O’ Connell Street, Dublin
June 19, 2003 at 8:15 pm #706274
I think O’ Connell Street is finally deserving of a thread of its own.
Now, what to begin with…oh I know, I was reading the O’ Cll St IAP last night (now there’s a coincidence) and I came across this little gem of a quotation.
Just before it, its in relation to the Bank of Ireland building beside Clery’s, arguably the finest of the ‘tall & narrow’ buildings on the st, thats been sold to the high class Paddy Powers bookies, and they’ve also applied for permission to erect satelite dishes on the roof, which will be visible from the street.
“There are indications that some of the banks (on the st) plan to rationalise. It is important that quality new uses are found. …There must be a pro-active approach to ensure that any new uses complement and work with the character of these fine buildings”
Rather than whinge etc about this blatent bending of the IAP, does the CC have any control AT ALL, as to the uses of bldgs on the st? Other that the tax incentives etc, it doesnt appear to.
I’ve also come to a final conclusion as to why all of O’ Cll St is in the state its in.
O Cll St, unlike other city centres in Western Europe has a community living around it. Wheras in other cities, the centres are pretty much built for tourists with large expensive stores, cinemas, theatres etc, and with an office/business core surrounding it, O’ Cll St does not. Citizens of other cities rarely go into the city centre because of the class of services, stores etc which simply arn’t suited to daily life.
But O’ Cll St is being used and exploited by the communities around it ‘from the flats’ as it were, for EVERYDAY USE. Its the place they go to get their evening takeaway, to buy their weekly shopping, to get their toilet rolls and shampoo.
It isn’t being used as a distinguished capital city street, acting as a showcase for the whole of Ireland, it is being used a bog-standard Main Street, that you’d find in any town or village around the country.
This is its fundamental problem, and the surrounding streets, it simply is’nt profitable to have any other kind of store/service in this area, there is a much greater demand for ‘pile em high and sell em cheap’
Its going to be exceptionally difficult to change, and as a result the street’s architecture is suffering, there is’nt money in these establishments for lavish refurbishments.
June 19, 2003 at 8:20 pm #727828
To be frank, you can change the buildings and paving but you can’t change the people.
I know it’s terrible to stereotype, but its so true, its on the tip of every CC offical’s tongue but they just can’t say it.
Its a genuine concern that the upgraded elements of the st are just going to be trashed with chewing gum, late night brawls, urine, urine, urine etc
June 19, 2003 at 10:59 pm #727829
i’ve always had pride in my country, travelling far and wide and stressing my southern accent when it suits to make new friends. i’ve lived in dublin for four years, always north of the river, and the only occassion i have to feel shame for my heritage is when i walks the streets of my capital. its disgusting. the ppl are dispicable, the authorities are out of all order, and improvements are blocked by anal members of a defunct state. bring on the next recession so i have an excuse to take my filthy degree and leave in a blaze of wake-induced vomit.
and just so i’m not accused of leaving the topic of the thread: O’CONNELL STREET IS A BIG SMELLY KIP
June 19, 2003 at 11:43 pm #727830
its disgusting. the ppl are dispicable
what a rubbish generalisation, you’re referring to a million plus people, re read your post, some reason wouldn’t go astray.
June 20, 2003 at 12:59 am #727831
you’re a rubbish generalisation 🙂
walk down o’connell street and through temple bar at 3am tomorrow nite then tell me i’m wrong.
obviously i dont think every one of the million dublinians are dispicable. i cant even spell the word properly for gods sake. it is an impression one sometimes get and thats it, an opinion. one i share with many, including unlucky or observant tourists. i’d defend dublin as well as anyone when it is called for, but dublin is not improving as the capital of a strong capitalist state. its more a sign of buracracy than the mindset of this country, and thats what makes my blood boil.
e.g spains building and repairing 10 stadia for the price of our one. the spike shambles. the issues with the new bridge. the woefully inadequate efforts to restore o’connell street. the failed living over the shop scheme that could, with proper management, have brought some dignity back to areas like capel street.
think what you like of o’connell street, and i’d like to hear your and everyones opinions, but i find it difficult to see good points about the city centre.
incidentally, no offence intended to anyone from dublin,obviously i wasnt referring to you. anyone who attended a school of architecture or has enough interest in it to look at this site is no doubt above all the peons who roam those fetid footpaths
June 20, 2003 at 9:12 am #727832
Portugal, not Spain. Thanks for bringing up the living above the shop scheme – that really pissed me off! It was a great idea, but the price of the initial government sponsored offering was far too high. What are those three buildings doing now, anyway? They still look derelict, jut painted.
June 20, 2003 at 10:02 am #727833
â€œit is an impression one sometimes get and thats itâ€!
yeah exactley sw101, an impression one sometimes gets! the whole city centre is not a kip, and the vast majority are decent people going about their business …
I go out every Friday or Saturday, and am often one of those people â€œroamingâ€ the streets at 3am looking for a taxi home, sure there are scum bags out there, but you make it sound like bloody beiruit. Most people at 3am, while a lot of them are fairly hammered, are just out having a laugh and looking for a taxi. I have seen two fights in town over the last two years or so ( like I said Iâ€™m in town every weekend ) one of which was the one that took place in front of the Central Bank which RTE got on camera and have shown again and again and again and again and â€¦
Youâ€™re right, Oâ€™Connell Street is a mess, but Iâ€™m prepared to wait until the IAP is finished and judge it then, its crap that its going to take till 2005+, but the north city in particular needs a lot of work and its not going to change over night â€¦
Youâ€™re calling the city a kip now, do you not remember the 80â€™s ??? think about how much its changed since then when Dublin was nothing but the centre of a depressed economy and it really showed.
Iâ€™m as pissed off as you are with the delays, objections, crap infrastructure blah blah blah but most of these problems are problems of success, and Iâ€™d take them any day over being forced to hop on a boat to england.
June 20, 2003 at 11:17 am #727834Rita OchoaParticipant
sw101, “e.g spains building and repairing 10 stadia for the price of our one.” ?
Sure you don’t mean Portugal ?
Again, Portugal is not Spain or part of it. They are 2 VERY different countries, being Portugal about 300 years older…
June 20, 2003 at 12:11 pm #727835
……the gas thing about all these problems that have been mentioned that exist regarding Dublin City et all…… is that they are all rectifiable.
If people just used their common sense at the end of the day.
The way to a cleaner, better, efficient and attractive city starts with oneself really and one’s environment; in your home and immediate surroundings.
(that begging bowl culture is a millstone for us Irish too).
June 20, 2003 at 2:19 pm #727836
sorry rita. i imagine i’d virtually slap you aswell if you had said this was britain.
and no peter i dont remember the 80’s, i was only born the second year in. however you do seem to remember, but please dont use that to excuse any of the crap you have to put up with these days. its a very governmental angle to take, look how shitty it used to be? count yourselves lucky. and what on earth is a “problem of success”?
the 3 buildings on capel street have been extensively refurbished, while maintaing the same arrangement and floor plan. i think their reinstatement is a lot better than the typical approach in the last 10 years which was to gut the whole lot, facade and all, and stick in a monstrosity like no.1 jervis street or jervis place apartments around the corner
June 20, 2003 at 3:01 pm #727837
I don’t think it’s a ‘governmental angle’ to remind ouserlves how bad things were not too long ago. It’s important to get a bit of perspective on this – the city has been transformed in 10 years. Totally. Unrecognisably.
Anyone remember the quays looking like Dresden after the blitz for more than a decade?
Every public building permanently covered in black soot? No cool restauarnts/ bars/ clubs/ markets. Now that was a kip.
Most of the new stuff is good, some of it is very good.
It’s frustrating that major projects like O’Connell Street still take longer than they should to get finished, but look at how much has been done since the start of the 90s and lets wait and see before beating ourselves up.
We may be still behind other Eurpoean countries in learning how to make our capital city work, but we’ve had a lot further to come since we got a bit of cash in our pockets. Sorry if this is before your time!
June 20, 2003 at 3:12 pm #727838
Lads – generalisations are always going to piss alot of people off. But generally speaking North of the Liffey is not a nice place, and saying this having lived north for quite a while. The people being despicable remark is obviously a generalisation – but not being a Dublin native – I can say in MY experience that a higher proportion of people in that area compared to others may not stray too far from that description.
I think too many people are being self congratulatory… poor Ireland is rich now etc… Look how far Dublin has come etc… But check out cities in countries that by the “rich” definition are most definitely not rich. Dublin doesn’t compare that favourably. And if we are to measure our city by O’Connell St – well… we do indeed have a long way to go.
June 20, 2003 at 3:13 pm #727839
and what on earth is a “problem of success”?
problems associated with a successful economy – i.e traffic, pressure on infrastructure, resulting from huge numbers travelling in and out of the city centre to work /shop every day, transportation of goods blah blah blah
better than mass emigration, mass unemployment, a depressed economy, a disillusioned & falling population … problems associated with economic failure.
I’m not saying accept shite government, I’m just saying don’t be oblivious to how far we’ve come & the pace of change … you might not remember the 80’s but does 20% unemployment & a currency crisis in 93 ring any bells? its not long ago
we have a lot of catching up to do, believe me I’m not defending the government, i doub’t they’re capable of organising a piss up in a brewery … well brennan seems to be showing some promise, so you never know we might have a few decent infrastructural projects on the go in a few years time, we’ll just have to wait and see.
June 20, 2003 at 3:19 pm #727840
In terms of government – there seems to be a lack of leadership. There always seems to be some minister squabbling over the plans of another cabinet member. The government needs to stand up and say what they believe in and FOCUS! Remember College Fees? Bertie couldn’t even say what he actually thought… and he’s supposed the be the leader of this country!!! If we can’t sort something like that out then obviously city centre regeneration isn’t going to have the prpose and vision we’d all like (so long as Fagan’s gets a lick of paint!)
June 20, 2003 at 4:39 pm #727841
d_d_dallas, you’ve got one thing right – generalisations ARE going to piss people off, particularly sweeping ones based on some dubious alleged first-hand knowledge.
“Generally speaking, north of the Liffey is not a nice place”… give me break. If you can dismiss half of Dublin that easily, you can’t know much about the place…
June 20, 2003 at 4:45 pm #727842
Here, here… I am a Northsider and proud of it. And there are plenty of fantastic features on the Northside. There are also plenty of very nice areas as well. And surprise surprise just like our wealthier brethern down south there are plenty of crumby areas and lots of room for improvement.
June 20, 2003 at 4:46 pm #727843
“Alleged” – not at all.
OK – I did generalise, but in MY experience the generalisations about North Inner City Dublin made earlier in the thread had some truth in them.
Hmmm – tensions are running high on all threads today!!!
June 20, 2003 at 4:59 pm #727844
Well it is very warm today…
One point – the north inner city is not the same as north of the Liffey! You can’t talk about inner-city slums and places like Howth or Malahide in the same breath.
Just noticed I’ve become a “Senior Member”!
Well, there goes the neighbourhood! I’m off for the evening now to rob all yizzer gaffs.
June 20, 2003 at 5:38 pm #727845
Ok – my bad for not being more specific – but North Dublin in this case wasn’t meant to be North Dublin County…
Ah the sunshine…
June 20, 2003 at 6:01 pm #727846
AndrewP how come your a senior menber now ………………..oh the injustice.
June 20, 2003 at 6:03 pm #727847
oh wait it must be a 100 posts thing…..
dammit there’s only so much pretensious wittering I can do.
June 20, 2003 at 6:04 pm #727848
although….. I could just keep posting these ‘talking to myself mails
June 20, 2003 at 8:10 pm #727849
Now that everyones let of steam, back to O’ Cll St.
I used not to be remotely concerned about being on the st, but now I am always nervous on it, and during the day.
And everyone I know says the same, ‘just don’t make eye contact with anyone’ ‘steer well clear of any scangers or shady people etc’.
Is’nt it just terrible, so sad, that you feel concerned for your safety during the day & that you avoid eye contact with people.
I never walk down the st without seeing anti-social behavior, people yelling across the st at each other, girls with buggys ramming them into the backs of pedestrians infront, people sitting on the ground outside of Mc Donalds with piles of crap beside them, people littering, people coming up to you asking for food, money, the coat on your back etc.
Its really not worth going onto the st at all.
This must change, but how?
Any change that occurs only happens as part of ‘national strategies’ rather than plans tailored to suit excusively the needs of O’ Cll St, eg are more Gaurds to be deployed as part of the IAP? No, indeed any mention of guards on the st at all is non-existant, and so we have to wait 4 years for the ‘extra 2000 guards’ Bertie keeps promising.
A FULLY integrated plan of the st is necessary, and indeed for the city centre as a whole.
There is never ANY radical thinking in this country, a Grand Master Plan for all of Dublin City Centre should be drawn up, dealing with every concievable aspect of the place.
Whereas the IAP is very comprehensive, it is very vague in some of the most important areas such as security.
June 23, 2003 at 12:03 pm #727850
It was my understanding that there is a masterplan in existance that is being phased in gradually. For example the regeneration of Henry Street, the spike etc. Granted, this may not be extreme enough to transform O’Connell Street into the country’s first avenue but its not quite the chaos that it appears and it is in the middle of development.
A gradual upgrading must be preferable to an over night clean sweep that may not be so well considered. I was living just off O’Connell Street last year and we all got a copy of the plan in our post boxes. It seemed fairly reasonable, nothing earth-shattering, but then I suppose the Spike is the coup-de-grace.
As for policing, Graham I think your right, that’s more of a city wide issue. Singling out O’Connell Street for tougher measures may cause more problems than it solves
June 23, 2003 at 12:18 pm #727851
A masterplan does exist….two actually. One is called the Dublin Development Plan, which is DCC driven and focuses mainly on planning and development. The other is the City of Possibilities, a DCC plan launched last year focusing on the social aspects of the city.
June 23, 2003 at 12:46 pm #727852
I don’t know if the plans address the mix of uses of the street (ie burger bars, sex shops, discount tat stores, off-licences, bookies, gaming arcades etc.)
This seems to be the main problem with the street, and it just seems to get worse and worse.
Does the council have any powers on the kind of business that sets up in a given area?
Also, no matter what you do with the street itself, you’re still a stone’s throw away from some of the dodgiest residential areas in the city. I lived off O’Connell Street until recently and without a doubt things deteriorated in the last year.
June 23, 2003 at 12:51 pm #727853
You can’t out right ban certain buisnesses but you can use the carrot and stick approach. Introduce facade guidlines and building upkeep that would make the area less attractive to the lower end of the market.
Get a couple of flagship high-end shops into the area through grants and subsidies and it will begin to regenerate itself. That’s the tactic being used in alot inner city area’s on the continent.
June 23, 2003 at 1:24 pm #727854
There were comments about the fact that while the DCC is committed to attracting a higher class of business to the street, the strength of their commitment is in question. The former Bank of Ireland building was the case in point. While the IAP specified a high profile use, what we got (or are getting) is a bookies!
I think you should be able to ban certain types of business from areas. For example a limit on the number of Centra/ Spars would be welcome. There is a glut of these tacky shops on the street. Ditto the fastfood emporiums.
June 23, 2003 at 1:55 pm #727855
well nothing could be done about paddy powers: changing a bank into a bookies doesn’t count as a change of use. actually, i am quite pro having a bookies on o’connell street but that’s a different story.
June 23, 2003 at 3:23 pm #727856
Yeah perhaps a quota system could work for the fast food dives but I reckon that once a couple of sought after buisnesses are there and a reasonable framework for upkeep , regeneration will happen organically.
June 24, 2003 at 8:23 pm #727857
The unit sizes on O’ Connell St are generally too small to accomodate large stores, which could of course be adressed by the amalgamation of properties, which take time to aquire.
Have you ever been inside the new schuh store, it’s the smallest shop in the world!
Burger King has a wonderful premises for a quality store with that fantastic picture window upstairs providing wonderful views of the Street.
June 25, 2003 at 4:24 pm #727858
June 26, 2003 at 11:27 am #727859
It will take time for the City Centre to clinmb through the Divisions. It is Division three at the moment, but is bidding for a place in Division Two. The DDDA in their Draft Strategy for the Docklands talk about ‘raising the level of disposable income’ which is a euphemism for wealthy people spending lots of money. Until that demand is on O’Connell St that type of wealthy bourgeois glow won’t happen.
It is also not the fault of the inner city communities that they have suffered from being rundown and poor in the past, though it is much improved now. If the City Council can put in decent infrastructure and services, at least we can start saying that O’Connell St is clean and tidy, and has ‘character’ (notwithstanding all the dodgy euro shops on Talbot St). It is also up to the Council to make sure crime damage is repaired, and that civic pride is encouraged.
The Ramblas in Barcelona is lauded as one of the great streets in the world, but it is not that impressive really. Some of the buildings are very fine, but once you go below Carrer Portaferrisa it becomes really seedy, and the look of some of the tramps and heroin addicts there would really depress you. The Plaza Reial there is a gorgeous square but has to be one of Europe’s worst and most self congratulatory tourist traps.
But back to the main point: once we reach Division Two, we can gather fresh resources together in five year times, and have a crack at climbing towards the First Division.
June 26, 2003 at 11:47 am #727860
….after that, the Premiereship and the Champions League ……..which are a long way off at the mo.
June 26, 2003 at 3:07 pm #727861
To be honest I was thinking the first Division will be the extent of our achievement in my lifetime! To even dream of the Premiership is to move Ireland South as far as Jersey, to get some regular sunshine, and French haute cuisine…
June 26, 2003 at 8:04 pm #727862
Whats happening with the Carlton at the moment, did the CC compulsorily purchase it a few months ago?
I can’t keep up with all the feckin around on this site with Treasury Holdings & everyone else.
Assuming it has been aquired, which plan is going ahead? The one which eats up Dr Quirkeys & the derilict site and replacing them with Art Deco facades, or the other by A&D Wejchert with the inclusion of Fingal & the derilict site?
The Art Deco was so much better.
And the Moore Mall which was to begin before last Christmas ‘at the latest’?
June 30, 2003 at 9:22 pm #727863
We know pretty much nothing about whats going on on O’ Cll St.
Yet its explicity stated in the IAP that the highest level of public consultation will be mantained throughout the project to ‘capture our imaginations’ & to offer updates etc
Even all here on this site with a general interest in built surroudings, let alone architecture, hav’nt the faintest idea for the most part whats going on, the type of paving, types of trees, the stalls proposed for the central median, lighting etc etc.
I had to give a presentation to about 100 Dublin people (adults) the other day about the Street, and the proposed changes.
NOBODY knew ANYTHING, even about the plaza outside the GPO, let alone about the tree layouts, tax incentives or the Carlton or Luas etc
Indeed the only reason people know about the idea of new trees on the st is because of the ‘actions’ of the Greens and all of the media hype surrounding it.
Ironically, of the 2 boards on the st providing exceptionally vague info of its redevelopment, 1 has been removed to build the plaza!
Why arn’t there comprehensive information boards on the st, providing info as to the proposed physical elements of the st, and the timeframes & phases of development.
People love to read these things, not least if they are dealing with as grand a project as this.
We deserve them, not least as an explanation for why the street looks like a bomb site at the moment.
We see new hoardings and cranes coming in & going up every week now, but with absolutely no details given to the public.
No wonder people have little faith in in the St, esp added to by the Spire fiasco – in which also no information was offered, even with people standing around peering into the site the whole time around its construction, & the public asking the site contractors questions.
July 1, 2003 at 12:51 pm #727864
It is appalling behaviour – absolutely appalling. How much effort would it take to have a new onstreet noticeboard. No effort whatsoever.
If this much pride is taken in developing the street, I don’t expect much. And if any of the PR people are called into RTE to explain their vision, I will be the first to barrack them.
How dare they treat the citizens of this city with such arrogance.
July 2, 2003 at 7:21 pm #727865
Not that I don’t support what the CC are doing.
The way they stuck steadfastly to their plans for removing the trees in favour of the new was great, as is the actual layout of the proposed trees.
The plaza for public celebration is wonderful, as it also addresses/emphasises the importance of the GPO on the Street.
The only thing I hate about the plans , (I don’t even know if its going ahead at this stage) is the ludicrous proposal to mirror the columns of the GPO by erecting six sculptural lighting yokes, the same height as the columns, on the opposite side of the st outside Ann Summers.
Otherwise, Let The Building Commence!
(even though its already underway!)
July 3, 2003 at 10:22 am #727866
I think the CC are failing miserably to galvanise public support for a better street but that has always been the way DCC have operated. You only have to look at the city motto to know why. The CC manage the city as they see fit for the citizens of the city and we should be thankful for that…. they know best.
As for the sculptural lighting on the plaza… what will they look like. What will any of the street furniture look like. Its very hard to make a considered judgement without knowing what the end result will be. Have you seen them Graham?
I think flag poles would be better myself…stainless steel of course.
July 3, 2003 at 10:27 am #727867
I still find the lack of information tiresome. They don’t seem to realise that people are curious about what is happening.
Mind you they may well be keeping quiet deliberately to avoid the attentions of the two-bit environmentalists that want to save a handful of trees etc, never mind the fact that 200 new ones scheduled are for planting. Anyone who has seen north king st will know how surprisingly mature these nursery trees can look.
July 3, 2003 at 11:10 am #727868
I think they are keeping mum because they’re plans are on hold due to funding difficulties…
July 3, 2003 at 3:37 pm #727869
Money is a big issue – Cork CC went looking for govt funding for Patrick St rejeuvenation, and got a miserly â‚¬1m… hence the slow progress on that projetct. So there’ll be war if DCC got carte blanche to do what they like for as much as they like.
July 3, 2003 at 5:58 pm #727870kefuParticipant
There was a story in the Independent around a month and a half ago saying the O’Connell Street regeneration funding was in jeopardy. It wasn’t. At the last city council meeting, the city manager was at pains to say that the money for O’C Street has been ringfenced. He said that at times it was difficult to spend the money, because everything requires lengthy consultation and so on. The money is there – I don’t think there are any questions about that.
July 4, 2003 at 1:09 am #727871
The images I have seen for the 6 yokes on the plaza are about 6 years old at this stage, and appear to be made of some material that glows from within after dark, (some thing along the lines of the perspex columns on the set of Graham Norton – to draw a bizarre comparison! – although somewhat more refined)
I’ve seen rough ideas for the stalls, benchsetc, but nothing set in stone.
As far as I’m aware, there is to be a light placed beneath each of the 250 or so trees on the st, to illuminate from below after dark, and LEDs are being considered for longevity.
The paving for the plaza is to be set in alternate strips of stone and/or colouring, whilst the standard pavements at each side of the street may have a cobble edging of a foot or so in width, finished off with wide granite kerbstones.
There is to be lighting at the edge of the side pavements lighting the 2 lane roadways on both sides of the st, lighting of a more intimate pedesrian level to light the central median, and the same again I think to light the side pavements.
The side pavements are to be widened, eating up part of the existing third lane on both sides of the st, the other parts to be consumed with the widening of the central median.
Stalls to sell newspapers coffee (at 3.50 a cup) are planned for the central median, as well as various sculptures etc.
The central median should definitly be reserved in my opinion for statues commemorating people, including modern of course, to be added in the future, rather than having abstract art, the idea of a ‘hall of fame’ as it were,down the St I find appealing, a great feature for the throughfare.
July 7, 2003 at 10:21 am #727872
Aaah they (the light yokes as you so eloquently call them Graham!) are probably along the lines of those on Temple Bar Square. You know the ones that have been well maintained by TBP and are in perfect working order and don’t look an absolute state!
I have seen an artists impression of the proposed stalls on O’CSt. They look quite good. There are even pictures of them up in the street for passers-by to view… well done the Corpo.
July 7, 2003 at 7:20 pm #727873
July 7, 2003 at 7:50 pm #727874
Was anyone there this morning or has all of the novelty factor of the Spire worn off at this stage?
Anne Graham, the Streets manager says the section from Abbey St to Henry will take a year, roughly from today, with the remaining section(s) another year.
Also it is increasingly likely that the trees at the top end are going to be retained as part of the plans, this is crazy.
One of the best part of the plans is that the new trees, planted at regular intervals down the thoughfare will unify the whole st, north middle & south, this scheme will be utterly lost with the retention of the mighty specimens dominating the place at the moment.
These must be removed, whereas I don’t want to appear flippant about these wonderful trees, God knows they’ve seved us well as the grand old ladys of the st blocking the Gresham’s view of the derilict site & Fingal Offices across the road, they have to go to enable the full effect of the new trees to be appriciated, ie continuity.
They were planted I think in 1903, with most of the others on/left on the st in the 60s, 70s & 80s.
July 8, 2003 at 9:27 am #727875
The words “an Irish solution” leap to mind…
July 8, 2003 at 9:34 am #727876
We are getting a half arsed plan as always …..thanks to the Green Party, Ciaran Cuffe & Co for inanely stirring all this trouble up. I really don’t care about all this any more…..The optimism and hope is gone.
Maybe we ge what we deserve.
July 8, 2003 at 11:08 am #727877
Just to clarify, is the entire street effectively to be narrowed to two lanes? Not just the plaza section…
July 8, 2003 at 11:24 am #727878
Yes. The median will stay and the footpaths on either side will be widened.
July 9, 2003 at 9:12 am #727879
I don’t know wheter this is a coincidence or not, but two large infformation boards have gone up on the hordings in the middle of the street…
July 9, 2003 at 10:02 am #727880
In that case I hereby officially apologise to the city council for accusing them of arrogance and not keeping us informed!
July 9, 2003 at 11:20 am #727881
If the Metro is to stop at O’Connell St and D’Olier St does this mean that all that lovely (and expensive) granite will have to be torn up to faciltate construction of the stations… and horror of horrors a cut and cover tunnel! There’ll be the newly planted trees to consider as well. I wonder if anyone has considered this…
Also, I notices a story in yesterdays Indo which seems to suggest that the upper end of the street’s redevelopment (and this was in the contect of paving etc) was dependent on the Carlton site. No action there, no action on the street. Can this be true?
July 9, 2003 at 1:52 pm #727882JJParticipant
Good point Stephen,
Seems to me that if the timescale which MR Brennan has proposed to the RPA is to be achieved then the whole street will be dug up again just about when the new scheme has settled in. Thats the problem with the approach here, make it up as you go along !
Also what about the effects on the city of building cut and cover stations at D’olier Street, O’Connell Street and Stephens Green all at the same time !!!
July 10, 2003 at 12:43 am #727883
Dear oh dear, do we know where the proposed station is going on the st?
Suppose it would make sense to have it beside the Luas line crossing the Abbey St axis, but in what format so as to be unobtrusive?
What was the wording of the Indo report Stephen – does the entire area’s dev rely on Carlton?
Anne Graham appeared pretty sure the dev in this part of the st would take place in 1 years time as planned.
Does anyone know if the Carlton has been compulsorily purchased by the CC? If so there should be no delay. Something major happened with regard to this site a couple of months ago but I can’t remember what.
I was always under the impression that the Georgian townhouse at the top end beside the RDHotel was the only 18th century building on the st, not so.
I was looking closely at Joseph Tudor’s engraving of Sackville st from 1750, and there, on the corner of Henry St are exactly the same buildings that are there today, all be they now clad in Victorian frippery and nasty pink paint and a ghastly 80s shopfront.
This building must be fully refurbished, painted and the sashes restored. It would be wonderful to have a dignified wooden shopfront wrapping itself around the corner of the two streets, rather than the partially blank wall that currently greets visitors to Henry St.
July 10, 2003 at 9:43 am #727884
I agree regarding the refurbishment of those buildings on the corner of Henry St. and O’Connell St. They look in shite condition and would compliment the GPO if they were done up.
July 10, 2003 at 2:30 pm #727885
In a 1950s picture I have of them, one has a splendid wooden oriel window projecting from its facade, now in its place is a nasty vast expanse of 70s picture window crap.
I can’t remember if the ‘Come in and Visit’ is still plastered across the same building -hopefully not.
July 10, 2003 at 3:07 pm #727886
Here is the Indo article from 8 Jul:
THE erection of the Spire marks the beginning of the rejuvenation of O’Connell Street.
Work is already underway on the paving to provide a new civic space in front of the GPO.
The square tree-bordered plaza is to include grey, white and pink granite stones, imported from Spain and China.
The plaza is part of a radical initiative to attract more people, business and tourists to the city centre.
The reduction of traffic lanes on O’Connell Street, designed to give pedestrians priority over traffic, is also underway.
The timetable for rejuvenation is as follows:
* June 2004: All works south of the Spire as far as Prince’s Street are expected to be completed by this time next year.
The plaza will include new lighting, the lime trees, which controversially replaced the older London Plane trees, and a number of retail kiosks.
* December 2004: The area from Prince’s Street to O’Connell Bridge, including the Luas tram lines, will be completed during the second half of next year.
Again, the newly paved and wider central area will feature new street lighting, lines of trees and more retail outlets.
This phase sees the completion of the rejuvenation of O’Connell Street south of the Spire.
* 2005: The development of the area north of the Spire is scheduled for 2005 but is largely dependent on plans for the Carlton site, now under control of Dublin City Council. Detailed targets will not be set until after the future of that area is decided, a spokesperson said.
July 10, 2003 at 5:59 pm #727887AnonymousInactive
I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if they have to tear up what they are putting down now due to the Metro – but that is of course if they ever build it (I wouldn’t hold my breadth).
I don’t like to be so negative but when you see the Spike fiasco, you couldn’t realistically trust these people (piss-up and brewery spring to mind).
I remember clearly the extended pavement placed in front of the portico of the GPO last year only to be ripped up at most 2 months later for the initial work on the Spike.
July 10, 2003 at 6:21 pm #727888AnonymousInactive
On an upside though I must have a look at that building on the corner of Henry and O’Connell St.s – unfortately the ‘Come And Visit Us’ sign is alive and well but will probably go when they remove the other tacky neon signs from the street.
Any chance you can scan the old picture of this building.
I always find it regretable looking at the photos of the buildings on the street in the 1950’s and comparing with now – you’ve got to ask yourself – was it progress?
July 11, 2003 at 10:04 am #727889
It mostbdefinately was NOT progress and I guess that is what the IAP has admitted. O’Connell St in the 40s and 50s was a beautiful street and the centre of the city – day and night. You can see uniform shop fronts, canopys on most buildings, less traffic and a transport hub at the Pillar. The IAP is simply trying t recreate that.
On another front: last night saw the premiere of Veronica Guerin and I must say (at least from the BBC coverage) the stars looked far from celestial against their backdrop of hoardings, broken pavements and a rather shabby looking Savoy.
July 11, 2003 at 10:30 am #727890
I saw that too ……the premiere looked cheap alright because of the state of the street…….no red carpet, a tawdry Savoy etc…and a few people waiting at a crooked bus stop looking on.
Very bad image for the city.
That’s true too about shop front canopies which can be a lovely decorative addition as well as being practical …..pity we don’t see them any more.
July 11, 2003 at 11:55 am #727891
July 11, 2003 at 12:23 pm #727892
was just saying what I saw – aka fact.
July 11, 2003 at 12:35 pm #727893
I wasn’t talking about the film.. just the premiere. And it looked crap. Noisy, dirty rundown O’Connell St.
Am I a drama queen…. 🙂
July 11, 2003 at 2:28 pm #727894
Hey, the BBC journo hardly dreamed up the ‘glitz’ and ‘red carpet’.
Unless he was drafted in from the new York Times….
July 11, 2003 at 2:49 pm #727895
was actually directed more toward GregF….you’ll be glad to hear….response was….typical…..but if you want more evidence…i can show you pics of red carpet…and a report sayin there were hundreds of people there… 🙂
July 11, 2003 at 3:08 pm #727896
Ah I was only kidding. Actually O’Connell Street looked great with all the glitteratti, papparazzi and thousands of fanatical onlooking members of the public. The shining Spire in the backgound soaring into the clear blue sky. It was equal to a night at the Oscars or the Cannes film festival as Bono, Colin Farrell, Cate Blanchett and other major stars strolled down the red carpet from their stretch limosines into the luxurious foyer of the Savoy cinema. Definitely a night for the beautiful people. Champagne anyone!
July 11, 2003 at 3:36 pm #727897
the bbc doesn’t lie;)
July 11, 2003 at 7:23 pm #727898
Tee hee, very topical.
I saw the premiere as well, all I could see was Fingal looming in the background, a wonderful open space – no hang on – the derilict site beside it, 200,000 tacky CFL bulbs adorning the flat 60s canopy of the Savoy, and a manky upper facade that badly needs a scrubbing.
(And I hope whoever rolled up the red carpet at the end was wearing rubber gloves, one can only imagine the joys of its underside after an evening sprawled across an O’ Cll St pavement)
Ah yes, sarcasm the lowest form of wit, take the easy option & be cynical etc
I know, I know, I just can’t resist it.
I’ll try get the picture of Sackville Zap, (courtesy of the Sunday Times last week)
It is, to say the least, an highly idealised picture of the St, all of the parapets are as straight as an arrow, not a pitched roof in sight, and even though every house had 60 million fieplaces, each property in the picture has a single tiny Leinster House chimney perched atop.
Still, all of the buildings appear to be accurate, including the one on the Henry St corner.
July 12, 2003 at 5:19 pm #727899
I thought rather than just slapping up an image of Sackville Mall, I’d make up a little picture compilation of how the buildings have ‘developed through the centuries’ – as an estate agent would say.
So there are 5 pictures (don’t worry, they’re small)
1. The corner buildings in 1750, note how the first building is 5 windows wide before a jump in parapet level with the next building.
2. Same buildings in 1818, this time a more accurate image, where we can see the pitched roof.
3. In the 1950s, note the Victorian oriel window added.
4 & 5. 2003 and oh dear, Joe Walsh tours, pink window dressings & ‘Come in & Visit’ alive & well.
Still – note the same parapet levels as evident 250 years ago, and the same amount of windows.
Note how fantastic a decent carved wood shopfront would look here wrapping around the corner, & the building repainted etc.
July 17, 2003 at 12:13 pm #727900AnonymousInactive
The row certainly looked well in the 1950’s – cheers for that Graham.
August 4, 2003 at 8:11 pm #727901
I was listening on the radio to a repeat of the fiasco surrounding the trees on O’ Connell St, and various City Council officials were defending the decision etc – which is fair enough.
What really annoyed me though was the language used by the same officals about the upgrading of the street – saying things like “It was thought that O’ Cll St had fallen into a delapidated condition” “It was widely accepted that the street was unacceptable as the city’s primary thoroughfare” “We at the City Council decided to to something about it” and blah de blah blah blah
Now hang on just a second here, it was virtually exclusively, soley and entirely the fault of the Corporation that the street fell into this condition in the first place!
And whereas it would be entirely unfair to accuse officals today of the mess made, they have nothing short of a hell of a cheek to skirt around the issue of how the place fell into the woeful state it is today, ie Corporation Complacency.
It was they who allowed its paving fall into the barely concievable disgusting state it is today.
It was they who stipped the street of the dignity of lamposts by ripping out every single one in favour of floodlights as a more practical solution.
It was they who allowed road traffic to utterly dominate the street for the past 30 years, reaching intolerable levels by the late 90s.
It was they who granted full planning permission in 1982 for the demolition of the last Georgian townhouse on the street, despite it containing some of the finest plasterwork in Ireland, despite it being the last tangible landmark of how the street originally looked, and despite its accociations with Daniel O’ Connell.
It was they who granted full permission for the Eircom office block, one of the ugliest buildings in the city.
It was they who allowed the demolition of Gilbeys, the demolition of the Metropole, and the gross intrusion of CIE and Burgerland buildings.
It was they who sliced the railings off O’ Connell Monument, which would inevitably lead to it being soiled with every type of matter concievable.
It was they who did nothing to impove the vast expanses of dull asphalt and tarmac on it’s carriageways.
It was they who allowed the prevelance of the most disgusting and offensive street furniture including 3rd World standard traffic lights and posts.
It was they who watched without so muchas a twitch as the street was devoured by fast-food joints and takeaways.
And as to whether they had resonsibilty for enacting the Derelict Sites Act upon the owners of the site beside the Carlton, admittedly I don’t know, or resonsibility for whole trees who’s lights were’nt working at Christmas, or whether they granted permission for so many other inappropriate schemes on the street.
It was they – above all however – that breached their policy of O’ Connell Street being a conservation area, a place of ‘major civic design importance’
They threw the street a bit of paving in 1988 as a consession from the scrapheap and left it at that.
As far as they were concerned it was on the Northside, Dublin 1, and the street was too large and too delapidated, and any investor who was willing to ‘put some money into the area’ was given pretty much a free hand to do as they wished.
Today, Dublin City Council should not be congratulated for commissioning an IAP, or ‘having the vision’ to execute major refurbishment works – it is, as would be described in the UK as merely ‘the bleedin obvious’
The work they are carrying out is only part of wider objectives to rectify the mess made by the same public body in the past.
Never should present officals be allowed to gloat and boast about the virtues of their current project until they publicly acknowledge that it is largely their own mess they’re cleaning up.
August 5, 2003 at 2:16 am #727902
should definitely send that to the times / indo Graham …
August 5, 2003 at 10:15 am #727903
Great posting – the only thing I will say is that a lot of the new corpo generation genuinely seem to care, and know what they are at, and I would hate to tar them with the brush of the last two generations…
It will be a real turning point for the northside once O’Connell St is complete. Most Dubliners are only vaguely aware of what is going on as far as I can see, and a really well designed O’Connell St will really make them sit up and take notice – and perhaps notice all the other Northside developments going on too – Smithfield, The Markets (hopefully), The Ilac Centre/Parnell St/Moore St, Talbot/Foley St, Spencer Dock…
August 5, 2003 at 11:39 am #727904
An excellent critique Graham and I agree you should forward it on to the papers…
But I think its a fair point to say that there is a new mentality in the DCC which is gradually undoing a lot of the mistakes of the 70s and 80s. There is also a lot more money about. For example, I couldnt imagine the old Feeley regime having the idea of the Boardwalk or Smithfield. Still the tendancy to drag their heels and ignore simple and obvious solutions to problems remains….
August 5, 2003 at 9:06 pm #727905
I agree whole-heartedly, there is now a geninue interest and dedication in the City Council to the betterment of Dublin City, indeed they almost thrive on rectifying the mistakes of the past.
At last there is a vision in the City Council, with utterly committed staff & planners, although the delays & hitches trail on as always.
They could have won and deserved approval for the O’ Connell St plans however – had they enacted them straight away.
And so the only area where they could have earned credit and applause – in initiating the street’s upgrading immediatly – was the very area they utterly failed, work began on the plaza some 5 years and 4 months after the publication of the IAP – in which – rather amusingly the then Lord Mayor stated he hoped to see much of the proposed work ‘carried out by the Millenium’.
August 5, 2003 at 9:09 pm #727906
Perhaps the Indo will publish it if I say that Desmond Guinness was the developer behind the proposed demolition of the Georgian townhouse…
August 6, 2003 at 7:09 pm #727907
Well after all your encouragement, the posting should be on Geraldine Kennedy’s desk right now, or rather on her sub-editor’s secretary’s secretary’s desk…
September 26, 2003 at 12:03 am #727908
Thursday 25th 2003
I saw the first of the new paving on the street today – and wow it looks stunning – so good you want to keep it caged off from the public with barriers and concrete boulders – keep it safe from dirty feet and the plague of chewing gum.
I see it is being laid a significant 1 foot or so below the existing road level, hopefully this is in order to reduce the level of the pavement under the portico of the GPO which is too high and eats up parts of the plinths of it’s columns and the steps of the entrances.
The base of the Spire is being surrounded with straight edged square granite cobbles (which must have cost the earth) – with the areas either side on the median being laid in alternate stripes of granite slabs and (I think) limestone, which has a bluey tinge to it and is very attractive.
There is no question that litter wardens must be dedicated to the street after completion, if there is a strong awarness amongst the public that if you throw/spit chewing gum on the ground, that you will be nabbed, the process will soon stop.
This paving which must be prohibitively expensive
must be protected.
And as much as one would like to say otherwise – GOOD GOD O’ CONNELL ST NEEDS TREES!!!
I’d like to think it’s architecture could hold the street up – but it can’t – largely due to the appalling state of repair of most of the stock above st level.
I had’nt seen the st without the Clery’s trees until today – the place looks like London after the Blitz.
September 26, 2003 at 12:27 am #727909
a row of limes running the full length of the street on the right and left will be fine … All of the london planes should be removed, has anyone heard any more on the rumour that the ones outside the gresham were going to be kept ?
I think this would ruin the symetry of the plan …
September 26, 2003 at 2:40 am #727910
I was amused to read Graham’s ‘rant’ on the previous page about the city council’s poor record on O’Connell St. Even more amused to note them yet again claiming credit for the whole idea of the ‘Civic Thoroughfare’ in the first place.
My practise actually produced the initial draft masterplan in 1996. It was’nt a City Council proposal in fact the body pressing for it’s implementation was the City Centre Business Association.
Among other things our proposal was for the thoroughfare to extend through from O’Connel St all the way up Dame St, for the inclusion of a new footbridge east of O’Connell Bridge, and the establishment of a series of boardwalks along the Liffey.
We were credited with this precisely once, on an old ‘Questions and Answers’ when the then minister referred rather disparagingly to the ‘Kelly Plan’.
Out of interest we were paid the princely sum of Â£600.00 for the plan as our client was basically trying to press this proposal forward on a shoestring. I remember quite well the chief exec of the Business Association telling me at the time that none of us would get anything in the way of credit for the implementation of the plan if it ever came to pass as the ‘Big Boys in Civic Offices’ would grab the limelight.
That said, City Architects Division really worked their socks off trying to make the thing work (even if I don’t agree with the removal of the trees which came in sometime later or with the decision not to re-instate Gardiners mall).
Anyway, I thought you might find this of interest.
September 26, 2003 at 10:47 am #727911
Thats an interesting story… but I guess its to be expected that DCC will take all the glory for this redevelopment. It is worth noting that there are other people involved, although to be fare the IAP did note this.
The paving looks so bright and clean and I think the use of such bright granite is going to dramatically alter the atmosphere of the street, together with all that stainless steel street furniture. But that cobbling is bound to take ages to complete. Perhaps extra large slabs would have been better.
I have to agree Peter: Its sad to say because the trees have been there for such a long time and deserve better than to be cut down but keeping the mature trees at the North end will completely ruin the symetry of the street, which is one of its strongest elements.
September 27, 2003 at 12:46 am #727912
I never knew An Taisce proposed this either James – although I was aware of the CCBA’s actions on the issue.
Why do you not like the idea of the trees going – I am equally sad etc to see them going, esp with the history attached to a minority of them, but I see the current lime tree plan to be in the overwhelming interest of the street – above the existing ones – most of which were planted in the 60s.
They became far too large, obscuring completly the buildings on the other side of the street – and more importantly, massively diminished the boulevard aspect to it – it became almost a parkland, just with acres of asphalt underneath.
The current plan reinforces the length of the throughfare with the symmetrical layout acknowledging it’s importance.
I never heard of the plans to re-instate Gardiner’s Mall either – and as much as I’d love to see it done for historical reasons, I’m not sure of it’s relevance for today.
Whatever about building ‘old’ in the rebuilding of the modern infill on the st to unify the character of the st – which was argued about at length on the Royal Dublin thread – rebuilding the Mall surely would be nostalgic in the extreme.
The wealthy of today promenade in their Victorian piles in leafy suburbia – not in the middle of O’ Connell St (indeed the exact opposite of what prevails today!)
September 27, 2003 at 6:29 am #727913
gardiner’s mall was area along the middle of the street surrounded by a low wall and for walking around in finery, is that right? did you have to pay to get in? i would have to agree with Graham and wonder if there is a need for it.
September 27, 2003 at 8:36 pm #727914
Re: Graham’s comments.
An Taisce may have had theri own views on O’Connell St at the time – I was’nt aware of them though – I’m a private consultant Architect, who is a member, not an employee – that said I must find out what their position was at the time.
As to the Mall – well its ‘horses for courses’ really – it always seemed to me like the best way of retrieving the character of the street as a public space which is pretty much what it was planned as rather than primarily as a thoroughfare – I happen to like parks, amenity space and ‘resting’ and promenade places within cities – I don’t particularly think its an archaic concept either – My own feeling was that it might ‘expose’ a hitherto hidden aspect ofteh street which might have allowed for continuation across the bridge (which is extremely wide) and solved the ‘problem’ of the still messy junction at D’Olier St and Westmorland St.
The trees?? – well its a personal thing – I find the idea of destroying something that took 40 to 10 years (depending on their location) to grow – perverse in the extreme.
I agree they wer’nt particularly well placed however they’re attractive in their own right, characterful, and with a different approach to the detail of the central strip and some judicious pruning and shaping could have formed the ‘bones’ of something quite unique along the central reservation or mall.
September 28, 2003 at 10:45 am #727915
Actually, I quite like the idea of the mall being reinstated… just bear with me on this….
imagine a long linear park bordered by small box hedges, and gravelled in the parisian manner with trees and seats (now forget that dubliners are a dirty breed, so imagine it clean and cared for)…. imagine this like james suggests continuing right across the bridge to end at the neo-gothic pile at the junction of d’olier and westmoreland…. could be nice… worth rendering up to see anyway….
September 29, 2003 at 12:12 pm #727916
Absolutely, indeed bookstalls, coffee-sellers etc could all have their place in this scheme.
But rebuilding the mall from Parnell down to Henry St, in its original position, would break the length of the street, ruining its continuity – and have litttle relevance today, as none of the original streetscape remains with the exception of one house.
Building a mall the whole way down, over the bridge and in a modern manner is a different idea entirely – and a better different idea at that!
Integrating O’ Connell Bridge into the street has always been a problem, with the Eden Quay/Bachelors Walk axis breaking the link.
This median park could join them up nicely.
Sorry James, I though you were representing An Taisce from a previous thread – nice to know the CCBA at least cared for its environs long before it became fashionable to be involved in ‘regeneration’.
September 29, 2003 at 12:48 pm #727917
The Royal Dublin have submitted what is now at least their 3rd application for their refurbishment.
The latest includes plans for a closed off cafe terrace onto the street – which must be welcomed – and rather bizzarely, small balconies fronting some, if not all of the bedrooms facing the street.
The facade is to be ‘contemporary’ with ‘natural stone and glass’. there is also to be a new glass canopy built over the cafe at ground floor level, as well as something like ‘intergrated structural floodlighting’ of the facade.
I only read it after passing the Civic Offfices earlier – could have gone in to see it on paper – unless someone else would like to venture in instead hint hint…
September 29, 2003 at 12:52 pm #727918
The new paving around the GPO and Spire looks great….pity it wil be soiled with chewing gum and vomit by the riff raff when finished
September 29, 2003 at 7:29 pm #727919
Just passed it this evening, some of the granite being laid is that pinky, large crystalled type (which I despise with avengence) alongside the limestone.
I’ll reserve judgement until completion – I think it has just always reminded me of flooring in 70s supermarkets.
September 29, 2003 at 8:02 pm #727920garethaceParticipant
Out of interest we were paid the princely sum of Â£600.00 for the plan as our client was basically trying to press this proposal forward on a shoestring.
Geeze, I didn’t think that would even qualify as a shoestring! I would say many wood work teachers were doing better designing bungalows! Vomit, sorry. . . Read about what the real Princes of Paper Architecture are doing at 58-years of age. Never too old James!
Brian O’ Hanlon.
September 30, 2003 at 2:38 pm #727921
graham – dontcha think a bit of colour will help the street? 70’s supermarkets aside, I think a purely grey granite surface on that scale would be very drab especially in the poor quality light of an Irish winter. There are patches of pinkish colour and grey on the “nearly there” Patrick St project in Cork – and I have to say good choice! It really brightens up the place.
Also pink goes so much better with blackened chewing gum!
October 1, 2003 at 11:52 am #727922
There are pink coloured granite slabs being laid on O’Connell St…you can see some already
October 1, 2003 at 8:44 pm #727923
Thats what I was trying to figure – colour will brighten the area no end, not least outside the GPO which frankly is horribly drab – but colour dates so quickly – suppose you can’t account for everything.
About the GPO – it needs cleaning – it was sandblasted in 1984 I think,but a simple pressure washing is all thats required now – not least the base of the columns which are disgusting – they’ve never been touched and are disgraceful for a building of this status.
And if the windows were originally white they should be painted as such to lighten it up – although I’ve a feeling they were originally brown as part of that craze in the early 19th century.
October 2, 2003 at 4:55 pm #727924
When o’connell st is unveiled as a boulevard in two years time, there will be a lot of regeneration of basic things like the cleanlinesss of shop fronts etc.
There will hopefully also be a further wave of apartments in the unused upper floors of buildings, as people are suddenly attracted by the location.
What would do very well would be tourist style apartments that are rented on short-term leases for people who want to take extended holidays and breaks…
The upper building line on the street, apart from a handful of buildings, looks rather well now that the trees have come down; that can only improve.
October 2, 2003 at 5:13 pm #727925
Would’nt it be nice to see some shop fronts here with canopies/awnings too, for they can be an attractive feature on a shop front. Thomas Reads on Dame Street/Parliament Street springs to mind
October 3, 2003 at 12:21 pm #727926
I would be superb if a uniform set of awnings was introduced for the entire street (And D’Olier/Westmoreland too – v. impressive
October 3, 2003 at 1:39 pm #727927
The old Eircom building, called Findlater House, has a planning notice on it for re-development as separate units to include a foodcourt. Would have preferred to see it demolished and rebuilt myself but at least its better than a Bookies!!
October 3, 2003 at 7:26 pm #727928
I suppose this building is really to large to sweep away – it’s massive to the rear.
Walked down the street today at lunchtime to Connolly – there were no less than 5 pools of vomit on the ground on the stretch between Bachelors Walk and Henry St.
Two were on the pavements edge, one was at the base of a rubbish bin (which of course was missed, hence it ran all down the side to the ground) and one, more sophisticated puker decided to adorn the base of a pilaster of the GPO – on both sides – creating a striking symmetrical composition.
The place was coated rubbish – moreso than usual – my feet stuck to the ground the whole way – and the place stank to high heaven of vomit, urine and the joys of lunchtime at Supermacs.
I was on the verge of throwing up myself.
The paving on this stretch is the worst paving I have ever seen in any town or city in the world.
The slabs are cracked and subsiding, are cheap concrete, unbeliveably incredibly dirty – some are literally black in colour – the kerbstones are subsiding, every slab is coated in chewing gum in a variety of shades, hundreds of gaps are filled with tarmac, ‘juice’ is leaking out of every bin staining the surrounding area, and of course litter litter litter.
What really annoys me is that people think this is all part of the works for Luas or the repaving, hence letting the CC off the hook – this place has been like this for the past 10 years!
There is nothing in this city that the CC can be blamed more for than the state of the paving on this street – so simple to resolve – so cheap to resolve.
And this is the main street – it is just unbeliveable the state of this paving, imagine Trafalgar Square or Oxford St like this, it should have been fixed years ago.
I was mortified passing all of the German and French couples on their Autumn weekend breaks.
October 3, 2003 at 10:15 pm #727929merriman mickParticipant
It’s not just O’Connell street that’s dirty but the whole town. But sadly you know as well as the rest of us that this will never change,
it’s just the way things are, it’s hopeless.
Cleaning, washing, repairing , replacing are all
maintenance tasks that the city deserves.
Oddly enough, you will not often hear visitors
commenting on/complaining about the filth and
October 4, 2003 at 3:46 pm #727930MurphoParticipant
Hold a minute here….do you bunch of pessimists think that Dublin is the only city in the world where people throw chewing gum on the streets or puke?
I think you guys should stop criticising Dublini so much and thinking that the grass is so much greener in the rest of Europe.
Do you really think that tourists go around inspecting the state of our paving? Not that I believe its as bad as written above.
I live in Holland and Amsterdam is one of the filthiest cities I’ve ever been in, but I’m sure Irish tourists who have been there will write back saying how clean it is.
I wish people on this site would stop complaining all the time about how bad things are in Ireland. Of course the country has its faults but its still way better than it was 10 years ago and for me has something special that no other city can offer, so please give Dublin a break!
October 4, 2003 at 5:02 pm #727931merriman mickParticipant
Not complaining about Dublin, Dublin’s great,
always has been, even 10 years ago. The city can learn from a little critique, there’s too much
litter, we can see that.
Amsterdam is different, it’s like a theme-park,
it’s not just about large numbers of tourists though you’re right, it is comparable in it’s litter with Dublin.
I live not far from you in Antwerp and it’s clean, this city is actually clean, it can happen.
This has got nothing to do with the state of the nation or the city, I’ve not complained about that, it’s just the litter.
October 5, 2003 at 7:30 am #727932asdasdParticipant
Rome, is a very dirty city, with so much graffiti and filth on the ground. Still my favourite city , though. Stockholm – which is cleaner – is not.
Dirt really means nothing.
October 6, 2003 at 7:25 pm #727933
O’ Connell St is disgusting.
It dosn’t matter what other cities are like, it is inexcusable and pathetic.
We have a small city centre and should lead by example.
This is’nt about scoring cheap points at the CC’s expense – its about an inexcusable lack of maintainance and an apathetic public.
October 7, 2003 at 1:01 am #727934
Most of them are unaware that streets can be better. Few people i know take note of the stone finish on streets or standard of rubbish bins while away on holidays. Not to say you’re not right, just that its not really apathy if the whole situation is just under the radar (or over)
October 7, 2003 at 1:03 am #727935
and it’s “isn’t”, not “is’nt”. I dunno graham. I like scoring cheap points 🙂
October 7, 2003 at 3:37 pm #727936
Yeah I know, I keep typing that.
I didn’t mean you were scoring points, rather my listing of the problems may be interpreted by anyone as such.
Most people I know certainly would notice the condition/cleaniness of paving abroad.
October 7, 2003 at 5:31 pm #727937
Graham, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but once again, you are wrong.
I’ve had been living in Dublin for 2 1/2 years, and find O’Connell St. most appealling. You are wrong about looking people in the eye, in my experience the majority are warm and welcoming – you must spend your time staring at the pavement.
I am now in Dundalk, and it is remeniscent of a slurry pit. The paths are filthy, littered and soiled, and you certainly wouldn’t look someone in the eye up here.
I you lived in or around Dundalk, you’d soon realize what a luxury it is to live in Dublin.
October 7, 2003 at 5:55 pm #727938
Dundalk man – I’m sure Dundalk isn’t glistening sparkly eat ur dinner off the pavement type of place as you describe – but seriously… O’Connell St is “appealing”. I have difficulty sharing ur viewpoint on that one.
As big as London is, the main areas seem to be alot cleaner than the main areas here – and that’s with the LACK of rubbish bins in public areas/stations (thank the ‘ra for that one). Now don’t get me wrong – London is dirty – but with no bins on their streets they seem to do better than us – the chippie wrapper never seems to make it to the bin – rather the pavement next to it.
October 8, 2003 at 3:25 pm #727939
The centre of Dundalk has just been totally repaved so I’m not sure what you are talking about DundalkMan. Dundalk has cleaned up its act in recent years and while I can’t vouch for the people the streets are generally clean. Certainly cleaner than O’Connell St and its surrounding streets. 🙂
October 8, 2003 at 7:41 pm #727940
What a coincidence – I have lived in Dundalk for the past 15 years!
I know every inch of the town – it has indeed been completely repaved – and the town is absolutely sparkling – its 18th century core flaunted and appreciated by the council and business people alike.
But certainly I agree the place was like a slurry pit, and many people today there are far from approachable – not least after the clock strikes 12.
Unfortunately the town is somewhat infamous in that regard.
I have the pleasure of walking up O’ Cll St most days going to Connolly – pleasure in enjoying the fantastic buzz from the place and it’s many fine buildings – but also the displeasure of the disgusting paving – I was on it again today, and after seeing the place there is no way I can backtrack on anything I’ve said, it is a disgrace.
Although – Mc Donalds have washed the paving outside it’s premises and the difference is obvious – although this doesn’t take away from it’s poor condition.
O’ Connell Monument’s base has been cleaned over the summer – where credit is due and all that – although some scribblers have already had a go at it.
October 9, 2003 at 11:06 am #727941
I hope they have factored in claning and floodlighting of the various monuments as part of the renovations.
The new paving is coming along very well… I think it will all look fantastic when completed. You can see how the plaza and the malls will meet as regards paving as well… a graduated slope rather than steps. Theres lots of variety and colour in the stones used as well.
October 9, 2003 at 11:24 am #727942
Should all be done for Christmas….It will look brilliant
October 9, 2003 at 8:22 pm #727943
The plans are exceptional and very exciting.
The idea of the street in the future at Christmas, packed with shoppers and ramblers, all of the trees down the street covered in lights, Christmassy stalls with hot drinks…..doesn’t sound like Dublin!
October 10, 2003 at 10:53 am #727944
Hmm I wouldn’t egt my hopes up just yet about this Christmas. I can imagine the central median being fully paved but not the rest of the plaza. That going to be a huge job considering the need to control and reroute traffic. Also I can’t see any tree planting or street furniture being installed. A nicer Patricks Day parade might be a more realistic expectation.
October 10, 2003 at 7:31 pm #727945
Of course – Christmas in the future referring to a couple of years down the line – but really this street is going to transform the face of Dublin, esp at Christmas
Its one of very few cities in Europe that doesn’t have a hard landscaped area or piazza.
An Post should also invest in some decent garlands etc to dress up the GPO as part of creating a festive mood, and all of the trees surrounding the plaza could be covered in lights.
And of course, at last, the street’s Christmas tree will have an official home – in the centre of the plaza, centred on the portico of the GPO.
October 23, 2003 at 12:12 am #727946
I know you must all be so bored of the Spire by now but now that the paving around it is in place and you can see the fully finished product I have to say I am decidedly underwhelmed. That grating at the base is such a cop out. There is no uplighting which I am suprised by. And after the dirty self cleaning Spire….. the really expensive-state of the art-wont need to be replaced for ages lights in the tip have gone out. I hope those lowflying planes that are frequently seen over OC St will be okay!!
October 23, 2003 at 2:11 pm #727947
I walked over the new paving for the first time too yesterday – the quality is impressive but thats about it.
All round the base of the Spire is littered with access man-holes for traffic signals and earth rods, and the big clumsy galvanised steel cover for access to services of the Spire is far from attractive, plonked but a couple of feet away from the base.
I don’t know if ‘normal’ people would notice these things, but it defies my logic that so much money and effort and disruption go into this repaving and for it to be tainted in this way.
One of the details in the plans for the street was to remove all of the ugly silver traffic signal boxes from street level and put them underground – but surely not scattered around the base of the focal point of the street!
And the bronze base is far from interesting – although yesterday all of the ridges filled with water creating an attractive circular pool around the sculpture.
The bollards look well now in the context of the new paving – but should be arranged in a circle.
The whole area at last provides an attractive and accommodating pedestrian crossing for this major junction. Some snazzy ‘chromed’ traffic/pedestrian signals of the type at the James Joyce Bridge are now required.
And the new dark paving as part of the plaza looks fantastic, it must be basalt or something – it turns jet black in the rain with the slabs of white stone or quartzite in between contrasting brilliantly. The monochrome colour scheme should make it timeless as it were, immune to Grafton Street Syndrome…
October 23, 2003 at 6:21 pm #727948
I wonder had the placement of the bollards anything to do with protecting the Spire from a collision as they protrude further along towards the direction of oncoming traffic.
October 27, 2003 at 3:28 pm #727949featherParticipant
Any of you guys heading out to Ian Ritchie’s lecture on the Spike Saturday week, then?
It’s on 11am in Pearse Street Library, and costs â‚¬20 to get in…
October 27, 2003 at 9:02 pm #727950
half the lights on the spike aren’t working, it has been like that since before the storm. please, someone fix them.
October 28, 2003 at 9:00 am #727951
It said on the paper the other day that they have to ship in engineers from across the water to find out whats wrong with them!!
October 28, 2003 at 9:35 am #727952
What a disaster! I cant believe the lights have gone out already. This will probably be an ongoing problem from now on.
October 28, 2003 at 1:03 pm #727953JackHackParticipant
The lights look a lot more impressive when there’s a decent wind to sway the top, the sparkling affect makes up for the relative dimness of the it.
Perhaps they could modify it so the internal lights would sway even on a still evening.
Or perhaps just tape a few fairy lights to it, they usually last for a few weeks aswell.
October 28, 2003 at 1:16 pm #727954
This may have been asked before but why dont they light up the whole Spire with flood lights?!!?!?
October 28, 2003 at 1:33 pm #727955
This is due to happen, presumably when the ‘dressing’ of the st gets underway ie, lighting, trees, benches etc.
October 29, 2003 at 11:51 am #727956AnonymousInactive
i like the way it dissapears into the nights sky. i dont think it should be floodlit at nighttime. its an absouloutely magnificent project, its just a pity that the finish and light at the top were a done with such poor quality
spike for the stirling prize!!!
October 29, 2003 at 4:23 pm #727957CadmanParticipant
why dont they stick an angel on top and decorate it like a christmas tree…come on people not a very exciting project if u ask me… im in town nearly every day and i look more at the ann summers shop across the street than i do at the spike.
October 29, 2003 at 5:00 pm #727958AnonymousInactive
why dont they they strap some air horns to the side of it and employ people to scream in your face if you dont look at it.
the scheme executes a very difficult feat in being both modern and timeless. it is extremely simple, layered with meaning and has many subtleties which give it a quiet richness. i see it a few times every day from mary street (one of the best views of it) and still marvel at its elegance and changing appearence depending on the light conditions.
i will agree that close up on o connell street it is let down by staining and that rubbish pattern at the base, but i think the spike is a monument we should all be proud of.
October 30, 2003 at 2:20 pm #727959
The Mary St view is my favourite too.
October 31, 2003 at 1:21 pm #727960
I’m afraid to say that the new paving which was only unveiled lately around the Spire has already been destroyed by chewing gum!!
October 31, 2003 at 6:14 pm #727961AnonymousInactive
I’m afraid I find the finished result of this long coming Sprike a mere dirty pole topped with faint and certainly unspectacular (in spite of all the promises and what was talked about on this noticeboard) lights.
I pass by it every single day as I work on Abbey St. and just wonder could they not have come up with something better (they certainly had the time to).
I’m not impressed and apart from those opinions expressed on this noticeboard, know very few who are.
As for those who say it is layer in meaning – I’m afraid I find such a statement laughable.
Where I get the bus on Parnell Sq. has to be the worst view – even worse than the actual view from O’Connell St.
October 31, 2003 at 7:55 pm #727962
It is an incredibly beautiful structure and its design has been hugely successful – although I always thought it was a bit too stout, should be taller, hence slenderer.
It’s problems lie with the finish and the lighting.
I saw the lit tip for the first time in ‘real life’ yesterday – oh dear, now I know what you’re all talking about.
I see what Jack means about the lights (what ones are working) glittering as it sways – very effective.
It was lashing rain yesterday evening and there was 3 rivers of water plummeting down the 120 metres of its profile, and I’m such a child – had to go over and put my hand underneath one of them, it filled with water in about half a second! (and then overflowed over my feet)
Incredible, esp as the torrents then disappear down the tiny gap between it and the base, on top of the LEDs beneath.
November 3, 2003 at 12:29 am #727963
Can’t agree with you graham. Its a lost oppurtunity as far as i’m concerned
November 3, 2003 at 1:28 pm #727964AnonymousInactive
what oportunitis do you think were lost with the spire?
November 18, 2003 at 2:45 pm #727965
The plaza and lots of trees.
Limes down the centre, I think poplars down the sides.
November 18, 2003 at 3:28 pm #727966AnonymousInactive
Those five or so random pillars in the image are’nt going ahead are they? The ones which are facing opposite to the GPO!
November 18, 2003 at 3:48 pm #727967
I’ve hated these yokes since the beginning – talk about stealing the GPO’s thunder!
November 18, 2003 at 5:19 pm #727968AnonymousInactive
Sorry Graham, don’t get me wrong, I was wondering if they are to be built or not? Does anyone know what the story with them is?
I think they would look a bit odd and a bit of a poor attempt to reflect the GPO.
November 19, 2003 at 10:43 am #727969
Very odd indeed – I don’t know if they’re going ahead, heard no mention of them at all.
Suppose it must be remembered that althought the tree plans etc are still correct, these images to date from 1998.
November 19, 2003 at 11:20 am #727970
Passed down the st last night and another big hole being dug outside the Sony Centre (beside Clerys) has revealed what would appear to be the original Wide Streets Commision paving from around 1800.
There’s a line of wide kerbstones at the bottom of the pit about a metre from the surface – interestingly though no paving slabs.
Admittedly for all I know these could have been laid here by the contractors, but they appear to be very old, and the slabs are quite small, smaller than many of the later Victorian ‘antique paving’ kerbstones seen elsewhere in the city.
It looks like they’ve just been excavated, the workers were all standing around looking at them and on phones etc – then again they’re always doing that…
November 20, 2003 at 10:56 am #727971
Stainless steel traffic light poles have been erected as requested Graham! Now we shall see how the plaza will fare under pressure fo traffic. The newly laid areas will soon for the carriage was along this strech as the side pavements are repaved.
Also isnt its the dumbest thing ever. OC St is left all year without any major work taking place anbd then come Xmas shopping time the whole place gets dug up. The latest is the relaying of granite paving at the entrance to Henry St and at N Earl St.!! Why now! Why not last March!
November 20, 2003 at 1:56 pm #727972
Had to laugh at this, there’s been tarmac on the Henry St area for months if not years, and they dig it up in the weeks running to Christmas – you’d wonder, really.
Saw the poles – very snazzy.
Also impressed at how undamaged the base of the Spike is – people are literally to afraid to touch it for fear of attack from the public (or more likely the Guards outside the GPO)
The Clery’s christmas trees are fantastic as always – the best christmas sight in Dublin for many years.
November 20, 2003 at 2:13 pm #727973
Theres a load of black bricks being churned up by the big hole mentioned previously – maybe some rubble from 1916?
November 20, 2003 at 2:17 pm #727974AnonymousInactive
People afraid to touch it? How undamaged? Are you talking about the same thing as the rest of us Graham?
I saw the familiar scrawlings of graffitti – people’s names in black marker – on it a couple of weeks ago (and not just on one day) either.
November 20, 2003 at 5:52 pm #727975
Yup – was walking past the base of the spike the other day… there are literally scrawl marks on it already – some dumb c%$t’s initials with a compass or something similar. Classy.
People were also quite UNafraid to touch it – faces up against the metal.
Spire of Dublin – RIP.
November 21, 2003 at 10:51 am #727976
Obviously I need glasses – then again I do pass only one side of it – not that it has sides of course.
Think its fair to say though that it hasn’t sufferered the horror stories predicted like spray graffiti etc – although the sneaky damage as you mention is arguably more offensive.
November 21, 2003 at 11:45 am #727977
Totally offensive. There was some perma marker initials in black on it too – but I assume DCC took care of that one.
November 21, 2003 at 11:50 am #727978
any news on the lights ? maybe LED’s just don’t do that well 120m up …
November 21, 2003 at 2:49 pm #727979AnonymousInactive
Just went and had a look at the spire up close. There is peice of graffiti on the side simply saying “TOTEM”!!
November 24, 2003 at 11:30 am #727980
The LEDs are to be mended today (Monday)
Has to be done before dark because an unlit Spike constitutes an aviation hazard apparently.
So to save time they’re not taking the original lighting down (which would take 3 hours) but instead, putting up ‘spare’ lighting to be used instead of the originals which are to be left in situ.
What an unholy mess.
At least they workers showed up on time – saw them working on it this morning at 9.15.
They’re dealing with the problem exclusively from the base – going up wasn’t an option.
November 24, 2003 at 12:05 pm #727981
Pity the GPO plaza was’nt paved in time for this Christmas ….the Christmas tree and crib is rather lost up near the Father Matthew statue side of the street. (What a shite end of the street too …..nothing here bar Father Matthew and the Sacred Heart statues up to Parnell. We need more statues and sculptures here….to make the street interesting. How about a statue to Wolfe Tone, etc….in a fanciful neo baroque style)
Let’s hope that next year all will be working fine and they get a celebrity gimp to turn on the Christmas lights as they do in all other major cities.
That Spire is a disappointment too …a great concept and landmark for the city etc…but very poorly executed as has been seen.
November 24, 2003 at 5:14 pm #727982
The tree lights went on this afternoon – the usual silly looking vertical strings stretched from top to bottom like they’re trying to strangle the tree. Grafton St has the same treatment.
I see Gladstone’s been unwrapped from his binliner wrappings – looking decidedly refreshed after his long break encased in sheets of chipboard whilst the excavations were underway. He needs a good clean now.
Poor old Fr Matthew has had the tops of all his fingers chopped off – prob been like this for some time.
December 15, 2003 at 11:18 am #727983
See the Spire is alight again with a festive orange glow….aka sodium street lamp……Seems a bit dull too compared to it’s previous white light.
December 15, 2003 at 1:04 pm #727984
Yeah, what is going on there? The new lights look crap. Are they permanent?
December 15, 2003 at 4:50 pm #727985
Who put in the 40 watt bulb?
December 17, 2003 at 1:04 pm #727986
The first of the new lime trees are being planted on the street this morning!
It’s so weird to see them in ‘real life’ at last.
There’s just the four going in at the moment, at either side of the plaza, framing the GPO. They’re being craned in, as they must weigh a ton not least because of their massive rootballs.
They are also quite mature – probably 6/7 years old. The canopies are already clipped into box shapes but they still need a lot of filling out.
One of the bizarre aspects of them is their lack of leaves, because they look great without them! They’re very architectural and striking, and will change the street completely from summer to winter. And perfect for Christmas lights!
They instantly add character and definition to the street, and make the place feel more confident and civic etc.
They’ll look fantastic when all are planted, sweeping the whole way down the street.
Here’s hoping their planting will convince the CC to finally put the old ladies at the northern end to rest.
Or without the sugar – hack em down with a chainsaw.
December 17, 2003 at 1:26 pm #727987
I saw them early this morning, ….looked good despite being leafless. The whole stretch of plaza in front of the GPO is nearly finished as well….looks great too.
O’Connell street will look brilliant when finished!
December 17, 2003 at 11:30 pm #727988
Speaking of the shite Father Mathew statue end of the street, what about the ‘Taxi Driver’s Shrine’ restored (in 2001 says the plaque) with a PVC window!!
December 18, 2003 at 10:21 am #727989
What’s the story with the Spire? I’ve been away for 6 months and it looked shite last time, but then it had it’s new lights? Are the newer lights even shiter?
December 18, 2003 at 10:49 am #727990AnonymousInactive
the new cube trees are a wonderful symbol of mans contemt for nature.
December 18, 2003 at 11:02 am #727991
Originally posted by what?
the new cube trees are a wonderful symbol of mans contemt for nature.
No way man…..The new cubed trees are a symbol of man’s control of nature within a civic environment as what it was from the dawn of civilization. Parterres, topiaries, manicured lawns, bedding containers etc……
If ye want natural go out into the countryside!
(Get those weeds outta yer garden too!)
December 18, 2003 at 11:23 am #727992AnonymousInactive
i wasnt being sarcastic, i think they are great. i think its a nice aknowledgement of the fact that these trees have just been placed in the plaza because we wanted them to be there. architectural morals and all that. i hate the countryside wheres the rigor?
December 18, 2003 at 11:27 am #727993
December 18, 2003 at 11:16 pm #727994
The trees will look great won’t they… a really dramatic change to the street. You can alos get an idea of just how far the new paving will extend out on the sides down at Abbey St. one other thing is floodlighting and pavement recessed lighting…. I havent seen any indication that this is being allowed for. Thats a pity. I think the statues on the street would benefit from some nightime ilumination.
December 19, 2003 at 8:10 pm #727995
Noticed this today too – one would have thought lighting would be sunken into the regular pattern of the plaza.
Hopefully the statues can still be lit – such lighting is naerly always placed on the back of street lighting – like the light illuminating the top of Parnell’s monument.
There’s a new pedestrian crossing going in at Penneys which will link to Clerys at the other side, which is welcome.
And those chromed traffic signals look great – these should have been installed years ago.
The little mini signals on the same posts are fun.
December 29, 2003 at 1:18 pm #727996
Just came back to Dublin for Christmas and can I just say that the street looks absolutely shite.. And the lights on the top of the spire are so dull compared to before. Is there any hope left?
December 29, 2003 at 1:49 pm #727997
the street is a construction site, you can hardly judge from that ?
December 29, 2003 at 2:53 pm #727998
I agree, a little more patience is required. In comparison to five years ago O’Connell St is coming on great.
December 29, 2003 at 6:53 pm #727999
Agreed – although yes, the Spire lighting looks woeful.
Have they shoved a sodium streetlight up there or something?
January 1, 2004 at 7:20 pm #728000
1st January 2004
Well its finally made it, O’ Connell Street’s derelict site is 25 years old this year, a gaping wound in the capital’s main thoroughfare for a quarter of a century.
Congratulations to all involved – the old Corpo, the new City Council, the site owners – you must all be chuffed to bits.
We should hold some sort of celebration in September to mark the occasion – any suggestions welcome.
We can send them to the CC, see if they’re interested in joining in – might even provide some funding for crisps and nibbles.
Whatever about the previous 20 years and not enacting the Derelict Sites Act, for the CC to renege on the develpment of this site after the IAP, with all the messing around with Treasury Holdings and others is just disgraceful.
Next month the IAP will have been published for 6 years, and still there hasn’t been a sod turned on either the Carlton or the derelict site.
At least they had the cop-on to clean the Carlton’s facade and to erect scaffolding over the site – something at least.
Forget this country’s inability to handle major infrastructure projects – it can’t even handle this!
January 1, 2004 at 7:23 pm #728001
What was the name of the bar on Moore St?
The scruffy looking one at the Parnell st end that was used to hold up the Carlton development for about three years.
A party with Pavorotti would be good!!!
You could also contact the heritage council for a grant I am sure it would be an event of ‘gombeen cultural significance’
If all else fails you could always hijack a critical mass gathering
January 5, 2004 at 10:40 am #728002
Trader John’s is the pub on Moore Street……booking available now.
Bertie and Co (ie His glam daughter and hubby) all invited!
Westlifers to profide the entertainment as well as ”salt o de earth” Brendan O’ Carroll!
January 7, 2004 at 6:31 pm #728003AnonymousInactive
When in Dublin over Christmas (I generally get there once a year to look remaining friends up), I was pleasantly surprised by not having to queue to get into pubs or clubs and to be able to drink alcohol until whatver time of the early morning I liked. Is that progress?
But anyway, the real point of this post: I discussed the obvious shortcomings of the infrastructure with a friend practising in Dublin.
The Germans have great infrastructure, and they expect it to be clean, efficient and reliable and get very annoyed if trains are late. There are individual bus timetables at every bus stop and you can normally set your watch by the buses. In Berlin there are even public clocks on poles at most major intersections, at least in the West part.
So, my friend agreed, as he’d spent some years here too, the Germans do do infrastructure, it’s one of the things they do well.
We discussed the shortcomings in Dublin, the interminable LUAS saga, the lack of any urbanity in the new build sprawls etc.
His way of not dying young of apoplexy and blood-pressure related ailments is to lean back, buy a car for himself, his wife and, as they get older probably each kid (to ensure mobility and freedom from the less-than-perfect transport system), and just accept the fact “WE DON’T DO INFRASTRUCTURE” Full stop. Period.
January 7, 2004 at 7:08 pm #728004niall murphyParticipant
Your statement that we dont do infrastructure is a bit vague. Who is “WE”? If the correct legislation existed and not so much corruption and arsing around in the initial stages then we would very much “do infrastructure”. The engineers and construction workers are excellent here. Give them the money and let them away at it instead of spending the same money talking about things and see what happens. The Port tunnel has given problems to residents etc but look at the scale of it. Look at how the builders, engineers etc will have the whole thing built in about half the time people spent talking about it. If they’d been given the money wasted on so much bolloxing about at the start plus the money spent on the tunnel, they’d have it finished by now along with the airport metro.
Before anyone starts, I’ve been all over europe and know what the infrastructure is like. I’m pointing out that we are capable of doing it too if the initial planning/objections/consultancy etc stages were sorted out
January 8, 2004 at 9:25 am #728005AnonymousInactive
By “we” I meant the Irish. An saying “we” don’t do infrastructure does not mean a critcism of the consultant services available but is a criticism of politics and also of society to a certain extent. “We” obviously do not really feel it is that important to have good infrastructure or otherwise “we” would have elected the politicians to get it done. There is no point in getting het up about the crap infrastructure, accept it, we don’t do infrastructure 😉
January 8, 2004 at 10:52 am #728006
the state has only had the finances required to build decent infrastructure since 1995 on, most of which was given back to the public in the form of much needed tax cuts … you can’t expect the infrastructure fairy to come along one night and sort everything. Most of the delays are down to objections from the moaning public themselves.
January 8, 2004 at 7:08 pm #728007
Well I can’t believe it – I am amazed – the IAP seems to be well… getting implemented!!
The footpaths between Clerys and Abbey St. are being finally widened and I have to say the sheer width is impressive! I thought the whole project would be never implemented but substantial changes are, at last, bearing fruit….
January 9, 2004 at 2:14 pm #728008
Its great isnt it and I would expect to see the whole section completed by the summer. It will look fab!
What is happening to all those old granite kerbs they are taking away though…. not into the builders waste skip I hope.
January 9, 2004 at 2:15 pm #728009
And ban telephone kiosks on the new O’Connell St
January 12, 2004 at 9:59 am #728010
Took the words right out of my mouth………
O’Connell St revamp is a farce, says Brady
DUBLIN’S first citizen Lord Mayor Royston Brady has labelled as “farcical” the lack of progress in the rejuvenation of O’Connell Street.
According to the Lord Mayor, seven years after the plans were first put together citizens and visitors to the capital are still waiting to see the finished product, which aims to be a Champs Elysees-style boulevard.
Mr Brady told the Irish Independent he would be seeking answers at a meeting of Dublin City Council tonight.
The Lord Mayor said O’Connell Street was an “absolute disgrace”, particularly in a year when Ireland was hosting the EU Presidency.
A major street party was planned in the Capital on May 1, he said, the day when the 10 new accession states become fully fledged EU members.
“Only half the street will be ready by May. The pyramids in Egypt were built quicker. How long does it take?” asked Mr Brady.
“My ultimatum is that it better be ready by April. They have four months to get it right – it’s not that big a street,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the City Council said the plaza at the GPO was due to be finished in April, while works up to O’Connell Bridge would be complete by December.
January 12, 2004 at 12:27 pm #728011
its kind of amazing, they finally get going on this in a serious way and the lord mayor starts giving out. has he anything to say about the carlton site, or is he going to keep quite until the cranes are there.
January 12, 2004 at 12:35 pm #728012
I heard two old codgers on the bus one day saying that ”O’Connell Street is disgraceful ”and ”why did’nt they leave it as it was”.
Ye can’t win with such people….You’re damned if ye do and damned if ye don’t.
January 12, 2004 at 12:35 pm #728013
Ahhhhh Royston is electioneering….
January 12, 2004 at 12:35 pm #728014
A lot of this can be put down to silly season stuff namely that it is a local election year.
The IAP team deserve a lot of credit for their plan and it is Dublin’s inability to work effectively on a multi-agency basis that is at the heart of this problem. Not to mention a lot of off the ball stuff regarding the Carlton site of which the developer could do little to prevent.
Up to when the artistic scaffolding went onto the gaping hole that was on the Carlton site it was then an open wound for 20 years. At least the hoarding mitigates the appearance slightly. Fair play to Nissan for the sponsorship
O’Connell St is still not perfect but it is light years from where it was thanks to the IAP. To hear that it will be more or less finished by December is something we could only have dreamed of for far to long .:)
January 12, 2004 at 1:49 pm #728015AnonymousInactive
I agree as well, I think the street is starting to come on. You can nearly imagine what it will eventually look like. I think, however, that not allowing telephone kiosks on the street is being a little excessive.
January 12, 2004 at 1:56 pm #728016
The telephone kiosks need planning permission now don’t they??, Remember a few years ago the Telecoms companies were throwing them up wherever they fancied!!
January 12, 2004 at 2:02 pm #728017AnonymousInactive
Not too sure, but I agree that they should be regulated in some way. I remember that as well, I think it was just after other companies were allowed to install kiosks. There was alot of hole digging (followed by really bad repair of footpaths) by telephone companies at that time as well.
January 13, 2004 at 2:50 pm #728018
Diaspora – only the Henry St to Bridge stretch will be completed by December. It will take to Dec 2005 to complete the whole street. Dont ask me how it cold take so long to complete an average size street! Why cant it all be completed by years end.
Royston may have been electioneering but you all know the drill by know. If you want anything done in thsi country then you have to get it done in an election year
Latest observation: I thought there would be more trees. There seem to be very litle from the plaza down to Abbey St
January 13, 2004 at 3:01 pm #728019
Another 12 months that is a pity. But I think the planners should be praised all the same.
I am also confused as to why the plan was stage planned on such a small Street.
January 13, 2004 at 3:16 pm #728020
you see fintan o’toole was flying the abbey goes to the carlton site plan again. along with the usual arguements, he had a novel new reason for using the carlton site: the facade is quite short, so you wouldn’t have to spend so much on architecture.
January 13, 2004 at 3:26 pm #728021FINParticipant
jesus….classy argument eh!
January 13, 2004 at 4:01 pm #728022
Solution level the Fingal Co Co offices,
The new enlarged facade would cost a fortune
January 13, 2004 at 8:17 pm #728023
Fingal is being converted into a hotel – apparently.
The Abbey should never move to O ‘Cll St, yet another struture to add the morguelike atmosphere of northern end
When we see the works being executed, and the builders on site etc, everyone inevitably get very excited and a perception is created that progress is being made.
However the improvment of the public space is only half of the plan – the other part being to improve the building stock of the street, specifically with regard to the tax designated sites, and then the broader approach to ‘encourage’ property owners to improve their buildings.
There has been not so much as the slightest scrap of progress in relation to this, not a single facade has been cleaned with the exception of the Gresham who were refurbishing anyway.
And the only progress on shopfronts has been from the Bank of Ireland who also were carrying out refurbishments, on account of their downsizing on the street.
Assuming that the CC can get property owners to improve their buildings, all of the work will take place AFTER the paving works etc.
So in theory, and according to the plans in the IAP, the street is going to be a building site for years to come.
Ok, I accept such works won’t affect pedestrians etc, but it is unacceptable for buildings to be encased in scaffolding, for sites to be surrounded by hoarding and for the new paving to be lifted again, after all of the current works are finished!
There is a complete lack of co-ordination here.
One need only look at the paving fiasco on Henry St at Christmas.
One need only look at the brand new traffic signals at O ‘Cll Bridge/Bachelors Walk which have stood unoperational for the past year.
What a joke.
I’m not just picking holes here, I’m absolutely furious with the City Council, furious.
They couldn’t organise a prayer in a convent.
January 14, 2004 at 12:55 am #728024
I am sorry to hear that the former Dublin Co Co building is being retained, it is a horror story ans it is definitely the worst building on the Street. .:mad:
I am also happy that the Abbey is staying on Abbey St as that section of Abbey St needs an important building. Without the Abbey it really would ressemble Dodge City. 😮
But I differ with you on the role of the planners. I agree with you that the current situation is not perfect but my reading of the situation goes like so:
The O’Connell St IAP was basically a forward planning exercise. Traditional planning in Ireland has involved insufficiently clear plans containing many contradictory objectives.
This plan in contrast involved less objective inputs and more action like public works such as the Spire, new trees and new paving arrangements. DCC took a lead just like they did with the Smithfield Plaza. 😀
It was those measures that I was praising, I also think that the tax designation of properties was a good move. However why the time limits were not timed to ensure early completion beggars belief.
However the Carlton debacle is a disgrace and I have a lot of sympathy for the developer who was deliberately obstructed in the project.
The failure of the property owners to use the tax designation is bizarre and very shortsighted on their individual parts.
But given the previous take up of all previous designation schemes the take up on O’Connell St has been an unprecedented failure.
There is no forward planner who could have forecast it. It must be a first time that free money has been refused.
Regarding the traffic lights that really is no brainer territory, a specialty of the roads department.
I am amongst the happiest people that their destructive tendencies are firmly tranquilised these days. 😀
Finally I fully agree that co-ordination is the real villan here. Pre civic offices it may have been OK when DCC was scattered to the four winds but surely a walk from Block 1 to Block 4 wouldn’t start a wave of litigation for something or other
January 14, 2004 at 12:23 pm #728025
The shops will not spend money on upgrades until the street is complete. Why would they make expensive upgrades in a building site. They should also wait to see how the street looks when it is finished, before calling in the exterior designers.
The City Council are progressing slowly but steadily, and are apparently going to get it right, judging by what is emerging at the plaza. Royston is just electioneering. I heard him on The Last Word. He knew nothing about the street plans; he clearly knew nothing about the legal difficulties the Carlton Site was mired in; he had failed to register that since the Spire was finished there were massive billboards spelling out what is being done on the street; he also failed to acknowledge that the street has to be kept open for very heavy business. Or that there was war when the City Council insisted on continuing works over Christmas, to avoid delays.
If he wanted to fault the plan, he could have asked the City Council why they don’t have twice as many people working twice as fast. He could have questioned the budget. He could have enquired about the legal difficulties. He could have asked if as Mayor was there anything he could propose to government to help speed up progress. But instead he engaged in the typical Fianna Fail rubbish about ‘results’ and ‘tough choices’; which is what they always say when they are about to pull a fast one.
And the fact that as Mayor he says he cares but still seemed to know f all, that any ten minute brief, browsing of the internet, or info. from a lackey would have told him, makes me think as Mayor he might turn out to be a Fianna Fail populist t**t. After all, I am sure he does care, but I thought his rank would make him a bit brighter than that.
January 14, 2004 at 4:43 pm #728026
Royston Brady will be one of two FF candidates in Dublin for the European elections and also a candidate in the Dublin City Council elections….. both on June 11.
January 14, 2004 at 4:59 pm #728027
They ban the Dail-Local Authority dual mandate.
Then Royston comes up with a new one Euro-Local.
Buy Ryanair stock
January 14, 2004 at 5:09 pm #728028
Best menswear (name???) at corner of North Earl St is only shop I can think of that cleaned up outside.
maybe when the plaza is done we’ll see action…
January 14, 2004 at 5:12 pm #728029
redeoin what is the obsenity t**t, i can’t work it out. is there a star for each missing letter or do you mean tit, in which case, i don’t think you need to bother with the stars.
January 14, 2004 at 6:10 pm #728030
try a “w” and an “a”…?
January 14, 2004 at 10:03 pm #728031
of course, sorry. i amn’t sure twat needs staring out either, but i certainly agree i describes royston.
on the other hand, i have come around to thinking the abbey should move, that end of abbey street will look after itself, the gentrification of henry street is pushing shops that way and the ifsc and the luas will bring office to the area. on the other hand, the top of o’connell street is important, adding the abbey to the gate, the ambassador, the savoy and, at a push, the ugc, and you’d have a mini-west end to balance the temple bar’s mini-Soho.
btw, here is my temple bar comment: they wanted SoHo and got Soho, did I just make that up or has someone said it before?
January 14, 2004 at 10:33 pm #728032
The fact that there was a 5 year period between the IAP and the first works on the street is madness – this is what annoys me, that the current works are going to bring it up to nearly 9 years until completion, and there are no visible efforts to speed up other aspects of the project to make up for lost time.
Indeed the exact opposite appears to be prevailing.
Westmoreland St will then probably begin causing further disruption and unsightliness.
This work should be going on at the same time, or at the very least the northern end of O ‘Cll St and Westmoreland at the same time.
Slow slow slow
January 15, 2004 at 11:22 am #728033
Wouldn’t it be great to see the predestrian zone of Grafton St extended down College Green, Westmoreland St. and over O’Connell Bridge. Creating a huge paved area in front of Trinity and linking Grafton St. with O’Connell St./Henry St.
The stuff dreams are made of I know.
Even if the pavement could be widened on this route would be an improvement for the lowly predestrian.
January 15, 2004 at 12:40 pm #728034
Yeah, i meant twat. The works are indeed slow when you put it like that. If I have learnt one lesson, it is to ignore draft plans, and actually wait for the cranes to go up. It spares a lot of pain.
Even keeping the roads, having the same pattern extended across O-Connell Bridge, and up D’Olier and Westmoreland St would be pretty cool. I assume that is the intention…
January 15, 2004 at 3:31 pm #728035
btw, here is my temple bar comment: they wanted SoHo and got Soho, did I just make that up or has someone said it before?
Good one – haven’t heard that one before
January 15, 2004 at 3:56 pm #728036AnonymousInactive
The present way that the lights gradually appearing towards the top of the Spire detracts from its overall appearance. I think it would look alot better if it were just a single light at the top. If the intensity got stronger as the perferated lights got closer to the top it might work, but at present they are all of the same intensity until the top where it is way brighter than the rest of them. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
January 15, 2004 at 4:39 pm #728037kefuParticipant
I don’t think the lights have ever worked the way they were supposed to. The orangey lights that are there at the moment are only temporary.
I wouldn’t be surprised it they’ve gone back to the drawing board on this. I think they just took the fact that they broke completely as an opportunity.
January 15, 2004 at 4:44 pm #728038
I know it isn’t QUITE the same thing – but the “plaza-fication” of downtown Cork was stalled ala O’Connell St – delays involving the main drainage and financing causing chaos. The work when it EVENTUALLY started was crawling – but then eureka! CCC decided to commence work at both ends and meet in the middle rather than going North to South. The work has actually moved at incredible speed since and is ahead of schedule for completion. A little bit of initiative goes a long way.
January 15, 2004 at 4:48 pm #728039AnonymousInactive
Kefu, I would say you are probably right there. I think many monuments go through the same theeting problems. I am sure they will rethink the present arrangement aswell.
January 15, 2004 at 5:16 pm #728040
I think the floodlights to light the spire will make a big difference when they are installed.
Also, at the moment the entire street is badly lit by intermittent nasty orange sodium lighting.
I hope when it is relaid, white halogen lights are installed, as they are around stephen’s green (but with a more modern lamppost design).
That way the lighting of the entire structure, and street will be very harmonius. I actually prefer the present orange lighting at the top of the spire, with the white tip. I think it looks really well…!
January 15, 2004 at 6:15 pm #728041AnonymousInactive
I like the tip with the white light, but I am not so sure about the rest of the lights, particularly when viewed from other areas of the city apart from O’Connell Street itself.
January 15, 2004 at 10:45 pm #728042
There’s enough flippin orange in this city at night!
I can’t wait to see the entire sculpture lit after dark, it’ll be fantastic, especially seen from Westmoreland St across the bridge.
I saw the Spike got it’s first’real’ dose of graffitti last week in the form of big, blue marker/spray marks. I assume they’re gone now. To their credit, the CC have been pretty nifty in removing such marks.
January 16, 2004 at 1:15 am #728043
honestly the most interesting thread i’ve read online – ever …
no idea if you’re at all interested in my opinion as a foreigner but here goes…
I lived in Dublin (stoneybatter, then mountjoy sq) for about 5 months last year and to be honest i was shocked with how dirty the city is/was. its ofcourse nowhere near the worst place in the world — i’ve lived in India too — but that’s hardly a reason not to try and improve. I do find dublin very charming, and miss it actually, and i do love the “lived in” qualities it has. however i’m not really a fan of the “vomitted on” qualities.
im curious… and hope this doesnt sound stupid, but does the city have any sort of jobs for teenagers during the summer, school breaks etc, where they’re basically cleaning up/light gardening/maintenance/paint work/whatever for public places, such as O’Cnl Str, organised by the city? (they ofcourse have supervisors to keep them on track) up here (iceland) this solved two problems, though I realise there is a substantial difference in population, and the place is kept clean and tidy, and the teenagers get jobs rather than hanging around burger king all day. bigger (or smaller) firms around town can hire these “forces” off the city to clean up or whatever round their premises…yey!
is there already this sort of thing or would this not be possible in dublin?
January 16, 2004 at 10:48 am #728044AnonymousInactive
What you are referring to is giving them stewardship for their environment, is it? I would think that would be a very good idea.
January 16, 2004 at 11:17 am #728045
Well FAS used to run a student summer scheme that was basically dole for community work. Companies could also apply for these students too. I remember spending a summer clearing out an over grown river in my local town!
I’m not sure if its still running as the economy got better there were better paid things to do with your summer.
January 16, 2004 at 11:45 am #728046
Its sounds like a great idea.
January 16, 2004 at 2:01 pm #728047
not sure what stewardship means, my english is limited, but yeah, probably right 🙂
cities should most definitelt not look at this as some sort of “charity” to get teens off the street, but actually see that this might give huge paybacks in terms of more tourists and richer tourists. might sound like a superficial aim, but my impression of dublin was that most people want to turn this into a snazzy metropolitan city, which i fear is unlikely to happen unless it’s cleaned up abit.
and on these notes, a friend of mine studying hospitality management in Dbln told me (lord knows where she gets this from) that ireland/dublin is trying to market itself as a capital of technology/IT, since maybe ireland could do with a “cleaner” image than the land of endless pints of guinness. It’s got to look it too.
even walking along the liffey i sometimes, no joke, had to cover my nose from the stench of it. is it too much work/money to hire some boat with proper cleaning equiptment on it and at least scrub off the green gumbo off the inner walls?
i sound very negative, but i do love dublin and would love move to go back there…
January 16, 2004 at 4:17 pm #728048
I think it would be a great idea as well – I’d most certainly have done it – there are so many things to be done around the city, furniture/hardware to be painted, canal banks etc to be cleared.
The Dep of Education employ local teenagers to help on school extension jobs over the summer – you can easily earn â‚¬700 and more over 8-12 weeks.
This could be extended in cities and towns by local authorities, and on O ‘Connell St; there’s gonna be a hell of a lot of paving needing powerwashing a few times a year, esp after the leaves fall on the trees.
It’s giving labour to people who are looking for short-term, comparitively low-paid work. Competent teenagers fit the bill well.
January 16, 2004 at 6:59 pm #728049
Very Interesting thread.
Particularly the comments regarding maintenance and dirt. As an Architect I’ve always felt that our profession hasa tendancy to the belief that a ‘Building’ can solve all problems – eg: Bad Area – solution New Buildings. Dirty Street – Solution New facades. Social Housing – new shiny development (the Marmion Court Queen St development is typical – social problems worse than ever but all hidden away).
I’ve long had a notion (and it’s nothing more than that) that if you want to seriously upgrade the experience of the user of the city that you spend money not on general development but on the surrounding environment eg: plant trees, better streetlights, high quality granite paving, wider sidewalks, reduced through traffic. And I’m interested in the example of Parliament St where all of this happened when the street was rather shoddy and unpleasant – within the year shopkeepers were erecting awnings, propery owners were looking at their buildings in a new light and treating them as assets rather than problems – it all worked out rather well at a relatively low capital cost.
Most of the really nice cities that I’ve been to have an excellent and clean public environment rather than particularly good architecture ,I’m thinking for example of Melbourne which I really liked but where althoug hte architecture is nothing special the whole city has a rather nice pleasant and safe vibe.
That i na way is the problem wit hour development planning, it is’nt realy ‘joined up writing’ just individual sites and buildings given atteneion on an individual basis rather than to conform with an overall physical vision based around streets, squares, and aimed at teh ground level user.
Our streets ar’nt safe, they’re not wheelchair pr pushchair negotiable, traffic fumes permeate the air and there’s a lamentable lack of and hostility to ‘greenery’ on the grounds that it costs money to maintain.
In fairness to the O’Connel St Plan that’s been a real focus for the planners and architects, making better streets. Now I don’t like or agree with everything that they’re doing but generally that type of work is unshowey and results arn’t visible until completion ofthe works.
As to the Spike – well I’m not mad about it but it does represent a very laudable attempt to address the ‘marking’ of public space in a positive and non profit driven way.
Anyway, Apologies for rabbitting on,
January 16, 2004 at 9:38 pm #728050
Well this is exactly what is being relied upon for O ‘Cll St, the domino effect.
Hopefully it will happen, even one cafe on the st would help! There’s nothing like on-street seating and awnings to make a place look great.
I walked down the st this afternoon, you can really appreciate how wide the pavements are going to be – its so exciting! The place will be unrecognisable, esp the western side which is so congested, there’s going to be so much space outside Easons etc.
The curving kerbstones wrapping around the entrance of Sackville Place look fantastic, an indicator of the quality to come.
And most importantly the GPO will finally be acknowledged properly, with paving extending out beyond the portico, it’s columns have been crudely curtailed by the road directly infront.
Admittedly since it was built, this has been the case, but wasn’t as noticable as it is now.
And the column’s bases were finally cleaned over Christmas after years of neglect and look really really good. They’re so important, as not only are they part of the only classical building in the city that so many people come in contact with, but you can also literally feel the history of them walking past – I know that’s so sad – but when you think that Georgians were brushing past the very same columns nearly 200 years ago, it’s just a bit spine-tingling!
January 16, 2004 at 11:36 pm #728051
Graham — exactly, and would hopefully puts some respect into their attitudes toward their surroundings, knowing they might have to clean it up tomorrow 🙂
James — couldnt agree more. The most charming places i’ve seen have nothing to do with “most famous and expensive architecht”, but about the soul of the place, and the respect that is shown to it by its habitants.
wow what a yes-person i am …
ermmm the GPO, think it’s a majestic building in itself, and i’d love to see the developement on that and the spire/spike/stiletto in the ghetto since I used to pass it daily, are there any pictures online?
January 16, 2004 at 11:50 pm #728052
ah, all this talk is making me want to move back to dub…
so which one of you is going to find me a great job? 😉
January 17, 2004 at 1:04 am #728053
January 18, 2004 at 11:53 pm #728054
Royston goes further
January 18, 2004
“(20:36) Opposition politicians on Dublin City Council have called on the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Royston Brady to retract comments he made describing his fellow councillors as ‘clowns’.
In newspaper interviews, the Lord Mayor also described the councillors as ‘pathetic’ and ‘a waste of space’.
The leader of the Fine Gael group on the council, RuÃ¡irÃ McGinley said he hoped the lord mayor would retract his comments at tomorrow night’s meeting of the City Council. He said the comments were uncalled for.
Sinn FÃ©in’s group leader, Christy Burke, said that if the Lord Mayor did not withdraw his comments, he intended to go to the Taoiseach about them. “
Sound like muppet mighn’t be the only one looking for a job soon!
The extension of the Boulevard beyond O’Connell St would be great.
Where should it go, Westmoreland St through to Grafton St or towards Dame St?
January 19, 2004 at 11:38 am #728055
I think it should follow the obvious line across o’connell bridge, which is foul looking at the moment, with no room to walk, then split at D-Olier and Westmoreland St, and then:
– swing east from D’Olier St down Pearse St as far as Grand Canal Dock. If you want to integrate the Docks into the City Centre via Pearse St, the Boulevard effect will work very well, as the footfall increases.
– swing west from Westmoreland St to the top of Dame St. There is no room to walk on Dame St as there is, and the traffic takes up far more road space than it needs to. It is a lovely st, and would be fantastic highlighted as a Boulevard.
January 19, 2004 at 2:53 pm #728056
My own instinct would involve Westmoreland St and Dame St.
I think that the Quays post Port tunnel will have dramatically reduced volumes of traffic. Pearse St would need to be used for traffic as it is the only south- North crossing between the East link and Christchurch these days. The architecture on Pearse st is quite patchy as well due to numerous demolitions in previous decades.
Westmoreland St College Green and Dame St present significant opportunities it is thought to extend the O’Connell St model.
Due to the streets being wide and having some excellent buildings. Hopefully if they attempt it the lessons on co-ordination will have been learned from O’Connell St.
January 19, 2004 at 3:19 pm #728057
Dame str is charming, has that old-city-street and arty feel to it.
even though pearse would be needed to get traffic through, i’d love to see it brightened up a bit. get’s a bit gloomey when you head east from o’dolier.
sorry if i’m not following the thread topic exactly…
crossing grand canal on the dart i used to daydream about having beautiful apartment buildings and restaurants along the canal, lots of little lights reflecting in the canal. ahhh. could make a boardwalk over the canal so that entrances to cafe’s and restaurants would face the canal.
having not actually been there except in a train i don’t know what it smells like… 🙂
thanks btw Diaspora
January 19, 2004 at 3:55 pm #728058
It wouldn’t take as long to re-lay new wider paving on Dame St or Westmoreland St, once the council work out how much road space they can take back.
The problem with O’Connell St is setting out the entire St in a completely new pattern; moving the existing roads, and diverting utilities; catering for the Luas, putting in a full plaza at one section; not to say the spire; and dealing with the sheer bloody width and length of the street.
January 19, 2004 at 7:15 pm #728059
I was thinking there as to why the option of removing the central median and placing the roadway down the centre of the street wasn’t considered – then I remembered – the minor issues of O’ Connell Monument, Parnell, Gladstone, Larkin – even Jesus himself!
The bridge must be integrated into the street – interestingly it’s not exactly alligned with the street at all which is the impression given; to account for the bend in the river it had to be orientated slightly to a NE/SW angle.
Westmoreland St is very fine and a regemented paving & tree plan should be even more effective than O’ Cll St as there are less junctions and overall less distractions from its unity.
Nice dream for the Grand Canal muppet – don’t forget the Liffey too!
January 19, 2004 at 7:20 pm #728060
What about continuing the same central median down Westmoreland St.
The real bonus on O’Connell St I think will be the cafes in the central median. I know it will probably cost about â‚¬25 for a cup of coffee, but it’s good to dream!!!!
January 19, 2004 at 7:34 pm #728061
Here’s an excerpt from a project I’m working on for a certain un-named (!) organisation, recommending improvments for Dame Street.
January 19, 2004 at 10:29 pm #728062
Royston Goes Missing (rte)
(21:17) “Opposition Dublin City Council members have criticised the Lord Mayor, Royston Brady, for not attending a City Council meeting tonight after describing the councillors as clowns.
In a newspaper article at the weekend, the Lord Mayor also described the councillors as ‘pathetic’ and ‘a waste of space’.
A Fianna FÃ¡il spokesperson said Councillor Brady was at a pre-arranged function tonight.
The Fine Gael group leader, Ruairi McGinley, said his comments had gone ‘beyond a joke’.”
I remember this guy now, laying into Tom Phillips at the Smithfield enquiry. Such parochial politics you wouldn’t get out of Jackie Healy Rae.
‘It will block my constituents light and so on’ he knew even less then than he knows now
Dame St and the magnicient City Hall really are crying out for something like O’Connell St. Only planned and executed on a much more efficient timescale.
January 19, 2004 at 10:30 pm #728063
Graham, i’ll never forget the Liffey.. not the smell anyway 😉
This is all very interesting, why aren’t you the people who are actually working for the planning council? Do they have a suggestion box? Or one that they reads anyway?
if they dont have one, make them one. One of the impressions I got from Irish people — a generalisation, mind you — is that they are indeed people with strong views and morals, but they’d much rather talk amongst themselves rather than to the correct “authority”. I imagine there would be a reason behind it; years of repression etc, not having been allowed to speak up … catholic priests … ??
Again, sorry I keep getting off track… maybe i’m best kept at http://www.amature_pshycology.com… sorry!
January 20, 2004 at 9:17 am #728064shadowParticipant
“a certain un-named (!) organisation” = An Taisce
You be careful about the presence of hidden code in the properties of any document you place on the web.
January 20, 2004 at 11:47 am #728065
I have often noticed traffic on Dame St veering drunkenly all over the place. Getting it into two or three very neat lanes would free up a significant amount of pedestrian space.
January 20, 2004 at 12:00 pm #728066
I wonder could the Port Tunnel remove some much traffic that the south facing north quay could be reclaimed and pedestrianised, making the south quay two way.
Think I should get a coffee and stop day dreaming.
January 20, 2004 at 12:14 pm #728067
It won’t remove enough traffic to achieve that. I take my coffee breaks in Bar Italia on the quays, and although taking the trucks out of the equation will ease the traffic, there is still a huge amount of cars and buses. Many buses stop on the quays… if the traffic was all on a two-way southern bank, one bus stopping at a bus stop would cause chaos. The quays aren’t wide enough.
January 20, 2004 at 12:23 pm #728068
The Quays aren’t wide enough to close, but they are wide enough to accomodate more car traffic that is currently using other routes.
One thing that has always occured to me as crazy, are the number of Dublin buses parked between Burgh Quay and Wellington Quay. Not picking up passengers but doing the ‘tachograph’ 45 minute rest periods. If these were ‘rested’ elsewhere and the trucks go via the port tunnel, it would be possible to accomodate all car traffic from Dame St along this Route.
Thus facilitating the closure of Dame St to all traffic except a reduced number of buses and Taxis requiring half the space.
Then you could have what O’Connell St is about to become a Street with dramatically reduced traffic flows and much wider pedestrian spaces. The closure of Dame St to cars would facilitate an extenion of this to Westmoreland St giving a continuos Boulevard from Parnell Sq to City Hall.
The only changes required would be no right turns to be introduced at Trinity College and Christchurch.
January 20, 2004 at 12:49 pm #728069
I know it wouldn’t be easy but maybe sometime in the future when our public transport system is the envy of the rest of the world and cars are banished from the city centre it might happen.
… I really should get that coffee!! 😉
I’m just thinking of the long game. But I agree with Diaspora and others Dame St Westmoreland St should be first on the list. Just imagine College Green if it was traffic free it would be fantastic. Imagine sitting there having a coffee surrounded by Bank of Ireland, Trinity, etc it would be cool.
At the moment itâ€™s so difficult to get from Grafton St to O’Connell St/Henry St by foot. The pavements are just too small for the footfall and itâ€™s off-putting battling with others on this route. Pedestrianise this route and we’d have an amazing city centre area that is actually enjoyable to walk around in.
January 20, 2004 at 12:57 pm #728070
I’m not so sure that you could banish traffic completely from College Green.
I think if you kept the D’olier St-College St-Lower Grafton St-Nassau St route open in tandem with Pearse St, that traffic flows would be protected.
While giving Dame St and the upper end of College green back to the pedestrian.
It would really only involve a diversion of the existing flows going West via Wellington Quay and Parliment St. The flows East via Wine Tavern St and Ormond Quay.
A pretty small adjustment in real terms. 😉
January 20, 2004 at 1:03 pm #728071
Agreed, it would be a start and anything is better than the present situation.
January 20, 2004 at 1:04 pm #728072
there’s a strong aroma of whacky baccy around here 😉
January 20, 2004 at 1:06 pm #728073
I thought it was buses that normally got stoned?
January 20, 2004 at 1:09 pm #728074
Traffic fume induced I’m affaid.
January 20, 2004 at 1:55 pm #728075
i don’t think total pedestrianization is always good, while it works for busy shopping streets, it can take the life out of a place, lots of towns in the se of england give examples of this, i amn’t even sure that the trafalga sq pedestrianization has worked, it is good for the gallery, but to my mind it diminishes the square. sometimes the best thing is to have one lane of well behaved, read suffering, traffice. the rambla in barcelona is a good model here. i think college green would be fabulous with much reduced traffice, but i amn’t sure total pedestrianization would be as good, even if it were possible.
January 20, 2004 at 2:03 pm #728076
I wasn’t total pedestrianisation I was advocating. Simply three measures.
1. The elimination of the right turn at Trinity College for cars/vans/trucks
2. The same ban on entry to Lord Edward St for cars/vans/Trucks
3. Moving the taxi rank from College green to westmoreland St.
These three measures would free up sufficient space to place a central median on Dame St/College green, similar in size to thatproposed for O’Connell St.
Giving space for cafes and urban art/statues etc.
It would make the city a little more user freindly. I know it is not as simple as that, but it does merit examination.
January 20, 2004 at 2:40 pm #728077
”un-named (!) organisation” was a just reference to feelings expressed towards an taisce on another recent thread. I wasn’t really trying to conceal an t.
January 20, 2004 at 3:07 pm #728078
Interesting comments about traffic in the city centre.
This is why the decision to terminate Luas line A at Stephen’s Gn was so disastrous, rather than the original plan to bring it down Dawson St, through College Gn and on to link with Line B at O’C St. The government just caved in to the vested interests of the AA, IBEC etc. back in ’98, who couldn’t contemplate losing an inch of roadspace in the city centre. And Garret Fitzgerald and his newspaper articles didn’t help either.
The original plan would have given the much reduced traffic priority on College Gn that notjim talks about, and given the city centre a civilised and continental feel. Instead we’ve just got the noise, fumes and brutality of heavy traffic domination. Really annoys me!
January 20, 2004 at 3:17 pm #728079
January 20, 2004 at 6:32 pm #728080
Yes I remember the ’98 debacle well. Mam O’Rourke and Mary Harney et al caved in to the shopkeepers and toffs on Dawson Street and College Green.
We now have two luas lines that meet nowhere!
January 21, 2004 at 9:41 am #728081
Completing line B would make it viable if the proposed Ranelagh-Airport metro line were built – the tram would go from Ranelagh to O’Connell St., which is about three miles or so. As it is, if that metro line takes over line B south of Ranelagh, the digging up of Harcourt St. has been mostly in vain.
Incidentally, I have read that EU law prevents dual running of trams and heavy-rail trains on the same track – is this correct? A tram is, after all, still a train.
January 21, 2004 at 9:50 am #728082JJParticipant
I visited Newcastle last year where the Metro shares track with heavy rail on a new extension to Sunderland. Theres also shared track in several cities in Germany. No EU rules against it but I think rail safety issues can be a problem.
For my money Line B will never be upgraded but theres a fair chance that the link to Line A will be built. Its removal was a very spineless decision from the cabinet at the time.
What happened to Mr Brennans decision about Metro by Christmas. Maybe he’s too busy with Aer Rianta and CIE!
January 21, 2004 at 10:14 am #728083
I would imagine when Luas is opened there will be calls for the linking of Lines B and A.
They will go back to the original 1996 proposal and hey presto the Dept of Finance will give it the ok.
RIP metro, on costs grounds!
January 21, 2004 at 10:21 am #728084
Andrew is right,
The only option for Luas now is to go underground from Ranelagh and all the hassle on Harcourt St was really only a short term solution.
This really is a pity because Luas at ground level through College Green really would have added an ambience to the City.
To compensate for the loss of this, something will need to be done to further enhance the visual in the College Green through Westmoreland St to O’Connell St.
January 21, 2004 at 11:59 am #728085
Luas will never be able to use the heavy rail tracks so even if the EU bans such practice it doesn’t apply here. We have the honour of having a completely non-standard rail gauge across the country. We can thanks our nieghbours across the Irish Sea for that one. This is one reason why it’s no so straight forward for CIE to do upgrades to the rolling stock – everything has to be custom made and commissioned. Bearing this in mind Luas was designed to a european standard gague (which means ease of new rolling stock – but incompatible with exisiting railways)
January 21, 2004 at 1:20 pm #728086
When the Govt ditched the plans for A/C link they did so in the hope that when the current lines opened, there would be immediate calls for the link as a result of the success of Luas.
Metro has thrown this out the window – I agree it should go underground from Ranelagh – even if it means digging up part of O’ Connell St for a station.
I was looking at some pics of O’ Cll St & Bridge from around 1980 – it’s quite extraordinary how much cleaner the buildings were then compared with now, it’s most noticable on the 1920s terrace from Eden Quay to Abbey St, including the Irish Permenent corner bldg.
All of the stonework has accumulated so much dirt in the intervening 25 years or so.
Even the GPO which was cleaned in 1984 is manky – compare it with the Custom House cleaned 4 years later – although I appreciate it is built of whiter Portland stone.
Also the balustrading on the bridge is bone white in colour and sparkling clean – such a contrast with today, I don’t think it’s been touched since.
The removal of the HGVs from the quays should help a lot on reducing the dirt and dust in the air, when walking along the quays for a few minutes you can feel and taste the dirt in your mouth – don’t know if anyone else has noticed this!
Alos the elimination of smoky coal a couple of years back should also help cleaniness into the future in a big way
January 21, 2004 at 2:02 pm #728087
The last Georgian house on the street is to be finally restored.
A planning application in the window of the doorcase of the house, erected about 10 weeks ago, indiates the owners of the Royal Dublin Hotel wish to change it’s use for offices.
Changes include the strengthening of the floors and the removal of a concrete stairs to the basement with a wooden version to ‘historic detail’.
The sashes to the rear are also to be restored to ‘historic detail’ as are other features.
Interestingly they also intend to remove 20th century additions to the rear and replace them with an original garden – whether this will also be ‘to historic detail’ is unclear.
A 19th century mews building called Moore Hall is to be restored and significantly extended by building on top of it – again for office use.
There is no mention of plans to restore the damaged doorcase or public access issues.
Perhaps these are included in the overall plans.
I think the IAP stipulates that tax incentives designated to this property will only be offered if public access is granted.
Is the reception room on the ground floor currently being used by the hotel as a public space? I’ve never gone inside to find out…
January 21, 2004 at 6:52 pm #728088
Yes, the ground floor is “the Georgian Room” of the Hotel. You can tell by the tart’s knickers curtains in the window.
January 21, 2004 at 8:29 pm #728089
Are you sure it isn’t the Hideous in Harlods cross post you were talking about?
January 22, 2004 at 6:53 pm #728090
To get any grants for the restoration of property under section 482 of the 1997 Finance act you must open your property to the public on 60 days per year.
Including 45 days between the 1st of May and the 30th of September. You must also inform the local tourist board on which days you intend to open.
After a period of five years you no longer are required to open the property for public admission, you may at all times charge a reasonable admission fee generally in the â‚¬3-10Euro range.
January 23, 2004 at 11:28 am #728091
Re: The Closing of Dame St yesterday
Yesterday the changes spoken of on Tuesday happened, the cities traffic functioned and the only unhappy people were the retailers who were not consulted.
It will be interesting to see the traffic levels on other work days when the Castle is in a similar use, and Dame St is closed again.
January 23, 2004 at 11:34 am #728092
But did they close all of Dame Street or just the portion from the bottom of Georges Street upwards….
January 23, 2004 at 11:38 am #728093
They only closed from Georges St up
But with the no right turn at the bottom of Georges St and the small flows that go up Georges St from Dame St.
It would be pretty close in volume terms to preventing cars using the Street between College Green and Parliment St.
I think that after more of these meetings have taken place the situation will become clearer.
But so far so good
January 23, 2004 at 11:51 am #728094SueParticipant
Cars were allowed to turn right at the end of George’s Street. The turn ban was waived for the day…
Retailers, though, I ask you. ALWAYS groaning about something. Middle Abbey Street looks great now with its completed Luas lines. And all the whingeing shopkeepers are about to make millions from having hundreds of Luas passengers disgorged on their doorsteps. Will they say “Thank you?” Will they f***!
January 23, 2004 at 12:22 pm #728095
Well in this case the traders in Cow lane kinda had a point… the GardaÃ were INTERVIEWING people who wished to walk through Cow lane (at either end) so obviously people were intimidated into not going near that area.
January 23, 2004 at 3:00 pm #728096dc3Participant
They also closed Merrion Street later on, diverting buses any which way with no warning. A 50% longer bus commute last evening and shoals of passengers left at the bus stops
January 23, 2004 at 3:04 pm #728097
I think this thread should be called the lack of Co-ordination thread.
It is just one example after the other of un-cordinated solo runs by our various public institutions.
February 2, 2004 at 12:53 pm #728098
While reading the letters page of that great achedemic journal the Southside people I discovered that our Royston has sat on the O’Connell St Committee of the Corporation since 1999.
He is right at least one of them is a muppet and a waste of space
February 4, 2004 at 8:31 pm #728099
February 5, 2004 at 7:30 pm #728100
Sorry, there’s a great pic of the Spike and the GPO on the site if you click around a bit on it.
February 5, 2004 at 7:35 pm #728101
February 6, 2004 at 9:55 am #728102
Here’s a good one of the Spire (pre light break down ….ie when it had a white light adorning the top, unlike the cheap regular sodium street light yoke at the mo)
February 6, 2004 at 10:14 am #728103AnonymousInactive
Does anyone know what the story is with the lights half way up. Is it some sort of aviation regulation? I think they break the simple form of the spire a bit.
February 6, 2004 at 10:53 am #728104
Are thoes photos taken using filters or is it down to the development that the colours are so rich esp. the sky is so blue?
February 6, 2004 at 11:04 am #728105
Natural autumnal dusky light!
Although Barry Mason’s look kinda synthetic, almost as if they were reproduced in 3D Max..aka hence the kinda super realism, almost plastic synthetic CGI effect!
(in a Chuck Close kinda way)
February 6, 2004 at 11:32 am #728106
Ahhh ….. forgot what a computer can do.
February 6, 2004 at 7:05 pm #728107
The Custom House is now my desktop wallpaper – how cliched.
I think previous criticisms of the building’s floodlighting are more than justified looking at this pic, indeed it would appear that only the end pavilions are lit – and way too bright. And just look at that dome…
The light mid-way up the Spike is a regulatory feature – and unlike the old beacon at the top, I don’t think anyone has actually found out what it’s for.
February 6, 2004 at 7:16 pm #728108
It looks like the lighting at the tip of the Spire will have to be re thought … the current temporary measure is pretty awful … I quite liked the led’s but think we can do better …
Any ideas on what can or should be done ???
I thought a single slender white beam (as strong as possible) pointing sky wards from the tip might be an idea , although this would probably involve some modification to the tip …
February 6, 2004 at 7:46 pm #728109
Those people there should have put their hands underneath the railing – they could be one of the small few to claim they touched the top of the Spire!
February 17, 2004 at 1:27 pm #728110
The view from outside Penneys towards the GPO is quite bizarre at the moment, with the six columns landing down into a load of muck.
So weird seeing the building out of its urban setting, just shows what a construct cities really are, built on what were just fields and grass not too long ago.
February 17, 2004 at 2:03 pm #728111
I was walking home at about 3 in the morning when the top section was lying on the ground. A crowd of girls pleaded with the security guard and he lifted the fence and let us crawl under to touch the tip! We were all so euphoric afterwards I remember even though we didn’t know each other! Could have been the drink I suppose!
February 17, 2004 at 2:08 pm #728112
The lights on the tip are pretty second rate, but wouldn’t look so bad if the rest of the Spike was floodlit. If it was in any other country, a couple of spotlights would be trained on it and it would look great.
Wasn’t it originally planned to be floodlit?
On the lights half-way up; I thought they were also aviation warning lights…
They look crap, too…:rolleyes:
February 17, 2004 at 2:11 pm #728113
I’d suspect they plan to floodlight as part of the general O’Connell St upgrade and will compleate it sometime in the near future!
February 17, 2004 at 2:29 pm #728114
I agree. I would imagine once the plaza section is complete they will tackle the Spire. Its just such a scandal that such a new feature should require such snag work. Between floodlighting, cleaning and the tip lights.
Elsewhere on the street. what do you make of the new groups of tree which have been planted. I like them although it looks as if the project team are moving away from the boulevard style planting of the original design no? And the side paving seems to have very little provision for trees. There are 200 new trees to be planted as part of the whole scheme.
Also I have always wondering what the iron ‘bollards’ were for at the base of the GPO collumns. Anyone enlighten me.
I saw you thread about the freize on the GPO Graham. I seem to remeber a story in the mid/late 80s regarding the removal of a freize from either the GPO or the Bank of Ireland. The usual bunf about symbols of oppression if I am correct was mentioned. I know both were cleaned up for the 1988 Millennium. Jog anyones memory?
February 17, 2004 at 4:38 pm #728115
All I know is that the cornice was replaced in the late 80s, along with the blank frieze underneath, which is why that upper part of the building is so clean and crisp in comparision with the rest.
Still don’t know about the coat of arms though.
The bollards are original to the building, and rather charmingly, are individually listed on the protected structures list. Presumably their purpose was to protect the columns from carriage wheels, with the tall corner ones protecting the corner columns from crashes, which were very common. You can see their foundations exposed at the moment.
One confusing aspect about them is that in a picture from 1818, the year the GPO was finished, they are missing. In the same pic, tall oil lamps are attached to the railings surrounding the building.
In another pic of exactly the same scene, also from 1818, the bollards are evident and all of the lamps have been replaced with big lanterns hanging from curly brackets; these lanterns are also evident in much later paintings and sketches.
Perhaps the building wasn’t finished when the first painting was painted and the artist presumed that the proposed lanterns would be the standard oil-lamps evident all over the city, and the bollards hadn’t yet been installed.
I’ve always really liked them, esp the ridges or fluting on them. The House of Lords portico has two small granite bollards, one at each corner.
The Spire will be lit eventually, perhaps it is best it’s in darkness at the moment because it’s really filthy now.
Where are the latest trees Stephen, I read about them but havn’t seen them on the street, are they behind O’ Connell Monument behind the fencing there or something?
February 18, 2004 at 2:44 pm #728116
Check out the trees between the Larkin statue and Abbey St. There are tow groups of 6 trees (birch and rowan I think) and they are installing uplights today. It will look quite good at night but its certainly very different from what I expected.
Interesting peice by Frank McDonald in the Times Property last week regarding the thnking behind the lastest Draft Development Plan (have you all made your submissions!). Planner were discussing the devlopment of PArnell Sq and the possible removal of the GArden of Remembrance (‘a dead space’) and the building up of the 3 inner sides of the square. Interesting idea…cant see it getting by the FF and SF councillors though. But it begs the question: where would be a suitable location for the Children of Lir monument (has to be one of my favs). I am proposing on the site of the current Father Mathew statue on O’Connell St, perhaps with a fountain. Thoughts anyone?
February 18, 2004 at 2:50 pm #728117
Forgot to mention that Dublin Bus’ new shopfront has been unveiled, it looks great – clad in limestone. (Not that I don’t think the building should be replaced with a building in the style of those in the terrace)
The stone or concrete surround of the building is being removed at the moment, and most extraordinarily – it would appear the original brick walls of the Georgian townhouses on the site are the retaining walls of the new building!
The removal of the cladding has revealed old brickwork, and it’s not that of the neighbouring buildings.
It’s as if the facades of thetwo houses were removed and the horrible 60s windows simply slotted into place!
February 18, 2004 at 2:51 pm #728118jupiterParticipant
That would be great if parnell sq was to be revitalised, its a tragedy such a huge and potentially important space is so neglected. However, I would be suspicous of plans to build on it, would it not be better as a badly needed green space on the concrete jungle of the north inner city, sort of contemporary stephens green, but more open etc. WE Need more tREES!! Could not the statue of the children of lir be reintegrated , with a contemporary open space??rather than moving it and causing a furore.Where could one see a copy of the new draft development plan??
February 18, 2004 at 4:38 pm #728119
Stephen C …I think the statue of Kelly’s Children of Lir would be far too large to have on O’Connell Street.
Perhaps if it is removed it will end up with the Floozy….aka Anna Livia fountain.
February 18, 2004 at 5:02 pm #728120
It’s as if the facades of thetwo houses were removed and the horrible 60s windows simply slotted into place!
I thought that is what had happened – just a new facade stuck onto the old buildings
February 18, 2004 at 6:36 pm #728121
I’m pretty sure those fluted iron bollards at the ends of the GPO potico were the bases of lamp standards, which are seen in some early prints, and some very early photos too. The upper parts were removed a long, long time ago – maybe around 1870.
In that piece by Frank McD last week the DCC planner was saying how wonderful the new Roches Stores building was and that it combines very well with the Spire. And it does. When you stand near the Ilac entrance the conjunction of the Spire and the new Roches facade is very good.
BUT, from further back, the picture isn’t so pretty. The new Roches building has a ‘feature roof’ which projects several feet beyond the Henry St streetline. If you stand at the western end of Mary St, this roof cuts unfortunately into what should be a clean channel view to the Spire. Annoying!
February 18, 2004 at 7:54 pm #728122
Have you noticed that a new pub has opened in the former AIB building on the junction with Abbey St.?
I also noticed a planning application for a new pub (well they say cafe/bar!!) in the old Man U shop on D’Olier/ Westmoreland St.
What with the existing bar on the corner here (Redz! – Yrrrggghh!) and that new pub beside Wolfe Tone Pk at Jervis St I think this proliferation of new pubs is reaching epidemic proportions!!
February 18, 2004 at 8:12 pm #728123
Quote “Have you noticed that a new pub has opened in the former AIB building on the junction with Abbey St.?”
So Louis Fitzgerald eventually got it finished.
Fair play and also fair play with the former AIB on Dame St ‘The Bankers is great too’.
Victorian Banking halls really make great Bar/Restaruants. The pomp and ceromony of the Victorian commercial architecture is really conducive to the licenced trade.
Is it really true that the former TSB at the end of Grafton St is about to become a Spar?
That really would surprise me if an owner was that unambitious in what is a pivotal property.
February 19, 2004 at 11:34 am #728124
It was a Spar even before the restoration!
Now that you mention the lamp standards Devin on the GPO bollards, I do remember seeing a print years ago with them featured.
So I’ve scouted around and found a pic of them here:
No doubt the large bases still served a defensive purpose, as any lamposts of the age were slender and elegant, a far cry from these cumbersome lumps!
February 19, 2004 at 11:40 am #728125
February 19, 2004 at 11:47 am #728126
Graham the Spar is next door to the bank and still open…
February 19, 2004 at 11:58 am #728127
Ah – so moving to a bigger premises to cram in even more over-priced goods…
February 19, 2004 at 12:04 pm #728128
The Spar on Wexford St has become a Mace to give the ‘better’ franchise to the new Spar on Camden St. The one in the former Irish Nationwide building that was a large department store at one stage.
That is about the best Spar I’ve seen (not that it is difficult to be the best Spar) and bears many simularities with the design of the Dunnes on Georges St. 🙂
February 19, 2004 at 1:00 pm #728129
And I see there is going to be a new ‘Centra’ next to wher Little Ceasers is being put (into Daly’s clubhouse! opportunity missed I think) on College Green. Pretty soon every shop in Dublin will be a multiple – Spar, Centra and Mace all with high prices, bad wine, minimum wages and a shed-load of porn on the top shelf. Boo to that I say!
Oh and I believe from the planning application that it is the aforementioned Redz that will extend into the former Man U shop. Crapola – another superpub, just what we need
February 20, 2004 at 10:58 am #728130
Yeah O’Connell Street always looks so stately in old prints.
Thanks Graham for reminding me to take a photo of the earth and foundations of bollards and columns in front of the GPO portico before it’s paved over. That sight won’t be had for long time to come!
February 20, 2004 at 8:26 pm #728131
Until NTL come along!
One of the small bollards has been taken up, it’s lying on its side on the kerb.
The first of the side pavement trees are going in now, nothing spectacular in their leafless state. I think they’re planes.
Why are London Planes so called? Are there other examples of these trees currently going in, fully grown elsewhere in the city?
Are there such things as Irish planes?
Don’t know what to make of the new trees on the central median, they’re being planted quite symmetrically but the different species may end up looking messy with fully grown canopies. Does anyone know what the tall wispy ones in the middle are with the white trunks?
Clearly the double row of lime trees on the median is out the window now – although in the IAP it was always intended to plant different species, it just didn’t specify in this way.
The smaller crab apples on the median should look spectacular if they are the flowering variety; a neighbour has one that’s a little bigger and it looks fantastic in early summer.
Whatever about the median, it is essential that the pavement trees are consistant the whole way down to unify the street and create perspective, at least the IAP acknowledges this as being necessary too.
To be cynical – maybe the CC balked at the idea of clipping 100 limes into boxes every year?
March 2, 2004 at 1:06 pm #728132
March 2, 2004 at 9:06 pm #728133
Should be an interesting situation…
But great progress is being made, it’s clear the whole paving process has been speeded up hugely in light of recent criticisims in the papers etc.
For example the whole pavement spanning the length of the GPO was dug up, cleared and sand levelled in just 3 days last week, including all the mess involved in diverting pedestrians. The speed is evident in other areas too, whatever about the lack of work or otherwise at weekends.
As of Monday, some sort of matting material is being laid over the sand underneath the portico – called ‘Sealosheet’ or something – anyone know what it is? Weird it’s just being laid under this paving.
And you can really see now what it’s going to be like walking past the outside of the columns for the first time in a century, as pedestrians are diverted this way now.
At last the columns appear not as a wall or screen curtailed by the road, rather you can now appreciate them individually as architectural features, with space in front, behind and to the sides – ‘breathing room’ as it were. Their scale is very impressive also, something one could rarely acknowledge previously, squeezing through behind along with 50 other people.
More trees are going onto the central median now – and at the crossing with Abbey St you can see the provisions made for the new lighting of the central median, possibly the tall carrigeway lamps – although I think these may be going along the side pavements.
Things are happening!
March 3, 2004 at 11:16 am #728134AnonymousInactive
Walking in front of the columns for the first time in a century? More like for the first time in 2 years!
Do you not remember or where you not here about 2 years ago a pavement placed in front of the GPO for all of 1 month or so. This paved area in front of the GPO portico was put in place and then taken away within 2 months later when work on the Spike started.
Obviously it was only planned to have that short a life span! But seriously, I was bewildered at the time as to what the hell was happening – back-handers perhaps? Or just complete ineptitude?
March 3, 2004 at 2:10 pm #728135
This pavement is often mentioned – I don’t remember it at all!
Was it directly in front, or on the median – I do remember a large expanse of tarmac that was laid, attached onto the median which narrowed the roadway to two lanes.
March 3, 2004 at 5:59 pm #728136AnonymousInactive
This pavement was made up on concrete flagstones (if i remember correctly). Certainly it didn’t look to be made of material of a quality as temporary as to match the life span of the actual pavement itself.
I was directly in front of the GPO portico – not part of the central median.
March 3, 2004 at 6:29 pm #728137
I remember it too, it was like a patio someone might have at the back of a bungalow. It seemed very out of place.
March 3, 2004 at 7:07 pm #728138
I believe that they were testing the roadworthiness of a section of the paving!
I remember reading something about it at the time!!
March 3, 2004 at 8:22 pm #728139
the section of paving was laid to create a platform etc. for the President / Taoiseach and other big wigs to stand as the remains of Kevin Barry etc. and the accompanying military parade passed down O’Connell street …
Remember ?? thought it was fairly extravagant myself to see it being pulled up a couple of weeks later.
March 4, 2004 at 4:41 am #728140
That piece of paving from 2 yrs ago was made of poured concrete – no slabs or anything.
I thought it was put down as a gesture to the people, because the permanent paving work was taking so long to commence – or as a space test, to see how traffic would cope with only 2 lanes.
But maybe you’re right about the military parade Peter F.
March 4, 2004 at 7:06 pm #728141
Lots of new trees planted today… all the boxed limes along the opposite side from the GPO have been planted. They look great.
The street will be a bit of a state for St Patricks Parade though. I can see all the paving at the GPO being finished but other areas of the street will look patchy. It was a bad idea not to reroute in my opinion. Having said that all our major setpiece ‘civic spaces are under construction. St Stephen Green, Smithfield, O’Connell St. Seems like the devil you do the devil you don’t.
March 11, 2004 at 11:51 am #728142
The trees look really good, it would also appear that accommodation is being made for a sunken light at either side of each tree.
On the median the sunken lights are all ready in, they’re only in the treed areas though. Also the main carriageway lamps are going along the side pavement edges rather than the median.
The paving beneath the portico of the GPO is finished, with a strip of the pink granite filling in the gaps between the columns that I’m hmmming about…
Also found out that a Super Valu convenience store is moving into the Eircom building at the northern end. You’d despair, you really would…
March 11, 2004 at 12:14 pm #728143
How the f*** are Super Value allowed to move there I thought there was going to be some sort of restriction on who and what appears on the street from now on.
Super Value is hardly going to give the street the “Champs Elyses” feel the DCC is after.
That just makes my blood boil. 😡
March 11, 2004 at 12:14 pm #728144AnonymousInactive
Originally posted by Graham Hickey
Also found out that a Super Valu convenience store is moving into the Eircom building at the northern end. You’d despair, you really would…
Graham, I often think that the success of these sorts of areas is about the flows of people between different sections of the street. If a convenience store causes people to use the area, so be it, there is no real problem!
March 11, 2004 at 12:30 pm #728145
I don’t think O’Connell Street needs another gaudy convenience store to encourage people to that area. Itâ€™s got enough pedestrian activity especially at the time the shop is going to be open.
What would make more sense is if the Abbey does move to the Carlton Cinema and the area may become the theatrical area of the city it would keep this area buzzing at night.
The streets needs a bit of class, I think if the rumours of Harvey Nicks moving to the street were true it would be a great. An anchor store like HN would in turn attract other better quality shops and restaurants.
March 11, 2004 at 12:40 pm #728146AnonymousInactive
Originally posted by blue
The streets needs a bit of class, I think if the rumours of Harvey Nicks moving to the street were true it would be a great. An anchor store like HN would in turn attract other better quality shops and restaurants.
I fully agree with you about the Abbey, but if there were only certain types of shops allowed on the street it would have the effect of the street becoming an exclusive shopping district as opposed to ‘the mainstreet of the nation’.
March 11, 2004 at 12:54 pm #728147
Well I do agree with you there, thatâ€™s not what anyone wants but I think the opening of a large exclusive shop on the street would have the knock on effect of other less exclusive shops etc moving there.
For example I don’t shop in BT on Grafton Street but there are plenty of less exclusive shops on the street that I do shop in.
Its the capitals main street it should have a certain amount of exclusiveness and this will in turn attract less exclusive shops etc. that are better quality to whatâ€™s there at the moment.
March 11, 2004 at 1:48 pm #728148
Im not sure why we cant have our cake and eat it on O’Connell St. There is plenty of space for a new Abbey AND a shopping mall. Simply turf the Fingal crowd out an redevelop the old County Council Offices in addition to the Carlton site (if ever there was a building identifiable with so many bad things its this one).
Curoius this new Super Valu store. Just how many convenience stores can a city centre support. There is a new Spar opening at Chapter House on Abbey St and Musgrave’s new flagship store is opening soon in the old Virgin building (nice elabotrate windows here by the way).
I supose to dedpends on the type of development but its a bit depressing that this seems to be the only type of shop the street can attract.
Had an interesting presentation from the Project Manager of the IAP last week. The CC have no powers to compel traders to lerave the street (fast food, amusement arcades etc) but can only hope that through the imporvements (which are to continue for another 3 years!!!) more high calibre names will want to move to teh street and the undesiriables will sell up and move on. A bit tame eh!
March 11, 2004 at 1:49 pm #728149
Another thing… so far we have Harvey Nicks in O’Connell St… the old Bank of Ireland College Green and the new Gaiety Centre on South Kings Street!!
March 11, 2004 at 2:42 pm #728150
New SPARS are popping up all over the city centre too!
I spotted the tell tale ‘New SPAR opening here soon’ (Groan!) signs on Talbot St, Parnell St and Abbey St (opposite Jervis)!
I’m sure there are lots more too!
March 11, 2004 at 2:59 pm #728151
Just how many convenience stores can a city centre support.
Exactly, it’s just unbelievably.
It’s the SPARIFICATION of the city.
SPARville as it will soon be known.
March 11, 2004 at 3:58 pm #728152
Super Valu, Centra, and Musgraves are the same company (i.e. Musgraves) so if anyone knows about market saturation in a particular area…
This shop wont be a Super Valu per se. I think they want to model it the lovely Dunnes’ on Georges St and N Earl St… so a classy shop in an area in dire need of something to attract some punters.
March 11, 2004 at 9:39 pm #728153
Of course this is the key to it all, a decent, well-designed store with a broad range of produce would be welcome – rather than a place with a standardised factory churned-out bland interior, limited stock and general poor quality environment.
The description of ‘conveniece store’ isn’t encouraging, but then again, they’d hardly call it a supermarket either. Is there a demand though for such quality at the top end of O’ Cll St, joining with Parnell St of all places?
I was passing the other day and that area was crammed with mothers with buggies screaming at each other, hoards of kids queueing for the Savoy, and the place littered with rubbish; it’s gonna be hard to change…
Did someone mention way back that the whole Eircom building is to be refaced?
I saw the new Spar on Talbot St too – all you can do is laugh.
March 11, 2004 at 9:43 pm #728154
(and not go in)
March 12, 2004 at 10:49 am #728155AnonymousInactive
I’ve seen the name Harvey Nichols mentioned all over the noticeboards – why this need for a upper-class English store to underpin a regeneration of what is hoped will be the main street of the nation?
March 12, 2004 at 10:58 am #728156
Well I don’t see any Irish ones stepping up to do it! I would prefer and Irish store but its just not going to happen.
Whats wrong with a foreign store on the main street anyway or is it just because its English?
March 12, 2004 at 1:01 pm #728157AnonymousInactive
In part, yes it is because its English. It would be nice to see some variety in the retail choice and so, I would welcome some continental department store sooner than another English store – don’t we have enough with the Jervis centre?
I personally wouldn’t like to see the Irish High street a carbon copy of the English High street.
I would also question the repetition of the name Harvey Nichols when it comes to Dubln city centre regeneration – sure what have they got to do with here?
And if Irish department stores aren’t queuing up to locate onto O’Connell St. – well for one, that’s been understandable up to now. But if the DCC manage to pull off a fairly decent street after all this work, maybe we should begin asking why Irish department stores won’t relocate there rather than invite in an English store the first chance we get.
March 12, 2004 at 1:29 pm #728158
I agree with you, variety is the spice of life after all and we don’t want a carbon copy of Oxford St or any other English high street. However Harvey Nicks is hardly on every street corner in the UK and we already have Clearys, Eason and Pennys on this street so I don’t think it would end up a carbon copy. I just want to see the street restored to its former glory and if that means a large English department store leading the way I have no problems with that.
The entrance of UK retailers into the Irish market can only be seen as positive, offering the consumer more choice and VARIETY. The much-berated Jervis St Centre is a fine example of this and also how a shopping centre should be run. Irish shopping centres where second rate, in my opinion, until arrival of competition.
What will probably happen is a new shopping centre will eventually be built on the Carlton cinema site and this will have the necessary draw to get people into the north end of the street and in turn hopefully raise the quality of the surrounding establishments.
March 12, 2004 at 3:02 pm #728159
Anyone got any old photos of the Findlaters shop which used to occupy the Eircom spot?
March 12, 2004 at 3:08 pm #728160
Sorry forgot to add:
Bill Cullen worked as a paper/delivery boy in Findlaters before moving onto his successful car dealership career (I seem to remember from his autobiography!)
It can’t be closed all that long!
March 12, 2004 at 8:28 pm #728161
Think it was knocked in 1969 or 70. I’ve never seen a pic either, or a decent one of Gilbeys for that matter.
With regard to department stores, unfortunately there simply aren’t any Irish ones, save Clerys, Arnotts and Roches(ish) – all of which are now well established in their locations. Looking abroad is the only option.
A continental store would be preferable, and considering Harvey Norman’s ease of move here – all be they used to it – it can’t be that difficult for a non-British store to come to Dublin.
Although – condsidering Arnotts commandering programme, it won’t be long before they reach O’ Cll St anyway!
The street is so lucky to have Clerys, it really isn’t pointed out enough, both in terms of the institution and the building itself.
It’s entrance doors are just magnificent, it’s remarkable they’ve survived. Also great are the bronze display windows, and the windows above ground floor which have fanastic profiles and detailing, as well as the many brass name plates at ground floor level.
And there’s some much unnoticed beautiful stone carving too, comprising heads and wreaths, at the join with the first floor.
The fact that it’s an Irish business, and an old one at that, is possibly the best aspect to it, and that it’s surviving in what is now a hugely international industry. And whereas its ground floor is now very international in produce, the upper floors are remaining distictively Irish (and affordable), selling flowery curtains and all that malarkey.
It’s so bizarre at the moment, going up the escalators, passing through the grand columned ground and first floors, and suddenly landing back in 1976 on the 2nd floor, with the suspended ceilings, flouresent tubes and brown carpets!
The renovations thus far have been meticulous, with the one exception of the ceilings on the ground floor, where the new suspended panels with new lighting are a bit too wide, concealing too easily the original plasterwork – that ridge-and-ribbon design – so typical of the 1910s & 20s.
March 15, 2004 at 10:50 pm #728162
Super Value on O’Connell Street is not necessarily a bad thing. It is fitting considering the History of the site that it returns to selling groceries.
As for Clerys, does anyone know that Mary Guiney, Chairwoman of Clerys, is 102 and possibly the oldest proprietor of any company in the world (certainly the oldest woman?) It makes Clerys unique in more than one respect. I read somewhere that someone called the store ‘Irelands answer to Selfridges’. Certainly it has similarities, but the building is more elegant and refined than its overpowering London counterpart. If anyone has been at both stores, the similarities and the differences are quite startling.
March 16, 2004 at 9:45 am #728163
Good on ye Mary Guiney!…..any relation to Michael down Talbot Street?
As O’Connell Street is starting to take shape and look great is’nt it only a pity that it’s not finished or even half finished for St Partick’s day tomorrow and especially as we hold the Presidency of the EU at the mo. Could have been a showpiece for the city and country…..alas not, but remains a building site!
March 16, 2004 at 11:46 am #728164
It is… but it will be ready (or at least this phase will) for the Beautiful Night on May 1.
March 16, 2004 at 12:47 pm #728165
I wouldn’t mind a bit more “carbon copy” Oxford St here. I live here! It’s not like I have my monthly flying visits to London or anything so having a decent range of comparison shopping venues in my everyday life would be welcome. Dublin has a pathetic lack of decent city centre commercial space. Suffolk St, Sth King St, new ILAC might help out though…
The only good thing about Clery’s is it’s facade – a thoroughly second rate shop inside (stock etc). Potentially with it’s location and building could be a premier department store. Must do better!
March 16, 2004 at 2:17 pm #728166
Admittedly I’ve never bought a thing in the place – just a good nose around at the lastest changes and slip out…
And their A/V section upstairs is pretty dismal, it should come on big time though once the builders reach that far up.
Just on the issue of Clerys, or rather the building that pre-dated it, the New Mart monster store; I’ve always though it more than just a coincidence that this huge building, with all the bells and whistles of Victoriana was completed in 1853, slap bang in the middle of the Wide Streets Commission’s regemented Lr Sackville St, within 2 years of the Commission disbanding in 1851 and their powers being assumed by Dublin Corporation.
It would be more than just a tad humorous to think that the Corpo were wrecking the street from the moment they got their hands on it!
March 16, 2004 at 2:20 pm #728167
Oh – the trees in front of the GPO are going in now, and the uplighters between the trees on the Clerys side are being installed.
March 16, 2004 at 2:29 pm #728168
They look great dont they. This section of the street is really starting to take shape. I did notice that the street-level bollards in front of the GPO have been taken away. The paving here is complete so it doesn’t look as if they will be reinstated. Its a small thing but as they are heritage items it would be a great shame if they were permanently lost.
March 16, 2004 at 2:36 pm #728169
Ah they must be going back – sure they were listed. Definitely be following that up if they’re not reinstated.
The paving outside Easons is such a pleasure to walk on compared with what was there before – so even and smooth.
March 16, 2004 at 2:40 pm #728170
The large bollards are there and being set into paving but the areas set aside for the small ones have been paved over. Maybe they are being resited.
I was thinking that uplighters between the pillars of the GPO would have been very effective.
March 16, 2004 at 5:26 pm #728171
That’s very serious if those iron bollards at the bases of the columns have been removed and paved over. I’m going down to check it out now. There’ll be hell to pay!
March 16, 2004 at 6:57 pm #728172
Anyone got any pics?
March 16, 2004 at 9:20 pm #728173
Relax people! I enquired on-site and the stumpy bollards will put back as they were. The authorities want to open that part of the paving around the portico for Paddy’s day and there wasn’t time to finish it with the bollards.
Still, I don’t approve of the way those bollards have been treated up to now. They are valuable items of early Dublin street furniture, but were just left lying randomly around the site – and left out at night with no protection against theft other than the wire hoarding which often has walk-in gaps anyway, inviting the civically-inconsiderate passer-by to nick one for their back garden!
The bollards don’t appear to have been numbered during removal either. Assuming they had been in-situ for a long period of time up to this, each one should – for the sake of histortic continuity – go back to its original column base.
March 17, 2004 at 3:41 pm #728174
Go ahead for O’Connell St hotel revamp
The Irish Independent
A further key piece of the O’Connell St redevelopment jigsaw is now in place following the granting of planning permission by Dublin City Council for a major redevelopment of the landmark Royal Dublin Hotel. Proposed works by owner Ampleforth Ltd includes a complete refurbishment and remodelling of the interior of the hotel, together with two, new bedroom wings with frontage onto Parnell Street and Moore Lane. The proposed design by Dublin-based Ashlin Coleman Architects is part of the plan to create a new and enhanced image for the hotel. Planning permission has also been granted for a new facade for the hotel on O’Connell Street. This exciting facade – designed jointly by Ashlin Coleman with UK architectural practice MacCormac Jamieson Prichard – will complete the new look for the hotel
March 17, 2004 at 4:29 pm #728175
Are they the same Ashlin & Coleman of Clerys fame?
It’ll be interesting to see how this first major modern building in 30 years relates to the street.
I just thought of the parade last night regarding the bollards, to cut the slabs into circles takes time & skill, so rather than rushing, quickly throwing down some slabs to accomodate the parade seemed the likely reason.
There was clearly a lot of work even in cutting slabs to fit around the two tall end bollards.
I agree about the numbering, indeed it was a great shame that they had to be lifted at all – it’s like taking up the floorboards in a period house – immediatly you lose the history and connection with the past – the idea that a Georgian workman laid these bollards nearly 200 years ago is lost.
March 18, 2004 at 1:18 pm #728176
What did you thin of the new facade for the Royal Dublin. I think it look great. Very different and modern. My god the difference between now and then will be so dramatic.
The Indo also had details of a new retail development at the EBS building on Westmoreland St. The piece was suggesting that the building would be demolished apart from the centre section (which is protected) and a new facade consiting of multi coloured lit panels replace it. It looked great as well. There is also plans for a pedestrian link to Temple Bar via Fleet St, although it wasn’t clear what this entailed.
March 18, 2004 at 1:18 pm #728177
What did you thin of the new facade for the Royal Dublin. I think it look great. Very different and modern. My god the difference between now and then will be so dramatic.
The Indo also had details of a new retail development at the EBS building on Westmoreland St. The piece was suggesting that the building would be demolished apart from the centre section (which is protected) and a new facade consiting of multi coloured lit panels replace it. It looked great as well. There is also plans for a pedestrian link to Temple Bar via Fleet St, although it wasn’t clear what this entailed.
March 18, 2004 at 1:55 pm #728178
Was it in yesterdays Indo?
I’ve been looking for a picture for ages – can anyone put up the pic and/or article – the subscription Indo online is blocking it out.
The RDH claim that they are based in Dublin’s oldest Georgian house (built in 1752) which sounds ludicrous at first. But when you think about it – aside from Leinster House, it possibly is. Even Molesworth st, as crumbly and baroque as it is, is a teeny bit later.
There must be some contenders on Stephen’s Green south though, and perhaps those running alonside the Central Bank.
The ‘house’ is crucial, otherwise Joe Walsh tours on the same street – as undeserving as the store is – would beat it hands down.
March 18, 2004 at 2:00 pm #728179
Interesting about the EBS too – if anything goes ahead on this site, the minimum to be done is for the granite infill panels be replaced with glass.
Multi-coloured lit panels – sounds like a 1983 Latvian Eurovision set – very scary…
March 18, 2004 at 4:49 pm #728180
Surely Henrietta Street is the oldest?
March 18, 2004 at 4:58 pm #728181
Exactly! – I came running back to pop it in before someone noticed – but you just always have to be that one step ahead Rory
Going to e-mail them and tell them where to shove their spurious claim – just like their other assertion that the house they now extoll the virtues of, was structurally unsound and warranted demolition.
March 19, 2004 at 1:02 pm #728182
Royal Dublin …
March 19, 2004 at 1:03 pm #728183
and the EBS …
March 19, 2004 at 1:23 pm #728184
I saw them in the Indo on Wednesday….kind of a funky make over for the both, moreso the EBS. Better than the black glass I suppose and the end of Sam Stephenson’s mark.
March 19, 2004 at 4:39 pm #728185
The EBS development is terrible looking in that image.
March 19, 2004 at 4:44 pm #728186
Pity that original Art Deco edifice was gutted
March 19, 2004 at 4:49 pm #728187AnonymousInactive
The EBS was once an Art Deco building?
March 19, 2004 at 5:24 pm #728188
Yep, hence the preservation order on the central remnant.
March 19, 2004 at 5:47 pm #728189
GregF, you make it sound like the rest of the site containing building of equal interest to the central piece. AFAIK that wasn’t the case.
March 19, 2004 at 5:54 pm #728190AnonymousInactive
I’ve always wondered what the building looked like with its original wings – any pictures around?
March 19, 2004 at 7:17 pm #728191
Yikes that EBS is woeful, image that next to the straight-laced brickwork of ajoining buildings.
What a nasty, tacky distraction.
Give me the black glass anyday, it is starkly modern but discreet in its simplicity.
The RDH is um, interesting – the devil’s in the detail so we’ll have to wait.
I really hope that extra floor that’s set back is invisible from down the street.
The Gresham terrace opposite have mansard roofs, the RDH terrace doesn’t.
March 19, 2004 at 7:31 pm #728192
And the outdoor cafe terrace will be a major bonus to this area of the street, really major.
Thanks Peter for scanning.
March 25, 2004 at 10:04 am #728193AnonymousInactive
Its either a joke at this stage or has long since passed that but are they ever going to pave O’Connell St?!
Progress is slow to say the least – it certainly comes in peaks and troughs and although the peaks provide for identifiable progress, the troughs are too frequent and too long.
I cant understand why they haven’t copncentrated their efforts firstly on the Henry St. junction. I’ve spent months in crowds funnelled into a narrow pedestrial crossing by large concrete barriers. Surely the contractors know that this is by far the busiest stretch of the street and would make an effort to finish it first and with the greatest of haste?
Am I being too logical?
March 25, 2004 at 1:36 pm #728194
A lot of the paving has been put down very quicky, esp outside Clerys, Easons and the GPO, but certainly the Henry St juntion is taking an eternity, coupled with the farce that was the completion of that street’s paving in the middle of the Christmas rush, after lying idle for two years.
But from a contractors, or indeed the CCs point of view, why bother going to the extra effort to finish here first (not sure if I’m being critical here or not) No one’s going to complain,people just put up with being diverted and funneled. To awkwardly plan the laying of services, paving and other works, just to accomodate pedestrians may seem pointless to them.
But the central median is definitely taking way too long to open.
March 25, 2004 at 1:42 pm #728195
Oh and the work on the RDH is due to start at the end of the month, probably says it in that Indo article.
And ok, I didn’t quite tell the RDH to ‘shove it’, indeed the e-mail I sent was the very picture of politeness (and pedantry).
Alas – no reply.
March 25, 2004 at 4:53 pm #728196loismacParticipant
I think to correct the problems with Dublin’s city centre, the cc need to take one project at a time and complete them first before subjecting the city to twenty at once and not completeing any on time or to a majorities opinions it would appear effectively. May be Im niave in my opinion
March 25, 2004 at 7:59 pm #728197
Originally posted by Graham Hickey
But the central median is definitely taking way too long to open.
The question is will DCC O’connell St committee member Royston be old enough to run for president by the time its finished? It is scheduled for completion prior to the Euro elections in June, will this muppet be able to point to a job done on time as promised?
March 31, 2004 at 10:52 am #728198
I’m hating him more by the day, I’ve gone through 3 television sets already from putting my foot through him. He’ll be expecting a bronze statue of his smug self on the median next.
So to the street of which he speaks – it’s loads of pics time.
They were taken last Friday, so if you were wondering about that weirdo walking around O’ Cll St with a camera padlocked, chained and bolted to their arm, taking pictures of the ground, you know who it was.
Firstly the major roadworks outside Princes Street.
Followed by the new paving outside the GPO.
March 31, 2004 at 10:54 am #728199
March 31, 2004 at 10:55 am #728200
The new lime trees:
March 31, 2004 at 10:56 am #728201
March 31, 2004 at 10:59 am #728202
One of the new pedestrian crossings, with steel grip studs – proof that those crude red tiles at crossings all over the city are and never were required in that colour.
Also some detail at the GPO
March 31, 2004 at 11:01 am #728203
Some of the paving detail:
March 31, 2004 at 11:02 am #728204
The central median, work here is pretty much finished now:
March 31, 2004 at 11:03 am #728205
Also – the work underway on the Dublin Bus building:
March 31, 2004 at 11:13 am #728206
On that GPO pic, it should say the stone turns black in the rain!
The Luas wires crossing the street went up on Monday and Tuesday, feels very European now!
Unfortunately the wires passing by Mansfield Chambers/Clarks and the way they’re attached to its corner is less than sympathetic.
March 31, 2004 at 3:45 pm #728207
Great pics Graham. I’m down that part of the city the odd time but its so hard to see the changes as its so conjested at the moment. Great detail. Roll on the completion day when ever that is!
March 31, 2004 at 4:16 pm #728208AnonymousInactive
I really like that new shop front on the Dublin Bus building. It looks really well. I think the street overall is starting to shape up very nicely indeed. I just walked down it and admired the change in the footpath width makes to the perception of the GPO and buildings nearby.
March 31, 2004 at 8:12 pm #728209
I was in Clearys recently for the first time since I was a kid and the place has got a real vibe to it, much more so than any chic Grafton street estabishment. From the upstairs full length windows you can stand and look down at the Spike and the crowds milling by. I go shopping in Antwerp or Brussels city centers and never you will never see the kind of rushing, busy crowds that make their way through Dublin. In fact, shopping on the Northside of town is so much more exiting than Grafton street etc., the people, the decadence of O’Connell street, the seediness of the streets down to Connelly station, the shabby but teeming Ilac center, amazing places, once glorious Parnell square, these are the places that form the character of town, they’re unique, hope they don’t change too much and become all nice.
If you were to look for a European equivalent of O’Connell street it would have to be the main raiway station quarter, the place where the thugs, hookers and junkies hang out, will they just move further north up the street now.
April 1, 2004 at 11:43 am #728210
With the CC acting as the Pied Piper of Hamelin 🙂
Praising the seediness of Talbot St, now there’s a first!
But I agree about the place becoming ‘too nice’; the idea of O’ Cll St as Oxford Street’s offspring is less than pleasant.
I don’t think it will ever be though, even if the CC put every resource they have into trying to make it so, the place wouldn’t change to that extent.
There’s always going to be a certain shabbiness to the place, and indeed the city centre in general.
I was on Lower Baggot St, Ranelagh and around that general Victorian township/suburbia the other day, and the contrast with the condition of the bustling areas here and that of those directly across the canal was so marked, from the condition of buildings above ground level, to paving to the cleaniness of the streets – so different.
On another matter, does anyone know what’s going onto that huge site opposite Jurys on Parnell St? It’s a massive space.
There’s a fantastic view of the grimey rears to all the Georgians on Parnell Square from here, with their vast chimney stacks straddling across the roofs. Remind you of photos of the tenements, and rare aul times…
April 1, 2004 at 12:04 pm #728211
I think appartments are planned here on the former garage site across the road.
April 1, 2004 at 12:58 pm #728212
The Walden garage site is being converted into 6 apartment blocks. There are also plans to restore a vacant lot on Parnell Sq with a replica Georgian facade. I know waht is said about pastiche but in this case a Georgian facade is called for to restore the original terrace. A bit of a clean up of the buildings along this side if the square would be most welcome
April 1, 2004 at 1:25 pm #728213
I thought pastiche was to be avoided at all costs under the O’Connell St plan…?
April 1, 2004 at 1:30 pm #728214
True, but they made an exception for here.
April 1, 2004 at 1:32 pm #728215
April 1, 2004 at 4:10 pm #728216AnonymousInactive
Number 4(?) Kildare Street (the stone building which forms part of the national library beside the old Kildare Street Club that) is an interesting building in that its shape is very similar to normal brick georgian buildings and its proportions seem to be similar as well. I know it is a little away from the area being discussed, but for me it proves that pastiche is simply not the answer. I have no idea about when this building was built or if the stone work is just a facade (which would be interesting in itself because it would represent a completely different example of facadism to the type we now have). I suspect that it dates from the 1920s or 1930s but I don’t really know. Anyway the point is that it is possible to fit buildings into an existing streetscape without resorting to full blown pastiche.
April 1, 2004 at 5:45 pm #728217
I know the building you are refering to, it’s a humdinger isn’t it. It’s a stripped classical front applied to a Georgian facade and the architect was Frederick Hayes, date 1935. It reminds me of London art-deco.
April 1, 2004 at 5:57 pm #728218AnonymousInactive
Shaun, thanks for that information (and so quick too). Do you know of any sources of information about it? It is an absolute gem. Definitely in my top 10 in Dublin.
April 1, 2004 at 6:14 pm #728219
It’s a pleasure….I gleaned this information from S.Rothery’s “Ireland and the new architecture”, great book. He also adds about this building that “this was the Refuge Assurance building. Polished grey Ballinasloe limestone slabs were used up to the first-floor window-cill level, and grey fossil limestone slabs, attached with copper dowels, were fixed to the rest of the front. The result was a flat shiny elevation with the desired fashionable look.” He calls it somewhat outrageous. Is there anything else like it in Dublin that you know of ? Oh, and yes, it would make my Dublin top 10 easily.
April 1, 2004 at 9:54 pm #728220
That building is interesting, but the stock of Kildare St is so jumbled that the limestone cladding desn’t stand out or its lovely windows.
Parnell Square is entirely red bricked, and entirely in the same style. This should be reinforced here with an appropriate replica (some of the original doorway remains as a guide at least)
I think it’s claimed as being the longest mid-eighteenth century terrace in the city – scraping the barrel there a bit perhaps – but whatever about facts, it’s the appearance that matters. Anything other than Georgian would look ludicrous here, especially considering the rythmical stepping up of the area.
Indeed what’s annoying on Kildare St at the moment is the replacement of all the windows in the Setanta centre with cluttered cumbersome grey PVC. The streamlined nature of the original 80s windows of sheer expanses of glass is gone now, and the way they used to act as a modern interpretation of the surrounding sashes, mirroring their proportions.
April 2, 2004 at 8:30 am #728221
I agree, a faithful Georgian copy using good materials would be best up on Parnell sqare. Something akin to Mountjoy square, although I have only been up there once since it was saved from complete destruction, and it still comes in for a lot of criticism for being pastiche, or fake.
April 2, 2004 at 9:13 am #728222AnonymousInactive
Lads, the building on the corner of Parnell Sq. East and Denmark Street is pastiche and looks quite obviously so. I really think that something with similar proportions, similar brick colour etc but bearing a contemporary stamp aswell would be much more appealing.
April 2, 2004 at 7:12 pm #728223
I agree that there is nothing worse than bad pastiche, and that yoke on the corner you speak of Phil is such an example, as are some the Zoe Dev ones on Mountjoy Square, complete with ground-to-attic exposed chimney stacks tacked on the side.
‘Replica’ I think is a better word to describe an accurate, faithful reproduction of the original, down to the bootscraper; such building in strictly limited circumstances such as this can work better than modern interpretations if they unify an area, which I think will happen on Parnell Square.
April 2, 2004 at 8:05 pm #728224
Just on the subject of Georgians, I was looking (again) at the corner buildings of O’ Connell & Henry St.
It appears, even from the engraving of Gardiner’s Mall from 1750, that Joe Walsh Travel and the one beside it were always retailers, from the moment they were built, even though they existed on an otherwise exclusively residential street.
They never had the long plots of garden all the other houses had, just narrow back yards. They also have very crude squared-off backs to them.
In the engraving from 1750 as pictured below, they’re the only buildings without proper doorcases, and Joe Walsh even has a big display window – and in the picture from 1818 it even has a flat roofed porch over the entrance!
These buildings also appear to have been carved up a few times into different properties over the centuries.
I’m really only raising this again because I took a picture of the side of the building the other day with what may be the original windows (below) – and that it’s facinating that such an old building, not only for the street but for Dublin in general, lies right in the midde of what is percieved a completely redeveloped street.
(sorry the pic’s a bit big)
April 2, 2004 at 8:08 pm #728225
That mutli-pic again:
April 5, 2004 at 4:26 pm #728226AnonymousInactive
Originally posted by Graham Hickey
‘Replica’ I think is a better word to describe an accurate, faithful reproduction of the original, down to the bootscraper; such building in strictly limited circumstances such as this can work better than modern interpretations if they unify an area, which I think will happen on Parnell Square.
Graham, I think you and I will just have to agree to disagree on this one. The word ‘pastiche’ still refers to something being replicated. I know we now associate it with some of the worst attempts at historic street rejuventation in the country, but on a fundamental basis a replication is a replication. This is as much the case for ‘good’ replications as it is for bad ones. Infact, a good fake is probably worse than a bad one in the long run as it fools the observer into thinking that it is somhow from the same time period as it surroundings. I think that there is a enough subtle differences between Georgian Buildings, which we now probably don’t really notice, to allow a well designed building with similar materials and proportions to fit in well. I love historic landscapes, but when I start to feel that they are in somehow inauthentic, I loose some of my admiration for them.
April 5, 2004 at 8:26 pm #728227
Just admiring O’Connell Street from the Carlton Cinema today… however…
The sweep from Earl Street to O’Connell Street is quit