Re: Re: Nicholas Street
Meeting on Nicholas Street (Limerick Post)
A meeting to kickstart a consultation process regarding the redevelopment of Nicholas Street will be held in the Absolute Hotel on Tuesday, June 21, commencing at 7.30pm.
Hmmm . . . . . Gunter, what are you doing next Tuesday?
It sounds like you probably have more than enough architects down there already.
The traders and property owners are probably going to want to talk about issues other than the heritage and the architecture, but really the key to regenerating a street like Nicholas Street has to be to start with detailed survey work. We need to know exactly what we’re dealing with before we start conjuring up wonderful regenerate proposals. If owners would agree to open their doors to an architectural survey that would be a great first step.
Unlike Mary Street which has been almost completely scorched, on the face of it, there are at least a dozen structures on Nicholas Street that retain significant fabric from the period [medieval to mid 18th century] when the street was at the apex of it’s prestige and its urban development. If this is the case, addressing those structures with a bit of sensitivity and imagination could form the basis for a really worthwhile regeneration plan.
On Mary Street; it turns out that that great print in Wilkinson’s History is actually of Mary Street not Nicholas Street, although there is every reason to believe that the merchant houses of Nicholas Street were every bit as impressive as these in their day.
I’m 95% certain that these two views are actually of the same streetscape, but from opposite directions. The clue is the tall, five storey house in the left foreground of the photograph and in the distance in the print.
The first house in the 1845 print is therefore the corner house on Creagh Lane and it and its neighbours must have been reduced to two/three-storey and re-fronted later in the 19th century. The four bay house in the middle [re-fronted as a three-bay in the photograph] would have fronted the site occupied by Fanning’s fine 16th century stone merchant houses that were re-fronted with a brick Dutch gabled elevation post 1691, like the extraordinary five-storey house beside the Exchange. The accuracy of the Wilkinson print is demonstrated by the correct depiction of the odd, bunched, windows in the first of the four narrower Billys beyond this house, which we can also see clearly in the photograph.
a conjectural reconstruction drawing of the streetscape based on both the late 19th century photograph and the Wilkinson print [with some notional shopfronts]