September 25, 1999 at 1:04 am #704824
I think it’s about time the Corpo bit the bullet and narrowed O’Connell Bridge to its former width (early 19th century?).
There are too many bloody cars in O’Connell St. already and it would look great with the spike.
September 26, 1999 at 2:35 am #714510
O’Connell St is an utter tip at the moment – and yet it has such great potential. There are several buildings that need make-overs; The Royal Dublin Hotel which I was recently in has a hideously cheap facade.
There are some great elements on the street – the O’Connell and Parnell monuments at either end, The GPO, The attractive bank buildings on the lower east side. Even Clerys would be great with only a few minors changes [higher quality windows & more tasteful night illumination]. But until the redevelopment plan [including the centrepiece project, YES the SPIKE!] is implemented and restrictions are put in place as to the type of retail outlets that should operate on the street [no more sex shops, fast food take aways, or bargain shoe shops please], the street will remain an embarrassment to the city.
September 27, 1999 at 5:17 pm #714511
Yes O’Connell Street is a tip. As a Dub I feel ashamed of what should be our Champs Elysses, I think that it is dreadful that I feel worried every time I walk down there after 8 O’Clock at night. Lets face though, when the corpo does try to do something the whingers get to the plan and destroy it, yes our millenial monument will be a disaster, but only because it wont be up for new years eve this year. As for the piazza outside the GPO, I dont think we’ll see it for a while. Its like the Stillorgan Bus Corridor, the Car Lobby will whinge about losing space on the street, as they will even more when Luas it put in. Well tough. If we do not make the effort to sort out our public transport problems now then it will only get worse. Dublin could be a lovely city but only if we try. Look how successful the independent authorities (DDDA, Temple Bar) have been, we need strong leadership for O’Connell Street and Its environs. The HARP Area is just too big. The worst thing about it is that no one could be bothered with trying to make it better. I sincerely hope that the Carlton Complex is a draw for people to the Northside of town, after all some of the new “trendy” establishments (Pravda, Morrisson Hotel) are north of the river (only just, but we’re getting there). It is true that the corpo should get the finger out, but what is there to do on O’Connell Street after dark (Unless you want to go to the cinema or 1 or 2 dull bars), there is nothing. To get vibrancy back into the street it is necessary to breath life back into it, sustainable life, continuous life, life that goes on after 6pm.
Look how it used to be, Sackville Street was once known worldwide for its graciousness. Later on, O’Connell Street was the beating Heart of Dublin, with the Trams the Metropole Hotel, Ballrooms, Bars, cinemas, theatres, restraunts (proper ones), decent shops (Findlaters). Even the old Carlton cinema used to have concerts. Until we can get a post 6pm life into the street, make it a place to go for proper meals, and a night out then whatever we do on a gentrification level (Spike, Piazza etc) will be meaningless. Its whats in the buildings that counts, and as long as its offices (Upper levels) and crap (street level) then nobody will want to go there.
September 28, 1999 at 1:49 pm #714512
I agree wholeheartedly – O’Connell St. has
the potential to be a great focus of
activity. It has the scale to have both socialising and shopping – it could be
far more pleasant than Grafton St.
Until they take the cars out
through, any changes will be pretty much
P.S. Any news on the spire – how long
does an EIS take? I have to say I’m disgusted
it won’t be up for the new year…
December 20, 1999 at 2:29 pm #714513milesParticipant
I disagree with charlieboy and rory v. O’Connell St is not a tip. The reason the area isn’t swarming with posh restaurants(…”proper meals”…) for people like you is because it is a poorer area of Dublin with alot of flats nearby. You might think that gentrification means the introduction of Pravda-like bars, but you would be wrong. O’Connell St and the surrounding area has its problems but the introduction of social establishments for nobs won’t solve anything. Rory, noboby’s going to let you arrive on the scene with your bulldozer. The local authority residential areas won’t just disappear, and why should Dublin’s less well-off be marginalised to suit the likes of you?
I agree that the area has potential but I’d hate to see it transformed into a so-called cultural quarter alienating inner city residents. The “nobody goes there” that you’re referring to… so what if they don’t? Afterall, surely there’s more to life than eating out. It is true that we need strong leadership for O’Connell Street and its environs but, please, not from you rory.
December 20, 1999 at 6:32 pm #714514john whiteParticipant
So do you think there are ways of making the Street less depressing and dirty without giving the poverty stricken a kick in the teeth?
It’d be nice if they could get first shot at all the potential employment there but of course that’s fantasy land. If that did happen – it WOULD be okay to have loads of posh and trendy businesses there wouldn’t it? Or would one still just be trying to insensitively ‘improve’ the Northside by ‘Southsidizing’ it?
Loike, y’knew mon.
Maybe it’s just us poncey stuck-up Southsiders who think the Street’s a mess.
December 21, 1999 at 12:39 pm #714515
OK, when I said proper Food, I meant that the only place you could eat were the likes of McDonaldsX2, Burger KingX2, Abrakebabra, Supermacs, etc etc, all of which have a nutricional value of….F*** All. There are restraunts where you pay the same (even in Temple Bar) as a big mac meal and actually get something that isn’t recycled cardboard. Yes there is poverty in the area, but the Pearse Street Flats are only a few Minutes from Grafton Street, there is poverty throughout Dublin.
What I am saying is that we need to do something with O’Connell Street. I never suggested going at it with a Bulldozer (Although The Royal Dublin Hotel, Fingal CC offices and Findlater House are too tempting). To destroy the work of our last great city Architect would be a disaster. All I’m saying is that the street needs to be attractive to tourist and southsiders alike. For God’s sake this is supposed to be the premier street of the Country. And as for inner city residents I am one, yeah so its the IFSC, its still not nice having to avoid O’Connell Street after 8pm.
It would be nice to solve poverty but hey this is an architecture website and not the Socialist Worker Fan club.
December 21, 1999 at 1:14 pm #714516john whiteParticipant
I have to agree with all of your sentiments Rory.
I don’t live on the Northside – thank God so I’m not going to tell Northsiders [if there is any significant distinction] what’s good for them and what isn’t. But, O’Connell Street belongs to all of us and I don’t think it should be congested, dirty, dangerous, depressing, a mish-mash of pleasant/good[?] and ugly[?]/crap[?] building styles.
I’d like to be proud of it.
If we do become like most other rich nations and put Harrods and Tiffanys equivalents all over it that would be disgusting. On the other hand I reckon that Anne Summers is unbelievably inappropriate especially opposite the GPO.
[What you say about nutrition is an important point however seemingly irrelevant here.]
December 22, 1999 at 4:42 pm #714517
I think things may get better if this “Millenium Mall” is built properly and contains the promised mix of good restraunts, cinemas, bars and performance areas, we can but hope that this acts as a draw to other quality establishments. We should be proud of the street, northsiders and southsiders alike. Lets hope that in the next century we can be.
May 28, 2000 at 2:27 pm #714518
It is almost three years since Dublin Corporation outlined its plans concerning the restoration of O’Connell Street to its former glory. Yet, since then, sweet f.a. has happened, barring the opening of Ann Summers, more convenience stores and fast-food outlets. Is Dublin Corporation serious in tackling the aesthetic problems afflicting our main boulevard? Three years is a long time and we are still waiting…..
May 28, 2000 at 2:52 pm #714519
I agree totally – will they ever clean up the kip?
May 30, 2000 at 10:37 pm #714520
Shock horror it looks like there might be some movement – they have put up a poster thing in the centre isle of the street with a picture of the ‘new O’connell Street’. The EIS on the millennium monument is nearly finished (i think) so hopefully work will begin on that before the summer is out (im assuming here that the minister for the environment gives his approval)
May 31, 2000 at 12:57 pm #714521
I could not agree more.The re-development of Dublins premiere street is overlong pending.A mere reflection of it’s natives?
May 31, 2000 at 9:09 pm #714522
Sir William Chambers – did you build my house on Parnell Square?
June 16, 2000 at 10:45 am #714523
Hey, here’s an idea regarding the overall refurbishment of O’Connell St. and the surrounding areas.How about demolishing O’Connell Bridge House, the Ballast Office(it’s only a copy of the original) and removing and re-situating elsewhere in the city the Victorian building at the apex of Westmorland St. and D’Olier St.In there place we could have three sister buildings of considerable style, scale and related similarity; their function to serve as an eyecatching focal point and earmarking the end of the street/bridge as seen from the Parnell monument.Hows about it.
June 16, 2000 at 5:06 pm #714524
Eyecatching and earmarking!!!
June 16, 2000 at 7:10 pm #714525
I HATE that idea.
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