Re: Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Home Forums Ireland Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin! Re: Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!


@thebig C wrote:

Was the building rendered or faced in brick? I always think its a crime when somebody paints over the brick frontages of Georgian/Victorian buildings…….for which they should be punished by being beaten to death with a shovel! JK. Seriously, nothing spoils a buildings context and appearance more then a dodgy paint job.

As highlighted by thebig C, the corner building at the junction of Thomas Street and Meath Street is a case that demands attention by the local authority. A highly prominent building in an ACA on a Key Historic Street as defined in the Development Plan, this is a classic case of where a lottery fund earmarked specifically for historic buildings should be exploited to constructive effect. Alternatively, if we had the mechanisms in place as used in many UK cities, the local authority could move in and carry out the work, having identified it on a register of properties requiring conservation or restoration work, splitting the bill with the owner on favourable terms. Instead of this, however, we have nothing, do nothing, and remain with nothing.

The current appearance of this corner building belies its status as one of the most attractive and architecturally intact historic commercial premises in the Liberties. Constructed c. 1880 as host to an evidently successful merchant trader, the building has its origins in the late 19th century period of substantial change on Thomas Street, when older buildings were being demolished and replaced after a century of decay, or refaced to bring them up to date – all emerging on foot of the new money of the burgeoning merchant and business class of late Victorian Dublin.

Two storeys over a substantial ground floor shop, the building retains its original red brick façade, timber sash windows and even the attractive timber fascia of the original shopfront floating above the plywood monster of Cash Converters below.

As observed earlier, the latter is being transformed as we speak from pillar box red to canary yellow. What a disaster.

This is in spite of the potential for either a solid reproduction or high quality contemporary shopfront to be installed under the original high fascia and dentilated cornice. Even the carved timber corbels remain to the ends.

A shopfront within a shopfront. Only in Dublin… The blind ignorance of plot divisions merely consolidates the visual chaos.

The upper floors are crying out for the paint to be stripped, the original brick to be exposed, cleaned and re-pointed as necessary, and the façade restored to its former glory.

As can be seen above and below, an attractive frieze of terracotta tiles runs around beneath the cornice, as the valiant efforts of the elements are already trying to tell us.

More brick peeking through. This paint would walk off.

The end bays on Meath Street are slenderer and clustered so as to denote the office and residential entrance to the accommodation above, which at ground floor level, suffice to say, has long since lost such ceremony.

Seen below at the extreme left.

It comes as no surprise that the upper floors are occupied by solicitors – long renowned as having the worst premises of all the professions.

We need only look across the road to the handsome Victorian premises with carriage arch, formerly a Dublin Corporation depot and now occupied by NCAD, to get a taster of what could be achieved with our building. Same vintage, same machine-made brick, same segmental-headed timber sash windows, similar, less detailed moulded reveals, and solid proportions – what on earth is there to be lost? The value of our building would surely inflate considerably in excess of refurbishment cost on the back of such an attractive aspect.

Simply restored recently.

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