Aha! Henry Aaron Baker's illusive colonnade proposal. I'd never seen the drawing before. Very Belgraviaesque. Just think how striking and distinctive a thoroughfare Westmoreland Street would have been had it been built with these at ground floor level. Coupled with the originally proposed street width of 60 feet - in contrast to the executed 90 feet - it would actually have felt like a street rather than a something of an exploded square created to fill an annoying gap between two more important quarters. It's also more likely that some parts of the terraces would have escaped demolition in the 20th century, the street being on a more intimate scale akin to Grafton Street. Presumably the three drawings were drafted showing what was achievable under three different costings: the colonnade the most expensive (also in terms of floor area), followed by the bottom proposal (executed), and the Tesco Value option in the middle, shorn of dressings to reveal an oddly modernist stripped Grecian-like affair.
It would also be interesting to consider what would have happened to the colonnades had they been built. We would probably have ended up with the same scenario as the Scottish with their peculiar arcaded shops from the 17th and 18th centuries, which inevitably were filled in by the Victorians and later. Presumably what scraps which might have survived on Westmoreland Street would now be considered ripe for restoration to the original format, even if disjointed from their context. How Dublin could have been so very different if they had been built and all survived - a real European injection into proceedings.
Which is why the failure to reinstate a piddling two shopfronts on D'Olier Street in the context of the truly enormous redevelopment granted inside and to the rear of the former Irish Times offices is all the more breathtaking in its failure to grasp the bigger picture. Such narrow minded thinking just makes my mind boggle (though this bag of Haribo Kiddie's Super Mix may be playing a part). The granted procenium-like double shopfront can be seen in Stephen's picture above.
Meanwhile, matters continue to fall apart on Westmoreland Street. The latest completely unauthorised shopfront with scrolling digital display, postering tacked about the windows etc etc...
But sure why would you bother when nobody else does either?
The Thai Orchid on the corner with Fleet Street not only has no permission for their recently erected signage on their fine Victorian premises, but in fact has no permission for the actual restaurant either.
The vulgrity that is Supermacs turns from arrogance to plain farce.
And yet this crowd were painted as the Irish success story of the century in the recent The Apprentice
. Typical Irish approach - celebrate the small guy 'beating the system' and feck the greater good and any sense of corporate social responsibility. This of course was the classy O'Connell Street premises where the programme was made.
Carrolls have got cute by sticking their postering onto the back of shelving units rather than onto the glass to avoid penalties. Like they'd receive them either way.
And as for the alcohol... The review of the Special Planning Control Scheme is due - I think they're supposed to be done every six years. Aside from committing to actually enforcing the original one, there has to be more rigorous control of window displays, especially pertaining to alcohol.
And to cap it all off, this has been DCC's latest contribution the whole way down the street, where surfaces were in need of renewal. You couldn't make this stuff up.