The death of the Arcade!

The death of the Arcade!

Postby dc3 » Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:12 pm

Despite many apparent advantages, in our wet and windy climate, closed arcades of shops never seem to have been very successful here. Of the two arcades off Grafton Street, Creation Arcade has been only useful as a shortcut on a wet day for a very long time.

In recent years more and more of the Grafton Arcade has been vacant and now the strategically important Conns Cameras, which gave an air of life to the middle of the arcade is relocating, leaving almost all the centre space vacant.

Is the level of occupancy here a prelude to redevelopment?

The only arcade I know in Dublin that seems to have got a lease of life is the City Markets Arcade and it , curiously, runs off a street that has been depressed for years.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:27 pm

Marks & Sparks own the Grafton arcade - they are annexing it, so leases were not renewed.
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Postby StephenC » Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:30 pm

I think the GPO arcade is working okay. There always seems to be plenty of people passing through it.

To be honest have never been in either of the arcades you mention. They both look a little too claustrophobic. The are probably seen as taking up too much valuable retail space. Most of the big UK/ US chains that are currently looking to get into the Irish market frequentlyu complain about the poor size of available units...particularly on Grafton Street.
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Postby bluefoam » Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:34 pm

Is City Markets Arcade the same as Georges Arcade, which is now loosing its charm. Moore St. is going to get a roof and will then be very arcade like. I have a feeling that Georges is going to get a revamp when Dunnes do up the other side of the street. By the way, the exterior of Georges is one of Dublins most fantastic buildings. Have a good look next time you stumble out of Hogans.
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Postby StephenC » Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:38 pm

...when Dunnes do up the other side of the street....when indeed?

Georges Arcade would make a great food market. There is a good retail mix at the moment but I think they would make a lot more of the building if they specialised.

I was recently in Milan - a fab city with some stunning architecture. Top of the list has to be The Galleries just off the piazza del Duomo. Huge vaulting ceilngs and monumental architecture..... the ultimate arcade!
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jun 16, 2003 3:02 pm

Dunnes have started work, the ramshackle canopy along the front of the old Cassidys department store is being removed as a prelude to work.
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Postby StephenC » Mon Jun 16, 2003 3:10 pm

Hurray! What on earth took this plan so long to materialise? Has it somethig to do with the Long Hall
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Postby emf » Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:42 pm

They also have a tower crane erected behind the buildings so looks like something is happening!!
Did anyone ever take a closer look at the side entrances to the Georges arcade, mostly closed up now and used for storage. It would be great if the whole place was opened up. (Hope that a make over wouldn't affect the atmosphere that's there at the moment though!!!)
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:55 pm

The Fade Street entrance is about to become "The Sausage Factory" a new uberclub for Mr Reynolds....
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Postby StephenC » Mon Jun 16, 2003 5:15 pm

There is definately a lot of potential in this area.. a lot of wasted buildings. Even Clarendon St and Sth William St are less than they could be
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Postby bluefoam » Mon Jun 16, 2003 5:29 pm

These area will develop naturally as the shops become vacant. All the clothing wholesalers in the area are moving out to Ballymount.
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:25 pm

About the GPO Arcade, does it strike anyone as utterly bizarre the location of the arcade, or rather how/why it opens onto Princes St, which is little more than a back alley.

Did the Metropole or Capital cinemas use to have an entrance onto the st, as this would probably explain it. Even then, there seems little point to to locating its entrance there, unless Princes St led somewhere when the arcade was built in the late 20s/30s.

It's a wonderful place though, I love all that sophisticated Edwardianish styling, the roof lights, cornicing etc.
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Postby anto » Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:04 pm

Yeah The arcade on George's Street would make a great food market ala the English Market in Cork. Maybe Moore street could evolve into something as good as the English Market which is worth visting for the Fish Monger alone.
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Postby emf » Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:14 pm

Whatever happened to the plans for the Iveagh markets, I drove by them the other day and they are still in a bit of a ramshackle state!!!
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Postby dc3 » Tue Jun 17, 2003 2:35 pm

"About the GPO Arcade, does it strike anyone as utterly bizarre the location of the arcade, or rather how/why it opens onto Princes St, which is little more than a back alley.

Did the Metropole or Capital cinemas use to have an entrance onto the st, as this would probably explain it. Even then, there seems little point to to locating its entrance there, unless Princes St led somewhere when the arcade was built in the late 20s/30s."

Good point indeed.
The answer is no.
The arcade was developed after 1916 fires changed the ground plan forever here and it runs out to Princes St there for no, apparently, good reason I can fathom. Was the arcade developed by the Post Office, certainly the Government had much space on the GPO side until fairly recently?

Woolworths were the big tenant on the other side, giving an alternative route into the arcade through their front door further down Henry Street.

The La Scala Theatre (cinema really), later called Capitol was built with the facade slightly closer to O'Connell St than opposite the arcade exit and it made no reference to it, if I recall correctly. The Metropole Cinema came somewhat later but neither ever had direct access to the arcade, - the street was always in the way. It was a rat run for vans and bikes going up and down to Independent newspapers printing works further down the street and crossing over was a tricky thing to do, even if you had not been in the Princes Bar.
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