Re: Re: Westmoreland / D’Olier Streets

Home Forums Ireland college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians Re: Re: Westmoreland / D’Olier Streets

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gunter
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@notjim wrote:

gunter . . you have, again, misunderstood my stand on the grass in front of Trinity,

my point regarding Trinity is that main university buildings almost always have grass in front of them

No notjim, I have not misunderstood your point.

You have an emotional attachment to the lawns and that’s fine, there’s no shame in that.

The urban condition can be gritty and hard and little bits of lawn are a comfort blanket 😉

The point I’m trying to illustrate is that, in urban realm terms, we’ve gone backwards. The College Green of the Joseph Tudor print and Rocque’s map (both 1750s), was clearly a more urbane space, and one more in line with comparable central urban spaces in comparable (mainland) European cities, than the College Green of today.

Rocque shows the new (not yet completed) front of Trinity with the same ring of stone obelisks linked by simple chains that Tudor depicts. While we may not be able to compare the traffic loading of a couple of sedan chairs to a constant string of double decker buses, there’s no question that College Green originally read as an civic space and now it reads as a traffic junction. The transition of the Trinity forecourt, from a being a simply demarcated arc across a single paved space, to the defensive zone with ‘Don’t walk on the grass’ lawns we have today, has played a part in this transition.

As magnificent as those Victorian railings are, and as manicured the lawns, the fact remains that these later 18th & 19th century additions negate some of the original urban qualities of the space.

How do you not see this?

On your belief that ‘main university buildings almost always have grass in front of them’, no they don’t. You’re thinking of English influenced, or the slightly out of town universities, I’m thinking of inner city, old school, universities (Edinburg, Bonn, Freiburg, Heidelburg, anything in Italy etc. etc.) and, in any case, it’s the urban space I’m talking about, whether or not there’s a college on one side.

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