Reply To: rebuilding of the Custom House after 1921 fire
Yes – it wrecked the north front instead! That’s why the granite on this side is decidedly 20s parish church-like in it’s newness, which unfortunately impinges on the history and atmosphere of the place. Presumably the Long Room and Beresford’s luxurious chambers at this side went up in a flash, considering the OPW book mentions even brass fittings melting in the ferocious heat – which took months to cool down.
There’s still some carved sculpture sitting in the grounds from one of the restoration jobs, and as late as what would appear to be 1997, some old drainpipes on the south front were moved to behind the stonework, which made a big difference to the facade of the central part (you can still see them sticking out near the ground)
The only aspect of the meticulous job the OPW carried out latterly that I’d question is the use of the gold-tipped railings to the front to protect the building from vandalism – what’s with the naff gold? And the railing profile is very modern. Why not stick with the classic that is the humble Dublin Georgian railing – if nothing else their simplicity would have been financially attractive, let alone visually.