A recent flurry of improving works involving a number of properties around the city centre in recent weeks and months has served as a potent example of what can be achieved with a lick of paint - even if in some cases it has worked to questionable effect. The summer months really do seem to bring out the industrious spirit in people.
One of the largest scaffolds erected in Dublin on an existing building in recent years dominated the centre of Dame Street for much of the summer.
The building at the junction of Dame Street and South Great Georgeâ€™s Street got a much needed sprucing up after decades of neglect, as with countless historic properties in the city centre.
The final stretch of a Wide Streets Commission terrace dating to the 1780s, adorned with Victorian stucco adornments, the Mercantile Hotel presented a grim aspect to Dame Street with a grubby white faÃ§ade accented in black â€“ typical of the 1970s.
The transformation has been nothing short of a breath of fresh air.
It is like a switch has just been flicked.
As can be seen, in addition to the main facade, the previously unpainted gable end of the last house - which has remained exposed since the 1930s when the terminating house was demolished to improve the operation of the tram line â€“ has been given decorative treatment for the very first time. While it has lifted matters considerably, it has to be asked if this measure merely consolidates the exposed gable endâ€™s position here for all eternity. Likewise, the once gritty, raw and urban rendered gable hinted at a troubled history â€“ a curious wound on the streetscape. Now it just looks like a mediocre suburban solution to the back arse of a garage. Still, that marvellously handsome chimney stack elevates it beyond the ordinary. And as the precedent for one of Zoeâ€™s Mountjoy Square houses, it canâ€™t be all bad!
A subtle and elegant use of colour.
The next person that says double-glazed panes donâ€™t alter the appearance of a building can go stick their head under a closing sash.
The beautifully painted new shopfronts. An interesting choice of colour. Nothing inventive going on here (somebody show these guys a Cushman photo or two) but satisfactory nonetheless.
This of course is one of the most charming shopfronts in Dublin â€“ precisely because itâ€™s not off the shelf. The glittering, hand crafted coves have always been a delight.
What a difference simple tables and chairs and a few potted trees make, both to an architectural ensemble such as this apse as well as to a wider street.
We shall be keeping a close eye on these lads. How long shall we give before the novelty wears off, things get battered, banners and canvas railings start appearing, the postering goes upâ€¦ Weâ€™ll give them the benefit of the doubt.