Places you do (and you dont) want to go!

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    • #710255
      dc3
      Participant

      Time to launch a new theme, places you need to see, for salutary reasons.

      First nomination:
      Rathmines Village

      Poor Rathmines, what did it do to deserve its current fate of extensive dereliction. Some belated revenge for former independence as a UDC, a belated market response to those long dead ratepayers who built shops in their front gardens? A general hatred of red-brick?

      This is a bleak place now, with many empty shops and closed shutters. Indeed some of the better kept ventures here are the charity shops and the pound shops. You really need to see the former Lee’s Department Store, on the prominent junction site, to complete your tour and do not forget the former Stella Cinema either.

      In a perfect world, a free tour of Rathmines Village would be obligatory for anyone uttering the phrase “the quality of the built environment”. It makes Dorset Street seem vibrant.

    • #804719
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Agreed about Rathmines – lots of untapped potential I think. Jo’Burger has been a good addition though!

      There was a local area plan being formulated but it seems to making pretty painfully slow progress. Are the works on the swimming pool under way yet?

    • #804720
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Love Rathmines, but have to admit it has got a bit more gritty in recent years. Still it is no where near as bad as Dorset street (quite possibly one of the most horrible streets in Dublin.)

    • #804721
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @donalbarry7 wrote:

      Love Rathmines, but have to admit it has got a bit more gritty in recent years. Still it is no where near as bad as Dorset street (quite possibly one of the most horrible streets in Dublin.)

      Perceptions like this always strike me as odd. Dorset st is a heavily trafficked artery but still maintains a really intersting mix of retail/service and general land uses above and beyond Rathmines (which is moving towards the ever boring model of catering for an exclusively single, disposable income 20s/30s demographic, how many noodle bars and coffee shops make a great neighbourhood, god help you if you need sandpaper or a pair of socks ?).

      I grew up in Dun Laoghaire and have lived all my adult live resided in Dublin on the northside and I can tell you gritty over pretty any day wins out. I always have a chuckle at how property in D8 and Glasnevin is considered of roughly the same value:confused:

      I will revisit this at a later date. To even up the debate and impose my own prejudices upon the proceedings I could glady live out the rest of my days having never set foot again in Cork st/Pimlico/Meath st and marrowbone lane, in fact nearly all of D8 if it came down to it()apologies to all the rale salts and dacent skins ensconsed in said locales)

    • #804722
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      tommyt, are you confused?
      what noodle bars? in rathmines you say? and last time I checked sandpaper and a pair of socks are actually quiet easy to come by, and 20/30 year olds with disposable incomes? yes that explains all the charity shops, I suppose.
      Sure Rathmines is the poor relation of its near neighbour Ranelagh, but I would have never put it top of my “places not to go” list, that seems a little unfair.
      The donnelly turpin apartments + swimming pool are well under way and a couple of single story structures nearby on the main street have been demolished, which I can only hope is a good sign.

      And I have to say I love Meath St.

      As it happens those new rathmines apartments have a website

      http://www.rathminessquare.com/

      Harks back to simpler times…. I never thought I’d be happy to read estate agent hyperbole.

    • #804723
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Tommyt: thanks for coming to the defence of Dorset St; the Baggot St of the northside.

    • #804724
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Tommy T, we’ll have to agree to disagree on Dorset street. Apart from the small stretch up near Drumcondra, the place is so depressing.
      Although I have to agree about Dublin 8, the place actually makes me feel depressed!

      Based purely on asthetics and nothing else:

      Do want to go in dublin?
      Grafton/Stephen’s green area
      Merrion/Baggot/Fitzwilliam area
      Temple Bar (during the dyatime)
      Parliament Square In Trinity
      Dublin Castle
      Southside Coast- Monkstown,Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove, Dalkey Killiney
      Northside Coast- Howth
      Phoneix Park

      Don’t want to go
      All of the north inner-city, (especially down near the fours courts,) with the exception of O’Connell street
      Anywhere west of Chirstchurch on the southside is very grim and grotty
      Lots of West Dublin in general

    • #804725
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @donalbarry7 wrote:

      Tommy T, we’ll have to agree to disagree on Dorset street. Apart from the small stretch up near Drumcondra, the place is so depressing.
      Although I have to agree about Dublin 8, the place actually makes me feel depressed!

      Based purely on aesthetics and nothing else:

      Do want to go in dublin?
      Grafton/Stephen’s green area
      Merrion/Baggot/Fitzwilliam area
      Temple Bar (during the dyatime)
      Parliament Square In Trinity
      Dublin Castle
      Southside Coast- Monkstown,Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove, Dalkey Killiney
      Northside Coast- Howth
      Phoneix Park
      All of the north inner-city, (especially down near the fours courts,) with the exception of O’Connell street
      Anywhere west of Chirstchurch on the southside is very grim and grotty
      Lots of West Dublin in general

      Decent enough bit of stereotyping for discussion purposes Donal, but I still feel the North Inner city has a lot to offer and I would remove large tracts of the D1 /D7 from your list and would add the general Pearse st area from Ringsend bridge to the Dart station in D2 ( a bit mean I know and hopefully folks will be on to stick up for any unfairly tainted locales).

      Regarding Rathmines: it’s always been a litle shabby thanks to the slumlord bonanza that is the ‘pre 63′ rental market that has shamefully never been tackled by legislation( is there really that many country TDs still relying on votes on this issue from dodgy guards and farmers with half of Grove Park in various family members’ names;)). However I would always consider it a premium residential address in this city. E.g Leinster Road. I would say the retail offer is a little staid thanks to the ancient rental stock available rather than a wider malaise of the area.

      Charity shops as a barometer of neighbourhood health is an interesting concept. I was only discussing this lately how you rarely see charity shops in staunch working class areas, I could hazard a guess it’s the old afraid of appearing poor to your neighbours mindset that limits their provision in say Donaghmede or Northside SC for example. Whereas a student or largely middle class area would see no stigma in perusing a thrift store in my generic observation.

      That’s enough of the pointless generalisations from meself for the moment other than to see you’ve inadvertently realised that Dublin (with the few exceptions of Kilbarrack, Shangannagh and Castleknock) is actually divided along class and pleasing built environment lines by distance from the sea for the most part. You’re basically saying you’re an aspiring eastsider!

    • #804726
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I don’t think charity shops are common in any sort of area, rather, they cluster along those working streets that you find on the border between the shopping core proper and the inner suburbs, the streets, and in Dublin Dorset St is a typical example, where you find a fap shop and a motorbike place and a tattoo parlour and a phone unlocking place and a role playing model shop and a head shop and a shop selling militeria and all that other clutter that doesn’t fit into a mall. I always like these streets for their mixture of placedness and placelessness and for their atmosphere of small striving.

    • #804727
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      tipsy and inept tommyt? shurely shome mishtake 😉

      on Pearse St., I’d actually regard the link from Westland Row inbound to Tara street as the most hostile environment on that corridor – decades of neglect from the bad neighbour Trinity and the overall feel of it being a traffic highway rather than a street compound this. I hadn’t been to O’Neills since pre-smoking ban days and it was the worst bloody smokes i’ve had since, with conversation when accompanied and general peace when alone being rudely interrupted by the high speed high volumes baiting past. The severance effect here is probably among the worst in the city.

      The stretch you refer to has quite a lot going on including the ever-attractive Pearse Square as well as the decent stock opposite the old IGB, now Arup offices near the South Lotts Road junction. Thankfully the petrol station has reopened here and along with the odd few old retailers give a bit of life to this stretch. And the surely unique juxtaposition of Windmill Lane/Digital Pigeon recording studio and Mastering Plant with a feckin bus garage gives a bit of interest. And when one adds in the whole Grand Canal Docks development, I think this stretch is the better stretch of Pearse st. I understand that you wouldn’t necessarily hang around the corner of Macken st and Pearse st at 1am but it’s not really a bad place and although Ringsend, Irishtown and eventually Sandymount are all superior urban environments, I would defnitely rate this stretch above the innermost stretch.

      On the emerging coast based debate – there’s very few more pleasing environments than the suburban coastal corridor from Howth to Bray, by car or by train. And I’m not biased at all, having lived for most of my life as far inland as Deansgrange 😉

      There are only a few places in Dublin I would not go unless dragged along and I’d put West Tallaght, Ballymun and the North Strand as 3 of the top ones. And i too have never understood the fascination with parts of D8, especially on this board. A lot of the areas west of Christchurch are in bits in my opinion and bar gigs in Vicar Street I never venture there for a pint.

      The suburban places I like most (bear in mind I’ve been tethered to some invisible post in the Irish sea since birth) are Dun Laoghaire (despite everything I’ve said here about the ol town, it’s still got an intrinsic and unimpeachable sense of class – the built equivalent of old money – and the piled up housing in the back streets is just great), Sandymount Village, Blackrock village, the coast road from Blackrock all the way to Killiney and Shankill pretty much, (especially the imposing mansions at Monkstown), Dalkey and Killiney themselves, Clontarf and Portmarnock. I also have a sneaking regard for Sallynoggin as a place and i have no idea why, it’s far from utopian in visual or social terms but it has something. Same goes for Monkstown Farm, which is probably one of the southsides great neighbourhood enclaves. Call it character. Call it a sense of place. Or maybe call it familiarity but I like those places.

      In the city centre, Trinity College is still the best place to be but the old Georgian core and daytime Temple Bar come close. Wexford-Camden street to me is the heart and soul of Dublin nightlife and the best place to shop is from Grafton st to George’s street.

      Castleknock is a lovely place, Drumcondra, Cabra etc etc are all good but unless you can either hear the ships on foggy nights from your bedroom, walk to a beach or see the Pigeon house chimneys from the end of the street it’s not part of my Dublin.

    • #804728
      Anonymous
      Inactive
      tommyt wrote:
      Decent enough bit of stereotyping for discussion purposes Donal

      Agh well, anything to get a bit of debate going! For some reason Pearse street doesn’t bother me too much, apart from the bit left to decay by Trinity, who obv have the finances to overcome the ugliness problem.
      Townsend street/Hawkins street area are definitely another to add to the list though.

    • #804729
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @donalbarry7 wrote:

      @tommyt wrote:

      Trinity, who obv have the finances to overcome the ugliness problem..

      You may have misunderstood the economics of Irish third level education.

    • #804730
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well, seeing as we’re on suburbs I may as well add a few to the list.
      Aside from the coastal burbs, parts of Dartry and Rathgar are fairly pleasing to the eye.
      I’ll be completely un-PC and say vast tracts of Clondalkin and Cappagh are the ugliest suburbs in Dublin. Personally don’t mind west Tallaght so much as the mountains take away from the grim, grey surroundings.

    • #804731
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @notjim wrote:

      @donalbarry7 wrote:

      You may have misunderstood the economics of Irish third level education.

      I know that recent times may suggest that the educational institutions are cash strapped, but as an ex-employee of UCD I know that the Universities are very capable of attracting inward investment s to help improve campus facilities.

    • #804732
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @spoil_sport wrote:

      As it happens those new rathmines apartments have a website

      http://www.rathminessquare.com/

      Harks back to simpler times…. I never thought I’d be happy to read estate agent hyperbole.

      It will be interesting to see how those apartments go in this current economic climate. In theory, you would not get planning approval for those apartments under the Variation 21 because of some shortcomings:

      Type A 1 Bedroom Apartment at 48.2 SQm is smaller than the minimum 55 SQM.
      Type C 1 Bedroom Apartment at 54.2 SQm is smaller than the minimum 55 SQM.
      Types H,I,J,K,L,M 2 Bedroom Apartment are all smaller than the minimum 80 SQM.
      Types N,O 3 Bedroom Apartment are all smaller than the minimum 100 SQM.
      Many of the apartments seem to be single-aspect.

      The location for this development is great, and the idea of having it around the pool seems to be nice, but if the prices aren’t better than larger units that do meet the Variation 21 then I don’t see how this development will economically be viable unfortunately.

    • #804733
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @alonso wrote:

      . . . i too have never understood the fascination with parts of D8, especially on this board.

      You can’t leave a toxic comment like that hanging out there! What are you getting at exactly?

      @alonso wrote:

      . . . . unless you can either hear the ships on foggy nights from your bedroom, walk to a beach or see the Pigeon house chimneys from the end of the street it’s not part of my Dublin.

      That’s pirate talk!

      As someone raised in Irishtown, I know the full misery of Sandymount Strand. I do not accept the use of the term ‘beach’ in describing this place. Once or twice a year we were bundled into a relative’s car and taken to a real beach, at Portmarnock or Donabate, places with sand dunes and the actual sea!

      Dublin 8 may not have the mud flats of Dublin 4, but at least ‘Eight’ is real Dublin, not the Dart strip, coastal suburbia of your yearnings. You have crossed the line alonso.

    • #804734
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      oooh Gunter, have we begun the new Dublin divide – the Liffey no longer delineates. The eastside westside fight is on!!! Bring it 😉

      I’ll reply later seriously in more detail though but for now i’ll just say it has a lot to do with where you’re from and how safe and comfortable you feel in certain areas

    • #804735
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      You can’t leave a toxic comment like that hanging out there! What are you getting at exactly?

      That’s pirate talk!

      As someone raised in Irishtown, I know the full misery of Sandymount Strand. I do not accept the use of the term ‘beach’ in describing this place. Once or twice a year we were bundled into a relative’s car and taken to a real beach, at Portmarnock or Donabate, places with sand dunes and the actual sea!

      Dublin 8 may not have the mud flats of Dublin 4, but at least ‘Eight’ is real Dublin, not the Dart strip, coastal suburbia of your yearnings. You have crossed the line alonso.

      I just have zero affinity with most of that area. I have no grá for the Liberties and general Meath St area and out towards Dolphin’s barn and Crumlin, certainly not as much as I would have for the coastal inner areas. I know, like tommyt I may be raising the ire of what is considered rale or reeyil Dublin but feck it, there’s as much of that in Dun Laoghaire as anywhere but with the added bonus, in my mind, of being a better place to be. And when I read all the threads about these areas on here, yes I agree with the sentiments expressed re conservation and yes I appreciate the places but I find it hard to be passionate about them as much as i would for other areas which i’m equally unfamiliar with but find more pleasing such as Phibsborough, Cabra or East Wall. I don’t actively hate these areas, there’s nowhere in Dublin I do hate (coz it’s only a bus away from town 🙂 ) but there are areas I’d rather be than there.

      Does “real Dublin” mean “poor”, “neglected”, “lamented”? No it does not. To me anyway. Just because there;s a few songs about the Liberties doesn’t make it more proper Dub than Monkstown Farm, ironically the home of Ronnie Drew (if i’m not mistaken) – the blow-in from Dun Laoghaire as he once put it himself.

      When i referred to the sea earlier it was a case of having to meet one of those criteria not all. Sandymount and Merrion are not proper beaches i accept, but they are within view of the Pigeon House. Blackrock isn’t either but you can hear the foghorns. While Sandymount does not provide beach features, it;s far from miserable. For that I would suggest one must venture a smidge westward 😉 i joke of course – i would never criticise another’s area as miserable, the cheek 🙂 In bits is far more diplomatic (and more Dublinese)

    • #804736
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m just going to leave that sit and fester for a while!

    • #804737
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I haven’t been back to Dublin since I left it in Spring ’02. I’m going there at the end of the week for a day trip. I was wondering what I might take a look at in terms of new developments around the city that have sprung up since then (or even before since I wasn’t really all that interested at the time). I’m particularly interested in the landscape architecture related stuff and public spaces. Anybody got any suggestions?

    • #804738
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jpsartre wrote:

      I haven’t been back to Dublin since I left it in Spring ’02. I’m going there at the end of the week for a day trip. I’m particularly interested in the landscape architecture related stuff and public spaces. Anybody got any suggestions?

      I suppose that depends on whether you’re now living in Tralee or Prague! If you’re coming from Tralee, you’ll be well impressed with the hard landscaping of the North Wall campshire (before they dig it all up again) and the re-paving of O’Connell Street, with square trees! (before they dig it all up again).
      On the other hand, if you’re coming from Prague . . . I don’t know, maybe pick somewhere else to go!

      @alonso wrote:

      . . . . I have no grá for the Liberties and general Meath St area. I know, like tommyt I may be raising the ire of what is considered rale or reeyil Dublin but feck it, there’s as much of that in Dun Laoghaire as anywhere but with the added bonus, in my mind, of being a better place to be.

      Does “real Dublin” mean “poor”, “neglected”, “lamented”? No it does not. To me anyway. Just because there;s a few songs about the Liberties doesn’t make it more proper Dub than Monkstown Farm,

      Of course, you’re absolutely right, if we’re dealing in shallow ‘livability’ criteria. DunLaoghaire is probably a better place to live than Drimnagh, who wouldn’t swap a flat in Crumlin for a house in Sandymount? OK that’s all self evident, but there’s something seriously wrong with a city where huge areas of it’s inner core are disliked to the extent that is evident here. If the city was working properly, Dublin 8, ‘everything west of Christchurch’, would be more real than Monkstown, this is part of the historic core of the city, Monkstown, and the like, is where all the middle class people went in the nineteenth century to avoid having to rub shoulders with the lower orders that didn’t have the means or the inclination to get out of the stinking city.

      A lot of what is being said here is exactly what I believe the decision makers in DCC also think. To hell with places like The Liberties, or Kilmainham, or Inchicore, we’ll humour them with Local Area Plans, but when it comes right down to the actual decisions, like whether they deserve a Luas service, or whether their buildings should be protected and conserved, (like it says in the Development Plan), feck them, they don’t deserve it, and they’ll only be ungrateful anyway. If anyone comes over to check out the city, we can always show them Ranelagh, the Docklands and the Georgian core!

    • #804739
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter I think you’re unfair in inferring all that from a post which says that i prefer the coastal corridor than the Liberties on a thread that asks what places you want and don’t want to go. I don’t think it’s shallow to enjoy natural amenities such as a coastline or a built fabric like Victorian mansions juxtaposed with redbrick terraces over a perceived reality based on nothing but working class credentials and rare oul times which have managed to replace or redefine early 20th century destitution and unsafe overcrowding with twee references to “characters” in ballads. It’s no more real than East Wall or Ringsend which I’d also rate higher than the area in question. In any case, doesn’t almost every city in the developed world have it’s areas that are not exactly loved? Aren’t many of these areas quite central? It;s hardly unique to Dublin which you seem to be implying.

      As to your last paragraph, well there’s nothing in my professional approach to the issue that would fit in with your expressed position. Every place in the city and beyond is “humoured” by a Local Area Plan. It’s not exclusive to Dublin 8 and this particular piece of your post smacks of victim mentality. For Luas, take the red line and tell me that serves the elite, look at Line F which is planned to go right through this area. For conservation and protection, look at the Clarence, look at the Monkstown Ring Road, Fitzwilliam Street, Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock baths, VHI Abbey Street, Stephen’s Green North – mistakes and disgraces have cropped up in every location for decades and dividing the city into the victims of D8 and the lucky ones in the Georgian Core is unhelpful in the extreme.

      I agree with your posts on the Thomas street thread, if not sharing the veracity and passion of your opinions. That’s all I said originally – that i didn’t get the fascination with the area, not that it should suffer from total insitutional inertia, neglect and mismanagement. I hope that clears it up.

      (and jeeeaysus Gunter, we’d never show the visitors the Docklands – we still hide it behind the Loop line 😉 )

    • #804740
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The reason there is interest here in D8 and similar inner city areas is simply because such areas largely constitute the historic city of Dublin. Until surprisingly recently (less than 100 years) the city was small and compact. Proportionally there is far more of historic interest within this core than in the leafier suburbs.

      The anti-old city attitude is certainly widespread and obviously permeates thinking in DCC. I really couldn’t believe the amount of time Dick Gleason dedicated in a recent printed interview with to discussing urgent need for action plans for Ballsbridge, Rathmines and the like. It really angered me that Ballsbridge could be viewed as a priority for active DCC involvement while the historic urban core of Dublin city is largely allowed to rot not only in terms of the upkeep of the public domain but in terms of the seeming disinterest in actually applying any effort to evaluating planning applications. I simply cannot understand how a planner (or anyone for that matter) can be blind the huge potential in restoring the inner city; they really need to visit more European cities to see how desirable and successful a preserved historic core can be.

      Having said that I am not a romanticist. In their currently neglected state, much of D8 and the like is not a particularly pleasant area to live. I’ve lived for years in D3 and D8 and there is no romance in the poverty, crime and fear which dominates significant parts of these postal codes. During the last 5 or more years I’ve lived in D6; at this stage, I am too self-interested to live in an area where I don’t feel fully secure.

    • #804741
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      *watches with interest the polite, yet determined and informative ‘tennis court etiquette’, between Alonso and Gunter*

      Keep it up folks – a most interesting and informative discussion on a thread which one had presumed would fall into the old cliches 🙂

      EDIT – Aha! Only seeing now that Jimg also has erudite comments to add!

    • #804742
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      jimg: That’s the point I was getting at, we shouldn’t have allowed DCC lose focus on the core and that’s what’s happened, and I don’t accept that this is common, plenty of cities do it.

      Victimhood alonso! Until you and tommyt starting running down Dublin 8, I mistakenly thought that this was the part of town that the average, slightly under financed, urbanite wished he lived in.

      I do take your point however, that we don’t have anything comparable to Sandymount strand.


      Yes, this is exactly the way I remember it.

    • #804743
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @alonso wrote:

      your post smacks of victim mentality

      Ouch!… Meeooow!

    • #804744
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jimg wrote:

      I really couldn’t believe the amount of time Dick Gleason dedicated in a recent printed interview with to discussing urgent need for action plans for Ballsbridge, Rathmines and the like. It really angered me that Ballsbridge could be viewed as a priority for active DCC involvement while the historic urban core of Dublin city is largely allowed to rot not only in terms of the upkeep of the public domain but in terms of the seeming disinterest in actually applying any effort to evaluating planning applications. I simply cannot understand how a planner (or anyone for that matter) can be blind the huge potential in restoring the inner city; they really need to visit more European cities to see how desirable and successful a preserved historic core can be.

      *Looks for the right button*… ah yes, found it –

      + 110%

    • #804745
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Ah that’s one of my favourite views of the City. People paint that and photograph it! I could sit there for hours looking across the bay. In fact the view southbound towards Dun Laoghaire and the mountains is better. Some just like to see the horizon I guess and this may stem from seeing it every day for 30 years, either from my bedroom as a kid near the Velvet Strand, the end of the road now, or from the DART or the top of the bus. As i said above, familiarity may have a major role in this thread. This reminds me that I had a recent discussion on the different mentalities that exist between those from the coast and those from the interior (on a larger scale than differences within Dublin). I’m not gonna reveal the consensus reached as i’m in enough trouble here as it is.

      I’m sure tommyt agrees that it wasn’t intended to “run down” Dublin 8 and it remains a major draw to many people – just not me. I know people who live there and love it and people i work with who do as well. Take these posts as opinion, maybe even blinkered and ignorant opinion but not as some manifesto for the razing or neglect of the historic fabric which you know i oppose.

    • #804746
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @hutton wrote:

      Ouch!… Meeooow!

      Oi! Selective quoting! I said that particular piece of his post, not the entire thing. This ain’t no tabloid newspaper, ’tis archiseek, a paragon of cybervirtue and fairness in debate;)

      I think we need to take a break, get some sleep, maybe wake up refreshed and go for a walk before returning to the site – I know a lovely beach in Dublin 4 that’s fantastic for an early morning stroll*

      *like I’ve ever done that

    • #804747
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @alonso wrote:

      Oi! Selective quoting! I said that particular piece of his post, not the entire thing. This ain’t no tabloid newspaper, ’tis archiseek, a paragon of cybervirtue and fairness in debate;)

      I think we need to take a break, get some sleep, maybe wake up refreshed and go for a walk before returning to the site – I know a lovely beach in Dublin 4 that’s fantastic for an early morning stroll*

      *like I’ve ever done that

      Lol… agreed, good debate – much enjoyed – Good night all… for now 😉

    • #804748
      admin
      Keymaster

      @alonso wrote:

      As i said above, familiarity may have a major role in this thread.

      Familiarity is bound to colour our views. Dublin 8, like most other post codes holds a wide mix of character (& characters!) – I went to Synge Street & really like the surrounding area – harrington street, heytsbury, grantham, south circular from Leonard’s corner & the streets of it from the canal to kevin street, most of which estate agents like to call Portobello – and its urban end, south richmond street, camden street and down on to wexford street. Had I not spent 6 years there, it would probably be just another area i pass through on my way in to town & scrutinise from the top of a bus.

      And if we’re talking comparable post codes, i’d take D8 over D7 any day of the week 😀

    • #804749
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Almost midnight, so we can start this up again.

      ‘Dublin City Council to slash capital budget’
      from Olivia Kelly in today’s Irish Times.

      To cut back on expenditure, there’s a list of ‘regeneration and development projects which will be deferred’

      The list of cancelled (sorry, deferred) projects has 19 entries, guess how many of these ‘deferred’ projects are in Dublin 8?

      That’s right, ten of them!

      The Kilmainham/Inchicore urban space project,
      The Rialto project,
      The Lutyens Gateway to the Memorial Gardens,
      The Inchicore environmental improvements,
      Camac Greenlink,
      Cork Street regeneration,
      The footbridge over the Liffey at Chapelizod,
      Thomas Street environmental improvements,
      Paving at Ship Street,
      School Street car park.

      We’ll be told now that putting these projects on the list in the first place shows Dublin City Council’s commitment to the area.

    • #804750
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I know there will be boundary disputes, but this is the only Postal District map I can find:

    • #804751
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I don’t quite understand your comments, alonso, regarding Dublin 8. Not only has nothing of a nostalgic nature risen on any of the multiple threads touching on the area, but there hasn’t even been the need to try and avoid such rare aul times pandering, as commentary has focused on the built environment, and in the purely practical terms of identification, conservation/restoration, and proposed new development. Indeed, pretty much aside from the seminal The Liberties of Dublin book of 1974, the threads on Archiseek have been amongst the few instances of Dublin 8 being assessed on a par with the other quarters of the city, i.e. without the patronising baggage of rose-tinted spectacles and the need to fulfil a required quota of often dubious social history. You seem to be mixing up the content on here with popular perceptions of the area over the past half century.

      From my standpoint, what the postings on the area have tried to do is highlight what has been consistently overlooked by both planning authorities and the general public – partly because of the very rare aul times rhetoric mentioned above, which often clouds the much more layered character of the Liberties. I wholeheartedly support gunter’s and jimg’s assertions that the area has been, and continues to be, given the two fingers in terms of both public perception and treatment by authorities. It absolutely beggars belief when one reads the Liberties IAP of 2000 and the lofty aspirations therein – much of which are now replicated in the forthcoming LAP – the monstrous rubbish that has been thrown up the area in the intervening period in the name of improvement. It is simply flabbergasting how a planning document with accompanying tax incentive measures has had the ability to actively promote so much social and aesthetic damage, effectively blighting the area’s commercial streets and hinterlands for decades to come. Is it any wonder one does not hold ‘much grá’ for an area, when so very clearly nobody in authority does either. The likes of Francis Street, Meath Street, Carman’s Hall and their hinterlands have been decimated by tax incentivised developments, which, far from improving matters, have committed these streets to design mediocrity, social anonymity and a substandard quality of living which shall linger for many years to come, in contrast to the, at least, stimulating potential that the many derelict buildings and sites of the 1990s once afforded.

      There is little doubt, as Peter mentioned, that familiarity colours opinion, which is why it’s important to be open minded about areas of like and dislike. Understanding the background of an area and the forces that shaped its built environment is often key to appreciating what you’re looking at. An entirely new perspective can be gleaned by simply knowing the basics, as for example in the case of Dublin 8 noting the enormous influence of the Dublin Artisan Dwellings Company housing right across the district. Likewise, the Dutch Billy legacy still peeking through if you look hard enough. Alas, presentation inevitably also colours opinion, which is why it’s understandable that the chaos and hostility of the Christchurch Place and Cornmarket areas make the area so inhospitable, if not indeed virtually inaccessible, to many.

      In terms of my favourite parts of the city, i.e. ‘where I want to go’, to answer the thread question, they would have to include Thomas Street. The tingle of excitement approaching the area, with the spire of SS. Augustine and John emerging ahead and the slight curve in the street drawing you in further is always a memorable experience. A similar theme occurs on Westmoreland Street with the pompous 1920s cupolas and flags of O’Connell Street in the distance heralding a grandiose change of scene in the urban environment. Curiously, it never works in the opposite direction heading towards Grafton Street, in spite of its obvious popular appeal (and indeed conversely O’Connell Street’s distinctly lacklustre offerings). The effect of the House of Lords portico, however, does lift matters considerably beyond the ordinary.

      The Molesworth Street/Dawson Street area is very special – a uniquely gracious, mellowed calm, albeit ravaged by road engineers. The ‘red district’ to the west of Grafton Street is naturally another, as is the Camden corridor. The north Georgian core never fails to stimulate – I get a pain in my head around there trying to take it all in. I love how it hasn’t been tampered with in any over-restored way – all entirely readable, with lots of fragments of street furniture, mews lanes and little curiosities that tend to be swept away in sanitising developments on the southside. The cruel uses to which many of the buildings have been put – socially and aesthetically – never fails to depress however.

      I think it’s a futile effort comparing the coastal development of Dublin with its city centre – suburban/semi-rural versus urban. It’s apples and oranges. It’s important to acknowledge the significant contribution the outlying areas of Dublin make to the city as a whole, but there’s no point getting into an argument as to the superiority of either. Different kettles of fish.

    • #804752
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Graham your post is insightful, considered , logical and entirlely correct. I personally took this thread up as a vitrual gauntlet/glove slap to try and get a few punters riled up and arguing the virtual toss over whatever neighbourhoods would get pulse’s racing. (plus Alonso put me up to the D8 baiting):)

    • #804753
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Graham, can I clear up that i don’t actively dislike the Liberties, it’s just not part of “my” Dublin and it doesn’t attract me. Having said that I was in Vicar St the other night and I visit the Blackpitts area weekly, both in the postcode. I fully agree with your post and yeh I may have overstepped the mark in being so vocal about the area and it’s place in folklore – Just to clarify that i most certainly was not aiming that at anyone here and am bloody grateful for Gunter et al in highlighting this part of my city. (there’s only one thread on my part of Dublin and that’s just about it going through a sort of similar transformation to this area in the 70’s/80’s ie wrecked by a fcking road). Which brings me to the next point:

      It’s interesting that you throw the Christchurch/Cornmarket “chaos and hostility” into the debate. Thinking about this now, i would actually profer that this mangled urban fiasco is a major factor in the neglect of the area, not by the authorities per se but by the people of Dublin, like me 😉 . I think this junction is one of Dublin City’s greatest points of severance. Having overcome the river as a natural barrier over the centuries, we built one all of our own in the form of the most awkward, unattractive, hostile and dysfunctional junctions imaginable (all around Christchurch just for good measure)

      It divides the area from the Dame Street thoroughfare, from the “red district” as you call it, and of course, from Temple Bar. It seems a long way, for example, to Vicar Street from the Foggy Dew, but it’s not in reality. There are few, if any, other parts of the city centre divided in such a vulgar manner. Imagine it was a plaza or even a proper urban traffic junction which doesn’t scar the area. It’s extremely offensive to the idea of the city and to me at least acts as a “natural” blockage between the “treasured” Dublin 2 and the neglected Dublin 8

      Kilkenny take note.

    • #804754
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      In terms of my favourite parts of the city, i.e. ‘where I want to go’, to answer the thread question, they would have to include Thomas Street. The tingle of excitement approaching the area, with the spire of SS. Augustine and John emerging ahead and the slight curve in the street drawing you in further is always a memorable experience.

      That’s two votes for Thomas street.

      It’s interesting the extent to which the main arterial routes, Thomas Street, Dorset Street. Pearse Street, Camden Street etc. have featured in the discussion so far. In part, this may have to do with the dearth of genuine urban spaces in Dublin. There’s little doubt that, if we were having this discussion in any other, medium sized, European city, the merits of one sublime urban plaza over the next would be filling up the pages.

      In that context, scrapping over the attributes, or otherwise, of the likes of Dorset Street is probably a bit sad, but even without superb urban spaces, or world class individual buildings, great streets are a huge part of any great city.

      What are the ingredients of a great street?

      There’s probably a workable definition somewhere, but I’m going to come at it the other way, pick a street that I love and work back from that.

      All joking aside, I think Thomas Street has the potential to be one of the great streets of Europe, a street that encapsulates the essence of the whole city, it’s history, architecture, society, commerce, and industry.

      Long before we had the Wide Street Commission, Dublin had Thomas Street, a broad commercial thoroughfare, a street with monastries and markets, shops and workshops, hostelries and houses. With Thomas Street you have raw urbanism, animated by a true cross-section of city life, from art students to stall holders, a street dripping with a palpable sense of history. It’s not just that the final tragic scenes in several national tragedies were played out on Thomas Street, the murder of Lord Kilwarden, the capture of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the execution of Emmet, it’s the fact that the street retains much of the character it had when these events were played out.

      Fitzwilliam Street may be a fine piece of late Georgian urbanism, with or without the ESB building, but it is as dull as dishwater compared to a street like Thomas Street. Nothing of significance has ever happened on Fitzwilliam Street, or is ever likely to. Fitzwilliam St. was laid out with all the imagination that a speculative property developer could muster, which is not much. The street is protected and that’s as it should be, but so should Thomas Street. Ironically, the few houses on Thomas Street that are protected are the ones that look the most ‘Georgian’, the ones that look the most like they’d fit on Fitzwilliam Street, this is exactly were we’re going wrong. We’re misunderstanding the essence of the street.


      The Liberties LAP model looking west down the sweeping curves of Thomas Street. The void in the streetscape that is present day High St./Cornmarket, (refered to by alonso) is in the foreground and doesn’t really show up in this view to the extent that it does on the ground.

      The challenge for us is to recognise the depth of significance of a street like Thomas Street, protect the elements that contribute to that significance, and bring out the street’s potential with every intervention, not allow developers to sweep away all the bits that don’t conform to the Fitzwilliam St. ‘this is heritage’ photo-fit.

    • #804755
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Long before we had the Wide Street Commission, Dublin had Thomas Street,.

      In fact long before we had Dublin, Dublin had Thomas Street! Oh and how do you say this again, ah yes: +1!

    • #804756
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve lived on Thomas Street for the last two years and moved into the area full of the same sense of excitement at living in an area full of life and character but I have to say its one of the harshest environments I’ve ever experienced.

      Terrible traffic, giving rise to noise, dust, dirt and an absolute assault on the pedestrians senses.

      Grinding poverty – and it is grinding poverty. I’ve had people argue with me that its not as bad as I make out here but the amount of homelessness and chronic drinking and drug users in the area is absolutely shocking – its so bleak around here a lot of the time. A day does not go by that I don’t encounter a scene or a person which would frighten or break your heart. Given the state of the general economy this is not going to improve for a long time.

      There’s a real sense of neglect from the powers that be and many of them are small things like the length of time given to pedestrians to cross the street or the seemingly random bin collection service which leaves rubbish pile up on the pavement.

      The dereliction of the Iveagh Market is a crime – this has the potential to be a spectacular resource for the area – Not in a touristy way but as a genuine, inner city market, sustained by a high density population surrounding it and providing fresh produce and good food in an area sorely dependent on Spar and Centra.

      The standard of design of new builds is laughable. As has been pointed out above, Francis st now has possibly the lowest standard of built fabric of any street in the city.

      The standard of accommodation is so so poor. Small pokey flats, ill maintained and over priced due to its proximity with the city dominate the area. The provision of private space for this accommodation is nil. This only adds to the feeling of pressure cooker and urban intensity in the area. The nearest park – at St. Audeons church is unusable due to the prevalence of drug users and scumbags. The Phoenix park is a haven of tranquility away from this and during the Summer I spend as much time as possible up there but try getting there if you have a young family without a car in the area.

      What makes it even worse is the potential Thomas street holds. Its a major thoroughfare for tourists walking up to Guinness. I couldn’t believe the streams of people moving along the street when i first moved in. The new cafes are a positive development and hopefully more will spring up to make this area more pedestrian friendly but its a long way to go. The City Council need to get their act toghether and give this area the attention and respect it deserves – you really cannot imagine this happening on some of the finer streets in the city.

      Anyway rant over!! In the context of the thread however I have to put Thomas St down as an area I will be glad to leave soon and will see little to draw me back for the forseeable future.

    • #804757
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Graham- Were you born with the ‘tingle’, or was it acquired?

      On this topic in general, there would appear to be two parallel interpretations at play, especially re the Thomas Street misunderstandings, viz. how it looks now (alonso) vs what it could be (gunter and GrahamH). In this regard, reddy’s post is most instructive.

      @GrahamH wrote:

      You seem to be mixing up the content on here with popular perceptions of the area over the past half century.

      Well, alonso wouldn’t be the only one we could accuse of reacting to non-existent statements, accusations, etc.

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Is it any wonder one does not hold ‘much grá’ for an area, when so very clearly nobody in authority does either. The likes of Francis Street, Meath Street, Carman’s Hall and their hinterlands have been decimated by tax incentivised developments, which, far from improving matters, have committed these streets to design mediocrity, social anonymity and a substandard quality of living which shall linger for many years to come

      I understood this to be part of what alonso was saying.

      *** *** ***

      @hutton wrote:

      Keep it up folks – a most interesting and informative discussion on a thread which one had presumed would fall into the old cliches 🙂

      *cough*

      @hutton wrote:

      + 110%

    • #804758
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      What are the ingredients of a great street?

      Right we’re beginning to get somewhere here. A great street, to me, offers reasons to stay rather than pass. It’s a simplification which requires elaboration so I’ll start the ball rolling:

      A mix of Retail from the elite or mainstream fashion to the crusty – eg Brown Thomas and boutiques on Wicklow/Exchequer St in amongst Music Maker and Record Collector
      Cafes
      Pubs and night time uses
      Space and plenty of it for pedestrians
      Practical invisibility of motorised traffic of all modes
      A sense of enclosure
      A network of usable laneways leading into and out of the street
      Surprising vistas
      A few seats, ah go on DCC, just a few
      Public Art
      An epic building, often historic, which gives the whole area a unique point of reference – often a church
      Safety and security
      A certain randomness and ramshackleness without dereliction or underuse – eg Parnell St east

      There’s probably a workable definition somewhere, but I’m going to come at it the other way, pick a street that I love and work back from that.

      :confused:Couldn’t find one in Dublin that meets the above. Anyone else?

      All joking aside, I think Thomas Street has the potential to be one of the great streets of Europe, a street that encapsulates the essence of the whole city, it’s history, architecture, society, commerce, and industry.

      Meh 😉 I actually think this sums up our whole argument. The thread title remember reads – places you do and don’t want to go. Potential may draw me professionally to an area – the endless possibilities and the will, as a planner, to make a positive difference to the urban realm – by building on the foundations rather than erasing them to provide a blank canvas. On that we are all agreed. However potentially great streets won’t personally and socially draw me away from Wexford St. or Parnell St. And if you feel Thomas St. has the potential to be one of the great streets of Europe, surely so do Merrion Row, Westmoreland/Dolier St, South William St., Dame St, Dorset St., a car free River Quayside etc. As it stands today do these not offer greater potential in an increasingly car-less city, if that were to occur? (and it needs to for Thomas St to make real progress from one of Dublin’s most hostile (in a design sense) to being among Europe’s greats)

      Long before we had the Wide Street Commission, Dublin had Thomas Street, a broad commercial thoroughfare, a street with monastries and markets, shops and workshops, hostelries and houses. With Thomas Street you have raw urbanism, animated by a true cross-section of city life, from art students to stall holders, a street dripping with a palpable sense of history. It’s not just that the final tragic scenes in several national tragedies were played out on Thomas Street, the murder of Lord Kilwarden, the capture of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, the execution of Emmet, it’s the fact that the street retains much of the character it had when these events were played out.

      Which raises the question of how much of that “character” is in fact desirable? What is raw urbanism in a city ravaged by heroin, dereliction, crime and deprivation not so long ago, if not still in places. Is it possible that this term, raw urbanism, is an academic rose-tinted view of what may be, to many, essentially no-go areas? Was it raw urbanism that elected Tony Gregory in the 80’s, is it raw urbanism that rears it’s head all too frequently in Limerick? Was it raw urbanism on display in O’Devaney gardens a few months back?

      http://www.dublinpeople.com/content/view/891/57/

      I think we have to be very careful in almost glamorising this set of aspects of city living. I’m not advocating a new-town approach of wiping the slate clean and starting again but we need to be mindful of the needs and wants of the people living in areas like the Liberties. I don’t know where you actually live and I actually do not believe it is relevant. In general people want to live in security, safety and with access to essential services where they can trust their neighbours. We also strive for an attractive place to call home, both within the 4 walls and also on the streets. We cannot treat places people live as some sort of set-piece just because we think the area has a unique history. Remember many people wanted to maintain Ballymun flats, admittedly some were residents, but an awful lot of outsiders wanted to as well. I’m not accusing you of this but there is a fine line that some people have a tendency to cross.

      Fitzwilliam Street may be a fine piece of late Georgian urbanism, with or without the ESB building, but it is as dull as dishwater compared to a street like Thomas Street. Nothing of significance has ever happened on Fitzwilliam Street, or is ever likely to. Fitzwilliam St. was laid out with all the imagination that a speculative property developer could muster, which is not much. The street is protected and that’s as it should be, but so should Thomas Street. Ironically, the few houses on Thomas Street that are protected are the ones that look the most ‘Georgian’, the ones that look the most like they’d fit on Fitzwilliam Street, this is exactly were we’re going wrong. We’re misunderstanding the essence of the street.

      Nothing of significance except the ESB block 😉 Interesting argument that’s irrefutable. It is true that we do seem to ferociously guard a lot of Georgian architecture which it seems has been accepted as Dublin’s thing, our shtick almost, when as you rightly say there’s far more to the city which should be protected, from other eras.

      The challenge for us is to recognise the depth of significance of a street like Thomas Street, protect the elements that contribute to that significance, and bring out the street’s potential with every intervention, not allow developers to sweep away all the bits that don’t conform to the Fitzwilliam St. ‘this is heritage’ photo-fit.

      Again, no one here is likely to disagree. I have a real fear, and I’m sure it’s far more real to you in relation to Thomas street, that if we couldn’t manage to control developers, if we couldn’t effectively protect our urban heritage and we couldn’t bring a street like Thomas St back into the core of Dublin’s conscience during a time of plenty, what hope have we now in this new era. It’s Bachelors Walk all over again and I ain’t talkin’ about the sitcom.

    • #804759
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What happened to your light humorous posts?

      @alonso wrote:

      A great street . . . . I’ll start the ball rolling:

      A mix of Retail from the elite or mainstream fashion to the crusty – eg Brown Thomas and boutiques on Wicklow/Exchequer St in amongst Music Maker and Record Collector
      Cafes
      Pubs and night time uses
      Space and plenty of it for pedestrians
      Practical invisibility of motorised traffic of all modes
      A sense of enclosure
      A network of usable laneways leading into and out of the street
      Surprising vistas
      A few seats, ah go on DCC, just a few
      Public Art
      An epic building, often historic, which gives the whole area a unique point of reference – often a church
      Safety and security
      A certain randomness and ramshackleness without dereliction or underuse – eg Parnell St east

      That’s a good list alonso, but I’d like to think that architecture plays a bigger role. As well as ‘an epic building’, I think the general streetscape has to have enough architecture to engage the aesthetic senses. I don’t want to think that you can have a great street without there being interesting architecture in the mix.

      I think organic growth plays a part. A planned street, no matter how magnificent, seldom has that ‘great street’ quality that a street forged over time, and by many different hands, has. This ties into the whole ‘urban layers’ terminology, as well as the randomness of your last point.

      @alonso wrote:

      . . . if you feel Thomas St. has the potential to be one of the great streets of Europe, surely so do Merrion Row, Westmoreland/Dolier St, South William St., Dame St, Dorset St., a car free River Quayside etc.

      Leaving the Quays out of it on definition grounds, I wouldn’t put the others on the same level, I like them all, but they don’t have that depth that I feel when I’m on Thomas Street. Dame Street should have, but it feels like a couch that’s been re-upholstered too many times.

      @alonso wrote:

      What is raw urbanism . . . Is it possible that this term, raw urbanism, is an academic rose-tinted view of what may be, to many, essentially no-go areas?

      OK a misunderstanding here, I was using the term to convey the physical attributes of the streetscape, gritty, not pretty, rather than any deep assessment of the social context.

      I don’t want to hijack the thread with more discussion on Thomas Street, but I really believe that there is something special here and, with DCC attitudes the way they are, it’s in some peril.

      I take reddy’s point about the harsh realities of living in the middle of deprivation. I lived just off Gardiner Street for four years and I will never forget the first day we moved to a flat in Sandymount, It was pokey and dark, unlike the vast dilapidated Georgian house we had the run of before, but that didn’t matter, we just went out and walked the streets till the early hours free from all the tension and the worry about being broken into if we were spotted out on the street. I’m not under any illusions in that department.

      That doesn’t mean I’m going soft on Sandymount Strand.

    • #804760
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      What happened to your light humorous posts?

      Recession. It’s all dark cynical humour from now on….

      That’s a good list alonso, but I’d like to think that architecture plays a bigger role. As well as ‘an epic building’, I think the general streetscape has to have enough architecture to engage the aesthetic senses. I don’t want to think that you can have a great street without there being interesting architecture in the mix.

      Yep. I intended to edit the post to reflect that. Thought of it on the bike in the next day but by the time i’d returned to home i’d forgotten all about it. Honest….:o

      I think organic growth plays a part. A planned street, no matter how magnificent, seldom has that ‘great street’ quality that a street forged over time, and by many different hands, has. This ties into the whole ‘urban layers’ terminology, as well as the randomness of your last point.

      Agreed. It’d be an interesting exercise to find any “new” streets or streets from one era that can be described as great. Perhaps the guardians of the Carlton and Arnotts sites may oblige…

      (that’s the sound of me not holding my breath)

      Leaving the Quays out of it on definition grounds, I wouldn’t put the others on the same level, I like them all, but they don’t have that depth that I feel when I’m on Thomas Street. Dame Street should have, but it feels like a couch that’s been re-upholstered too many times.

      feels like a couch that’s had the administrative equivalent of 9 pints of Fitzsimons Guinness topped off with an Iskanders deposited on it… in fact…

      OK a misunderstanding here, I was using the term to convey the physical attributes of the streetscape, gritty, not pretty, rather than any deep assessment of the social context.

      I don’t want to hijack the thread with more discussion on Thomas Street, but I really believe that there is something special here and, with DCC attitudes the way they are, it’s in some peril.

      Well if there’s anything i can say to round this off, I will say that I will in future pay far more attention to what’s going on around me next time i’m up that way. As i’m sure many other readers will, those who may not have in the past.

      I take reddy’s point about the harsh realities of living in the middle of deprivation. I lived just off Gardiner Street for four years and I will never forget the first day we moved to a flat in Sandymount, It was pokey and dark, unlike the vast dilapidated Georgian house we had the run of before, but that didn’t matter, we just went out and walked the streets till the early hours free from all the tension and the worry about being broken into if we were spotted out on the street. I’m not under any illusions in that department.

      That doesn’t mean I’m going soft on Sandymount Strand.

      Ah sure we live in hope…

    • #804761
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @alonso wrote:

      . . . . thought of it on the bike the next day but by the time i’d returned to home . . . .

      That’s the ‘I left my homework on the bus excuse’, alonso!

      You brought up South William Street earlier.

      In the category: ‘Great short stumpy street (local)’ I think you’re right, South William Street is in with a shout.


      Rocque again with the site of Powerscourt Town House on the corner with Coppinger’s Lane, the main undeveloped plot remaining in 1756.

      It’s probably a bit too straight and planned to be an outright winner, but it does have a lot of the other attributes. In contrast to Grafton Street, the streetscape of S. William St. feels authentic and not just because it retains a good deal of it’s original character (only more full of life and diversity that it appeared in Malton’s day), but also because none of the interventions ever seem to be self-conscious.


      Malton’s view looking north towards Wicklow St. (Chequer Lane on Rocque).

      The three 1960s / 70s office blocks, towards the Lower Stephen Street corner, may be architecturally dismal, but somehow the street seems to be strong enough to absorb them.


      A 1980s sketch showing Mercer’s Hospital, before alterations, in the context of those three in-fill office blocks, and one of the cute narrow Georgian houses that survive on the same side of the street.

    • #804762
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hey! I thought there was an unwritten rule on Archiseek that we don’t post pictures of each other’s houses! Dream world houses included! We don’t want to be publicising matters and making them more unreachable now do we. I bagged that wendy house years ago.

      Sorry for the delay in replying alonso; your post is very much agreed with. I like your ‘urban fiasco’ description for Cornmarket et al. It sums up the entire experience of that no-mans-land – a vacuous filling in the urban sandwich, with Dublin 2 and Dublin 8 as the substantial bread slices either side. For any visitor to the city, citizen or tourist, it is this type of disastrous planning that generates such bad press for urban living, and why Dublin is so often perceived as somewhere to get out of as quickly as possible to those unfamiliar with the place. I find the best way of seeing things from that perspective is to cast my mind back to visiting this area as a child. We always used to either visit or cut through the whole north and south inner city by car: Dorset Street, derelict Parnell Street, North King Street, the quays, Christchurch, derelict Patrick Street, Thomas Street, The Coombe, Marrowbone Lane. I mean in all honesty, I wonder how I’m in any way sane after such a traumatised childhood (although it would also certainly explain a few things…). We always experienced the very worst parts of Dublin growing up – as very frequent visitors – and I generally had an appalling perception not only of the capital, but of the urban experience generally. It’s what makes you think of cities as being like, and it sticks with you, something it’s fair to say the average suburbanite probably also feels about areas such as High Street – if not as grimly as it was in the 80s and 90s. It is this type of planning-by-engineer that helps promote the image of cities as little more than a couple of quirky retail streets useful for shopping at Christmas, surrounded by a morass of ‘concrete jungle’ to steer clear of for the other 364 days of the year.

      It’s interesting that we tend to focus our wrath on the High Street/Cornmarket area for cutting the south city in two and acting as a barrier to Dublin 8, when in fact it could be argued that the deadening effect begins much further east, at City Hall. Lord Edward Street, as a planned thoroughfare is, and probably always was, as dead as a doornail, while Castle Street, once part of the most important route in the city, is equally devoid of most forms of life. The latter of course has been deprived of its importance and therefore commercial and social activity by the creation of the former, but ironically Lord Edward Street has never quite worked as a living street either – the D’Olier Street of the late 19th century. Which begs the question which of our older planned streets has ever been successful?

      As things currently stand, it’s probably fair to say that the four/four and a half prominent planned streets in the city are not particularly inviting in terms atmosphere or could be considered commercially successful. O’Connell Street, Westmoreland Street, D’Olier Street, Lord Edward Street and Dame Street (its widened parts) comprise a list of streets which could all be described as non-destinations. This is perhaps their function – they were all built as routes to somewhere else rather than as destinations in themselves. Indeed perhaps we’ve never been able to accept that, whether we like it or not, the heart of post-medieval Dublin has always been the Grafton Street area, with everything north of that a contrived and ultimately failed folly to the aspirations of the Gardiner estate and its desire for improved linkages to what essentially was a suburban housing estate. Perhaps O’Connell et al comprise the soulless link roads of the mid-late 18th century?

      As South William Street is raised, it is for me probably the most elegant and stimulating street in the city in terms of its mix of architecture, uses and building formats. There’s a perfect balance between the smattering of townhouses, purpose-built retail buildings and houses converted for commercial use during Victorian times. The prevalence of services is something that probably elevates a street beyond the ordinary; when this is combined with small-scale retail, residential, on-street dining, quality architecture and the odd major focal point such as Powerscourt Townhouse (both architectural and commercial), you hit on something very special. The old world appeal of domestic doorcases and wonky railings also injects a charm that is quite rare. Frith Street in London is similar in this respect, with elements also evident on South Anne Street in Dublin.

      Which is why my ire is constantly raised every time I approach South William Street (and I suspect will be equally raised in others by my posting this) from Exchequer Street, with the hideous ranks of bicycles and their racks generating such awful clutter at the important entrance to the street. First impressions are everything.

      This is just not good.

      Please will somebody rid the street of this eyesore by moving the racks to a more appropriate location. Not only are they visually corrosive to this gracious street, they consume a large amount of what is already a narrow pavement. Also planning control over seating and canopies isn’t particularly stringent either. Some are distinctly tawdry and tatty looking, notably the first example.

      As much as traffic is an unpleasant feature of South William Street, it would be unfortunate if it was to be pedestrianised in an all-consuming way such as Grafton Street. There’s something about such a synthetic acknowledgement of the special character of South William that makes me uncomfortable with such a move. I think it’s the eradication of roadway that always makes me feel queasy about pedestrianisation – whatever street or city it is. The laying of a tightly-knitted pedestrianised cobbled roadway with spacious pavements either side would be a more legible solution I think than an all-encompassing pasting down of paving from frontage to frontage.

    • #804763
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      ‘Dublin City Council to slash capital budget’
      from Olivia Kelly in today’s Irish Times.

      To cut back on expenditure, there’s a list of ‘regeneration and development projects which will be deferred’

      The list of cancelled (sorry, deferred) projects has 19 entries, guess how many of these ‘deferred’ projects are in Dublin 8?

      That’s right, ten of them!

      The Kilmainham/Inchicore urban space project,
      The Rialto project,
      The Lutyens Gateway to the Memorial Gardens,
      The Inchicore environmental improvements,
      Camac Greenlink,
      Cork Street regeneration,
      The footbridge over the Liffey at Chapelizod,
      Thomas Street environmental improvements,
      Paving at Ship Street,
      School Street car park.

      We’ll be told now that putting these projects on the list in the first place shows Dublin City Council’s commitment to the area.

      Of course one surprising thing about the so-called stimulus package was that it didn’t contain many stimulus measures in the normal sense of items of government spending that would act as an immediate support to a depressed industry, in our case construction. Surely the obvious thing would have been to send cash to the local authorities, DCC has a whole list of projects here in an advanced state of planning ready to support construction while benefiting the city.

    • #804764
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      While I acknowledge that reopening a 4 year old thread is not always a wise thing to do, I have been thinking about this old conversation for some time now and felt I should return to archiseek and say a few things on the Thomas street / Dublin 8 debate to clarify and update a few things. I’ve spent a lot more time in the area in recent years for various reasons, and while I still don’t love Thomas Street, I now see far more to love about this varied postcode.

      It certainly does have the character that gunter described so well and I’ve only recently discovered the vast warren of housing hanging off O’Curry Road and around Oscar Square. I think the area from Clanbrassil Street west as far as Donore Avenue, south of Cork Street is a gem of an area and a place I’d completely overlooked on this thread. As for the Liberties themselves, yeh as we’d all admitted, there’s something about the place but I would like to retract my sneering comments from before about it being an overly folklored place. It was a tad unfair.

      Anyway, to sum up, I’d overlooked Portobello and the area around Lombard and Curzon street in the original discussion, have only just really discovered Oscar Square et al, and the Liberties is not a place i “don’t want to go” as it may have been before. I’m glad I was able to find this thread and get to make this clarification.

      Gunter, you were right about a lot more than I gave you credit for at the time.

    • #804765
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @alonso wrote:

      gunter, you were right about a lot more than I gave you credit for at the time . . . . . I’m glad I was able to find this thread and get to make this clarification.

      I’m not going to lie to you alonso, I had been dwelling on this

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