1912 – AIB, South Mall, Cork

Architect: Arthur & Henry H. Hill




Distinctive and imposing bank building on a prominent site, in the main financial district of Cork. Built as a head office for the Munster and Leinster Bank, and now a branch of Allied Irish Banks after a series of mergers in the 1960.

The building has a fine range of Ionic columns across the upper storeys of the façade, and has a setback attic storey with ballustrade. The two ends of the building feature carved representations of the Munster and Leinster crests on the attic storey, but are minus the sculptural groups originally designed for them.

“The scheme for enlarging the head office of the Munster and Leinster Bank in its initial stage was confined to an extension of the old red – brick front , but the directors afterwards came to the conclusion that an entirely new stone front was more desirable . Owing to the importance of retaining the business of the bank intact the greater part of the new office was planned on a new site , main taining the old office until the new portion was fit to occupy , which involved considerable difficulties both as regarded foundations and other structural arrangements , but with the care of the builders the work was carried through successfully .

The fact that the external centre of the frontage did not agree with the centre of the banking hall has been masked by the treatment of the porch . The hall is rectangular in plan , covered by a dome supported on four square white marble piers with eight monolithic breccia pillars , six of them having formerly been placed as an organ gallery at St. Paul’s Cathedral . A gallery on three sides connects the board room , the manager’s room , the secretary’s and other departments on the first floor . The building is of fireproof construction , all floors and roofs . are concrete , the latter being covered with asphalt .

The architects were Messrs . A. & H. H. Hill .

The building contractors were Messrs . John Sisk & Son , Cork , who carried out a portion of the concrete work , the rest having been constructed by Messrs . Homan & Rodgers , Manchester . The heating was in charge of Messrs . Musgrave , Belfast . The counter – front is made of green Galway marble , and fittings in connection were carried out by Messrs . Singer . The strong room , which is a particularly good one , was constructed by Messrs . Chatwood’s Patent Safe and Lock Co. , Ltd.”. The Architect, July 20, 1917.