D'Olier & Westmoreland St.

Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby kefu » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:15 am

Such a gorgeous building, no real surprises though.

Can only begin to imagine how much more pleasant Westmoreland Street is going to be at 3am in the morning.

In the space of the 200 metres from Westmoreland Street to O'Connell Street (Abbey St junction), we now have McDonalds x 1, Burger King x 1, Supermacs x 2, Eddie Rockets x 1, Carrolls x 1, Spar x 2. What a wonderful city we live in. Small wonder the papers are saying this morning that it is one of the most heavily littered in the world.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby damnedarchitect » Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:18 pm

" Why do you guys like chips so much?"

An Italian mate of mine who just moved here.

Eek.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby fergalr » Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:12 pm

Blame the famine. Or the English :p
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:22 pm

I've dragged this topic to here from the O'Connell Street thread, given it's a bit more apt.

Does it frustrate anybody else how poor the existing Ballast House is (as reproduced by Scott Tallon Walker in the late 1970s)? In spite of its classical character, at the end of the day it's a heap of junk from a specification perspective, with cladding, dressings and fenestration possessing all the finesse of a steamroller. The window surrounds in particular look like they've been cut out of a slab of concrete with a scissors and applied to the facade with Pritt Stick, whilst the brickwork is sullen and prosaic.

Image

Given the office interior is thoroughly dated, the entrance arrangements dismal, and the structural form a concrete frame clad in brickwork, what would people think of the likelihood of a redevelopment, and more specifically the design idiom - and its desirability - of a potential new building/facade? I'd imagine the economics probably don't stack up, but either way I'd prefer an improving on the detailing and better ground floor treatment to the river front.. Indeed a return to the original WSC design. i.e. minus the dressings, would surely be an improvement.

It's a wallpaper building we all pass by with little heed, but as things stand is a clunky addition to the most important intersection in the city.

Devin wrote:The Ballast-Carlisle scene before changes:

Image

[align=center]~~~[/align]

Sadly these little 'improvements' that might be made to the city seem less likely as time goes on. Today no one will invest in an existing building unless they can add 2 extra floors, and no one will redevelop unless they can get 7 or 8 storeys in place of 4. It's sad.

Ballast Hse is a dire pastiche for such a visible location. Gives the Georgian style a bad name.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:23 pm

Agreed, not least as it's the reproduction of a shoddily altered building in the first instance!

As we saw earlier on this thread, Ballast House was once just comprised of two Wide Streets Commission buildings.

Devin wrote:Image


It appears they were amalgamated in the late 1860s, and much embellished with an imposing balustrade and cornice, and rather mediocre window dressings, all possibly happening later in the 1880s - the sheet glass windows across all floors suggestive of such.

This fascinating view from O'Connell Bridge House c. 1973 shows very clearly the lovely patina of the 18th century brick, with stucco or Roman cement dressings applied directly on top of the Georgian fabric.

Image


You can even see the Georgian flat arches of fanned brick behind the architraves to the left :)

Image


Indeed to this day you can see the same practice on McDonald's on O'Connell Street, where Victorian dressings sit atop the last surviving WSC brickwork on all of O'Connell Street.

Image


This image also shows how the sheet sashes made the Ballast Office look much more 'commercial' and modern. along with its imposing balustrade. It's even possible they retained the Georgian sashes, just its impossible to make out with the resolution.

Image


This view from around 1940 demonstrates what a distinguished contributor it was to the setting of O'Connell Bridge.

Image


And what is probably my favourite 20th century view of the city, this wonderfully evocative image - again c. 1940 - demonstrates the stunning silhouette of the Ballast Office's truly iconic chimneys.

Image


A similarly spine-tingly view from the 1950s.

Image


A scandal of the highest order that this building was demolished, and insult added to injury in its replacement of such mediocrity.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Rory W » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:05 am

Ah - but does anyone remember the plan to replace the ballast office with a mirror image pf O'Connell Bridge House...

Agreed this replica is mediocre
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby lostexpectation » Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:01 am

so eh what did those roads look like before the WSC?

I think the roads are too wide, certainly in the way they are used now., they don't really go anywhere.

I love seeing photos of people in the black and white days walking around being people doing stuff going places its extraordinarily surprising that they did that back then too.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:19 am

:)

Yes they are certainly too wide for the function they serve today. They're multi-lane motorways essentially.

When both streets were completed shortly after 1800, they weren't much liked then either from what can be gathered, with criticisms of their 'width... bleakness... gloomy and monstrous aspect' as Christine Casey and others have noted. Indeed it appears the flagship classically-inspired WSC developments of Lower Sackville Street, Westmoreland Street and D'Olier Street never appear to have been liked by Dubliners generally. Within 40 years of being buiilt, substantial deviations from the prescribed plans were being made left right and centre, with the arrival of stucco ornament and other fashionable alterations. It's notable that wholescale demolition takes off upon the taking over of WSC powers by Dublin Corporation.

lostexpectation wrote:so eh what did those roads look like before the WSC?


Well simply, they didn't exist! They were literally bulldozed through the existing muddled street pattern, an early form of CPO. And by all accounts it appears to have been fairly and efficiently operated. Owners got market value plus compensation.

This is the area 30 years before development in the 1760s, showing Sackville Mall - what is today Upper O'Connell Street - linking into the last vestiges of the 17th century Drogheda Street and then down to the river.

Image


A close-up view of the Westmoreland/D'Olier site, 'thickly sown with alleys and courts' :)

Image

A redevelopment of mammoth proportions, it took about six years to demolish and build.

Incidentally, we have a perception today that things were better for pedestrians on these streets in times past. Far from it - they had the same amount of pavement, indeed probably less than we do, while vast expanses of wasteful road continued to predominate. Paving was something of a luxury in cities until later in the 19th century. Indeed you could barely cross the road on a wet day such was the mudbath they became. Crossings were laid out in paving stones or compacted gravel to make life somewhat more bearable for ladies who lunched. No wonder sedan chairs were so popular. And no wonder these new-build streets were considered barren and unforgiving!
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby ctesiphon » Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:20 am

GrahamH wrote:It's even possible they retained the Georgian sashes, just its impossible to make out with the resolution.

I would hazard a guess that you're right. there's something about the proportions of the attic storey windows that suggests to me reglazing rather than full replacement. I don't think I've ever seen new ('new'- heh) windows with a profile like those ones.

GrahamH wrote:A similarly spine-tingly view from the 1950s.

Image

This picture almost brings a tear to my eye. ;)
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ebs westmoreland street?

Postby Pepsi » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:55 am

i'm sorry if this has been mentioned before but i can't find the details anywhere. what is happening with this building? i only noticed it closed the other day. it looks like it has been closed for a while mind. is it being done up? is it being demolished? will someone else be moving in? i must say i am very disappointed. ebs have been there for as long as i can remember. :confused:
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby StephenC » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:23 am

It has been closed for some time and none of the mentioned plans seem to have got very far. The last one I recall was about two years ago and involved a retail development. I would think that the Luas extension/ Metro works have put off any potential developer. Westmoreland Street is due for a "cut and cover" under Metro plans according to the DCBA in yesterdays Irish Times. Hardly the most inviting of prospects for a potential Zara/H&M/Big Name retailer. I think we shoudl accept that the builidng will be vacant for quite a while.

Its quite startling the degree to which uncertainty over the proposed Metro/Luas works is allowing areas the city centre to stagnate. A visionary masterplan is required from DCC but it doesnt seem to be interested. The agenda is being set by speculative development, as with Northern Quarter and Dublin Central where two massive developments are proposed that dont even seem to relate to one another.
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby jdivision » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:56 pm

The building was due to become a retail scheme but the reality is it won't work because the footfall on the island is far too small to justify a retail led scheme - there simply isn't enough passing trade, hence the reason the Manchester United store further down has still not got a new tenant (although that is due to change shortly). The owner of the building was a well known low profile businessman who passed away in the last year and this will delay any plans further I suspect.
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby missarchi » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:49 pm

I was thinking they where waiting for the RPA to make an offer :D
time will tell!!!

stephen c DCC does need a visionary masterplan this is one of dublins biggest pinch points... I have seen the old one but its not detailed enough and not forward thinking enough....
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby Rory W » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:07 pm

who's going in the old man u shop jdivision?
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby notjim » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:11 pm

I was surprised there was no effort to link the EBS and the development of the old Times building.
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby jdivision » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:14 pm

Rory W wrote:who's going in the old man u shop jdivision?


Not 100% but likely to be a pub I think
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:59 am

A beauty salon, 'personal training centre' and hairdressers were granted for the site a few months ago across part of the ground floor and all of the first floor, extending into the Lafayette building. The hairdressers will overlook O'Connell Bridge from first floor level.

However the ground floor development only affects about half the frontage of the former Man Utd shop on Westmoreland Street, where an entrance hall, waiting area and small beauty retail element is proposed. The left-hand part is still vacant, as is the expansive frontage to D'Olier Street which is a separate unit also.
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Re: ebs westmoreland street?

Postby jdivision » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:07 pm

Graham,my understanding was that the guys behind Doyles are to make part of it into a pub though. heard that a while ago and things may have changed. Your points would suggest we could both be right though
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:12 pm

The EBS retail proposal from c. 2004 - knew I had it somewhere :eek:

Image

The former EBS HQ at 30/34 Westmoreland St, Dublin 2 which is to be converted into a large retail store. The front central section of the building will be retained while the remainder of the frontage will feature specialised coloured glazing. (paper caption)


To think this might actually have slipped through...

I love the streams of traffic passing by - says it all about the viability of the project.

Incidentally I was talking to someone who hadn't been walking in the Westmoreland Street area for a year or two, and without any prompting whatever (honest) launched into a diatribe on the state of the place - from retail uses, to public domain, to shopfronts, to traffic. They couldn't believe how much the place had deteriorated, and were mortified at the number of tourists availing of the thoroughfare. You'd wonder why they bother coming.
It's the new O'Connell Street of the 1980s and it's happening right before our eyes.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:33 pm

Westmoreland Street has gone to hell - as has Dame Street in my opinion.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby GrahamH » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:09 pm

Yes you're right - the entire Westmoreland Street/D'Olier Street/College Green/Dame Street axis is continuously deteriorating; the very places that should be the beating heart of the city. Dame Street is now a string of budget restaurants and bars (the odd gem excepted), language schools, internet cafés and newsagents. The banks' presence, as welcome as it is, in such a concentration coupled with the aformentioned uses merely contributes to the problem with their deadening frontages.

The latest manifestation of this deteriorating order of uses is an appalling newsagents-cum-café across the road from City Hall, with a sparse budget fit-out and ubiqutous 'temporary' signage plastered across the awful polished granite shopfront with clunky aluminum windows. Permanent banner signs have also been erected on the upper facade. Meanwhile a Chinese restaurant recently wanted to set up shop next door to the Central Bank in a building with a stunning early 20th century interior, installing split-level mezzanines etc but have thankfully just been turned down - nonetheless a further indication of the way things are heading around here. The sniffing of Lidl around College Green is merely the icing on the cake - the fact they think there's even a chance they could get in speaks volumes of authorities' commitment to pressing for even basic standards, let alone higher order uses for the heart of the city.

It is a troubling trend that investment in the city centre appears increasingly to be consolidating around the south-western corner off Grafton Street, while the ceremonial heart effectively begins to rot.
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby missarchi » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:17 pm

was cycling down there today and I concur...

need a landscape plan bad... and no visible kerb and some funky bollards ect
how good will the job be after metro north we have no clue...

transport and architecture are linked... sad but true fix the bridge as well

Image
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby jdivision » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:22 pm

EBS building's back on the market. Owner died last year/earlier this year. If the Elliotts have the money they'd be obvious choice given they're currently developing Times building
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby publicrealm » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:47 pm

I hope someone will invest in the area in the near future - however the omens appear poor - the DCC permission for the current ESB building on Fleet Street (a gem) was appealed (by the Unionists alone) with the result that it may not now be worth building (and several floors of retail may be lost).
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Re: Westmoreland / D'Olier Streets

Postby Pilear » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:26 pm

anyone know what exactly is happening to the old irish times building? looks like construction has begun?
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hope these images are a bit better, thanks notjim
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