Re: Re: O’ Connell Street

Home Forums Ireland O’ Connell Street, Dublin Re: Re: O’ Connell Street


A 1961 view of Lower O’Connell Street by Charles W. Cushman shows the current Grand Central Bar building by Bachelor & Hicks under scaffolding, probably for its first cleaning, 1960s-style, with a blasting of half of Dollymount Strand at the pressure of a steamroller.

It also shows us a sophisticated streetscape of dark and sultry fenestration, where even approaches to white are toned down to an elegant cream. My, how crass we are today with our generic Dulux Brilliant White.

No matter how long you stare at the Ulster Bank, it is impossible to make out what lunacy is going on. Either there is a rank of freaky space-age lamps suspended on cables from the parapet, or there’s a scaffold precariously clinging onto the upper floors.

Or both.

A marvellous view here of the lower west side, with the last of the readable Wide Streets Commission buildings still standing on the site of the modern-day Schuh building, later to become the infamous Brutalist-with-cladding Burgerland, latterly the Crazy Pound Shop (yeah!). Now only straggling remains of the WSC survive.

The nasty random timber glazing of modern-day Burger King appears to have only just replaced the original semi-circular steel window that used to fill the arch, while the delicate balcony has also been removed. The degrading legacy of the 1940s and 1950s can of course be seen everywhere.

O’Connell Monument is in an advanced state of neglect, and would remain so until the 1980s (to be promptly permanently damaged!), while the delightful Metropole by Aubrey V. O’Rourke can still be seen adjacent to the GPO with its ranks of grand torchieres at first floor level, to be demolished 11 years later.

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