Re: Re: what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings?

Home Forums Ireland what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings? Re: Re: what now for Irish Times D’olier Street buildings?


A beautiful curved staircase survives inside the former public office unit of The Irish Times, where its mezzanine with reproduction balustrade as per the Georgian layout of the shops has been retained.

It is going to be a challenge finding tenants for these units, but there are plenty of quality service-style uses that would suit them well, in addition to a staple café or retail store.

Related to this project, underscoring the lack of clout the conservation sector has in Ireland, there is little question that compulsory works should have been initiated by Dublin City Council – remember, at the very height of the boom years – to have the final pair of WSC houses, complete with largely intact original shopfronts, restored as part of the composition. In any other developed western society, this would not be given a second thought. Indeed it would be deemed imperative. Here, it’s not even on the radar.

Unquestionably, these should have been considered for restoration as part of a cut price contract with the adjacent development. Again, no joined-up thinking and no will.

Outside, and the reinstated public realm, as expected, is thus.

Complete with poured concrete scored to imitate paving. Truly, a world class public realm as aspired to in the upcoming Development Plan.

Meanwhile, a new pedestrian crossing has been clunkily dumped outside the iconic rounded corner of one of the city’s most important terraces. Paving aside, why are two traffic signal poles being used, when one suffices to hold both signals?

Never mind the aesthetic damage, why is our money being wasted like this? The same across the road.

Around the corner on Fleet Street, this is the new, er, public realm. Leaving aside the general absence of, well, anything, why is there a hump in the pavement?

So the newly created risk of pedestrians falling off can be used as an excuse to put another railing in?

Really and truly. Honestly…

In conclusion, this project represents all that went wrong during the boom years, where major development interests won out over the common good, and where economic buoyancy was not utilised for planning gain in the broadest sense. Equally, and more pressingly of all, it showcases in very stark terms the underdeveloped and under-resourced state of the conservation sector in Ireland. There was a perception throughout the Celtic Tiger years that with the passing of the 2000 Act, conservation was dealt with once and for all – ‘sorted’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, we have legislation to safeguard built heritage in the courts, but on the ground we have failed abysmally at local authority and government departmental level to ensure the mechanisms, human resources, planning influence, and fundamentally the funding are in place to actively protect architectural heritage. This simply must change.

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