national archives

Home Forums Ireland national archives

Viewing 20 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #709900
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      ‘Iconic’ building needed for archives – Brennan

      MARIE O’HALLORAN

      MINISTER FOR the Arts Séamus Brennan is considering the construction of an “iconic” building to house the national archives. He said that “just like our museum or our library, they need the same kind of national status”.

      Mr Brennan said there was about €20 million in the national development plan for the archives. “It does not specifically lay down that it is for a building, but I have come to the conclusion that the archives are unsung heroes that need to be brought centre stage.”

      http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0314/1205104771639.html

    • #798454
      Anonymous
      Inactive
      The Irish Times wrote:
      ”Iconic’ building needed for archives – Brennan

      MARIE O’HALLORAN

      MINISTER FOR the Arts Séamus Brennan is considering the construction of an “iconic” building to house the national archives. He said that “just like our museum or our library, they need the same kind of national status”.

      Mr Brennan said there was about &#8364]

      The former Colaiste Mhuire on Parnell Square North, currently sitting idle; there, or bring it up to the other northside Square, Mountjoy Square – which incidentally does not have any cultural institutions on it whatsoever 😮

      So Mountjoy or Parnell Squares for my twopence worth 🙂

    • #798455
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      “Mountjoy Square – which incidentally does not have any cultural institutions on it whatsoever”

      Not strictly true; DIT occupies on edge of Mountjoy Sq and Pavee Point is just off it. I do wonder what will happen to the DIT building come the move.

    • #798456
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      My parents are thinking of building an extension onto their house. Does it have to be ‘iconic’?

      Yours etc.,

      Confused of Ranelagh.

    • #798457
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @notjim wrote:

      “Mountjoy Square – which incidentally does not have any cultural institutions on it whatsoever”

      Not strictly true; DIT occupies on edge of Mountjoy Sq and Pavee Point is just off it. I do wonder what will happen to the DIT building come the move.

      Ah now notjim youre being semantic – DIT College of Marketing in the pastiche Gallagher/PMPA block on the SE corner cannot really be considered as a cultural institute in the same way as say the Architectural Archives on Merrion Square or the Nat Library on Kildare St; both of these are for the general public, whereas DIT is purely for its own students.

      I will add re Pavee Point, that despite reservations among some when it was first located there, it has worked out as model entity and afaik there are have been no problems whatsoever in terms of interaction with the surrounding communities 🙂

      Anyhow heres the ideal building for a National Archive, No 1 Mountjoy Square:

      As can be seen, there were concerns about it and it was featured in the charter of the Heritage Protection Alliance. Unfortunatley, as seen below were unauthorised works that were being carried out on it some months back. Located at the NW corner of the square, this is the square’s most strategic building as it directly addresses Gardiner St, which is off axis to the square. I am pasting a snippet of its history underneath. It is critical that this building be saved and put to proper use – of which the National Archive could be a real contender 🙂

      1 MOUNTJOY SQUARE, DUBLIN CITY

      A house of significant cultural importance. Left neglected and empty with deadbolts on the front door, this house had been in the charitable hands of a religious institution until it was sold a decade ago. Subsequently sub-divided and let out in multiple occupancies, a fire occurred at the house last Christmas (December 2006). This was a location of Dail Eireann which met here during 1919 and 1920 when owned by Alderman Walter Coles, who also let Michael Collins use of the address as a safe house during The War of Independence. Previously it had been the residence of Home Rule MP T.M. Healy, and prior to that had been residence to Archbishop Hawksley.

    • #798458
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      T M Healy – A former governor general? We tend to forget about these guys

    • #798459
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Good to see this thread revived. While remembering the figures of past times, what about the headcase who placed the mines in the Record House at the Four Courts and consigned 700 years of documentary history to oblivion?
      Surely the problem with the Mountjoy Square house is that it is simply not big enough. The ‘paperless society’ is producing archives by the skipload every week. The archives do need an iconic building, but where? Can I make a contoversial suggestion? What about the pointless green area to the north of the King’s Inns/ Registry of Deeds? As landscaping it’s pretty naff and there is a logic to having all the archives near one another. Views of the main facade of King’s Inns would have to be preserved, but there is plenty of room for flanking buildings either side. Who would be up to designing a building worthy of the site? (Modernists need not apply.) And with a city-side approach via Henrietta St, there might at last be a use for that shamefully-neglected bit of Dublin’s patrimony.

    • #798460
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      what site is that John?

      Ah something of a fusspot was aul Tim Healy, Stephen. Clearly seeing himself as taking on an impossible task, he went to great lengths in squeezing every inch out of the role. Upon arriving out at the Áras he was aghast at what passed as fireplaces in the Dining Room, declaring “I couldn’t bear to look at anything so ugly!”. Within a matter of moments he had them replaced with a fine set he had acquired from a house on Mountjoy Square – and by all accounts he did have exquisite taste. So much so that he wanted to rip them out again when he left in 1928, but reluctantly left them in situ.
      Pity he didn’t give the same treatment to the rest of the house’s interiors…

      Yes agree with Brennan on the National Archive. Not so much an ‘iconic’ but certainly a clearly defined purpose-built modern structure is required for this institution. Yet another conversion is out of the question for this bedraggled body – it needs a spacious site with room to expand. The optimum result can only be achieved through a building that is tailored-made for the requirements of the Archive, and that in turn contributes something new and invigorating to the city. Coláiste Mhuire is going to be restored either way eventually, as with Mountjoy Square: if nothing else why waste a flagship project on buildings like these that architecturally are already ‘complete’?

      As it happens I was in the Archive only yesterday – what a disaster zone on too many levels to describe. Save a few happy clappy 1990’s improving works and a more recent reception and locker facilites, the place is barely muddling along. Even the Reading Room (with ravishing tartan carpet) is impossible to keep adequately air-conditioned, with water filled radiators blasting out heat and dodgy aluminium sashes opened above on both sides of the room to try balance things out – in turn resulting in your neck being cut off with the draft for the duration of your stay. The wind was also rattling all the internal shuttering. It was nothing short of embarrassing with the amount of foreigners using the facility. I can only imagine what problems they have in storage, which is an enormous problem for them now apparently. They’ve huge amounts of material that’s not even catalogued either.

      A substantial injection of hard cash into this institution is clearly required, with staffing to back it up. Lets just hope it doesn’t end up as another Abbey Theatre saga…

    • #798461
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The King’s Inn land aren’t in government ownership and it hard to see them being given up; why would the KI allow themselves to be landlocked like that; they must be under pressure to expand themselves and they can’t build to the west without obscuring their own facade.

      Further, there is the vastness that is the broadstone bus depot across the road.

    • #798462
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      GrahamH: notjim identified the site I was talking about – I take his point about ownership (buying land off a crowd of lawyers? remember to count your fingers!), but I think the site is larger than it looks. Isn’t Broadstone earmarked for the DIT; progress?
      Although I’m wary about some modernist responses to public buildings (good interiors, messy exteriors, no sense of the monumental), this would be a tremendous opportunity, but if it’s lain fallow since 1999 it suggests the present minister isn’t much interested and with financial markets collapsing round our ears, no holding of breath.

    • #798463
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Surely this is the answer:rolleyes:

    • #798464
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      icon . . . ick.

    • #798465
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Surely an ideal ‘running up the flagpole’ candidate project for reclaiming some of the vast prariies of phoenix park for a more suitable civic use?

    • #798466
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      Surely an ideal ‘running up the flagpole’ candidate project for reclaiming some of the vast prariies of phoenix park for a more suitable civic use?

      Well maybe not the national archives, but the vast prairies of the phoenix park do need something done with them.. it’s a park not enclosed countryside:p

    • #798467
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Don’t be silly: the park is a wonderful resource and building on it now would be a terrible mistake, who knows what the future hold for the city and how well used it will be when more people live in Dublin’s core and the park itself is better connected to the center. We have lots of brownfield, lots of gaps to fill before we need think about building anything on the park.

    • #798468
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      hear hear

    • #798469
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Kinda agree with both sides there. The Park suffers from it’s scale and location. PErhaps the redevelopment of Heuston, Guinness and Clancy barracks may bring it into daily use for a large population but the sheer size of it, lack of enclosure and ridiculous city side access point all add to the problems. It’s not a good urban space,it’s not a city park in the traditional sense of Central Park or Stephen’s Green. All it has to boast is it’s scale, which ironically is also it’s great failing.

      However yes there are a million sites in the current urban footprint of the city to accommodate this development. All we ever hear from DDDA is “iconic” this and “landmark” that – now Seamo has piped in with this. Has no-one introduced them?

    • #798470
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      One of the best potentially ‘landmark’ sites at the Peonix Park end of the city is the old Hickey’s Fabrics site on the river opposite Heuston. I thought it was a pity, at the time, that the OPW couldn’t have hammered out a land swap deal with the owners when they were developing their scheme for the new courts building, now being built, on an identical shaped site a few hundred meters away on Infirmary Road.

      A decent public building, whether ‘iconic’ or not, on the Hickey’s site would certainly be an improvement on the pretty dismal apartment blocks proposed and, thankfully, recently refused permission for this site.

      In general, I think it could be a measure of how imaginative and forward thinking a city administration is, whether or not they can broker property deals like this where civic grandeur is at stake.

    • #798471
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @notjim wrote:

      Don’t be silly: the park is a wonderful resource and building on it now would be a terrible mistake, who knows what the future hold for the city and how well used it will be when more people live in Dublin’s core and the park itself is better connected to the center. We have lots of brownfield, lots of gaps to fill before we need think about building anything on the park.

      I don’t mean stick casinos, conference centres or government offices in the middle of the park.. but to be frank, what we have is the Phoenix Veldt not a park.

    • #798472
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Never understood why Phoenix Park does not have the equivalent of Tivoli Gardens, nor why the Magazine Fort is not the focus of a national military museum.

    • #798473
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I love the park the way it is. The park has everything – wide open veldt (:D) like areas, victorian style “formal” gardens (unfortunately well hidden and mainly frequented by cider drinkers), small woods, wilderness areas, streams & small lakes and large formal houses. Not all of this variety is visible from a car window while travelling down Chesterfield avenue; admittedly some of it can look bleak. It supports an amazing ranges of sports and outdoor activities and is actually quite well used. The bye law prohibiting buses should be repealed to allow at least a couple of routes through it with two or three stops along Chesterfield av. This would improve its connectivity with the rest of the city. I would also be in favour of high/high density development around the fringes of the park but nothing more should be built in the park itself, in my opinion.

Viewing 20 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Latest News