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