Re: Re: Dublin Street Lighting

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Discovered some fascinating information today on foot of Simon’s suggestions. I checked the bases of all six remaining 1938 columns and sadly, but incredibly luckily, all but one remains intact. Four of them have nasty metal plates clamped onto them as mentioned before:

…while two original doors remain but only one fully intact – crucially with a fantastically comprehensive maker’s stamp and address still in place at the bottom! It would appear that these columns were rather exotically made on the Continent!

Here you can see one of the two remaining doors, this damaged with part of the plate missing to the bottom, but nonetheless look how wonderfully neat and well made these doors are – a seamless design, beautifully made:

And the all important maker’s stamp on the single intact door: Sofrapel of Paris!

To this day the company appear to be engaged in concrete formulation and experimentation from what I can make out on the internet – fascinating stuff. So not British at all! (?)
It seems the columns were cast in France and shipped over – what a cargo! I wonder if the lamps are Irish-made…

The more you look at the concrete, the more it seems it was always this rough. I find it hard to imagine that this aggregate compound was originally much smoother that what we have today – it has hardly weathered so much in 70 years.

The mix is so coarse, and the ‘stones’ so large, that it seems it was always like this; the posts are very early concrete examples after all.

Sadly, on close inspection there is little doubt these posts are on their last legs – unfortunately they’re going to have to be uprooted, at the very least for huge restoration if not total replacement. To be frank, they look dangerous.
The most shocking example of damage on D’Olier Street:

College Street – there’s cracking the whole way down the picture:

And goodness only knows what’s wrapped up inside this:

The post across the road has similar bandaging in two places along its shaft, and other posts’ arms don’t look overly secure where they attach to the column.

It really is such a shame to see them all in this state – cracking concrete, severe erosion, whole chunks of shafts gouged out, rusting steels, dirty lamps, missing glass, horrid plastic and metal ties wrapped round bases, and hideous lumps of metal being passed off as replacement doors. What a disaster.

The columns must be removed immediately for their own good. They ought to be fully restored if this is technically possible. If not, perhaps replacement parts such as shafts or lamp arms could be recast, again if possible. The notion of full replicas rings a bit hollow, but there’s certainly no reason why the original lamps could not be used in such a case.

Either way something has to be done, and quickly. Presumably a structural survey has already been conducted on all of them in the interest of public safety…?

They’re such a part of the character of central Dublin – it would be a shame to lose them 🙁

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