The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby ctesiphon » Fri May 02, 2008 5:25 pm

Why is the date of 1880 so important?

SSG has seen various upheavals, changes, amendments, improvements, call-them-what-you-want in the 400ish years since it came into being. The corners used to be closed. The centre used to be pasture. There used to be big statues in the middle. And it's not even 10 years since the park got the equivalent of a blade 1 haircut across its entire area, if I remember correctly- many lovely little nooks and crannies created by overgrowth of the undergrowth were destroyed ;) by the OPW in the name of improving the safety of the users. But guess what- they grew back - differently, yes, but not necessarily better or worse - and you'd have been hard pressed to spot the scars even 6 months later.

I do understand your concerns regarding the impact of the works, but these are trees. They weren't all planted at the same time, just as the layout of the park doesn't date from a single period. Not only is the character of the park not bound to a single period of its evolution, it is fundamentally tied up with the layering of various chapters in its history. SSG is the very embodiment of a(n ecological) palimpsest.

Who's to say that in 20 years' time we won't stand back and reminisce about the addition of yet another layer of history to the already rich tapestry of memory - personal, civic, national - that SSG represents?

PS I still think it's the wrong location for a 'Grand Central' :rolleyes:, but for reasons nothing to do with those outlined in this thread.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby missarchi » Fri May 02, 2008 7:01 pm

cute panda we/me/I'm are not anti metro we just want it done right thats all...

from what I have seen so far I'm not convinced that a proper case has been made for the works...

I support a station at st stephen's green I just want it done to high standards...

We know in time that a case will be made but it better be a good one...

http://www.irishrail.ie/projects/pdf/ExampleStationatStephensGreen.pdf

thankfully now amended but its still a dark horse...
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Peter Fitz » Fri May 02, 2008 7:02 pm

ctesiphon wrote:Why is the date of 1880 so important?


Its current format as set out by Guinness dates from 1880. It has remained largely intact since then, with some minor interventions. The vast majority of boundary trees were planted at that time and are clearly rounding the 100 year+ mark, still juvenile for a beech & many other species.

Obviously the OPW are charged with ensuring its future & several replacement batches have been planted in tandem over decades to achieve layering, its common & standard parctice. A new batch of horse chestnut's on chesterfield avenue are down are number of years now to prepare for the day when all existing will be felled, thats as it should be.

Perphas i'm being sentimental here, but the trees of SSG stand in stark contrast to the majority of our street trees, most of which should be felled & replaced.

Anyway enough of this, i'm off to the pub ;)
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby notjim » Sat May 03, 2008 11:25 am

Cute Panda: time again to contemplate the often forgotten fact that good government arises out of the mediation of extremes, I would be annoyed if PF's concerns derailed the metro project but I am glad he holds them so passionately and is able to express them so well, the concern and objection of people like him will help protect the park from needless damage, similarly, your views, though not so well expressed, are typical of those that help drive the project forward, between the two extremes lies the ideal, the metro is built but the damage to Green is kept to the minimum.

It is silly to pretend that the felling of mature tree would not be a loss, it will. Further, unless great care is taken, the rebuilt portion of the park will lack the sense of nature begrudgingly but beautifully tamed and it would be a huge pity if the metro exits impinged on the Green itself, as they appear to in the map at the start of this thread. Elsewhere I fear the demolition of St Vincent's Deaf School will be a huge loss for Drumcondra's architectural expression of it civic self. I hope the metro goes ahead, but I would feel better if it went ahead in fruitful arguement with advocates of conservation.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby missarchi » Sat May 03, 2008 5:41 pm

mind the gap...

Road closures should be avoided where possible and should only be carried out in
consultation with the DCBA.

All construction plant and equipment should be kept within the confines of St. Stephens Green so as to minimise the visual impact on the surrounding environment. DCBA

(I would prefer if everything was outside)
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby gunter » Sat May 03, 2008 9:42 pm

notjim wrote:Cute Panda: Time again to contemplate the often forgotten fact that good government arises out of the mediation of extremes, I would be annoyed if PF's concerns derailed the metro project but I am glad he holds them so passionately and is able to express them so well, the concern and objection of people like him will help protect the park from needless damage, similarly, your views, though not so well expressed, are typical of those that help drive the project forward, between the two extremes lies the ideal, the metro is built but the damage to Green is kept to the minimum.

It is silly to pretend that the felling of mature tree would not be a loss, it will. Further, unless great care is taken, the rebuilt portion of the park will lack the sense of nature begrudgingly but beautifully tamed and it would be a huge pity if the metro exits impinged on the Green itself, as they appear to in the map at the start of this thread.


You don't often get to see philosophy and common sense delivered with poetic clarity.

When they bring in the directly elected mayor for Dublin, notjim gets my vote.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby GrahamH » Sun May 04, 2008 12:42 am

:)

As we all keep saying, it really depends on the severity of the interventions. To be honest I think we're lucky insofar as the area under scrutiny - the north-western corner of the Green - is probably its least attractive part. In fact I don't particularly like it as a green space: the planting is neither neat and trim or wild and scenically overgrown - rather it's scrubby, incoherent and in places plain untidy. The proliferation of scrawny laurel bushes and random mixumgatherum of fairly young planting around the perimeter isn't particularly attractive either, especially when combined with the wide expanses of cheap tarmac and worn out grass inside Fusiliers Arch.

I could live with this being redeveloped, and indeed probably improved upon. However, like Peter I'd have a real problem with any meddling with the south-western corner which is probably the most mature and picturesque part of the Green. Some truly stately tree specimens around here, as to a lesser extent along the southern and other sides. It would be a terrible tragedy for these areas to be interfered with.

Whilst the loss of c. 80-100 year old trees to the main north-western corner would obviously be undesirable, it'd be a relatively painless pill to swallow if the other prized parts of the Green - parts that also clearly demonstrate the heritage of the place - were preserved. Again, it all depends on the extent...
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby PVC King » Sun May 04, 2008 9:57 am

I agree with much of the above save that the pond and bridge will be obliterated if a diagonal alignment is followed. To me the unique qualities of the green are two areas; the centre of the park in formal style which has been done ad infinitum elsewhere; secondly the miniture Serpentine stretching from the Shelbourne to the Fusilliers arch which gives all the flavour of its larger Hyde Park inspiration in a much more urban setting.

The former could be mapped out, fittings removed and reinstated reasonably easily; the latter could not and the collection of mature trees is irreplaecable for its honest authenticity. I cannot believe that the RPA are proposing this it is quite simply unacceptable for a state body to propose the destruction of the premier public space in the city to save a few euros.

This solution not only destroys the authenticity of the finest city park but also puts thousands of trucks a month into the core of the central business district which will add congestion and nullify much of the benefit of the highly successful Dublin Port Tunnel for a period of years.

The only acceptable solution is that the tunnel surface somewhere in the region of the Grand Canal be it an available greenfield site in either Ranelagh, Rathmines or Harolds Cross, of course this will involve additional cost but it will give impetus to a further expansion of the network and safegaurd one of the major tourist draws to the city. We need a metro that is capable of expansion and not one that will involve the destruction of the Green twice in 10-15 years, no city can afford that type of disruption right at its core.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby alonso » Sun May 04, 2008 1:40 pm

The basic question is are we prepared to take the pill required to deliver transport infrastructure. Is Dublin willing to do what Boston did? We're focussed on the Green here, but all along the route of both currently proposed metros and other luas lines, people will face chaos for the best part of 5 years each. What is the alternative? Not just for this location, but for the City as a whole.

Were this particular element to be carried out, as suggested by PVC King, in a more residential area, the question of "why pick on a residential area with kids when you could do it where no one lives in the centre". The alternatives always seem better, until they are chosen.

But you have brought up a fair point in relation to truck movements. But this will happen everywhere that infrastructure is built. How bad was it for LUAS and the tunnel? I wasn't cycling in town back then so I have no idea. And these trucks are not 5 axle hgvs so the ban never applied to em. But this is certainly something that we must keep an eye on.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby missarchi » Sun May 04, 2008 3:24 pm

todays Sunday times has a spread from the invisible kid...
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Peter Fitz » Sun May 04, 2008 4:14 pm

Just to be clear, i have no desire at all to see metro north or particularly the interconnector delayed. If there was no other option i would reluctantly concede that the works & required felling to facilitate same are necessary.

If the RPA insist on pushing ahead with their spectacular version of 'An Larism' by terminating metro north at SSG, making future (and inevitable) expansion a real pain in the ass as stated by pvc & many others ... they could at least spare us the uneccessary price.

Missarchi's suggestion does seem to be a credible alternative; Large sections of SSG North & West are essentially dead road space & could be cordoned off without significant traffic disruption. Obvioulsy it involves the temporary shifting of the luas terminus to lower harcourt, with perhaps a turn back shunt required on Clonmel Street, a relatively small & temporary inconvenience.

alonso wrote:The basic question is are we prepared to take the pill required to deliver transport infrastructure.


Yes, large scale disruption is often inevitable, but not irreparable consequences from same when there are alternatives - that could by the way also do the RPA a favour. Why tip toe around the green with the added trouble & expense of covering your tracks? when you can take the adjacent road space, do whatever you have to do & reinstate with relative ease.

ST/OPW wrote:"We've asked them to keep the number of trees to be felled to a minimum, 40 - 50 tops, everything will be reinstated afterwards"


ST/DOEHLG wrote:"The department is keeping the situation under review", a spokesman for Gormley said, "If permission is given it will be on the basis that the green is restored to its present state"


Not possible John and 40 - 50 trees is fairly substantial.

ST/RPA wrote:The RPA has promised to hire an arbocultural specialist to advise on the management of the trees. Only those identified as being close to the end of their life will be removed, it says, and they will be replaced.


That would be none, these trees are only getting in to their stride.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby PVC King » Sun May 04, 2008 7:01 pm

alonso wrote:The basic question is are we prepared to take the pill required to deliver transport infrastructure. Is Dublin willing to do what Boston did? We're focussed on the Green here, but all along the route of both currently proposed metros and other luas lines, people will face chaos for the best part of 5 years each. What is the alternative? Not just for this location, but for the City as a whole.


The alternative is to future proff the project by moving the end of the current line away from the central business district to a selected inner most suburb where retail and office activities will not be effected by the thousands of movements of spoil.

The alternative is to select a site which has no heritage or tourist value such as Mount Pleasant Park, Cathal Brugha Barracks or Harolds Cross Hospice.

The alternative is to ensure that he other section of the green doesn't have to excavated in 10-15 years time when the line is extended.

The alternative is to extend the length of planning control where development contributions and higher densities can be leveraged.

This project is nothing compared to Boston's big dig; it is a simple narrow gauge underground line; the DLR underground if you will and the costs of extending it a mile or so are less than nothing but the externalities of pursuing this version will be significant damage to the retail core for three years whilst the Mount Anvil brigade go to Dundrum instead as they have no where to be seen on a sunny day.

I mentioned this to my partner and her reaction was only in Dublin
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Peter Fitz » Sun May 04, 2008 9:43 pm

PVC King wrote:The alternative is to future proff the project by moving the end of the current line away from the central business district to a selected inner most suburb where retail and office activities will not be effected by the thousands of movements of spoil.

The alternative is to select a site which has no heritage or tourist value such as Mount Pleasant Park, Cathal Brugha Barracks or Harolds Cross Hospice.

The alternative is to ensure that he other section of the green doesn't have to excavated in 10-15 years time when the line is extended.

The alternative is to extend the length of planning control where development contributions and higher densities can be leveraged.



Ah but sure that would all make just too much sense.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby BostonorBerlin » Tue May 06, 2008 9:38 am

Alonso wrote:The basic question is are we prepared to take the pill required to deliver transport infrastructure. Is Dublin willing to do what Boston did?


Likening this project or part thereoff to Bostons big dig is an unfortunate choice its akin to saying that ship is built like the Titanic.
PVC King wrote:This project is nothing compared to Boston's big dig;

Although Id disagree with PVC here as in one way comparisons to the Big Dig are very apt actually because given the precedent set by other major infrastructure projects in Ireland, and similar to the BigDig the development under St Stephens Green will also have significant cost overruns, major long term disruption, poor return for investment, be badly designed and constructed, have large components shut down for repairs on an ongoing basis, not be part of an integrated transport stategy and turn most of those areas invovled into permanent constructions sites.

Pity its taking place in one of the nicest parts left in Dublin, but at this stage Id vote to desecrate the green. Dublins turned into a right shite hole anyways, may as well drive the last pylon in the coffin and be done with it, then everyone might stop codding themselves that its some kind of vibrant cosmopolitan utopian phoenix arising from the flames of the Celtic tiger, envy of europe and all that bollix. Ha ha ... the greens demolishing the Green.... someone save the Keep off the Grass signs for pissterity . What happens if they find a Viking longship under there , the pro-M50 loonies on the Tara Bypass thread would argue because we didnt know it was there before they started digging, the artefact whould be bulldozed thru. Jaysus I hope they do find something of archaeological significance, gormless Gormley would be in a right bind then, couldnt blame his predecessor, I bet his solution would be to build an incinerator on the site... once again this is just getting too funny.:D
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri May 09, 2008 6:40 pm

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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Peter Fitz » Fri May 09, 2008 7:19 pm

BostonorBerlin wrote:Dublins turned into a right shite hole anyways, may as well drive the last pylon in the coffin and be done with it, then everyone might stop codding themselves that its some kind of vibrant cosmopolitan utopian phoenix arising from the flames of the Celtic tiger, envy of europe and all that bollix. Ha ha


I doubt many that post here are so deluded as to view Dublin in those terms, lets call them your terms. I'd suggest most are motivated to contribute out of affection for their capital city and a desire to see it progress, however each one defines progress.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby SeamusOG » Sat May 10, 2008 3:57 pm

hutton wrote:Ah, youve discovered the Irish planning "process" when it comes to infrastructure projects. The same is happening with the metro :(

For future reference, please bear in mind that the Irish definition of "consultation" regarding infrasturucture projects is simply defending already fixed plans at oral hearings - which inevitably get rubber-stamped anyway, as by that stage theres no alternative. Consultation me hole!


I am well aware that what you say is all too true.

I'm simply surprised that in the case of the interconnector - which will be the highest capacity line ever built in Ireland - that there wasn't even an attempt to pretend that other routes had been or were being looked at.

Basically it all seems to have come down to Martin Cullen saying that St. Stephen's Green should be the location for "Grand Central", and that was it. And for a route of this nature, that is simply unacceptable.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby PVC King » Sat May 10, 2008 6:58 pm

I think for once M Cullen was right.

CIE brought this as part of a much wider Dublin Rail Plan in early 2004 and given the failure to complete Luas first time out at least 4 of the poins were decided i.e. Hueston mainline, Stephens Green Luas, Pearse Station Dart and Spencer Dock. The only real choice was where you put te High Street/Christchurch stop or if ore stops were added.

If one looks at the civilised approach adopted by CIE at Stephens Green and compares it to the metro it makes a very stark contrast. The most tragic thing is that we will be back here again in 10-15 years time when the line is to be extended and will face a backdrop where between 2001 and 2020 where trucks and ancillary n disturbance will have been foisted on the area probably for a period of c 9 years.

Hardy fitting for the core retail district.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby BostonorBerlin » Mon May 12, 2008 9:41 am

This project will be the mother of all abominations executed in this state in the name of progress and modern Ireland.

BostonorBerlin wrote:Dublins turned into a right shite hole anyways, may as well drive the last pylon in the coffin and be done with it then everyone might stop codding themselves that its some kind of vibrant cosmopolitan utopian phoenix arising from the flames of the Celtic tiger, envy of europe and all that bollix. Ha ha


Peter FitzPatrick wrote:I doubt many that post here are so deluded as to view Dublin in those terms, lets call them your terms. I'd suggest most are motivated to contribute out of affection for their capital city and a desire to see it progress, however each one defines progress.


Peter, how does this fit into your definition of progress? NRA prepares to sue Port Tunnel builders
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/nra-prepares-to-sue-port-tunnel-builders-1372878.html
.... €752m tunnel, which is Ireland's most expensive piece of infrastructure.....(Lets call that your definition of progress. ) heres what you get for half a billion in France which leaves about 250 million euro in spare change.. http://www.leviaducdemillau.com/ (Lets call that my definition of progress.)


To paraphrase somebodys post elsewhere on this forum (must have been one of those people with a peculiar definition of progress ..eh Peter)... we have established we cant build an integrated above ground metro system on schedule,budget etc , and we also made a dogs dinner of a tunnel.. so now lets build a series of tunnels with a metro running thru it under one of the nicest part of Dublin city centre, now if you cant see the funny side of that then your lacking in a true sense of humour... Im still 100% behind this project, its going to be a source of endless amusement as well as cementing for all time and for all to see the fairly disastrous actions,waste and mediocre achievements of those involved, it will be their maginot line. I believe its the last sacriligeous (in the aesthetic and public interest sense) act of a bunch of inept beauraucratic gombeen institutions... I really need the laughs as i watch this whole debacle unfold...ha ha
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby SeamusOG » Mon May 12, 2008 9:45 am

PVC King wrote:I think for once M Cullen was right.

CIE brought this as part of a much wider Dublin Rail Plan in early 2004 and given the failure to complete Luas first time out at least 4 of the poins were decided i.e. Hueston mainline, Stephens Green Luas, Pearse Station Dart and Spencer Dock.

TP, as the task was to devise a line which would link the Northern DART line with the Kildare line, it seems likely that Heuston Station would be one of the points through which the line would pass.

But the others?

Spencer Dock? Why not Connolly Station, for example?

Pearse Station? Why not Tara Street? It's busier, after all, on a line which serves both stations. This would seem to be an indication that more people want to go to Tara Street than Pearse Station.

St. Stephen's Green? Why was it important that the line go through here?

(And please don't say "integration" -this particular route would have been useful for integration between DART and LUAS. However, the big loop it requires would place it much farther away from the majority of the city's bus passengers than a more central route. Don't forget, the city's buses carry many times more people than the Green LUAS line. It's true that you can alter bus routes, but you can also extend a LUAS line. And, whaddayaknow, that's the plan. And it was also the first project which Martin Cullen prioritised on taking office.)

The only real choice was where you put te High Street/Christchurch stop or if ore stops were added. .
Laughable.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon May 12, 2008 10:26 am

BostonorBerlin wrote:Peter, how does this fit into your definition of progress? ... Im still 100% behind this project, its going to be a source of endless amusement as well as cementing for all time and for all to see the fairly disastrous actions,waste and mediocre achievements of those involved, it will be their maginot line ...


I made no effort to define progress, it was just a basic point that most contributors seem to be well meaning, whereas your posts often read as the sneers of an exiled emporer type, watching his people flounder in his absence. Not so much what you say, but the way that you say it.
You are of course entitled to tell me to feck off :)

I don't agree with your wider points, but obviously am concerned about possible impacts on the green.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby ctesiphon » Mon May 12, 2008 11:40 am

Peter FitzPatrick wrote:your posts often read as the sneers of an exiled emporer type, watching his people flounder in his absence.


I often hear them in the voice of a rat perched precariously on a piece of flotsam, shrilly willing a perfectly seaworthy ship to sink. If nothing else, it makes them vaguely enjoyable to read.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Rory W » Mon May 12, 2008 11:41 am

Seamus O'G wrote:Spencer Dock? Why not Connolly Station, for example?

Pearse Station? Why not Tara Street? It's busier, after all, on a line which serves both stations. This would seem to be an indication that more people want to go to Tara Street than Pearse Station.

St. Stephen's Green? Why was it important that the line go through here?
.


Some answers
Spencer dock rather than Connolly to deal with the congestion at connolly

Pearse rather than Tara - larger space for facilities, better sited for integrating with the city's eastern districts, tara st site more problematic

St Stephen's Green - I'd say a lot of office workers will be happy, also this corner of the green is at the top of one of our core retail streets so I'd say a lot of the current tara bound traffic will use this.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby weehamster » Mon May 12, 2008 11:49 am

Spencer Dock? Why not Connolly Station, for example?


- Connolly is unsuitable for underground tunnelling.
- Spencer Dock already has a line from the northern line which leads into it
- The northern line is an elevated track (from just before Killester Station and after Grand Canal Dock station) and you need to get around 15m below ground level for the tunnel. To get under Connelly, the tunnel needs to start near Killester station.

St. Stephen's Green? Why was it important that the line go through here? (And please don't say "integration"


Sorry mate, Integration -Luas (Green) (possibly Lucan), Metro tram, DART, and the fact its a popular shopping area as well as many people work around there too.

Pearse Station? Why not Tara Street? It's busier


- Very tight coming from Spencer Dock, and very tight going from Tara to the Green
- It only very busy because of the current config. the 2 DART lines. metro north tram and the Stephens Grn stop will change all that.

Don't forget, the city's buses carry many times more people than the Green LUAS line.


What, along the same route more buses carry more passengers that the Luas? Or are you referring to the whole city network compared to one narrow line.
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Re: The destruction of St. Stephen's Green

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon May 12, 2008 2:37 pm

ctesiphon wrote:I often hear them in the voice of a rat perched precariously on a piece of flotsam, shrilly willing a perfectly seaworthy ship to sink ...


now theres an image :D
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