Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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It’s actually worse – it’s far bigger. It will suck all the pedestrians off the surrounding streets via it’s two entrances. Most who arrive by car will never set a foot on the city streets at all – they will use the footbridge. Patrick Street and Ellen Street will be dead zones in the city. I don’t know how old you are but I’ve seen this happen before]
jimg, I would have to disagree with you over the “before and aftermath” of the Arthur’s Quay S.C. on Patrick Street.
This is how I remember Patrick Street and Rutland Street some 15 years before Arthur’s Quay S.C. was built. The street was sadly very run down then, take for example Ormstrong’s Supermarket at the corner of Patrick / Ellen Street which was probably the biggest shop on the street at the time, it had only a trickle of customers entering it. Retail was very quiet on the street in the late seventies, even the old Town Hall looked pretty drab inside.
Rutland & Patrick Street (1971)
Rutland Street (1971)
Demolished buildings Patrick Street (1971)
In my opinion there were two positive results of the Arthur’s Quay S.C. back in the 80’s
1. A new open space (public park) was created by the transfer of the surface car park to the Multi-storey car park.
2. It drew back shoppers to Patrick Street, it helped to rejuvenate the area and stopped the decline of this part of the town. Take for example Tony Connolly’s Menswear, he has since expanded to three shop fronts which are incidentally all Georgian buildings.
Arthur’s Quay Park
I personally don’t like the Arthur’s Quay S.C. building, but it reflects it’s main function as a multi-storey car park and I’m definitely not saying that it is better than what it was!
Your probably right when you say that
large modern retail units facing onto regenerated streets containing restored historic stock complementing the existing smaller outlets and promoting cafes and pubs and the sense of being in a city rather than visiting another souless, windowless, characterless shopping centre where you could be anywhere and which will never offer anything more than what is available in its suburban counterparts.
Alas the three prime sites of Limerick’s department stores (Brown Thomas, Roche’s and Penney’s) are not exciting people to shop in the city centre anymore. I don’t see the proposed Opera shopping centre to be negative for the commercial city centre. Quite the opposite it will counter weight the other developments taking place outside the city boundaries e.g. Coonagh S.C. Cresent S.C. etc, etc. With the pedestrianization of the city streets, the city centre will be in a position to offer a choice i.e. with good weather shopping outdoors on Bedford row etc, etc. or on bad days in the Opera Shopping Centre. I think there’s enough trade for both. Main thing the commercial heart of Limerick city remains in the city centre and not in the suburbs.
In the past there was the argument that the country couldn’t afford to maintain historic buildings. This is no longer the case; the remaining Georgians on Patrick Street and the other historical stock in that block should be restored; they would look stunning. Using their retained fascades to contain service corridoors is worse than full demolition and replacement with modern stock, in my opinion.
Do our Georgian buildings need an internal overhaul to fulfil their multi functions for today’s Commercial, Retail, Office and living accommodation? For example I dropped by on a friend of mine who works in an office on the third floor of a Georgian building on O’Connell Street. The ground floor is a very busy restaurant. It struck me how inadequate the building was for it’s use as an office. The rooms were small in size. The staircase and floors were still the original wooden ones which lead to me to enquire about the availability of a fire escape in the building, which there was but only through the rear rooms of the building. The toilets were extended out from the stairway windows, which meant there was no natural light within the house itself and the air was quite stuffy. The interior of the building was disappointing! It would make an interesting survey for the Limerick Civic Trust if they were allowed to take stock of all the Georgian buildings in the city to ascertain the heritage qualities of their present state. It could be used as a basis to encourage the owners of these buildings to conserve them, maybe with a tax incentive sweetner?