Smithfield, Dublin

Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:23 am

I don't know if there were any consistent terraces around there; it seems to mostly just a higgledy-piggledy variety of heights, widths and shapes - a bit like the Quays (were).

There's an old stone underpass archway between No. 80 and No. 81, which you can see in the 1950s picture below. It's obscured now by a big used car sales fascia. You can still see the uprights of the arch (see below) - it's in the 'Gibbsian' style. If the buildings are to kept, this sign should be redesigned to show the arch.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Alek Smart » Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:44 am

Perhaps if the area is incapable of supporting either Fresh Fish or Italianate Pasta outlets some consideration could be given to a leaseback arrangement with Charlie Duffy who operated a very popular and efficient Breakers Yard in Smithfield up until the day of reckoning.
They shifted poor oul Charlie out to a souless industrial unit on the Long Miler where he still manages to turn a cent keeping Irelands wheels turning.
Surely Car Breakers yards have aesthetic reghts too...and another thing !...with Dublin City Councils predisposition for allocating Car space in EVERY commercial or resedential development it approves perhaps a Breakers Yard IS actually more in keeping with the intrinsic cultural ethos of Smithfield,or indeed any other DCC area.....;)
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:32 am

Yes Alek I agree the area is being sterilised. The planners would tell you that those kind of concerns (like Duffy's) are "not a long-term sustainable use for the area" but they were definitely part of the character of that part of town.
Then there's the horse fair .....
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby a boyle » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:26 am

hang on a second ! of course the place has very little atmosphere , it's only just finished and almost no shops have move in yet !

Consider that it took 6 months between starbucks reported as "opening soon" in the times and them actually doing so at the harcourt tram station. Things can take time. I think it is far too early to dismiss the area as a failure.

On an aesthetic level , the square is large enough to accomodate all the different sides to the square. I feel that the old distellery is very poor and ,aside from the facade, has worn badly. The new buildings have the right bulk in my opinion, and fit in well the viking ship pylons.

If temple bar was too successfull and the ifsc not sufficiently , this looks to get it just right to my mind.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby GregF » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:31 pm

I like the Fusano properties development. I remember all the hoo-haa about the proposal when it was first mooted and the objections to the tower. Looking at the finished product, I think it looks quite well overall . The Corpo housing scheme at the corner is bloody awful however. The remnnants of buildings, ie the Cobblestone pub and the 3 other sites should be demolished (bar the tall Georgian house) at the end of the square and a contemporary eye catching focal point building should be added I think. It would frame the square. Pity Bo- Derrels pub was demolished that was around here too but the replacement is'nt bad. Overall Smithfield looks good and is getting better. Well done to the HARP for rejuvenating this whole area of the city , ie North King Street etc...It was once a national disgrace.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Maskhadov » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:33 pm

I took a walk around Smithfield yesterday and thought the new development was great.

The area is a sucess.. it will just take time for people and shops to move in. The old buildings look terrible though.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby GregF » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:41 pm

Just to add, I think a bronze sculpture of horses somewhere in the square would be an attractive feature, in honour of the horse fair.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby PVC King » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:49 pm

Shouldn't that be pi-balled ponies to give an authentic feel as opposed to a homogenised rose tinted view of the past; Perry Ogden has an excellent collection of pictures taken in the late 1990's of some of the characters of the market
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby GregF » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:54 pm

aye ...a couple of old nags grouped together would suffice as an attraction. It could be a funny piece of sculpture. It doesn't have to be idealistic or too serious. Something to be propped up on when having a photo taken.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:05 pm

GregF wrote:I like the Fusano properties development. I remember all the hoo-haa about the proposal when it was first mooted and the objections to the tower.
Wern't they going for 23 storeys at first? As far as l remember it was taken down in height not because a high building was deemed innapropriate for the area but because the chimney was already the established landmark of Smithfield and it would have been taller than that.
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby jdivision » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:42 pm

Devin wrote:Wern't they going for 23 storeys at first? As far as l remember it was taken down in height not because a high building was deemed innapropriate for the area but because the chimney was already the established landmark of Smithfield and it would have been taller than that.

Not sure whether it was 23 storeys or not but yeah, it was turned down because it would have detracted from the tower. There's a story that's related to the tower and other side of the square in The Sunday Business Post on Sunday
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Re: Smithfield Market - what's the verdict?

Postby Devin » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:58 am

jdivision wrote:Re: The side of Smithfield opposite Smithfield Markets, there is planning application in (not sure if it's been approved or not) to significantly increase the scale on that side of the street - particularly at Chief O'Neills which frankly is a hole.
That planning app was approved by DCC but has just been refused by ABP: http://www.pleanala.ie/data1/searchdetails.asp?id=3270769&caseno=215643

The plan was to increase the height of the drum-shaped function room of the hotel from 2 storeys to 9 storeys, which would have looked something like this (below). Problem was, there were apartments just a few feet away across the laneway and the residents unsurprisingly went beserk at how much light etc. would be blocked, and put several appeals in.

I think an increase in height of the main part of the hotel was also sought (perhaps different Ref. No.)
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Re: Smithfield Square is Burning Down.....

Postby hutton » Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:40 am

Is it known what if any prosecutions occured in this case?

On a separate if oddly non-connected note, does anyone know when the tall flame torchs in S. were last lit? :confused:
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Smithfield Wasteland

Postby lostexpectation » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:25 pm

http://www.herald.ie/national-news/city-news/revamped-smithfield-becoming-ghost-town-after-businesses-shut-1686949.html
Revamped Smithfield 'becoming ghost town' after businesses shut
Colin O'Riordan/ Evening Herald

Smithfield is in danger of becoming a "ghost town" due to the number of businesses closing down, a councillor has warned.

Last year, the much acclaimed Lighthouse Cinema opened its doors in the area. A science museum and a bookies also opened up, while the Motor Tax office relocated there.

Thomas Read closed its doors in the area as its parent group, which owns a chain of pubs and restaurants throughout the city, struggles to survive.

A new Spar supermarket recently shut down, just four weeks after it opened. Another convenience store has also shut its doors. However, the Fresh supermarket still appears to be thriving in the area.

Last week, a case came to the Commercial Court concerning a legal action for re-possession of a €10m property in the area, following allegations of non-payment of rent.

The sub-tenants of the company being sued -- Redquartz Smithfield Ltd -- are the Lighthouse Cinema and Fresh supermarket,

Cllr Burke said the Smithfield Horse Market was hurting the area, but there was little that Dublin City Council could do about it, thanks to ancient city laws.

Councillors, the DSPCA and a number of parties have hit out at the market.
"Dublin City Council's hands are tied in relation to this, due to an ancient law," Cllr Burke said.

"We need the support of the Government -- a change of legislation is required."


what science museum,have the horse sellers been offered other areas?

even with more apartments and shopfronts to the square its still a ghosttown?
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby ac1976 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:45 pm

Most of the retail units were never occupied in the first place so the shopfronts to the square have been empty for years now, except a few which are struggling to survive.

There is a whole DCC Markets Area Development Plan, I dont think the area will reach it's potential until this plan takes affect. But this doesn't mean the retail shouldn't have been built, course it should.


http://www.dublincity.ie/Planning/OtherDevelopmentPlans/FrameworkDevelopmentPlans/Pages/CityMarkets.aspx
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby parka » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:45 pm

Smithfield has always been a ghost town to me.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby reddy » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:53 pm

Its strange that they blame the horse fair. Cities need those kind of events to maintain some life and character.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby newgrange » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:04 pm

'What Science museum?' was my thought too.
I do like the Lighthouse though - very nice space.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby StephenC » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:04 am

"DCC's hand are tied"... in the same way that they couldnt complete the repaving...or enforce the derelcit sites act....or maintain the existing square
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby ac1976 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:04 am

I agree with Stephen, sounds more like DCC are sitting on their hands.
Surely the Development Framework plan which falls under Central Government Legislation can be used to move this horse market if they do desire.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby kefu » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:51 am

They're not going to be able to rent these shop spaces because if there isn't critical mass to support a pub/Spar, what chance does any other business have? Simple solution for me is to rent them out as artist's studios, until things pick up.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby jdivision » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:23 am

They had rental agreements in place on a number of the units. However, the retailers are refusing to move in as the units are double height and they don't want to pay the additional costs such as heating that involves. The developers went back and tried to put mezzanines or convert the top half into offices making the units single storey but DCC in their wisdom said no. So now the units are empty and with the downturn many of those who had agreed to open are probably reassessing their options.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby hutton » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:55 am

jdivision wrote:They had rental agreements in place on a number of the units. However, the retailers are refusing to move in as the units are double height and they don't want to pay the additional costs such as heating that involves. The developers went back and tried to put mezzanines or convert the top half into offices making the units single storey but DCC in their wisdom said no. So now the units are empty and with the downturn many of those who had agreed to open are probably reassessing their options.


In fairness jdivision, DCC probably got tired of all the change-of-uses sought by the developers, and possibly viewed such requests through that prism - ie no emigration museum, no legal museum, no craft centre, or sculpture centre - all of which were scheduled but never happened :(

The light house is a gem in an otherwise now somewhat intimidating ghost town.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby jdivision » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:29 pm

hutton, as far as I know the cultural use was always the subject of discussion between both parties and nothing was ever decided for definite until the lighthouse was agreed upon. I could be wrong. Having said all that, the idea of putting the wax works in there was always a dreadful one.
At the same time, the council should have asked to see the agreements in principle with the retailers, looked at the reasons for their reticence and granted permission accordingly. There's a whole swathe of empty retail units around the city that have been unoccupied for years.
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Re: Smithfield Wasteland

Postby hutton » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:25 pm

jdivision wrote:There's a whole swathe of empty retail units around the city that have been unoccupied for years.


This issue has been on my mind for some time - the UK Local Govt Assoc has also identified it as issue, with some suggestions - see below.

Re Wax Museum - where so would you put it?

The allocation of an over-sized step-down methadone clinic that was going to permit last year to HSE, and albeit located on Queen Street, really smacked (no pun intended) of the developers/ owners desperate for rent - and signs on as to poor Paddy Kelly going to the wall... I wonder if the wax museum suggestion was also a sign of desperation?

On empty shops: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7840421.stm
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