A park at Grand Canal Dock

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    • #708224
      Bill McH

      This is a suggestion I “unveiled” on a Commuting/Transport thread over at Boards.ie. I don’t know if the idea is new or not. Aside from the commuting/transport idea which inspired it, I think it’s worth looking at it on its own merits in the city. I’d be interested to know what you folk think.

      The suggestion is to turn the (outer?) canal dock beside Grand Canal Dock station – not the (inner?) dock (between Ringsend Road and the Liffey) – into a public park, with a canal running through it.

      (The commuting/transport aspect of this was that there’d be an underground station underneath this park, but that’s not important to its merits as a park).

      Now ordinarily, I wouldn’t be in favour of getting rid of nice expanses of water in the city. I’m not all that enamoured with the plan to put the Abbey Theatre into George’s Dock, as it is a nice expanse of water with plenty of space around it for people to enjoy the water.

      But in this case, I think the advantages might be as follows:

      -The dock doesn’t get used. There are no boats there, except for about 2 days in the year when there’s the Grand Canal festival. That could just as easily take place in the other dock, the one between Ringsend Road and the Liffey. And the local kids who used to jump off the building on the bridge can no longer do so because that’s been fenced off.

      -There are no seats for anyone to sit beside it and enjoy the water. So it doesn’t enjoy that aspect that you get with other parts of the canal. Unfortunately, it’s not an aspect you could easily change, as there are buildings right up against the water.

      -You could keep the Waterways Ireland “box” there.

      -As a park, it might get used. (Pehaps a section of it might be a nice location for the city’s permanent ice rink? 🙂 )

      And you could fill it in with all the spoil from these tunnels we’re building.

      Any thoughts?

    • #763046

      check out the DDDA site
      Grand Canal Dock Planning scheme 2000 (note paragraph 6.2)

      For the outer Dock
      Draft amending planning scheme September 2005

    • #763047
      Bill McH

      Thanks for those links, LOB. I’ll have a good look at them – but I can see already that the suggestion is not entirely new. (Though it does go further than what was proposed by the DDDA)

      I’m afraid I got the names of the two docks mixed up in my original post.

      I see now that the outer dock is the one between Hanover Quay and Ringsend Road/Pearse Street. The inner dock is the one between Ringsend Road/Pearse Street and the DART line. I was working from the river in toward the canal, rather than from the canal out to the river. 😮

      It is the inner dock where the DDDA have proposed reclaiming the triangular section over beside the DART line. If that were done it would greatly improve the access to the waterside for a lunchtime sandwich and so forth. As well as improving access between Barrow Street and Grand Canal Quay, as they point out.

    • #763048

      i have to say that’s a terrible idea; isn’t it great having a basin, its cool to have a body of water, visually its great, its interesting and genuine because it preserves the historical use and it supports recreational activities not available otherwise. it would be good if it was stocked with fish and made safe for swimming, otherwise, don’t change it! that area isn’t even short of parks, there is a large park nearby at ringsend.

    • #763049
      notjim wrote:
      i have to say that’s a terrible idea]

      agreed 100%

    • #763050
      Bill McH
      notjim wrote:
      i have to say that’s a terrible idea]
      Notjim, I agree that visually it is great, but who sees it, and from where? There’s only one small section where you can actually stand or sit alongside it, and that’s the bit near the Tower in the Trinity Enterprise Centre. The DDDA plan would add another section (over near the Grand Canal Dock station) where people could stand/sit alongside the water.

      You’re right that it is great having a basin. The Blessington Street basin is one of my favourite locations in the whole city. When all the building work is finished, the outer Grand Canal Dock will be a great place, as there’ll be pavements/walkways along a lot of the waterside. That dock already hosts the kind of recreational usage you may be talking about – windsurfing, canoeing, etc. There also used to be some organised swimming races in it, though I think that may have stopped now.

      Your solution of stocking the inner dock with fish and making it clean enough to swim in is undoubtedly better than mine. (though I did kinda like the skating rink idea 🙂 ). A massive Lido right in the city centre. That would be a real hit in the summertime.

      I just feel it’s sort of wasted as it is – few people can see it and very few can sit along it and enjoy their sandwich.

      Roll on the DDDA plan.

    • #763051

      Any chance they might consider getting rid of that interpretative centre or whatever it is while they’re at it?

      It looks like an out of place electrical appliance or the airconditioning unit from a factory roof and it ruins the simple shape and symmetry of the body of water.

      I’ve a vague memory that it won an architectural prize a few years ago? :rolleyes: Jeezus – I’m finding it hard trying to picture what the losing entries in that competition were like. It probably just pipped the statoil garage on Usher’s Quay.

    • #763052
      Frank Taylor

      Statoil garage will be listed in a few years if nobody gets it together to knock it down. Classic 80s toytown architecture.

      It’s a funny place to buy petrol at night, queuing up for ages behind the locals buying skins and lucozade sport from the hatch. For a while someone altered the street sign to PUshers Quay

    • #763053
      Rory W

      To paraphrase the Simpsons Comic Book Guy ” Worst ..idea..ever”

      Plenty of people will have a view over the dock when Treasury build their developments there as will those who buy in the old Odlums Mill when thats done. I love seeing the dock every day as I pass on the Dart on the way to and from work.

      Now if they put a boardwalk along the East side of it from Ringsend Bridge to Barrow St Dart Stn and a few amenities along it that might help open it up – a great Sun trap during the summer

    • #763054
      Bill McH

      Well, thanks to all for your contributions so far.

      Especially LOB, for this:

      @LOB wrote:

      check out the DDDA site
      Grand Canal Dock Planning scheme 2000 (note paragraph 6.2)

      I hope I am not infringing any copyright by posting the contents of paragraph 6.2 in that document

      Reclaimed Triangle of Inner Basin

      The southern tip of the inner basin tends to collect refuse. This triangle should be reclaimed to rationalise the shape of the waterbody. This also provides the opportunity for a pedestrian link between Barrow Street and Grand Canal Quay. This link would significantly increase Grand Canal Dock Station’s catchment area and improbe accessibility to public transport in the wider area.

      Reclaiming this triangular area of the dock creates an additional development parcel within zone 7. This provides an opportunity to shield the raised railway lines and visually contain the basin. A boat reception office should be part of this development plot. It should be located at the mouth of the canal to provide information and monitor the canal and dock use.

      (There is also a diagram which illustrates the resulting dock which would have a rectangular shape)

      I like the idea of filling in a section of the dock, as the DDDA propose. But filling it in with the purpose of making it more “recreationally” useful, i.e., developing an area where people could sit at the water’s edge and eat their lunch and maybe enjoy a cup of coffee purchased from say, a stall located on this reclaimed section.

      However, having now had a chance to have a good look at the above link, the thrust of the DDDA proposal does not seem to be towards making it a better recreational area, but is rather to create more land for development. I have two questions. Firstly, from what does the raised railway line need to be shielded? Secondly, can anyone explain what “visually contain the basin” means?

      I do, though, like the possibility that we will get a pedestrian drawbridge over the canal.

    • #763055

      Havta say, of all the water bodies in Dublin, the inner Grand Canal dock is one of the last I’d fill in – the varied collection of brick and stone warehouses rising out of the water is a totally unique piece of canal-dock-scape. Nowhere else in Dublin do you get that immediacy between buildings & water (on this scale anyway).

      Bill, with regard to ‘who sees it, and from where?’ you’re right. The bit you mention near the Trinity Enterprise Tower and another shabby ‘SLOAP’ area at the Pearse Street end are crap (and there’s also a 4ft wide space the public can walk on behind the buildings on this side of the dock, but you’d never be able to relax there). Reclaiming some space at the south side of the dock would seem like a good idea – but not if they’re just going to build on it!! And I too don’t see why the rail line has to be ‘shielded’ – it’s part of the character of the area and its walls are in nice rubble stone … just sounds like an excuse for filthy lucre development!!

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