Re: Re: Liberty Hall
I disagree Westie. Completely. Far from people not liking change, most of the recent recladding and rectifying of 1960s and particularly 1970s horrors across the city of late has been thoroughly welcomed. These have been improving redevelopments of urban infill and (generally) have contributed significantly to the design qualities and wider image of the city. While representative of their time, the former structures generally had little architectural merit or cultural meaning – they are generally painlessly replaced.
By contrast, Liberty Hall, and indeed the Poolbeg Chimneys, are very much iconic structures, and in a way that structures often touted as iconic rarely are. They embody significances – and it is all about significance – that go beyond the ordinary. These range from acting as instantly recognisable icons of Dublin, to being representations of their time in terms of 1) architectural/engineering form and design, 2) cultural aspirations, and 3) economic progress and development, as well as forming part of an established and often loved townscape and/or landscape. It is the combination of these elements in such concentrations that lend these structures, and buildings like them, their special status.
I fail to understand how the retention of Liberty Hall (a concept in itself I do no consider an arbitary one) can be deemed to exhibit a lack of self-confidence. Indeed the very notion of such is ever so slightly farcial in the context of the biggest chance this state has ever had to express itself in a modern idiom, which has so dismally failed in terms of ambition, lies directly adjacent to Liberty Hall – in fact the tower positively heralds the very arrival of what could have been. And yet it is this very building – one of the few structures in the city that really was ambitious for its age, if rudely positioned – that is claimed to lack all self-confidence by its retention.
If anything, Liberty Hall can stand smug and ever-confident on the preeminent site in the city, overlooking the acres of this ‘progress’ these cutting-edge times have the ability to bring us. Perhaps the desire to knock Liberty Hall stems from this very embarrassment of its supremity over the very development that was supposed to usurp it.