D'Olier & Westmoreland St.

Postby maxb » Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:27 pm

I'm still amazed that bikes aren't even allowed on the DART. It would open up wicklow and howth to tourists in a big way. and commuters of course.


I presume you will still be able to cycle down harcourt st. with the buses + taxis?


What they should really do on westmoreland street is at least put a central division down the middle of the street to stop things getting as crazy as they are now.
So 2 lanes, break, then 2 lanes again.

Or what is they had an underground cycle/pedestrian tunnel that went from BOI pavement to the corner of westmoreland/aston quay? that way you could have one going under westmoreland too.
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Postby PVC King » Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:33 pm

http://www.archiseek.com/content/sh...5&pagenumber=17

Anything less is simply fiddling with the issue.

The City Council must decide do they want a European style boulevard or an american type avenue at the city's core.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Devin » Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:53 pm

Edit: CUT FROM PAGE 31 OF O'CONNELL STREET THREAD

And a wider view taken at around the same time:
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Re: D'Olier / Westmoreland Streets

Postby phil » Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:13 pm

Devin wrote:
Probably the worst of O'Connell Bridge House's numerous sins is that it destroys the primacy of the ICS building, which was so obviously built to be a central dominating landmark in the D’Olier/Westmoreland composition.



I wonder what the effect would be if the twin of O'Connell Bridge House had been allowed to go ahead on the site of the Ballast Office?
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:11 am

One can only imagine - although I think it would be safe to assume it would have been disasterous; two comparitively huge buildings of significant bulk and mediocre architecture would have radically altered the nature of the city centre itself. We escaped lightly with the one. From the side cladding, to the scale, to the bulk, to the location, it's wholly indequate on all fronts - although I must admit to having a strange liking for the stepped profile of the top floor :confused:

Those red buildings on D'Olier St are interesting Devin - forgot to pick up on it before when you mentioned them. I've often passed them wondering about the age of the brick - it appears to be Georgian on first impressions at least. And the building next door covered in paint has just enough peeling off at the top to see red brick peeking through too. Very strange.
And presumably there's little photographic evidence of the colour of the demolished ones, they being swept away in the days of monochrome.
Great pics there - the latter being particlarly bizarre. It's interesting how the city returns to a more human scale with the absence of O'Cll Bridge House.

The Bank of Ireland proposed building a landmark HQ on the site of the ICS at one stage, not a Miesian power-block in the 70s as one may suspect, but just after 1800 :)
It would be interesting to see what was proposed.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:39 am

Graham Hickey wrote:The Bank of Ireland proposed building a landmark HQ on the site of the ICS at one stage, not a Miesian power-block in the 70s as one may suspect, but just after 1800 :)
It would be interesting to see what was proposed.



John Soane
(apologies for quality - hurried photograph of a book)
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Devin » Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:56 am

Wow, I've never seen that before.
The power & influence of the WSCs seems to have been enormous.
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:58 pm

Wow is right! Thanks for that Paul - so is the main facade there to the right stretching down Westmoreland St with the portico (very similar to Chamber's Trinity works) on the ICS site?
We'd cetainly have a very different city centre had that gone ahead, and not neceassarily a better one - quite a vulgar building from what can be made out there.
Ireland's Buckingham Palace :)
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Re: O' Connell Street

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:07 pm

it was one of three concepts supplied... though i seem to recall that this was the prefered one (have had this image on my pc for a few years now, never got around to posting it before)

i think it was the fleet street / college street / westmoreland street triangle - where the Westin Hotel was.... I think that the Bank of Ireland had even gone so far as acquiring most of the site... dates from 1799... so of course we all know what happened in 1801 to remove the Bank's interest in the Soane project....
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:35 pm

It certainly would have been a spectacle, with Trinity alongside and House of Lords across the road.
Wonder if it had any of Soane's trademark 'handkerchief ceilings' - don't know of any in this country.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Thu Nov 11, 2004 4:16 pm

It appears that the Soane bank would have formed part of very grand architectural plans for D'Olier/Westmoreland Sts. that the WSCs had in mind at one point*, which I think would have created too much granduer so close to the Parliament House & Trinity. Then there was also a plan for brick elevations with an arcaded walkway at ground floor - which is a nice idea but maybe not that suitable for Dublin. Then they finally settled on brick elevations with regular ground floors, like had recently been completed on Lwr. O'Connell St.

The thing is, what was built (the least grand of the three options) was absolutely perfect for setting off the House of Lords portico & Trinity front to the south, & Pillar & GPO to the north.
Those piered granite shopfronts of D'Olier/Westmoreland Sts. looked fabulous running one after the other along the street - a real case of the whole adding up to more than the sum of the parts :) .

*Feature by Edward McParland in the Irish Georgian Society bulletin, Jan.-Mar. 1972.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 12, 2004 9:02 pm

Definitely - and the best place today to at least imagine their grand impact and impeccable proportions is outside McDonalds or Burger King of all places, on O'Cll St. The Irish Times terrace gives a very good idea of what Westmoreland was like, and at this position your're almost in line with the apex of the streets which gives you a very good idea of how the streets worked with each other. Unfortunately the 'bungalow-like' structure as Frank McDonald so described of the mansard roof of the ICS 'replicas' horriblly intrudes on the parapet of the terraces which are as straight as arrows up to this point.

It's a pity also that there's none of the shopfronts left on Westmoreland St, were they the same as D'Olier St?
Also I've wondered if Francis Johnston was the architect for this scheme or even consulting architect, as the shopfronts on D'Olier St are very similar in style and materials to the side elevation his Stamp Office to the rear of Powerscourt House just off South William St, with the same rustic granite and little ionic pilasters etc along the ground floor.

I agree about Soane's scheme generating something of a classical overload for this area, esp as a scheme of this type would look irregular facing into the street rather than onto the river a mere few yards away. What should have been done though, had Westmoreland St existed at the time of Trinity's building (and the BoI portico) is to have created a simple pleasant facade for the college, similar to the West Front, facing onto College St, creating a secondary square to College Green, with the corner pavilion linking the two facades together, instead of the rubble stone wall of the college we now have, hidden with trees.
I think it's funny that Trinity is so often spoken of in touristy phrases of it being so significant etc - but albeit one of my favourite buildings in the city, if ever there was a scheme done on the cheap, this is it :) From inside Parliament Square to the varoius external facades, 250 years later it's still shouting to Parliament across the road for more money :)
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:59 pm

You can only presume that the shopfronts on Westmoreland Street were the same as the D’Olier Street ones, as that is the way they appear on original WSC’s drawings and in the Brocas print of 1820. But even in early photos they seem to be mostly gone - replaced by timber late-19th century-type ones, or replaced along with the entire building - as in most of block between the BOI portico and Fleet Street, as seen in the 1920s photo below. When you look at the amount of Victorian infill on this block, it’s surprising how much of the overall WSC's D’Olier/Westm Sts. scheme survived up to the ‘60s/’70s..…then John Byrne et al got to work :(

But you can see an original doric-pilastered granite shopfront on the building adjoining the portico in the photo. It’s a pity this building and the other original beside it were demolished & replaced in the ‘50s – they looked magnificent beside the bank….the proportions.....the sombriety......
Somebody recently was praising the ‘50s building that's there now, but I think it’s terrible....a slap in the face to what was there.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:24 pm

Image

....and that's Collins screaming his head off on the podium in pre-PA days...
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:00 pm

Wahey - we have a WSC shopfront! Looks the same as D'Olier St's ones.
Also interesting to see the original buildings on the site of the BoI 30s building - not sure I like it anymore now :)

As this topic is raised again, I think I have an explanation for the red brick aliens on the east side of D'Olier St.
I have engraving from 1820 of the street and it would appear that that side was never properly developed, although it may have been subsequent to the pic.
In the very centre of the terrace, on the site of the Gas Building, is a large white building, probably stone and 5 bays wide. The building is the same height as the terrace but is only 3 storeys in total. The terrace continues down a bit more towards Pearse St, with the regular WSC buildings of T & C Martin, now D'Olier House, but stops before the site of the current red-bricked buildings and D'Olier Chambers, where there's a small two storey building with a pitched roof covering pretty much all these sites.

Hence, as the red brickwork suggests, these buildings are early 19th century and may not even have been built by the WSC. Wonder if they were built on the site of D'Olier Chambers too...
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:31 pm

I totally agree Graham on the BOI buildings on Westmoreland St, I quite liked those before seeing Devin's images. When I was in College I remember reading a UK planning text that showed a picture taken from the Junction of Fleet St (IT end) & Westmoreland St c1990 with the accompanying text extolling the virtues of the inter-period relationship of all the buildings and Trees as far as the junction of Grafton St and College Green. The photographer and author obviously weren't regular pedestrians through this area.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:04 am

I do believe it was me who praised the BoI recently :) - and Phil too, who raised it on the Gaiety Centre thread.
I think it is an attractive piece of architecture, indeed one of the better modern infills in the centre.

Image

There is no doubt though that what was there before was far superior; what a perfect setting for the 'real' BoI next door - especially the wrap-around facade actually facing the Lords portico you can see in the first old pic there, just imagine what that would have looked like with its red brick, Georgian sashes & exquiste proportions flanking the newly added giant doorway of the BoI. It would have been magnificent. And nowhere, except maybe with the GPO and Lwr Sackville St, did the flanking brick Georgians ever come so close to their centrepiece.
It doesn't bear thinking about :(

And there's nothing like a Georgian corner either, what a daft thing to say, but really they're so rare - to get a decent bricked Georgian corner with windows on both sides is something of a novelty, we're so used to townhouses being so superficial etc. Corners make them so much more substantial and real.

I think we need to put things in perspective though with regard to the 50s BoI. If the originals on the site weren't knocked (not that I'm defending it) we'd currently have two buildings with Victorian additions, coated in a layer of render and smothered in kiddies yellow poster paint. That would be an insult to what's next door.
At least the 50s BoI acknowledges the big BoI by using red brick and similar coloured concrete/stone as dressing. It also fits in quite well with the distinctive jumble of buildings next door, indeed if anything provides something of a relief - halting them before managing to creep in next to the BoI - something of a buffer building :)
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby StephenC » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:44 am

Notice the way all the side windows of the original have been bricked up or were just fake windows to begin with. Also guys this photo doesnt tell you what the rendering to the building looked like.... may well have been a lovely bright yellow!
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Rory W » Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:03 pm

StephenC wrote:Notice the way all the side windows of the original have been bricked up or were just fake windows to begin with. Also guys this photo doesnt tell you what the rendering to the building looked like.... may well have been a lovely bright yellow!


They would have been niches to begin with rather than bricked up
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:10 pm

How do you know Rory?
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:48 pm

Niches?? I don't know about that.

The "bricked up" windows may have been like that from the beginning right enough ("fake") - implication was just as important as reality in Georgian architecture :)

Graham Hickey wrote:As this topic is raised again, I think I have an explanation for the red brick aliens on the east side of D'Olier St.
I have engraving from 1820 of the street and it would appear that that side was never properly developed, although it may have been subsequent to the pic.
In the very centre of the terrace, on the site of the Gas Building, is a large white building, probably stone and 5 bays wide. The building is the same height as the terrace but is only 3 storeys in total. The terrace continues down a bit more towards Pearse St, with the regular WSC buildings of T & C Martin, now D'Olier House, but stops before the site of the current red-bricked buildings and D'Olier Chambers, where there's a small two storey building with a pitched roof covering pretty much all these sites.
That’s interesting. So what we think of as the complete and unified great D’Olier/Westmoreland Street scheme of circa 1800 may not have been so complete & unified after all!!
You can just about see that three-storey building you are talking about Graham on the site of the gas building in this 1880s photo posted before. Wonder what it was? - I'm going to have at look a Shaw's Dublin Directory, 1850 this evening (which shows drawn elevations of all the central streets in Dublin) to see what it shows:

http://www.archiseek.com/content/attachment.php?attachmentid=486

It’s also interesting that The Carlisle Building on the Burgh Quay cnr (definitely by WSCs) was four storeys and not five.

With regard to the ‘50s (or earlier) building, I think some of the positive comments made about it before were that it would’ve looked better when it had it’s original steel windows. While I agree would’ve looked better with orig. windows, I don't think it's a great example of its type and I think its relation to the bank is quite poor - that flippant '50p' corner should never have been done in this important location!
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:16 pm

I think the 50p corner's a great quirky feature! Of course that opinion is entirely generated by a rose-tinted view of the building and if something other than a straight corner was built today I'd be outraged at the watering down of the WSC's composition :) Agreed re the windows at least - those early 80s bronzy frames are the very worst kind of replacement window, esp when coupled with those horrendous cheapo mullions.
The corner specimens would look particularly fine in steel.

Had a look today at the red-bricks on D'Olier St, it would appear they went no further than their existing site, i.e. D'Olier Chambers at the end was a newbuild when it went up in the 1890s - based upon the fact that the quoin stones of the last redbrick wrap right round the little corner which D'Olier Chambers is set back from (although the small 2-storey in the Brocas print may have covered part of its site)
Looking up Shaw's is a good idea - amazing what a few sketched lines can tell you!

I never understood the designs chosen for Carlisle Building and the Ballast Office. Why depart so lightly from the rest of the streetscape? Either go the whole way and put two landmark stone buildings there, or completely maintain the streetscape right up to the corners.
From what can be deduced from photos and prints, I think they quite substantially diluted the regularised effect being created, esp the Carlisle Building only featuring four storeys. Likewise with the Ballast Office only barely departing from the window dressings and string courses - doesn't seem to work I think...
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:50 pm

Had a look in Shaw’s 1850 pictorial directory - the 3-storey classical building where the Gas Co. is shown - no other info.

That side of D’Olier St. seems to be complete with full-height buildings up to the Hawkins St. junction at this time, but the building on the corner (where the 1890s D’Olier Chambers is now) looks a bit different, with round-headed windows on the gnd. & 1st floors - so it may not be by the WSCs (that might explain the quoins wrapping around the cnr. of the last red brick building if the corner building in Shaw’s was built a bit later or also set back a little).

Graham Hickey wrote:I never understood the designs chosen for Carlisle Building and the Ballast Office. Why depart so lightly from the rest of the streetscape? Either go the whole way and put two landmark stone buildings there, or completely maintain the streetscape right up to the corners.
In Shaw’s, the normal Westmoreland St. buildings go right up to the corner of Aston’s Quay - there’s no landmark building. According to Frederick O’Dwyer’s Lost Dublin, the Ballast Office was only given the alterations to make it into a landmark building in the 1860s.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:12 pm

Ah, that explains a lot - feel so much better now actually, that's annoyed me for years!
Ironic in a way then that the replica of the Ballast Office repeated these incongrous additions!

Looking at the Brocas print in hindsight actually proves your point about the additions - I've a poor copy so it was always too difficult to clearly make out the wndows dressings without knowing for sure.

Interesting to see at the moment that Ballast House is having to advertise itself for letting as a 'modern office building' - modern interior or not (and a crappy one at that) - the demolition backfired :)
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Devin » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:18 am

Graham Hickey wrote:Ironic in a way then that the replica of the Ballast Office repeated these incongrous additions
And, even more ironic, it made itself even bigger! The Ballast Office was 6 six bays onto Westm. Street but Ballast House is 8 bays of fakery of a fake landmark! :mad: As if demolishing the Ballast Office wasn't enough, it had to take one more original just for good (bad) measure :( :mad:
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