The conversion into offices of the former premises of the Dublin Oil Gas Company/Academy Cinema is nearing completion now.
The exterior is finished and looks impressive; a fine stone-coloured render, perhaps with a light wash of some kind over it complements the rusty tones of the granite dressings very well:
Originally built as an industrial headquarters for Dublin Oil Gas Station, established to extract gas from fish oil. This business went bankrupt in 1834 when the price of fish oil, previously very cheap, suddenly and rapidly increased. In 1842 the site was acquired by the Society of Antient Concerts. Having adapted the interior into an 800-seat hall with a Telford organ, the society gave its first performance there on April 20th 1843, featuring extracts from Handel's Messiah.
By the 1920s, the Antient Concert Rooms had begun to show films, although the premises still also played host to other performances and continued to have an orchestra pit. It was only fifty years ago that the building was completely converted tp a cinema, opening in April 1956 as the Embassy and later becoming the Academy, in which guise it remained until the late 1980s. During the mid-1950s the most serious changes were made to the original facade, when a new canopied entrance was added to the ground floor and a balcony inserted into the hall's auditorium. Otherwise, the exterior remains that recorded in an engraving made soon after the building was first constructed in the 1820s.
The windows are exqusitely restored/replaced to the orginal specifications. There's even the odd pane of crown glass in there:
All of the doors have been painted an elegant, what seems to be almost black green - perhaps an influence from the Royal College of Physcians' recent restoration across the way. The railings have also been mended:
What a transformation from but a few years ago!
However not everything is quite as (cough)...rosy...