Arnotts

Arnotts

Postby Jas » Fri Oct 22, 1999 9:09 am

The Arnotts Bag shows the Henry Street frontage with two grand towers. It has only one and to the best of my knowledge never had a second.

Is this an unrealised elevational view?

Or was there a second tower?

Or are there plans to add a second tower?
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Oct 22, 1999 12:19 pm

Actually that has been bothering me as well.....

And everytime I'm in the Architectural Archive, it slips my mind to look it up.
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Postby Rory W » Tue Oct 26, 1999 12:30 pm

Well it definitely had one tower, that was taken down. Only a the base of it remains, (I've seem photos of it somewhere). The other tower would have been where the awful 1960s facade ends, whether or not it existed was another thing.

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Postby patrick o'neill » Tue Oct 26, 1999 1:40 pm

Why is the Arnotts bag of interest? What can the "mute testimony" of residential developements of the past (and next?)two decades say about Irish Architecture? Why isthis kind of topic not of interest?
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Postby dstc47 » Thu Oct 28, 1999 7:19 pm

A photograph I have seen of Arnotts, taken sometime post 1916 but before the GPO was rebuilt, does indeed show a second, broadly similar tower - but one which is both smaller in volume, and lower, than the original. The angle from which the photo was taken does not give great detail.

As an earlier poster says it was roughly where the "new" extension starts.
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Postby MG » Fri Nov 26, 1999 2:42 pm

I was looking at a bag and the building this morning. Basically the shop facade is only half the elevation on the bag. This leads me to believe that this was the original design, never completed as there is enough length in the block for another repetition of the elaborate victorian facade.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Sun Jan 23, 2000 1:58 pm

I've been following this up. Here is the illustration from the bag.

Image

And here is basically what exists now. Basically it seems that the original block which stretched from Princes Street to Henry Street was completely destroyed in 1894 after a fire. Designed by G.P Beater in 1894, extended in 1904. So either this is the design as reconstructed after the fire, or a completely new replacement design that was just never completed due to lack of funds or interest (ie original 1894n concept), or perhaps damaged beyond repair in 1916. Thje top of the tower was removed in 1949 which is a pity.

Image
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Postby dc3 » Sun Jan 30, 2000 4:54 pm

The new book in the picture series called "Central Dublin" shows a picture of Arnotts, as it was.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Nov 04, 2002 7:23 pm

Just remember this over the weekend while standing on Henry Street. Am contacting Arnotts to find out.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Nov 04, 2002 7:58 pm

Image from "A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1837-1921 " which is closer to what we have today....



Image
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Postby GregF » Tue Nov 05, 2002 10:09 am

Penny's down the road has a couple of fine copper domed Baroque like towers, (or is it just one).......pity about the street frontage however.
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Postby urbanisto » Tue Nov 05, 2002 10:50 am

Talk about a world away from what we have now!
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Arnotts

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 05, 2002 11:37 am

Arnotts was assembled over the 19th century with a collection of standard Georgian buildings (no's 11-15 Henry Street), then called Cannock, White & Co, with John Arnott as part owner, and took over the store in 1865. A massive fire in 1894 destroyed all the buildings, and the present day structure was built in 1896, making it now the oldest & now largest dept store in Ireland.
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Postby alastair » Thu Nov 07, 2002 9:12 pm

I quite like the 60's section. but then I liked a lot of the Roches Stores facade as well. A restoration job, and a decent branding/signage makeover (not the horrid job they recently got) would have been my choice for this rare example of late 60's (?) dept store design.

Feel free to pull down the stephens green centre though.

and wouldn't boyers, with a basic restoration, make a fantastic upmarket boutique dept store? It could be a gorgeous building with a little thought.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:52 am

Why was the tower & terminating spires removed? Looking at Arnotts the other day, if you stand back from it, you can see stunning original large display windows, with cut stone dressings that are obliterated with that nasty 60's canopy at ground floor ceiling level. Also that offensive vertical 70's
A
R
N
O
T
T
S
sign does the building no favours.
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Postby J. Seerski » Thu Nov 14, 2002 6:31 pm

The tower was removed in the 1920s as it had been seen as unstable (something caused by a little riot or something in the GPO circa Easter 1916).
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:07 pm

Bumping this up again, as no-one has answered the original question


....


Here is the illustration from the bag.

Image

And here is basically what exists now.

Image


Image
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Postby J. Seerski » Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:03 am

Given that Arnotts are going to redevelop, it would be timely that they re-examine the entire building as opposed to just adding on another extension at Abbey Street. It is an exceptional building on Henry Street, but it has been sadly diminished by the poor canopy and shuttering. If these were removed it would enable a greater appreciation of the building (as well as giving the building a greater presence on Henry St.)

On another matter, when they refurbished in '98 -'99, they removed many sixties fittings revealing, for a short time, some late nineteenth century pillasters at the main entrance. These were, sadly, covered with marbel slabs which can be seen today.

And, while Arnotts is older than Clerys, Clerys was the site of the first department store (1851) - arnotts opened as a small store in 1845 - In fact, Clerys was the first of its kind, pre-dating Bon Marche in Paris!
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Postby GrahamH » Tue Feb 17, 2004 1:17 pm

Indeed Clerys is often touted as the oldest dep store in the world, the first to market shopping as a leisure activity.
They achieved it by containing many departments under one, very lavish roof. Suppose the first shopping centre as well.

An indication of the modernity of the building were the large plate glass display windows on the ground floor, which were unheard of in this country at the time, and must have been prohibitively expensive in 1851-53.
The Mansion House is otherwise the earliest example of the use of such glass I've come across in the city, dating from around the same time.

The mystery of Arnotts lives on.
What's very wierd about the design on the bag is how unsymmetrical the building is - the wing on the left after the tower is 5 bays long, while on the right it's only 3 bays, why aren't they balanced out with four on either side?

And over the pilasters J. Seerski mentions are magnificently carved capitals, laden with all sorts of foliage etc, sadly obscured by the canopy.

Does anyone know of the trademark green railings inside are original, I've never been sure - they look decidedly Stephens Green Centreish. Then again, their railings are pretty good repros.
T
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Re: Arnotts

Postby Devin » Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:43 am

On the general question of this thread, I’ve always taken it that the symmetrical drawing of Arnotts posted above from A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1837-1921 (and also appearing in Lost Dublin) - with one big central tower and two smaller terminating ones - is what was built.

So, having believed for some time that what stands today is the original building minus its towers - removed in 1949 - I was aghast to notice, when walking down Henry St. the other day, that one of the terminating bays (the one nearest Liffey St.) is missing :eek: – instead the '60s building begins (I know earlier posters refer to the fact that one of the towers which appear in the longer façade on the Arnotts bag (if this facade ever existed) would have been roundabout here as well).

Since the building doesn’t have its 3 towers anymore, the slightly-projecting terminating bays are important to the composition, so it’s quite gobsmacking that one of them isn’t there….
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Re: Arnotts

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:18 am

What I want to know is why they feel the need to put a picture of a store that never existed on the bag?

They could have used the old image above or the image from the early 20th century invoices (all scrolling text and picture of the building)....


I cannot even recall a photograph of it with the central large and two flanking domes - Devin, I've definitely seen photos of the central tower and the tower nearest O'Connell Street - now that could be down to the difficult of getting a clear angle on the building or perhaps the other image is a fiction too? Perhaps they intended to build the design on the bag, stopped, intended terminating what was built with a tower and never bothered....

so many possibilities....
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Re: Arnotts

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:00 am

Here's the only pic available on the net - pretty good though at showing the join:

Image

Maybe the western tower was removed when the 60s part went up? Hardly likely though.
It's difficult to see exactly why such a palatial facade was drwan up considering it could never be appreciated properly if built, given the location. Then again perhaps that's why towers were used, to stand proud over everything else and be visible from all around, to make up for the lack of a dominant facade in a prominent location like Clery's or Pims had.

Image

I see the signature dome was only added in 1980, according to the site this pic came from. Hence presumably the surrounding railings beneath are repros afterall.
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Re: Arnotts

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:02 am

The internal railings are all repro Graham... Think the dome was later tha 1980 too...
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Re: Arnotts

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:10 am

You may be right re the dome - was reading yesterday and found the date 1980 but looking now I can't find it!
I was hoping the railings may have be based on an original design considering the ironwork of the columns etc, but they do seem to be of the shopping centre handbook variety. The forest green paint and natural wood works very well nonetheless.
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Re: Arnotts

Postby Rory W » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:35 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:The internal railings are all repro Graham... Think the dome was later tha 1980 too...


Twas at least 1990 when the dome went in
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