Royal Dublin Hotel

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 08, 2003 11:02 am

Simple, quality brick-clad facades with sash windows, and the optional extra of stone dressings & pilasters etc, are exceptionally cheap compared with any modern glass-clad/ granite-clad/white concrete-clad etc building.

Most, if not all of the bldgs at the north-western end are simple, decorative brick structures anyway, as I presume the Aer Lingus bldg was that used to be on the now derilect site, and the same with Dublin Bus site - Gilbeys being the marked exception.

The RDH, aside from its nasty projecting gold aluminium windows - its brick cladding, as a material, works well in the context of the whole terrace, whatever about its colour & quality.
I think that any material used, other than brick or quality cut stone (to reflect the AIB next door) in the 'refurbishments', will invade onto the terrace.
Remenber, even in the progressive 30s, the Carlton was still built in a classical style using traditional materials to fit into the street, albeit an interpreted classicism, and works really well.

One positive aspect the RDH's redvelopment is the hotel's expansion, which should help increase trade at the northern end. It is planned to add an extra storey to the building, although it will be set back from the street parapet line and invisible from st level, the whole entance lobby is to be gutted, as is I think its coffee shop, and as far as I recall the plans include a whopping increase in its bedroom numbers.
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Postby StephenC » Thu May 08, 2003 11:32 am

I took a walk arounf on Monday and I was struck by the appalling mess RHD made of the Parnell side of their building. Looking at the hotel from this side its a wonder anyone would want to stay their.

Poor Parnell Street and Square... they really have been let fall apart. Even the new bland and boring Jury's Inn wont add anything. It just continues the line of ugly boxes that were put up in the mid 90s. The Square is a disgrace as well... so many of its Georgian buildings look delapidated and rundown.

I saw the model for the extension of the Municipal Gallery but the staff at the gallery reckoned it would be a while yet before anything happened due to money.

I also (for the first time) got to read the complete IAP for O'Connell Street and I was impressed the scope of the plan. But many of the elements are simple to implement nd effect street like D'Olier, Westmoreland and Parnell... all well away from the Spire and LUAS works. Its a shame that we haven't seen any progress on these streets while we have been waiting for the Spire to be errected. A lost opportunity!
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Postby GrahamH » Thu May 08, 2003 11:48 am

The IAP is very comprehensive but remember, it was published in 1998! 5 years ago! And it was compiled 6 years ago!
And nothing has been done, other than the erection of a 120 metre pole.

All of the delapidated Georgians on Parnell Sq are mentioned in the IAP, as is Parnell St, again nothing done.
Likewise with O' Cll St, and is'nt Marlbourgh St included - like it would make a difference if it was.
And as for poor Westmoreland, Europe's only motorway with traffic lights...
Tree planting here, and paving etc could make it beautiful, a perfect visual launch-pad for O' Connell St.
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Postby StephenC » Thu May 08, 2003 12:07 pm

Yes, you're right Graham. I tend to forget just how long this whole thing has been chugging alone (almost half a year waiting for some lighting to be turned on on the Spire!) What struck me was how simple the recommendations for the side streets were. Reduced traffic lanes, uniform tree planting, smart lighting... Its not that hard is it?
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Postby Rory W » Fri May 09, 2003 3:34 pm

Hate to be pedantic about these things but the derelict site on O'Connell Street was occupied by a branch of Penny's and not Aer Lingus - burnt down the same weekend the Pope visited Ireland (1979) fact fans - yes gaping hole on "main street Ireland" for almost 25 years - should probably organise a celebration of the anniversary or something
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Postby GrahamH » Sun May 11, 2003 12:50 am

Hate to be pedantic, you're loving it!

But you're correct, Aer Lingus was on the RDH site, with Penneys and, wasn't it a bookstore or something, on the derelict site.

I stand corrected (and not for the first time)!

I've heard loads of the Aer Lingus premises but never seen it, anyone have a picture?
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Postby GrahamH » Sun May 11, 2003 12:58 am

The day the go-ahead for RDH redevelopment came through, the planning application was hastily taken out of the front window, but now its back up again for some reason...

The total no of extra rooms is 61, and ALL of the public areas are being gutted incl restaurant, bar, reception etc

Its interesting that all of these plans were only drawn up on the back of the Gresham's refurbishment, they probably would'nt have happened otherwise.
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Postby StephenC » Mon May 12, 2003 9:41 am

Its hopefully a sign of that much needed 'domino effect' of tenants on the street encouraging (for want of a better word) each other to upgrade.
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