far better advised to spend the time knocking heads together and pushing for the bigger vision, imo.
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Re: St. James’ Graveyard Feasibility Study

Postby aj » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:54 pm

gunter wrote:I like the Jervis Street square, the only thing wrong with it is that it doesn't have a southern edge, the space just ends in the back of the Fás building on Abbey Street. It might be a small bit bland, even beige, but at least it's a usable space and I've seen it used pretty constantly since it went in. There was more drinking in the churchyard before they took away the railings and paved it than there is now.

I also don't have a problem with using grave stones as paving, most of the great churches of Europe are partially paved in gravestones and you just walk on them, or stop to inspect them, as the fancy takes you.

My main point about St. James churchyard is that whatever treatment is proposed for the surface and whichever way the existing gravestones are to be presented, tinkering around with the space is as pointless now as it was back in the 80s when Fás trainees repaired and transformed the churchyard, unless it is part of a much wider urban plan.

DCC constantly come up with low budget ways of doing little things that achieve very little when they'd be far better advised to spend the time knocking heads together and pushing for the bigger vision, imo.


Wolfe Tone park is a awful place the headstones in the ground remind me Schindlers list. Also the fact that some of the oldest headstone are dumped at one end is real pity surely there is a better way to display them than stacking them up.
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Re: St. JamesÂ’ Graveyard Feasibility Study

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:26 am

Follow-up meeting Friday 25th of March, 4:30 – 7:00pm
http://archiseek.com/2011/st-james-grav ... ity-study/
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