Old pictures of Dublin

Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby exene1 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:20 pm

Capel Street, from DCC Libraries site (http://dublincitypubliclibraries.com/im ... ollections):

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:07 pm

Looking for a shot of Denmark House, on Little Denmark Street. I recall seeing one maybe 20 years ago, but damned if I can find the book it was in.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby gunter » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:12 pm

Can't recall seeing any decent pictures of Denmark Street. We are talking about the Denmark Street that was cleared and the site absorbed into the ILAC Center?

There was a history of Moore Street published before Christmas, perhaps there was something in that.

I came across this cutting from a newspaper which isn't dated [but was in with other stuff from 1975] announcing the development of the Ilac Centre, which is interesting for the sheer time-warpiness of its modernity.

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:46 am

Yeah it was cleared for the ILAC. Do you have a larger scan of that - really deserves to go on main site.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby thebig C » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:17 pm

Hey Paul:)

I have lost count of how many times I have seen a picture in a book and then months later when trying to find it realising I've forgotten which book it was in. In most cases it was some old publication in Rathmines Library!

I don't recall seeing a decent photo of Denmark House, but I think there is a Line drawing in Pearsons "The Heart of Dublin".

Nice pic of the ILAC Centre proposal, redolent of many developments in the UK in this era. Of course, the original plans for the ILAC (which I suspect this captures partly) were alot more grandiose. It encompassed twice the retail space, 400k sq ft as opposed to 200k sq ft, two 14 storey office blocks, a hotel , leisure centre and theatre!! Looking at the sketch above it would certainly not have been award winning architecturally, but, might have been preferable to the single storey flat roof utilitarian rubbish that was built.....a suburban mall plonkered into a prime City Centre location.

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby thebig C » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:20 pm

lol Gunter, I know what you mean by time warpiness......does it remind you slightly of the models used as streetscapes in the Thunderbirds Series.....a 60s take on what the world of tomorrow would look like:)
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:54 pm

I see to recall reading somewhere about a concept with large plastic panels across the facade - am guessing this is it...
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:48 am

Paul Clerkin wrote:I seem to recall reading somewhere about a concept with large plastic panels across the facade - am guessing this is it...


I have that recollection too, but I'm not sure which version of the ILAC proposal was the classy one with plastic panels.

thebig C is correct, as reportedly approved, the ILAC was to have 400,000 sq. feet of retail space, a theatre, two cinemas, a restaurant and bar, sporting facilities and an office block.

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Apologies for the picture resolution, the newsprint quality was great in the first place and time has taken its toll too.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:09 am

This is a similarly upbeat announcement of that appalling office block on South Great George's Street when it was still just an 'artist impression' and hadn't yet become a concrete reality.

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby thebig C » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:41 am

Great stuff Gunter....do you have many more of these Newspaper cuttings?

I am slightly confused though, was the "Smarts" Building previously part of Pims Department Store. I was always under the impression that Wicklow House ands Castle House were on the Pims site, afterall, based on Illustrations I have seen Pims was approx 20 bays in Length.

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:24 am

The guys who wrote those pieces in The Indo and Times, Frank Cairns and Karl Jones, get a mention In Destruction of Dublin - they were very developer friendly, maybe too friendly.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:50 am

thebig C wrote:....do you have many more of these Newspaper cuttings?


o yes!

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A good pic, in poor condition, of the site that was cleared [over many years] for the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, from a Sept. 1974 announcement of the latter's impending arrival.

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Note that the Corpo's condition to double the width of South King Street was only scuppered by the intervention of the wise Mr. Tully.

The side article records the stylistic breakthrough that meant you could now purchase a new 'Neo-Georgian' house in Bray for £8,000. Castleknock style living, at back-end-of-Bray prices!

I'm going to have to put these away or I'll get no work done today.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:05 pm

I like the Neo-Georgians sidebar
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:25 pm

Great newspaper clippings. Frightening how the papers were such blatant mouthpieces for the development industry back then, though one wonders if the more subtle approach of today is even more invidious.

What a strong streetscape South King Street once boasted! A curiously unified looking terrace there along the site of the St. Stephen's Green Centre. Certainly the street hosted some Regency-era facades and shopfronts until the second half of the 20th century on the opposing side, so perhaps this terrace was part of the wider trend of re-facing and rebuilding carried out in the retail boom of the early 1800s.

The clinging on with vice-gripped fingernails of the solitary late Georgian house on the corner of Dame Lane and South Great George's Street, in the face of the Wicklow House monster devouring all its neighbours, is one of the few satisfying instances of discord in Dublin street architecture to emerge from the speculative butchering of the modern era. The survival of early shopfront fabric on both the front and side elevations makes it all the more gratifying to walk by. How on earth the place is still standing, especially going by the description of that basement, is beyond me. Do you have an exact date for that clipping, gunter? We do tend to forget how that terrace was developed in two phases, explaining its subtly varied, two-part approach to offending the human race.

I came across a detailed reference to Denmark House only recently, but now can't find it. I believe it may have been in connection with the architect William M Mitchell, in whose repertoire it certainly wouldn't be out of place as an early steel-framed building with a brick skin. There's a picture of it in Freddie O'Dwyer's Lost Dublin, but I can't find that either. Very useful all round.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:50 pm

GrahamH wrote:Do you have an exact date for that clipping, gunter?


Most of the clipping do, but not that George's Street block clip unfortunately. I must have felt that, either it didn't merit going to the trouble of scribbling a date on it or, that it dated itself.

Probably not later than 1975.

GrahamH wrote:I came across a detailed reference to Denmark House only recently, but now can't find it. I believe it may have been in connection with the architect William M Mitchell, in whose repertoire it certainly wouldn't be out of place as an early steel-framed building with a brick skin. There's a picture of it in Freddie O'Dwyer's Lost Dublin, but I can't find that either. Very useful all round.


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A bikkie for Graham, 'Lost Dublin' page 79. It's a pity the OPW wouldn't buy Freddie a computer, we could get questions like this answered on the spot.

This is his caption:

'To the right of Arnotts in the photograph may be seen the copper dome of Todd Burns [now Penneys] and further right, the dome, surmounted by a flagpole, of the Henry Street Warehouse Company latterly known as Denmark House, Little Denmark Street, an early steel-framed building which was demolished in 1976.'

For a better image, there's a good chance that an early steel-framed building would have merited at least half a page in a book called 'A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland, 1837 - 1921', by Jeremy Williams, which I think was published about twenty years ago.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby thebig C » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:14 pm

Hey Gang

Yes, the papers are unashamedly endorsing the case of "out with the old, in with the new". However, nowadays, whilst opinion is slightly more informed it is nonetheless just as entrenched. For example, whilst there are still many who are avowedly pro-development, there are also a huge number who are basically anti-development and view any support for particular projects as treason. Its sad really, but we just don't seem to have been able to strike a balance between the obvious need to preserve and protect and yet to let the City grow and florish.

Anywho, back to Gunters great clippings.....what can I say, it strikes me as weird that side by side there is one article holding forth about the benefits of faux Georgian living whilst in the other article the destruction of real Georgian is approved of......I doubt they saw the Irony:) Also, of note, is the tiny number of 29 apartments being proposed! No doubt these were either Social units or had to be forced on the developer kicking and screaming. These days we forget that in the 1970s people just did not want to live in the City Centre. Which is one of the reasons why countless perfectly good Georgian houses were demolished as opposed to being converted into 2-4 unit mansion blocks as happened elsewhere.

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby thebig C » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:16 pm

@Gunter......I don't think the residents of Eglinton Rd would agree with the statement "wise Mr Tully"!!:)
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby thebig C » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:21 pm

@GrahamH.....Yes, I have seen relatively few pictures of the South King Street streetscape and I am surprised just how proportional and uniform it actually is.

Having said that, the St Stephens Green Centre is one of the better urban Shopping Centres around. Certainly in terms of public relm it leaves others in the halfpenny place. Its one massive failing is a total lack of shops facing directly onto South King Street....one wonders having read Gunters article was this a remenant of the original design were it would most likely have faced a Dual-Carraigeway?!

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:33 pm

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I have seen this one, I'd just like a see a photo where the building was more visible - terribly elusive.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby StephenC » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:38 pm

Why Denmark House? Was it House as in a business premises...or was it a house as in home. This area was really always commercial right? And very slum ridden for much of late 19th and 20th centuries if old photos are correct.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby gunter » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:27 am

It's archiseek, Stephen, you don't ask why!

thebig C wrote:Gunter......I don't think the residents of Eglinton Rd would agree with the statement "wise Mr Tully"!!:)


I see you have a well thumbed copy of The Destruction of Dublin bigC

I've nothing else on Little Denmark Street other than this 1975 clip of the Roches Stores corner as it was about to be redeveloped.

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caption says Liffey Street, which is what I think Little Denmark Street was generally called in common speech. The Old Roches building had lost its moulded window surrounds and superb shopfront by this time, which can still be glimpsed in the view of Henry Street published in Maurice Gorham's 'Dublin Old and New' of, coincidentally, 1975

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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:40 pm

Oh what a streetscape! Beautiful shopfronts. The lovely bowed Roches looks like it pre-dated the 1916 destruction. That junction into Little Denmark Street made such a difference to the townscape here too. The indentation in the street line there today where the ILAC meets Debenhams is so unsatisfactory - unresolved, cheaply finished and plain functionless. How it terminates the Liffey Street vista is appalling. Woeful planning. It's crying out for a street here. It's a shame the legacy of Denmark Street wasn't even preserved in the naming of the new ILAC malls, where 'Denmark Mall' would be so much more exotic than the prosaically titled 'Mary Mall'.

So seemingly Roches was built in two stages, with the 1960s Cole's Lane end the first to be developed? Do I recall a red curtain-walled end as the second phase, or was it a simple continuation of the chocolate square cladding used further down? Disturbing how quickly you forget these things. I did like the rather racy, vertically-fenestrated, chamfered corner to Cole's Lane though. I think this Roches was also host to the first escalator in Dublin, if not Ireland.
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby gunter » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:48 pm

That recent Moore Street publication did have a picture of Denmark House!

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It's probably not from the right angle though
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby StephenC » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:50 pm

what a great premises though
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Re: Old pictures of Dublin

Postby thebig C » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:31 pm

Great pic, and great building. Shame in a sense that it was hidden away on Denmark St.

BTW, I note references to the Liffey Street frontage of Roches....I assumed Liffey Street terminated at the junction with Henry St. This would seem to suggest that in times past it was in effect in "Upper/Lower" segments and formerly stretched beyond Henry St?

@Gunter....yep I do indeed have a very well thumbed copy of Destruction of Dublin. It actually took me quite a while to find but I eventually discovered a copy in the Second Hand bookshop in Blackrock:) In this case, McDonald waxed lyrical about the warren of streets and alleys replaced by the ILAC refering to them as "Dublins Kasbah". As they dissappeared before my time I asked my Dad about them.....he is from Fenian Street (which was dog rough in his day), and he maintained the place was a dive and even he wouldn't have been particularly comfortable there!!

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