Re: Re: Patrick Abercrombie & His Plan for Dublin
New Government Buildings.
Government Departments are at the present time housed in three separate places, viz.: Upper Merrion Street, The Customs House and the Castle. The inadequacy of the present accommodation demands a definite policy for future extensions. The Customs House and the Castle appear, within their limits, to serve their purpose sufficiently well and any future allocation of space could be arranged with a view to continuing their use in any way which may administratively be found convenient. The most suitable neighbourhood for additional building would, in our opinion, be that contained in the rectangle bounded by St. Stephen’s Green North, Upper Merrion Street, Kildare Street, and Leinster Street-Clare Street. This rectangle, and its immediate neighbourhood, for example the East side of Upper Merrion Street, would lend itself admirably to the requirements of a Government centre which would be associated with the existing Oireachtas Buildings, the National Library, National Gallery and Museums.
We propose the incorporation of the end blocks of Merrion Square (North and South) adjacent to Merrion Street, into the group of Government Buildings. If this were done, and the blocks were kept in harmony with the brick character of the Square, we should not object to an increased height for these blocks, were this required.
In forming this rectangle of Government buildings, we are not proposing the removal of the fine Kildare Street Club building, nor the Shelbourne Hotel.
Am I correct in thinking he proposed the demolition of two sides of Merrion Square? In terms of district selection he was proved right in time but thankfully such expansion was done piece meal and ensured the character of the area remained largely intact; in terms of modern buildings on that block the only ones for me that are poor are the two 1970’s buildings on Leinster Street. I wonder what he would have made of the Docklands?