Duchas, the Heritage Service, has expressed concerns about a proposal to build a 106-bedroom hotel opposite King John's Castle in Limerick city centre
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The residents of and tourists to Dublinâ€™s historic Kilmainham in the year 2002 would gladly swap the proposal for the flat roofed model office blocks planned to stand opposite Kilmainham Gaol for BQ Enterpriseâ€™s good, bad or indifferent 103 bed hotel / tourist development thatâ€™s proposed to stand opposite Limerickâ€™s historic King Johnâ€™s Castle thatâ€™s causing so much concern to minister De Velera her department Duchas and the owner of Katy Dalyâ€™s pub.
- John Callery
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Limerick corporation have invested a lot of time and money in the last 10 years on improving and conserving the historic King's Island area. And, despite some horrible pastiche they have done an admireable job. The area from Thomond bridge to Baal's bridge is quite cohesive, quite beautiful.
Walking between these bridges you span the evolution of the city from early medieaval and Viking to the Georgian Newtown.
It has a varied skyline - St. Mary's and Cathedral, St. Munchin's church and the Catholic St. Mary's church.
Anything that would obliterate these views could not be countenanced. Surely such a large building would be out of scale with the area. The only large building in the area is the Museum in King John's. Controversial though it is, I really like it - but it only works because it is viewed as a colossus, its mass signifying importance. Also, being a civic building, and not a 'for profit' building like an hotel lend it a certain level of architectural licence.
There are plenty of examples of domestic 16th and 17th century architecture in this area, an area which to this day is 95% residential. A building such as that proposed will be a mistake.
I had to laugh at the wooden windows bit in the press clipping - wow, just think they'll be nearly as elegant as the windows in the newer O'Mahony Pike @zoe/danninger developments. Imagine - once upon a time, people tried to minimise glazing bars and astragals - what were they thinking of!
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Both fail to address the cultural aspects when they present themselves so clearly and should concentrate themselves on these aspects and on how these historic national monuments and protected buildings should and could be enhanced by contemporary design and not skirt and loom around them as is the case with what is proposed for Limerick and Kilmainham.
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