Dublin Street Lighting

Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:57 pm

Small pillar-style street lamps are very rare in Dublin, espcially given their proliferation across post-war housing developments in the UK. They're rarer still with their original heads, as with these charming little posts some people probably know along the canal at Charlemont Place to the bottom of Harcourt Terrace (across the canal from Grand Parade).

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They're well proportioned in design and relative to location, and the brown concrete is perfectly suited to the wooded surroundings of the canal.

Alas out of the three or so posts here, at least one has already had its head replaced. It's a shame as they're rare miniature versions of one of the larger suburban designs:

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It's interesting to note the different concretes between pillar and head, the former seemingly of the earlier coarser aggregate - perhaps suggesting a 1940s head connected to a 1930s post that had been in storage? Harcourt Terrace Garda Station right beside them was built in 1944.

They're also suffering from cracking though (again an indication of an earlier lesser quality post?) - here it's apperently being held together with gaffer tape!

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Also a nice little township electric base still standing at the bottom of Leeson Park:

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Luckily there's lots of these full-scale 1904ish posts still in use.

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More poured concrete footpaths too...
Nice touch around the base at least.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:13 pm

I spent a few days in Berlin last month and took the opportunity to visit Karl Marx Allee which was basically the GDRs showcase street to rival the Ku'damm in West Berlin. Its a very impressive show of the Soviet wedding-cake style architecture and quite attractive, while at the same time being monumentalist and monolithic. Anyhow, the street is lines with four rows of very attractive lamp standards after the fashion of our iconic city centre standards. Lovely pieces: two copper lanterns, same concrete and a small bank of tiling at the base to set off the lamp. Sadly many of them are irretrievably damaged and no effort seems to have been made to to restore and retain these lovely lamps. The Berlin government is broke and Karl Marx Allee seems to suffer from it associations with the former communist state (theres lots of anti-communist graffiti and vadalism about).

Some images of the lamps

Anyhow, Karl Marx Allee is well worth checking out if you get a chance.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Fri May 18, 2007 8:29 pm

Lovely things, they look like they're carved from timber!

Just on the matter of the c.1903 swan neck posts erected in Dublin city centre, I hadn't realised until looking very closely that these posts are the same posts as used for the 1892 arc-lamps as shown below - they were simply re-headed with new lamps on top!

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Hence their rather cumbersome top-heavy character.

The only ones to survive in the city today are a handful of posts on Harcourt Street, mixed in amongst later early electrics and repros.

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So because the arc lamps lined all the principal streets, so too did the replacement swan necks - from Henry Street...

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...to Grafton Street...

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...to the corner of the Green (with later attachment).

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(and ship building with steel windows).

The Grafton Street picture is from around 1940, so the swan necks possibly survived as late as the early 60s. The only slight sticking point in all of this is that there's a larger version of this post in the Merrion Square park, which possibly hints at a new set being made for the swan necks, but that's hardly likely. It's reasonable to assume that the old posts were pragmatically retained and simply re-headed c.1903. If this is the case, then the post on the top of Cork Hill mentioned in the paving thread astonishingly survives from 1892!

Devin wrote:Image


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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby StephenC » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:31 pm

Its na bearbug of mine for a while now....take a walk through the city centre by night and keep your eyes open.

Feature lighting....its become so common recently that most developments or improvements include an element of lighting. Spots, LEDs, trendy blue mini lights. Dublin's bridges are a great example, the median and plaza on O'Connell Street, Docklands.

Trouble is they take a bit of maintenance and thats never been a forte in this city. I think Millenium Brodge is a really good illustration. Most of the lighting is out of action. Ha'penny Bridge the same (needs a wash too).

Whats to be done. Is this type of lighting just a waste of money?
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:52 pm

Spot on. Indeed such is the level of aesthetic/decorative/atmospheric lighting being installed in every public and private project going now, it's getting to a stage where policy needs to be drafted to ensure that the integrity of these schemes is maintained after installation. Publically, there ought to be a commitment to doing this on the part of the Lighting Division, while for the private sector, a condition of planning applications should ensure that such schemes are to be maintained if permission is to be granted for them. In ACAs and SPACs it's simpler still and should be enforced as a basic standard. Inevitably areas such as these also feature high profile buildings.

In spite of constant developments in lighting technology and confident claims of extra long lives, lighting schemes remain as maintenance intensive as ever for issues that go beyond the lamp itself. Already the GPO scheme is showing the first signs of decay, with some units moving out of alignment, while countless LED uplighters on the median of O'Connell Street are either blown, smashed or an entire section taken out as a result of a dodgy fuse. The bridges are nothing short of a joke at this stage in terms of maintenance, while even high profile cases such as Government Buildings cannot even sustain basic upkeep. I cannot remember the last time its dome was illuminated as intended - indeed at all for that matter. As for the Fourt Courts and other key buildings - heck, even City Hall barely manages to keep itself together, with its haphazard pediment illumination a particular embarrassment. What standard do flagship cases such as these set for the private sector?! The government's upcoming policy on architecture should incorporate objectives on lighting given its crtitcal role in essentially sustaining, and indeed adding a new dminsion to, good architecture after nightfall.

Just as this thread is raised, it ought to be noted that the pair of 1930s concrete lampposts outside the former Irish Times terrace on D'Olier Street have just been taken out. What's the likelihood of them being restored and reinstated? There are now four left in the entire city.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby phil » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:31 am

GrahamH wrote:
Just as this thread is raised, it ought to be noted that the pair of 1930s concrete lampposts outside the former Irish Times terrace on D'Olier Street have just been taken out. What's the likelihood of them being restored and reinstated? There are now four left in the entire city.


I may be proven wrong (and I hope I am), but I would say that is them gone! This would be a real pity. Perhaps it is time to get in touch with the City Council again. It has been a few years since I last contacted them on this matter!:)
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby StephenC » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:07 pm

IMO they dont really sit well along the street. I would rather see matching silver columns. The concrete ones should be moved and restore and used as part of a unified lighting scheme.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby phil » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:19 pm

I am not sure street lighting necessarily needs to be uniform, but I see where you are coming from. I think certain features, if deemed important enough, should be retained in situ instead of being shifted around the place to suit contemporary tastes and fashions. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that these were once the standard light for the city centre. The replacement of the examples outside The Westin removed the last trace of their impact in a group (Devin had before/after photos on this thread before I think).

In the end, it all depends on whether or not people actually care enough about them I suppose. In my view they are important features of 20th Century street furniture, which should be retained where ever possible and in their original position, but that is just me.
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby kinsella » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:52 pm

Does anyone else think that the silver lamposts would look better painted black - or is it just me?
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby missarchi » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:56 pm

protected poles is where its at :)

great thread worth the trawl
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby johnglas » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:50 pm

kinsella: agreed; how about dark green as a compromise?
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Peter Fitz » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:11 pm

would tend to agree, dark green can look great, wouldn't mind black too much either though.

These were installed this year on Kenilworth Square East - pretty decent overall, quite like them.

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However, they replaced this fella - still in place on the west side of the square and a good number still around Dublin 6 in general.

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I understand there was a need to improve the lighting with taller standard lamps, but really they could have retained & refurbished the originals and moved them to the park side of the street where they would be well suited to pavement lighting for pedestrians (which is still fairly dark given the overhang of trees etc.)

What happens to these old lamp standards when they're removed !??

Just on the concrete posts - Kenilworth Park through to Kenilworth Square & Kenilworth Road is the longest single stretch i know of where concrete lamposts still line the roadway, and on both sides for much of the route.

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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:28 pm

Thanks for the pics Peter. I'd seen the new posts from the bus but couldn't make out too much of the detail. They appear to be green versions of the Bull Alley/Iveagh Trust posts installed a few years ago off Patrick Street. Extremely nice and well detailed, but criminal if they are replacing historic posts, for which there is absolutely no justification. Do you remember if there were old posts along here Peter before these went in? Perhaps (hopefully) they replaced steel posts? Certainly I remember them on the other sides, as your picture proves.

There so very few enclaves of these small historic posts left in Dublin. I sincerely hope it is not the intention to give them all this Tidy Towns treatment. Dare I even mention it for fear of generating publicity, but Mountpleasant Square in Ranelagh/Rathmines has probably the oldest posts in the entire city, with elegant simple fluted columns and Sesame Street-like curved bases. These were gas lamps, are exceptionally rare, and may date from as early as the late 1820s. If they so much as contemplate coming near these with their sanitised heritage poles...!

And sadly the concretes on Kenilworth Road are already disappearing. I had a picture of a new galvanised steel pole going in beside a concrete post, but have lost it since. Also in Crumlin village, these distinctive - if gawky - classic suburban specimens are being replaced with more catalogue homogenity, more suited to La Rambla than a quaint village street. What a crying shame.

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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:09 am

GrahamH wrote:Do you remember if there were old posts along here Peter before these went in? Perhaps (hopefully) they replaced steel posts? Certainly I remember them on the other sides, as your picture proves.


I'm certain Graham that the same posts on the west side of the square also lined the east & that these new ones were installed to replace them. It was actually an issue during the last election (not the preservation of the existing, but their replacement to improve lighting around the square. The ususal election blurb from Lucinda Creighton etc. indicated that they are also to be installed on the west side, i presume funding is now an issue.

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I'll have a look again today to see if any remnants remain. I can't understand why historic posts are removed, sure there was a need to improve lighting in this area but no need to remove the originals - as i mentioned earlier, they would have been perfect had they been used to illuminate the pavement on the park side, ideal height & scale for a pedestrian environment.

GrahamH wrote:And sadly the concretes on Kenilworth Road are already disappearing. I had a picture of a new galvanised steel pole going in beside a concrete post, but have lost it since.


I think the pole your thinking of is visible in the shot below - it was installed a year or two ago, i was hoping it might be for a traffic camera but its set too far back from the junction - thankfully nothing has happened since, just another random pole erected for no apparent reason, and as yet not others have been added on kenilworth road.

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I've noticed the new additions around Crumlin, again difficult to see the need, there is some merit in distinguishing the village environment from the rest of the area but this can be achieved by sensitive standard lamp type additions at pedestrian level, no need to replace unique historic posts that often defined an area with generic glavanised stuff that homogenises every urban area !!!
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Peter Fitz » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:31 pm

GrahamH wrote:Extremely nice and well detailed, but criminal if they are replacing historic posts, for which there is absolutely no justification. Do you remember if there were old posts along here Peter before these went in? Perhaps (hopefully) they replaced steel posts?


I had a look again today ... just four historic posts line the east side of the square (intact), from memory a similar number lined the west side which would tally with the number of points on the west pavement where fresh cement has been laid to cover where the old posts once stood.

I'm sure that both the new & old posts stood together for quite some time until the old ones were removed, virtual earth indicates as much too (though it is a stretch !)

All of which again asks the question, why remove historic posts that define the character of areas & what happens to them when they are removed ?
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:15 pm

Peter Fitz wrote:
All of which again asks the question, why remove historic posts that define the character of areas & what happens to them when they are removed ?


more candidates for the Merrion Square lighting musuem?
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby missarchi » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:11 pm

The shamrock poles all over Dublin got nominated for protected Structure listing today and the request form has been submitted to Dublin City Council.
DCC have there work cut out fingers crossed...:o
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Smithfield Resi » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:25 pm

The shamrock poles all over Dublin got nominated for protected Structure listing today and the request form has been submitted to Dublin City Council.
DCC have there work cut out fingers crossed...



I wonder will that stop them putting (commercial) 'cultural' advertising banners on them?
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:10 pm

Image

I spotted one similar to this on the new nangor road dated 1912 that somehow managed to stay standing for the last 96 years and survive a few bouts of road widening and the addition of two bus lanes - its a full post, no arm though, i'll get a pic when i get a chance. There's another on the naas road between newlands and the red cow, impossible to catch a date though with everyone driving up your ass :rolleyes:
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby StephenC » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:09 pm

Shame to lose this thread....

I noticed the detailing on the new heritage lamp erected on the island at College Green as part of the recent bus gate "improvements". It has the Dublin 1988 logo on it...its obviously a reused lampstandard from "prejuvenated" O'Connell Street. It probably suits the spot but could something have been done about the ugly industrial park lighting in front of Trinity and along Grafton Street as well?
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby GrahamH » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:08 pm

It's simply baffling that over a million euro was spent on the Bus Gate project, with zero improvement - in fact resulting in a net disimprovement - in the aesthetics of the capital's flagship civic space. No rationalisation whatever of lighting was conducted; not even the car park lighting outside Trinity, as Stephen mentions, being removed. Truly a monument to a lack of joined-up thinking.

The new lamp standard on the median is now the third model of its type in the city, the other two being positioned at Cornmarket and the junction of Harcourt Street and Adelaide Road. As mentioned, these are recycled O'Connell Street median tripartite branches, sprayed crass Celtic Tiger silver, Sony Bravia style, with new lamps affixed atop. The lamps give off good light, but are too flimsy relative to the column bulk for the standard to be correctly proportioned (a problem also generated by the tight clustering of the arms), and to generate the gravitas demanded of a street standard. And of course it is completely random, so either way it jarrs unduly.

Meanwhile, the famous seahorse standards guarding Grattan languish as ever with chipped paint, dirty glass lamps, and cumbersome domestic CFL globes competing with their decorative detailing during the day, and giving off a dull glow by night. Such a shame.

Need it even be reiterated that College Green deserves so much more. Is there no pride in the Lighting Division at all? They don't even seem to have a legacy of rose-tinted information pamphlets and exhibitions extolling their grand projects, past and present, so beloved of other local authority departments. Indeed, it took Derry O'Connell of An Taisce to write, publish and illustrate the definitive guide to the city's historic lighting back in the 1980s. Now is the time, more than ever, to be reusing, recycling and showcasing this stock on the city's streets!
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby missarchi » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:04 am

The way Carlisle bridge is going its only going to get worse vents bus stop and less people crossing... new clear hikort option...
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby lostexpectation » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:41 pm

dublin south county council now has a mapped report a fault system for any of south dublins busybodies,

http://connect.southdublin.ie/connect/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=249
for reporting broken lights etc
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby lostexpectation » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:59 pm

can't find the traffic poles thread

Let's count telegraph poles, says councillor
http://www.herald.ie/national-news/city-news/lets-count-telegraph-poles-says-councillor-1936124.html

taxpayers money, that phrase
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Re: Dublin Street Lighting

Postby lomo » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:06 am

This has been a great thread, I hope people are still interested.

Dublin City Council make lofty claims about protection of architectural heritage, when evidently it did not occur to them that street furniture and in particular street lighting are a very important part of that remit. It has been confirmed to me that all of the 1930s lamp posts have been 'thrown out'.

The Merrion Square installation was done in the 1980s by a lighting technician from the Lighting Department, i.e., someone with zero conservation training, who took a passing interest.

This is why you end up with the 30s lanterns on the 1903 brackets. This is why 30s lamps are removed from the streets because they don't fit in with someone's personal idea of 'history'.

I expect someone who makes decisions about the landscape of a European capital city to be trained in conservation or history.

There is evidently no conservation officer working with the Lighting Division. I will be writing to the Heritage Office of Dublin City Council, advising them of my concern and disdain. Please do so too, if you care that your heritage is going to landfill. If people who care say nothing, the people who don't care get away with everything.

Please write to them!

Dublin City Council
Heritage Office
Block 3, Floor 3
Civic Offices
Dublin 8

Tel: (01) 222 3824
Fax: (01) 222 2271
Email: heritage@dublincity.ie
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