college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:15 am

The wrap advertising on Doyle pub has also been taken down...assume O'Connell Street followed.

Its a pity DCC interest didnt extend a little farther down Westmoreland Street

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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:05 am

It appears the whole scaffolding is been taken down at College Green to reveal a scrubbed facade.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:28 pm

Its now a year since the new public lighting scheme project commenced on College Green...a year. I wonder is there an allowance for that?

Meanwhile...

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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:31 pm

Doesn't the city's most important public space deserve better?

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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Rory W » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:36 pm

Seeing those pics of Dublin from the 80s makes me think how much better College green would look without the trees in it. Perhaps it's just me but didn't a dirty sooty TCD look a little bit more distinguished...
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:44 pm

I see repaving taking place in front of the new Abercrombie & Fitch store. But no increase in the width of the pavement and no doubt all the bike stands and associated clutter will all go back in.

Also, following Graham's comment about, Dubarry's are now refurbishing the adjoining premises.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:32 am

Well there was a rash of activity about College Green yesterday but unfortunately the sum of all these parts fails to deliver the quality space we are all seeking.

The scaffold is now down on the former Bank of Ireland building to reveal a pristine facade. The landing to the front of the building has been redesigned to provide a wheelchair ramp and the ornamental lighting to the front is being refurbished. I hear that the store will open in November just in time for the build-up to Christmas

Next door, Dubarry's is under wraps but seems to be getting a buttery yellow paint to the front. I also imagine they will open in November.

While Sierra and Richard Whatshisname are doing the sporadic (and not particularly good quality in my view) pavement works about the city at the moment, including along Dame Street, it was a DCC team that were doing the pavement works in front of the A&F store yesterday. Unfortunately, there is no change to the width of the pavement, no re-alignment at that uncomfortable pinch point in front of Books Upstairs, the random bollards are all being put back in - randomly, no rationalisation of the bus stops. The usual missed opportunity.

DCC Lighting are still tapping away at their lighting scheme...over a year later. Its absolutely ridiculous. I would also hazard a guess that it will remain 'uncompleted'...it looks like a couple of proposed locations have been repaved over (in front of Ulster Bank and in front of Trinity close to the Provost House). Trinity are also still missing their front lamps.

No effort to reduce clutter and acquired crap about the space...phone boxes, telecom cabinets, signage. The trees are still an issue and continue to languish in their ugly tarmac bases...I wonder will they be removed with the Luas works?

Poor old College Green!
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:36 pm

for the love of God something must be happening in this city other than footpaths, lighting and signage

Will someone please think of the children
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Morlan » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:31 pm

No doubt DCC won't bother doing any improvements to College Green until the RPA have finished laying down tracks. It'll be a handy excuse for them to delay things for another 5 years. Classic.

Here's a PDF of the alignement.

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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Punchbowl » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:36 am

Morlan wrote:No doubt DCC won't bother doing any improvements to College Green until the RPA have finished laying down tracks. It'll be a handy excuse for them to delay things for another 5 years. Classic.

Here's a PDF of the alignement.

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Again we separate our grandest buildings from the public. There's a potential FOUR crossings there for pedestrians to get from the Bank side of College Green to the Trinity side and very little footpath room at the gates to the college too. Just as it's impossible to get a photo of either St Patrick's or Christchurch cathedrals without being splattered by oncoming traffic, now tourists have to run the Luas gauntlet to get a decent snap of the old school

It has been repeated here many times, but this area should have been pedestrianized and the Luas extension ditched (or a spur down Nassau St and onto Westland Row or whatever)

The only way the Luas is acceptable here is if there's an otherwise total pedestrianization of the Green. Traffic AND Luas PLUS People does not a happy civic space make
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:46 am

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Last edited by StephenC on Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:47 am

I take your point wearnicehats. Its only that looking around the city centre, the various pavement works and the few refurbs of buildings on College Green (110 Grafton Street also unveiled last week) seems to be the only show in town.

And as the image about makes clear the potential to create a worldclass civic space on College Green are limited. The various needs of the traffic/rail engineer will prevail. The pedestrian takes a back seat...as it does now. Which I suppose explains why, although the history of College Green is outlined in the new Public Realm Strategy....its future is ignored in the list of projects deriving from the strategy, including:

Trinity to IMMA East-West Route (South Central Area, Traffic)
This project ties together a number of projects at various stages so as to maximise value to the city and improve this key route. Projects already underway include Castle Street public realm works, Thomas Street QBC, Fáilte Ireland public realm funding. There are potential partnerships with the Digital Hub and NCAD.


Note who the deliverer of these proposals is*

I will shut up about pavement works now wearnicehats :silent: :)
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:01 pm

Dubarry Duuubops!

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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Paul Clerkin » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:36 pm

Why does that make me think of the H-Block Dirty Protest?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:20 pm

One of those classical images of College Green doing the rounds on social media yesterday. Its funny to read the following comments of the great unwashed. So many thinking College Green comprise manicured green lawns.

http://www.thejournal.ie/archive-pic-of ... 5-Jan2013/

(sorry cant be bothered with the whole PhotoBucket things to insert the image)
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby missarchi » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:32 pm

sin on simmer?

Bank of Ireland building

On a separate historical note, he has a particular interest in the site of the former Irish parliament on College Green, now used by the Bank of Ireland.

“I would like to see a part of it, even, being open for public use. It’s a very big site, an acre-and-a-half altogether, so I think it’s rather unrealistic to expect to acquire the whole site for the State, but certainly the House of Lords would be a very, very attractive venue to get.”

It’s still on his agenda: “At the end of the day, people must realise that it’s in private ownership at the moment.

“It’s a very important part of the bank’s infrastructure but, at the same time, it’s an iconic building.”

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 78451.html
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Faddyfish » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:11 pm

I contacted the Council about all the redundant brown finger signage on College Green and Grafton Street via the “report it” feature on their website. A day or two later I got a phone call from the council asking which signs I wanted to remove, so I sent the friendly guy in the roads department some photos and they have now all been removed. The large sign for the ferry remains but perhaps this one is the responsibility of the NRA? It really does not belong there. The large collection behind the Molly Malone statue was particularly bad and they even took away the pole. Anyway, it is a small bit of progress.

There are loads of old brown fingers signs still up around the city that should have been removed since the new wayfinder signs went in so perhaps this method will work elsewhere. I can’t believe why the council is not more proactive in getting out and de-cluttering.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:47 pm

Well, welldone Faddyfish. A small victory for aesthetics. I had noticed the signage at both College Green and Grafton Street taken down recently and to be just as fair there does seem to have been an effort made to tackle the near saturation of brown finger signs advertising the 'National' Wax Museum and the 'National' Leprechaun Museum.

As you rightly point out there are lots still about and the deal was (and the orders came all the way from the top of Irish Water) that the old signage would be removed by Roads following the roll out of the wayfinder. Aah sure we will get there in the end.

There is still in my view a huge deal of clutter in College Green. The newest eyesores about the city are the skeletal frames of former Smart phoneboxes which now litter many streets. I wonder was a bond taken by DCC at their installation to fund their ultimate removal. Perhaps this is work programmed in for the coming few months.

Little effort made to remove the empty signage poles that litter the place...including College Green. That is really a bridge too far.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Faddyfish » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:23 pm

Thanks Stephen. Smart Telecom sold their phone boxes a few years back to a company called ipoint.ie that no longer seems to operate. I have mentioned it to a local Councillor to see if they are to be removed. I saw one enterprising retailer in Rathmines remove one from outside his shop with an angle grinder and then bury the cables with some cement!
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:52 am

We have a new development on Dame Street.

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The previously virtually invisible No. 54 Dame Street on the corner with Temple Lane has been reinvented as a KC Peaches wholefoods café. Its facelift, from dirty white to a smart variation of teal, has demonstrated in stark terms the value of judicious use of colour on exterior facades. This famously lacklustre vista closure, terminating the view from South Great George’s Street has been rendered, well, that bit less lacklustre.

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What is so remarkable about this simple repainting is how it has markedly pronounced the step of the building line along this stretch of Dame Street, even viewed as far away as College Green. Quite literally, a new streetscape has emerged.

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It must have spectacular views from the upper floors (the first of which also has public access) down Dame Street towards the West Front of Trinity.

Now, there’s no getting away from the fact that No. 54 is never going to win architectural awards, not least for its ridiculously clunky handling of such a critical corner site in the city, but the repainting has at least injected it with a certain provincial charm which heretofore manifested itself as hamfisted pretension, with its bizarre array of underscaled gables projecting skyward like a cluster of submarine telescopes.

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It is no match for the cool restraint next door of what is arguably the best block by the Wide Streets Commission surviving in Dublin today.

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And what on earth they were at coming up with this yoke is anyone’s guess.

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No. 54 is almost certainly the work of Millar & Symes, a breathtakingly prolific architectural practice of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Dublin, operating on a retainer basis for Bank of Ireland for their national branch network. Most of their other work was considerably more accomplished than this example, which dates to c.1881 and was erected for a long established merchant tailors. According to the excellent conservation report and method statement submitted with the recent planning application, The Irish Times reported a new premises of ‘red brick with sandstone dressings’ being worked on in that year, somewhat at odds with the current building. But this explains everything.

Zooming in on the building, it became quite apparent that something curious is going on at No. 54. The stucco detailing is strangely chunky and unrefined, with cumbersome resolution and a slightly stippled, modern finish at the uppermost levels. The pediments are oddly resolved and the guttering and downpipe arrangements don’t quite add up for what is supposedly a new-build structure. There also seems to be at least one missing urn at parapet level.

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It appears that the sandstone dressings – Millar & Symes used notoriously corrosive Mountcharles sandstone on some of their other buildings – began to decay at a rapid rate, and were thus rendered over some time in the twentieth-century. Indeed, it’s entirely possible that’s what we’re looking at here in this photograph from the late 1960s.

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The rainwater channelling is clever nonetheless.

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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:56 am

But there’s more than just an apparent layer of render concealing an earlier facade here. There’s the possibility of an entire structure cloaking an earlier building, as evidenced by this 1830s projection on Temple Lane, literally ‘left over’ from the original 1880s makeover.

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It still retains a modest late Georgian facade of yellow brick and 1830s sash windows. Have a look from the air on Google maps and at the architect’s submitted elevation drawing, and things become much clearer.

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While we cannot definitely say without closer inspection, it would appear that the carcass of the late Georgian predecessor on the site remains embedded within the current building - most probably at the upper floor levels given the interventions made at ground floor level, where machine-made yellow brick is apparent behind the shopfront and various cast-iron interventions in the shop itself.

KC Peaches have done a fine job of updating the previous dingy mortgage shop frontage, economically filling and painting the previous stone or composite stone panelling. Elegant new steel lettering has been erected, though the old strip lighting could be better.

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A curious egg-and-dart cornice above the chamfered entrance at ground floor level.

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A fine makeover and a fine use for this prominent historic building. We desperately need more of this in Dublin city centre, particularly with retailing and public service use at first floor level. Sadly, the fact that a bog standard paint job and reticent signage stands out like high design says it all about how far presentation standards have plummeted over the past decade.

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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:24 am

...and most irritating for me, when the opportunity comes along to refurbish the public realm outside this terrace to make the pavement wider and perhaps add some smart pieces of street furniture....its completely ignored by the city council. Fools that they are.

Its nice to see some quality on the street. There's an air of 'do what you want' to so many of its shops and premises. The former Mermaid Cafe building is surely the next candidate for a repaint?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby fergalr » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:28 pm

I was there yesterday. Internally it's a bit of a clutter getting between the ground and first floors but the latter is very comfortable and nicely laid out. Very clean. Very bright and airy, as you'd expect with that number of windows. Views up George's St are great.

Mad props for putting their building number above the door! Dublin businesses are desperate for that.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:55 pm

Yes I had a wander in today - agreed Fergal that it's a fine space. The convolution derives from the stairs being located at the back of the plan, but more specifically from the change in levels between the front and rear portions of the building as described above, and from the requirement for fire lobbies, which, in the scheme of things, are pretty sexy fire lobbies.

The distinction between the front and rear parts is really quite stark: modest, late Georgian domesticity to the back - airy, commercial, high Victoriana to the front. The fragments of original staircase feature somwhat awkward, transitional-style balusters typical of 1835-45. But unusually dinky and quite charming. The same can be said of a rear room that has yet to open to the public - it currently has riotous wallpaper and quaint, homely proportions.

There are exposed red brick walls in many areas of the front part, with the usual battered lines of bonding timbers. These almost certainly date to the 1830s and not the 1880s, adding credence to the notion that the carcass of the late Georgian predecessor remains. Personally, I'm finding the growing trend of stripping back historic buildings to a state of undress for trendy restaurants and cafés a little lazy and disrespectful to the character of the structures. This I think is especially true here. The fabulous first floor space is an important public room hosted within a well presented effeminate facade, while looking out on vistas of dressy commercial and public architecture. The aesthetic jarrs.

Fabulous views down Dame Street though, and yes, the George's Street view is a surprising vista in its axiality. Not what you'd expect from outside.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby exene1 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:40 pm

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I notice it is the local independents who are more likely to do a better job with paint schemes. The Irish company Bo Bos presumably observed the beautiful subdued effect of the dark green Dame Street shopfront here in the 1961 Cushman colour pictures, and did likewise when they opened a branch in the building a year or so ago.

The KC Peaches colour scheme, too, is like something you'd see in an old Kodachrome slide.
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