Westland Row / Lincoln Place Baths

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    • #707398

      After hearing of Trinity’s plans for Pearse St and Nassau can anyone tell me if the lovely little Victorian streetscape on Westland Row is going to survive their progress ?

      Oh, anyone ever remember this incredible building ? Demolished in the 70’s apparently


    • #747147
      Rory W

      Replaced by that wonder piece of “architecture” the Elan HQ … barf

    • #747148

      Years back it was planned to get rid of Westland Row, but now it is to be kept. The Turkish Baths were opposite the Lincoln Gate to Trinity.

    • #747149

      One of the finest streetsapes in the city is Westland Row – in a way I like the effect Trinity’s ownership has on that terrace in that they all still look like private houses – the doors are always closed and there isn’t a brass business plaque at every entrance etc.

      Good to see the large red-brick Georgian across the road has been restored recently, it is unbelievable the difference in appearance, and the contribution it now makes to the street.
      At night there’s a magnificent view of the Adam plasterwork of its drawing room ceiling lit up, through the 4 tall arched windows. Unusual detail in these widows too. Also, two neighbouring Georgians have at last got a much needed coat of paint and look very well too.

      Some improved paving and lighting would help in contributing to the turnaround in fortunes this street has been experiencing recently, what with Trinity’s (overall) decent job on its stock and various other retail and restoration developments.
      Next on the list is the removal of some of the worst PVC windows I’ve seen in that Victorian (convent?) close to Pearse.
      Also, the unusual Victorians on the corner with Merrion St need work.

      I’d forgotton about those Turkish Baths, just imagine if that dome was still there today – of course then we’d just take it for granted.
      Any connection with the cafe that used to be there being called the Taj Mahal? The cafe of ‘Where is the Taj Mahal – opposite the Dental Hospital’ fame 🙂

    • #747150
      Paul Clerkin

      Thats the Irish Academy of Music Graham….

    • #747151

      Ah. Well here’s a pic – the stonework on the ground floor is excluded but looks even better than the upper floors now:

    • #747152

      I noticed the work done there aswell the other day. I particularly like the way the granite now looks that it is all polished up.

    • #747153
      Paul Clerkin

      Cleaned up beautifully – walk past it after dark and look in to the interior….

    • #747154

      Yes the whole drawing room ceiling lights up magnificently; such a grand sight from down in the murky damp conditions on Westland Row – makes you feel like a right pleb 😀

      Just so Cork doesn’t get swamped with Dublin, here’s that unusual curved building on the corner with Merrion St and Lincoln Place – not only because it’s roundy :), but also as it is a rare enough example of Regency/early Victorian architecture.

      Unfortunately it suffered a fire a year or two ago and has yet to be restored to the exterior at least.

      One building that has been restored though is right next door, this delightful little Victorian:

      It looks great now crowning the top of Westland Row (aside from the advertising hoarding of course :rolleyes: ), with the sashes also having been restored – always been one of my favourite buildings in Dublin.

      There’a such a fine mix of architecture on Westland Row, especially the eastern side which is often ignored in deference to Trinity’s impressive terrace.

      Along with Kildare St though it is probably the worst lit street in the capital; likewise the paving and street furniture could do with improvement including the widening if possible of the footpaths.
      At many times of the day there’s 5-10 times? the amount of pedestrians on the street as people in cars, yet they are afforded a dismal amount of space on the street.

    • #747155

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      Yes the whole drawing room ceiling lights up magnificently]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Dublin1/CurvedBuildingLincolnPlace.jpg[/IMG]

      Unfortunately it suffered a fire a year or two ago and has yet to be restored to the exterior at least.

      Does anyone know what the story with this building is? It is one of the nicest corner pieces in the city, and is simply being allowed to fall apart upstairs. Sweny’s Chemist is well worth a visit. It is beautifully maintained on the interior and exterior, but who ever is responsible for the upstairs seems determined to allow it fall apart!

      Would it have a case for compulsory purchase?

    • #747156

      @Punchbowl wrote:

      After hearing of Trinity’s plans for Pearse St and Nassau can anyone tell me if the lovely little Victorian streetscape on Westland Row is going to survive their progress ?

      Oh, anyone ever remember this incredible building ? Demolished in the 70’s apparently


      The article referred to here was moved some time ago. It can more permanently be found here:


      And in answer to an earlier question about whether there is any more information about these baths, there is a short article here:


      There are also illustrated articles about several other old Turkish baths in Ireland on the same website.

    • #747157

      Thanks for the links victurk – that’s far from a short article! Some thorough (and clearly passionate) research in there. A shame you spend half an hour reading in minute detail about the complex’s development history, until hitting a polychromatic glazed brick wall at 1900, when it was sold off. What happens next?! How does such a frivilous complex survive the cynicism of the 20th century for the best part of seven decades? A carpet showroom? A mega ice cream parlour? One of Dublin’s earlier hotbeds of iniquity?

      (perhaps this thread could be merged with the other of the same topic)

    • #747158

      Just an update on block pictured above – the corner of Lower Merrion St./Lincoln Place.

      The upper floors of this block (including the floors over Sweny’s) are nearing the end of a complete refurbishment.

      Sweny’s itself has been closed/abandoned for the last 6/8 weeks.

      And last week the billboard did the decent thing and fell to the pavement – and was promptly removed by the Dublin Fire Brigade. The billboard mount and lighting remains.

    • #747159

      It is apt so close to Bloomsday that we make mention of the restoration of the Lincoln Place corner, synonymous with Leopold Bloom’s purchase of a cake of lemon soap in Sweny’s Chemist which occupies part of the ground floor.

      Not only is Sweny’s a charm, but so too is its elegant host building – comprising Dublin’s best curved corner. A perfect quadrant, its facade’s delightful full-bodied form is ebullient yet gracious, politely turning the corner onto Merrion Street Lower. It is the nature of curved street corners, especially those at tight junctions, that their form generally goes unnoticed: the generous profile facilitating a free flow of traffic to the detriment of the appreciation of the structure which enables this.

      What is particularly interesting about No. 1 Lincoln Place, and ultimately a sad aspect of the structure, is its refinement and development of the Georgian building model in a manner that is so very rare in the city. The facade’s impeccable proportions, ambitious shape, gracious granite and stucco dressings and refined machine-made brickwork offer a glimpse into a Regency and early Victorian world of commercial and domestic architecture which the city centre simply never experienced, due as we know to economic and political stagnation. Aside from the completion of the outlying great domestic estates in the 1820s and 1830s, Dublin city centre exhibits a gaping hole in its architectural landscape of purpose-built premises, effectively stopping stone dead at 1800 before picking up again on a notable scale in the 1850s. Victorian tinkering with stucco dressings on existing buildings is largely all the intervening period had to offer.

      It is therefore a delight to experience with the ensemble at the corner of Lincoln Place late modest Dublin classical buildings of exceptional quality, which display a progression from the severity of the school of the Wide Streets Commissioners to a lighter, more palatable outlook on commercial architecture.

      The entire block would appear to have been built by one individual, if perhaps in stages. As seen above, the central three-bay curve is flanked on either side by a four-bay range on Merrion Street and a half version, a two-bay range, facing Westland Row – the latter presumably on account of limited land ownership. Alternatively, the high quality red brick side elevation may suggest a right of way of some kind next door.

      The curved corner building, which also incorporates the two-bay range facing Westland Row, suffered a fire on the second floor in approximately 2004, and a number of break-ins and subsequent fires since that time. Sweny’s survived all events largely unaffected. Restoration of the block finally got underway in recent times and has just been completed. There is one two-bedroom apartment on each floor.

      The architect’s report on the structure claims it was built after the 1870s on account of a sharp angled corner being portrayed on all OS maps up to that time, until the 1907 edition depicts it as curved. Quite clearly OS were being lazy on the matter, as the character of the building is very much of the 1840s or early 1850s. Judging by the sheet glass windows at first floor level, which are almost certainly original, and the fact that Sweny’s was supposedly established in 1853, it is fair to assume that the building dates from precisely this time. I have yet to encounter a single sheet glass window in the city centre which pre-dates 1850. All windows have been impeccably restored and replaced where necessary.

      The original brickwork is also of a very high standard and has been sensitively cleaned and repaired.

      Extremely refined original craftsmanship.

      Spot the replacement headers!

      It is unusual, however, for a facade to be tuck-pointed so late into mechanisation. The use of red mortar and putty and silver sand ribbons is clearly apparent.

      All original sound fabric has been retained. Fantastic job (i.e. by simply doing nothing).

      A further curiosity of this block of buildings (not meaning to dwell too much on brick detail), is the fact that the Merrion Street range was wigged in the Irish tradition (red mortar applied over white mortar to form lines), while the curved corner was English tuck pointed (white lines applied over red mortar). Here are the two compared (wigging to left).

      Need it even be said which is the more refined technique…

    • #747160

      Sadly the Merrion Street elevation needs considerable work. Many bricks are spalling quite badly.

      Note this elevation is west-facing, exposed to rain and thus freeze-thaw action.

      These illegal plastic windows only went in recently. Classy.

      Some delightful cylinder glass in the neighbouring building though.

      The pair of shops around here are probably original, though their shopfronts likely to be Edwardian.

      Pilasters, fascias and console brackets can still be made out.

      The lovely raised granite platform suggests the shops did not extend all of the way across originally.

      Again beautiful craftsmanship in the cutting of slabs is evident here, with unbroken curves hewn out of a single piece at each end. I thought I’d leave the syringe for dramatic effect.

      Unusually delicate ironwork to the end of the platform, a feature very much of the Dublin tradition. The newel post has long been knocked off.

    • #747161

      And matching robustly detailed bootscraper.

      A much simpler one in the middle of the platform.

      The corner shopfront, though reproduction, is well detailed.

      An original chunky and spare granite pilaster lands right down at ground level here. Lovely stuff.

      While Sweny’s retains attractive lamp holder ironwork and some apparently 1960s box signage hung on an even earlier wrought-iron bracket.

      The rear of the buildings, as might be expected, are of yellow brick. Note the seemingly earlier over-zealous cleaning of the red brick of the upper side elevation.

      A further fun curve gets squeezed in immediately inside the carriage arch (right).

      The interiors of the block appear to have been very well restored, with maximum original fabric retained. Most windows and internal shuttering and boxes survived the fires, as did cornicing and chimneypieces, and repaired where necessary.

      The main entrance door on Lincoln Place was substantially replaced. The panelling detail isn’t great and the mirror glass horrendous. Otherwise a good job.

      The window directly above was also replaced, frustratingly in a Georgian idiom rather than two-over-two. It looks silly stranded on its own when all first floor windows are the latter format.

      But otherwise a faultless restoration. Top marks.

      The third floor apartment is available for viewing on Daft at the minute. €1500 for a double and single.

    • #747162
      Paul Clerkin

      GH where the West Coast Coffee is was originally a laneway – I’ve seen it on maps

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