Ardee Street, with the turn for the Coombe on the left. The main stone warehouse seen here was refurbished in conjunction with that new development, but there were several other brewery buildings behind it. Could / should more of this complex have been retained? It all went to appeal at the time.
All of these were demolished:
Ardee Street from the other (south)end.
The old Cork Street.
The Corpo said the new road would enhance the area. A bit like saying we’re going to amputate your foot to help you walk. They said it would be a “lively mixed-use attractive and safe urban street”. Tall order for 4-lane traffic corridor driven through a complex historic quarter of the city. Increasing traffic in such an area was at odds with trends everywhere in Europe where the brakes were being put on traffic.
There is some new development of note. The Timberyard by ODT is one of the few good buildings built in Dublin in the boom. It looks good from any angle. How did they manage that?? Granted a site fronting a new bypass road was a relatively blank canvas for the form of it. But it does pick up on the area well.
You've got that McCullough Mulvin school with its architectey opes in the wall fronting the road, and some historic buildings got refurbished along the route. But really it's hard to escape the feeling that Dublin needed another big road near its centre like a hole in the head. Why did the Corpo go ahead with it given that their policy had already changed away from roads by 2000 and were by that time trying to take traffic out of the centre? Should the Coombe not just have been traffic calmed instead and let other traffic go round the canals?
Or was it a case of, as a consultant is quoted as saying on page 52 of the 1989 book 'Saving the City' in relation to the Inner Tangent, "the demolition of buildings along this route, as well as the road works already finished 'is probably beyond a point where anything useful could be gained in an environmental sense by not completing the remaining sections'"?
More importantly though, could the historic industrial character of the area have been better preserved within road regeneration?