O' Connell Street, Dublin

Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby PVC King » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:51 pm

hutton wrote:Interesting thoughts there StephenC. It would of course be an ideal time to act on actually enforcing the law here. But then again, the primatic trivision sign directly below the former Baileys sign was erected since the IAP was embarked upon, with no authorisation.

Who is the main city official for this patch? Who is at the rank of say, Assistant City Manager? What are they at and why are they being paid for services not done?


AJ + 1

Does it matter the paid management at DCC simply couldn't give a hoot one iota about the way Dublin looks; when I think back to the lack of support received from Dublin City Council management in the Bewleys retention, they had to be saved by their own unpaid councillors. I hate to say it but the only way this gets resolved is if someone goes legal; which won't happen even though it is as clear a breach as you will see anywhere.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:44 pm

Depressingly you're probably right.

It makes you wonder what everyone is thinking in Wood Quay. I know its grand having a job, getting well paid, plenty of perks, nothing too onerous, but you have to fill the 8 hours a day you're in there. Perhaps someone will act on this just to kill the tedium.

Its also curious to note DCC's very strident repost to John Gormley's inquiries into planning decisions undertaken by the Council. It would be interesting to find out how they think their planning enforcement section is performing.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Smithfield Resi » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:59 pm

StephenC wrote:It would also appear that the original permission for the sign from 1997 included a condition limiting the life of the permission to 2000 and requiring its removal after that..



Problem is here that Enforcement had seven years up to 2007 to issue an Enforcement Notice, but failed. Now they are statute barred from taking action. It's a stupid provision in the Act and clearly absurd that in a seven year + one day period a structure can go from limited-time authorised to unauthorised and them to indefinately authorised for the rest of time.

Planning Act reform needed but sadly nothing on this in the 2010 Amendments.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:37 pm

Thats true SmithfieldResi - but now the signage has changed (its a Nokia sign now) and substantial works have taken place which I would argue required permission.I think they could take enforcement action and have the sign removed by refusing retention permission.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby markpb » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:57 pm

StephenC wrote:Thats true SmithfieldResi - but now the signage has changed (its a Nokia sign now) and substantial works have taken place which I would argue required permission.I think they could take enforcement action and have the sign removed by refusing retention permission.


I submitted a complaint to them last week. It's probably a waste of time but it can't hurt. It was assigned to a case officer on Monday.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:43 pm

Great! the more the better I say. Its a ripe opportunity to put some teeth behind the ACA and ASPC designations.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:10 pm

4/1/2011

Exactly two years since installation, it is disappointing to observe Ulster Bank's so-called 'fit and forget' LED lighting scheme falling apart.

A rather unflattering short exposure is required to demonstrate the on-street effect.

Image


No less that ten different LED strips, and what is probably a Decoflood uplighter, are blown, flickering or otherwise unoperational. Indeed, most of these have been like this since last summer - barely 18 months after erection.

Image

A real shame. LED lighting isn't all it's claimed to be when weather, bad connections or faulty units are factored into the equation.

By contrast, it should be noted the GPO's LED scheme is holding up fully intact, without a single unit blown in over two years, which is both impressive and encouraging. Still, a pity its pediment and statue lighting is so commercial and trashy - I wish they'd blow and give the building back some dignity. Also, I'm almost sure the remarkably intrusive pediment strip, as with the rest of the building's lighting, has no planning permission - seemingly erected under exempted development.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:26 am

Yes, I noticed. Its a shame, but the whole issue of feature lighting around the city must be raised. Its in a mess - all those nice uplighters and LEDs and arty lights which were installed in happier days have fallen foul of lack of maintenance. Think of the river bridges (we were moaning about the Millennium Bridge years ago - still missing lights), the Boardwalk, some of the pavement lighting on O'C Street, a great number of prominent buildings (Lafayette Building for example).

It all goes back to maintaining and valuing the public realm.

On a brighter side (fnar fnar) a candidate for most impressive floodlighting surely goes to the newly cleaned St Patricks Cathedral - beautifully bathed in white light. Looks magnificent.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Alek Smart » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:01 am

GrahamH,bad and all as the Ulster Bank lighting has turned out to be,even this level of illumination would improve matters 200% at the College Green/Westmoreland Street junction !

This junction is now a VERY dangerous place indeed during the hours of morning darkness when the total absence of Public Lighting combined with the equallly dark facade of the AIB building combine to significantly increase a pedestrians chances of serious injury or death...Begging the question of exactly what we are paying Mr John Tierney €189,301 per anum for....?
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:45 am

Agree with your sentiments fully Alek. I wonder how vocal the Westin are about the problem. The decline of Westmoreland Street continues unabated.

Still the Lighting Dept have been around the area. The Art Deco lamps on D'Olier Street were removed in Nov and replaced with the swan-neck style lamps, to match the others on the street.

Floodlighting: two other high profile lighting schemes gone to pot Graham...Connolly and Heuston Stations.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:07 am

Ha yes - Heuston is sadly the worst, as it is one of the most striking and elegant lighting schemes in the city. Waiting outside it for the Luas the other week, I counted of the 37 lamps on the central block facade a grand total of 7 working. It would be better if they were just turned off.


Back on O'Connell Street, the notorious Spar shop in the Lynam’s Hotel building, with its host of long-term unauthorised signage and attendant street frontage clutter, has just been granted planning permission for on-street tables and chairs. A number of issues are raised by this permission.

Firstly of course, the shop is already riddled with unauthorised signage, including the recent re-erection of a SPAR banner in front of the principal reticent chrome signage as erected in accordance with the ACA and Area of Special Planning Control (ASPC) provisions. This banner recently sat there for well over a year until it was removed on foot of at least one, if not multiple, DCC enforcement notices (only as a result of complaint, needless to say). Extraordinarily, they’ve put it up again and it’s been there for months already – almost without question at the time of the planner’s site inspection, when the shopfront was also littered with unauthorised postering and all manner of stands positioned out on the pavement in contravention of the ACA and ASPC. This was neither referenced in the planner’s report, nor was the new permission made conditional on these elements’ removal.

Secondly, as highlighted on this thread at the time of the ASPC’s statutory six-year revision last year, absolutely nothing constructive or of substance was added to the provisions of the ASPC as part of this process – in fact, the ASPC was weakened with the removal of at least one important control in relation to upper floor presentation. Areas highlighted here at the time as requiring addition included design and management regulations for outdoor seating, barriers and cordons, building floodlighting, canopies and awnings, etc – all glaringly obvious elements in need of policy guidelines. A year on from this non-entity of a revision exercise, and hey presto, the Spar case planner observes: “There is no specific guidance in relation to the provision of outdoor seating areas in either the Architectural Conservation Area or the Area of Special Planning Control”, and was therefore forced to rely on vague brushstrokes contained in the IAP for guidance.

Thirdly, the submitted report from Dublin-based Tom Duffy Architects is an exposition in student internet copy and paste at its best. It is disheartening to say the least to read one’s own internet material on O’Connell Street being churned back verbatim in an exercise promoting the grubby interests of non-compliant convenience stores. The report doesn’t even relate how the proposed seating will impact on the Victorian double-plot facade of the impressive former Royal Bank, instead listing the likes of interior elements and even the roof with the remarkable observation of ‘no impact’ – eventually arriving at the insightful conclusion that on-street seating does not impact on historic fabric, without so much as a description of the architectural character of the building nor the potential streetscape visual impact.

Nonetheless, a number of encouraging conditions were made for the grant of permission. The crude proposal to erect shoulder-height plastic panels adorned with Insomnia logos topped with Perspex screens surrounding the entrance to the shop was rejected by the planner in favour of waist-height, plain canvas cordons erected on dark-coloured weighted metal posts. Oddly, no stipulation for canvas colour shades was made. The proposed brown plastic, wicker-effect chairs were also disregarded in favour of “the quality and materials of the existing street furniture provided by the City Council in O’Connell Street”. In my view this marks a deterioration in design standards, with untidy looking, crass chrome-effect metal chairs now almost certain to replace the more muted aesthetic proposed. Due to understandable concerns of the case planner regarding the management of the proposed seating area - serving a convenience store rather than a full-time café or restaurant – a temporary permission of three years’ duration was granted. This seems an extraordinary length of time for a development model that has ended up non-compliant within six months nearly everywhere it exists in the city.

Also, if those awful plastic pens are rightly deemed as unsuitable for O’Connell Street, why are they being used without authorisation and with full corporate branding by Beshoff’s directly across the road - never mind on nearly every commercial street in the city?

We seriously need some joined up thinking, in terms of planning policy, design vision, consistency of decision-making, and planning enforcement.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Morlan » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:26 pm

GrahamH wrote:It is disheartening to say the least to read one’s own internet material on O’Connell Street being churned back verbatim in an exercise promoting the grubby interests of non-compliant convenience stores.


That's terrible. I have also seen my own work (photos) used in publications without permission. I hope you will at least query Tom Duffy Architects on the matter.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:46 pm

As outlined on another thread, it was open source material being used in this case, so a perfectly legitimate practice.

Otherwise though, this case just gets better by the second. If you don't get permission, well, sure feckit - chuck it up anyway lads. Spar today.

Image

All of the elements that were refused permission have been ordered and installed regardless. Welcome to the applicant's 'foremost street of the Irish capital'.

Image

As can also be seen above, the semi-permanent new fascia sign has literally been screwed up over the authorised chrome Spar signage, the logo of which you can just about see peeping out at the top right.

Every piece of projecting signage has been erected in the past year. Indeed, the Western Union sign went up on virtually every convenience store in Dublin in 2010.

Image


The standard Insomnia seating and hoarding that was rejected by the planner. As expected, the chairs are decent nonetheless.

Image

Notwithstanding a lack of design guidance for outdoor cordons, very simply there should be a baseline policy of rejecting all such contraptions unless expressly needed due to location requirements. Why on earth are they needed at all? Most European cities employ well designed tables and chairs spilling out in an orderly manner onto the pavement. The only reason they're used here is to increase commercial presence on the streetscape, host corporate branding, and hold in an extravagant use of heat from outdoor space heaters. A short and practical, snappy design guidance manual wouldn't go amiss on the subject.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby Morlan » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:20 pm

I will be submitting a complaint to DCC about this.

I haven't been on the street in a couple of months, but what's the current state of the other Spar across the road beside Beshoff's? link


edit: Is this still here?
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:49 pm

GrahamH wrote:Most European cities employ well designed tables and chairs spilling out in an orderly manner onto the pavement.


Yes, those pesky Europeans with their weird continental ways

Image

Image

And of course heaven forbid you should pull out all the stops. Remember the suite of kiosks originally planned for O'Connell Street...outdoor cafes, paper and flower sellers....hmm wonder what happened there

Image
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby StephenC » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:54 pm

I made a complaint to DCC Planning Enforcement about the Nokia sign (aka the Baileys sign) last September but haven't heard anything since. How fast should the wheels of enforcement work.

The Londis in your image was resolved Morlan. The unit was knocked through to create an adjoining cafe. It may well have popped up already as it has been in place for a while.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby StephenC » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:02 pm

GrahamH wrote:Image

Image

Image

Image

This is almost certainly the oldest building on O'Connell Street. It is extraordinary that one of the first buildings to be built on Gardiner's Mall is also one of the last to survive, and even more so next to the cauldron that was the GPO.


A new application for the JWT premises and adjoining buildings on O'Connell Street/Henry Street. No documents posted as yet
Reg Ref 2058/11
http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=2058/11&backURL=%3Ca%20href=wphappcriteria.display?paSearchKey=1422627%3ESearch%20Criteria%3C/a%3E%20%3E%20%3Ca%20href='wphappsearchres.displayResultsURL?ResultID=1777534%26StartIndex=1%26SortOrder=APNID:asc%26DispResultsAs=WPHAPPSEARCHRES%26BackURL=%3Ca%20href=wphappcriteria.display?paSearchKey=1422627%3ESearch%20Criteria%3C/a%3E'%3ESearch%20Results%3C/a%3E
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:16 am

I see Percy Nominees, a subsidary of AIB, are lodging the application. It will be interesting to see the details of what is proposed - certainly No. 32-33 Henry Street is of early vintage, but goodness knows what's behind that facade.

Fine pictures of Spain (?) Stephen - they really sell the concept of a high quality public realm. And not a HEINEKEN brolly to be seen! It really isn't rocket science. Beautiful, simple planting too.

Yes the Londis store pictured above got 'sorted' Morlan by an amalgamation with the adjoining unit to form in effect yet another fast food café. But of course within hours of the shopfront being finished, which incidentally was not completed in compliance with submitted drawings in terms of materials (cheaper granite instead of approved limestone) or lighting (a rank of floodlights tacked above the fascia), postering went up all over the windows and display stands were pushed out onto the pavement - all in contravention of the planning permission. And it's been like this for the past year. The Spar at the upper end of the street has identical standards of presentation - also in contravention of its permission, never mind ACA and ASPC provisions.

In other news, McDonald's on O'Connell Street Lower are having their mixumgatherum red brick facade cleaned by Interclean, which is welcome. I don't think there are any plans to replace the shopfront though. Burger King next door has just undergone a remarkable ten-day or so refurbishment of their ground floor. Nothing like stalled turnover on a busy street to light a fire under contractors! The new fit-out is cool from a distance, but sadly gawdawfully cheap and somewhat incoherent up close. It should have aspired for better at this location - they could attract a much broader daytime clientele if they made a classier effort. Especially with that stunning first floor level - the best munching view in Dublin.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:58 pm

GrahamH wrote:Image

Notwithstanding a lack of design guidance for outdoor cordons, very simply there should be a baseline policy of rejecting all such contraptions unless expressly needed due to location requirements. Why on earth are they needed at all? Most European cities employ well designed tables and chairs spilling out in an orderly manner onto the pavement. The only reason they're used here to increase commercial presence on the streetscape, host corporate branding, and hold in an extravagant use of heat from outdoor space heaters. A short and practical, snappy design guidance manual wouldn't go amiss on the subject.


Forget about planning context for a second and look at this from a visitor experience point of view; here on the main street in the City sits a tacky screen, a number of incoherent signs some of which are for lines that are very low margin and a scruffy, filthy bin. In decades gone by Bord Failte spent a long time and scarce resources getting the hospitality industry right, that image is truely horrific as an advert for an area city council invested millions of euro's to upgrade the public realm to enhance the visitor experience.

I really do worry about the ability of Dublin to get tourists with no ancestral relationship to Ireland to return on the basis of a high quality product, do the City Council want to see the west coast get all the return visits? Places like Westport wipe the floor with the Dublin tourist offer on so many metrics not least of which is supervision of the planning process.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby aj » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:17 pm

The documents are up on the DCC website for the JWT premises are they are pretty shocking.

In effect half the corner is demolished half is "restored". I cant see given how little of anything pre 1916 is left standing in this area how DCC can permit such a level of demolition.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby lauder » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:49 pm

aj wrote:The documents are up on the DCC website for the JWT premises are they are pretty shocking.

In effect half the corner is demolished half is "restored". I cant see given how little of anything pre 1916 is left standing in this area how DCC can permit such a level of demolition.


I'm not overly disappointed by this project - it has its merits. The reunification of the two O'Connell St units and corresponding units on Henry St is a great move, and drastically improves their visual presence on such a wide street. It would be great to see the rendering removed as per the elevations submitted, but I doubt that will happen, we will just see a fresh coat of off-white. The shop fronts for these are too quite attractive.

My concerns are the treatment of the two Henry Street buildings. They are both not of particular interest and very awkward lot sizes so I can understand the developers position. But I do think they are work sacrificing if the corner building is done well. No word on the materials for the new build, but I think this could be done well. I remain optimistic.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:24 am

Yes, in principle this is a welcome planning application, one that seeks to retain an important, prominent early building and regenerate a strategic site at the confluence of two major streets. Not to mention an embarrassing blight on the city for the past two decades.

However, there are a number of concerns. It should of course be noted that the original proposal put forward barely two years ago was to bulldoze the entire site back to Henry Place, including the Protected Structure of what is likely to be O’Connell Street’s oldest building, and all historic structures comprising this critically sensitive corner in the O’Connell Street ACA. In this context, the applicant’s effusive, buttery words referencing the "sensitive architectural heritage" and the "vital single entity Georgian building" they were forced to keep are just a little hard to swallow – a "vital" building that would now be a pile of rubble were it not for the intervention of informed, and one suspects begrudgingly supported, conservation professionals. Likewise, the design rationale by McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects, with a raft of pictures lazily pillaged from Archiseek, including my own without even a reference, puts forward a number of development options which are clearly predisposed to, at the very least, a partially cleared site.

There are welcome parts to this application. The superb conservation report, expertly and comprehensively compiled by Molloy & Associates Conservation Architects (with some Archiseek reference), proposes the ideal-case restoration of the c. 1750 corner building to its c. 1849 altered state, with exposed brickwork. The c. 1849 stucco surrounds are to be replicated where they have been replaced, while late Georgian sashes are to be reinstated throughout based on those surviving on Henry Street from the 1840s. The render is going to be tricky to remove, but is not beyond the bounds of possibility (we don’t know from the report if it is red or yellow brick). The type of pointing employed will be important – the facade was probably wigged rather than tuck pointed. If the brick is too badly damaged, the whole facade can be rendered in a warm, naturally toned lime render. An elegant, contemporary stone shopfront is also proposed that makes strong reference to the original 1740s centrally-positioned entrance on Sackville Mall. I feel a sultry, smokily painted timber front would work better, but hey. The interior is to be largely conserved, though one side of an early angled chimneystack will regrettably be lost for a major circulation staircase.

The new building on Henry Street is altogether another matter, which involves the demolition of two historic buildings. There is, nonetheless, scope for intervention here. Given the drastic alterations that have taken place to the interior of the central building proposed for removal, which probably dates to the 18th century, and its minimal streetscape value, to the extent that it has become unreadable in nearly every facet of its being, in addition to its relative un-viability as a standalone retail premises, there is justification I believe for its replacement with a high quality contemporary building that links into the O’Connell Street building as is proposed. This in turn makes the O’Connell Street premises more appropriate to catering for a modern function.

However, the demolition of the late Victorian building on the corner with Henry Place is as unacceptable as it is unimaginative. The architectural assessment has proved that, with some modification of floorplates, this can be successfully integrated into the overall ensemble. The reasoning given for not pursuing this option is that facadisim is not considered an appropriate conservation approach. While there is little doubting this, equally it does not mean that we must lose good street architecture just because interiors are unremarkable. Indeed, this corner building’s exterior is much better than its interior. How is total extraction of architectural heritage a better conservation approach than partial retention? This scheme calls for imagination, not an ego.

Nonetheless, the interior of the proposed new building does look impressive, dynamic and well designed. Finally, a purpose-designed retail building in Dublin that does justice to its function. Either way though, from the fuzzy renderings online the facade appears unduly fussy for this modest infill location, and utterly at odds in its decadent use of stone cladding. As is typical with many architects, the design cue is being selectively taken from wherever suits – in this instance O’Connell Street where "stone, metal and glass predominates". Yah – this is a bit of infill lads. On Henry Street. Brick, minimal stone dressings, timber. There’s your answer. Stop trying to make a silk purse. Subtlety, reticence and sophistication are themes that should define this project. Chipping in an elegant tuppence-worth like everyone else on the street.

As an aside, we just have to quote leading consultants Colliers International in their Retail Assessment of Henry Street. They cite amongst Weaknesses in their SWAT analysis of Henry Street:

“Many elderly, tired and inefficient buildings”

“Bland street-scaping”

“Current lack of shopping experience” (what?)

“Too many small shops which attract lower order comparison uses”

In addition to this odd array of observations – with the exception of the occasional shop unit size, the very elements that make Henry Street a desirable place to be – they go on to state that the planning system needs to be “more flexible” to allow for “more efficient buildings” on Henry Street, which faces stiff competition from the future Northern Quarter and Dublin Central schemes hoovering up the best tenants. One can only deduce from this that a planning policy is being proposed that encourages the demolition of historic building stock, to counter pressures from new development whose very purpose is to accommodate larger floorplates within the city core while protecting more sensitive areas! You couldn’t make this stuff up. Of course there is a need for a gradual upping of unit size in specific locations, but this can be done sensitively and imaginatively, retaining the grain and character of the city core that makes it an attractive and unique shopping and leisure destination.

Of course ‘professional’ opinion across the board in this city is that all of Henry Street, including the rear of the GPO, be whacked, preferably extending to most of Grafton Street while you’re at it. In fact, the Dublin Chamber would level half the city if they got the chance. 'Ah sure tis good for d’towin and tis good for de buildin’. There is enormous potential to significantly adapt the handsome Edwardian stock of Henry Street if the will was there. Unfortunately, Dunnes were let away with precisely the same policy now being approached with the Henry Place building.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby notjim » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:50 pm

There is a little box on OCS, a little like the Taxi Driver's Grotto, but further south and with a line drawing inside. Anyone know what it is, I only pass there when it's too dark for my phone, so I don't have a photo, sorry!
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:29 pm

Oh good - it must be artist Sean Lynch's new installation Me Jewel & Darlin', notjim. A glass case designed to house artifacts from the Civic Museum's collection and other thought-provoking historical artefacts related to Dublin in this time of 'transition' - in effect, forming part of the parade of public monuments that commemorate individuals but diverting to commemorate the city itself.

A worthy concept I think. It's taken a little while longer than expected to get off the ground. It is intended to rotate the exhibit every couple of months. I think he mentioned the first exhibit was to be related to Harry Clarke.
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Re: O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:35 pm

Doh - Google is your friend.

http://www.mejewelanddarlin.com/Introduction.htm

Image

A smart design. Considerable efforts were gone to to make the case virtually bullet proof while keeping it sharp.
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