Forum Replies Created
Completely agreed Cathal. Just thought they were interesting links etc. And planning (or acting to be more specific) is subject to interminable delays in this city.
yes, they certainly are but I feel quite burned from all the hoopla surrounding DART underground and MN. All the YouTube videos, pdfs, websites and flashy computer graphics all served to distract from the dearth of actual commitment to actually develop these pieces of infrastructure. Like a lot of things in Ireland, there needs to be less talk, more action.
I did mention a few posts back that €1m has been set aside for the Markets project and that work had started in Feb. I had a nosey in today (couldnt get inside as it closes at 3pm – that will have to change) and its creeping along. It is fair to say though that the building is a working space but cant imagine there is too great a fire under DCC on this matter.
I had a look today as well! We could have been within metres of each other without knowing it! I was in Town buying a few bits and decided to disintermediate all this internet stuff and have a look at it for myself. You are absolutely correct that building work has commenced – I can see all the H&S building signs plastering the market (now that’s gaudy signage I can tolerate! :-)) and some road works. In fact today’s visit made me even more determined that this fantastic Victorian masterpiece is given a proper restoration to all its former glory and peopled with dozens of artisan food suppliers. In fact I believe that Dublin’s Fruit Market, ar from smply equalling Cork’s English Market can instead be far superior and demonstrate, yet again our pre-eminent position in Ireland’s urban hierarchy. Truly the Dublin Fruit Market can become the best place on the island to meet and have truck with producers of quality Irish food and drink products.
PS. this jaunt led to me to a street in Dublin I had no idea existed – Little Mary Lane – it is a delightful side street with the rather interesting, “Chinatown Malaysian restaurant” and a mock-traditional Irish pub with what looks like a daub wall. It also seems to be the site of Fyffes warehousing in Dublin. The more you know!
You might read the previous posts!
Hi StephenC. You have linked to some very interesting things but they do smack of a lot of what constitutes planning in this city – lots of masterplans, computer graphics and ideas but very little in the way of implementation. I’m glad to hear that work began in February and I’d like to see pictures, videos of that happening a la the new Marlborough St. bridge – tangible evidence that something is happening. I’ll be in Town over the next couple of weeks so I’ll make a point of going over to have a gawk at what’s happening with my own eyes.
Is there any news re the development of the fruit market? It would be great to see this developed into something like Spitalfields markets in London or the English Market in Cork. It’s one thing we’re lacking – an attractive, properly-developed market area.
Doesnt look like Smithfield is included in this list http://www.dublincity.ie/RecreationandCulture/CasualTradingLicence/Pages/default.aspx but there is already a small market on Smithfield and its not as if there are no vacant shop units that need filling. I’m not really sure stalls will help. I think stalls need anchor shops to attract footfall.
Well I’d certainly agree with that – anchor shops are certainly more attractive than stalls to people but given the overall slump in fortunes experienced by Dublin and Ireland it’s not likely that we’ll see too many of them, therefore we’re left with the likes of stalls to generate business. It might be a good idea also to put in a couple more Dublin Bikes stands when the next round of expansion starts with that. Incidentally, I remember reading that fastfood places and phone shops are really footfall-leeches rather than footfall generators in themselves.
Smithfield Fruit Market…would you call it that. I always think of the Markets area as separate from Smithfield. Preliminary works have already begun on the Market Hall. Interesting collection of images here http://www.dublincityarchitects.ie/?p=98#more-98
Public realm is a key to the success of the Markets I would think. Its is uniformly awful in this part of the city. Perhaps this might help http://dubcitybeta.wordpress.com/
Well the place it’s in is called Smithfield on ratemyarea.com so there’s some argument for it being called that! However, I feel the main thing is for the place to be developed, regardless of what it’s called. I’m delighted to hear that preliminary works have (finally) commenced. Hopefully they’ll be ready to go for Christmas this year. It would be another driver of business in around that part of Dublin 1.
Thanks for the link to the blog with the photos of it being built in the first place. Often with these older buildings you think of them as being a permanent feature on the landscape and forget that once, they too, were new constructions. I wonder did they have to deal with an Bord Pleanála back in their day? 🙂
I read on thejournal.ie that there’s to be 17 new stalls permitted around Town with the change in the bye-laws of Dublin City Council. Do archiseekers know if any of these are to be located in Smithfield? It would be good as it could act as a further catalyst to bringing footfall through the area and promoting a vibrant, attractive community.
Also, the Smithfield fruit market needs the cash for its long-mooted redevelopment which should begin and be completed this year. Having the Smithfield fruit market up to the same standard as the English Market in Cork in terms of being a destination for locals and tourists alike would provide another boost to the area and support cafés and restaurants in the area.
The next phase of wayfinder signage is to be rolled out in Docklands in the coming weeks, replacing the existing units (many of which are in bits).
That’s good to hear – it’ll eliminate at least one design inconsistency in the city. I must say this project has really highlighted how bedraggled the Docklands’ Wayfinder Signage had become which is a pity considering it was a great scheme when it was introduced. Hopefully these new signs will be maintained by DCC/JCDecaux because it would be a shame to squander what has been a great addition to the cityscape.
@Paul Clerkin wrote:
Graham – another view of those concrete posts on O’Connell Street – from the new Edwin Smith book
Are they the same lights as the one which currently illuminates one of the bus stops on Pearse St.? They look very similar to it.
DCC should make an example of some of these offenders. They should go to them in the morning with their staff and take down all the illegal signage and street clutter and refuse to collect the rubbish of the offending business until such time as they create a shop frontage which does justice to the ancient and wonderful city in which we live.
The capital investment programme for Dublin announced by DCC today includes the refurbishment of the Market Hall despite the cuts elsewhere. It well worth it. I think with some clever collaborative thinking this area could really take off.
I agree. I have to laugh at the fact that this thread is 7 years old and we’re still talking about doing this. It’s a development of undoubted benefit that should have been done ages ago. Considering all the other rubbish which was built during the boom it’s a crying shame that a worthwhile scheme like this was neglected.
No more talking, just go ahead and do it should be DCC’s view.
I think the point is they aren’t!
Yet the Council are extraordinarily sensitive to criticism. When elements of the “heritage lobby” (hate that phrase) raise their heads above the parapet about these matters they come down on them like a ton of bricks.
Well I suppose that’s the root of our problem, isn’t it? An indifferent City Council. We need a city council who cares about this and imposes basic standards which are rigorously enforced. If we want to be serious about presenting and developing Dublin as an international city we need to get basics like street signage right. I’ve been looking at a few documentaries which have had several sequences shot in places like Paris and the streetscape seems several steps ahead of us – everything looks so much better and cohesive. I fear Dublin’s character is being deformed by this barrage of cheap, tacky and insensitive signage.
You’re right about Dawson St. Graham – it lost Waterstone’s last year which was a fine and stylish emporium and guess what it’s getting this year – a discount book shop. While these places are doing valuable service in providing cheap reads to people in tight times their proliferation has only served to underline the sharp drop in living standards this country is currently experiencing. As well as this their shopfronts are cheap and tacky with little aesthetic merit. Bargain bookshops with their bargain shop signs are yet another indicator of the cheapening of Dublin City.
When are the City Council going to do something about all this?
There are some very good ideas in that report about what should be done around Parnell Sq. I was initially disconcerted by the lack of lanterns, neon signs and pagoda-style awnnings which are normally associated with Chinatowns but the emphasis on brickwork makes sense given that it is one of the strengths of Dublin architecture. Whether or not DCC, the Government or the traders themselves pick up on the Civic Trust’s ideas it is nonetheless crucial that we do successfully develop this Chinatown. The whole area north of Talbot Street and south of Parnell St. should be developed into a series of ethnic quarters to give a platform to the cosmopolitanism of our city.
I’ve seen a few of these going up around the place alright. They’re a good addition and will help tourists and other newcomers get to grips with Dublin’s layout. Apparently they’re back-lit so it will be interesting to see how they look when the sun goes down. I have to laugh at the time estimates on the maps though. I’ve traversed the 10 minute distance in half that time.
Reading threads about Dublin vs other Irish cities or Dublin vs the country on other sites (such as Boards.ie), one of the common refrains against Dublin is that it is a “kip”. While this is self-evidently false (there are countless points of natural and human-made points of beauty in and around the city) I do feel that the shoddy standards in shop signage feeds into the impression that Dublin is a kip. As I’ve said before if the DCC fixed this problem, freed the city of 250 unnecessary poles and got rid of all the substandard and unsightly pavements then perceptions of Dublin as a kip would abate. If we want to be serious about our bid to be the 2014 World Capital of Design we should be getting basics like this right.
One of the central reasons for this lurid profusion of tackiness is the failure of DCC to create a code of practice for street signage and shop frontage and enforce it with hefty fines for offenders and writs to have offensive and gaudy signage removed within a month. Given the shortage of funds in the DCC this strategy would reap a significant short-term windfall for the DCC which could then be used to fix the many pot-holes, worn road markings and eroded ramps in the city which are a menace to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. The roadworks would also create a good few jobs too.
A functioning, regular market would help enliven Smithfield and give the regeneration a new impetus. With the Grangegorman redevelopment trundling along there’s a fresh opportunity to make this area better. A flea market would be the ideal starting point as it is an easy means of bringing lots of people to the area on a semi-regular basis. Hopefully this footfall will trigger the development of small shops, cafés, restaurants etc. necessary for filling all the empty units, providing employment and an atmosphere to the area.
The horse fair has rightfully been criticised by animal welfare organisations for the questionable standards of care received by the horses. However if the market was regulated and supervised it could be beneficial from a tourism perspective as people come to watch a 400 year-old market in action.
There was a nice environmental improvement job done at the bottom of North Great George’s Street last year, possibly under DCC Architect’s Division (?). Tree planting, pavement widening, a shared surface, and integrating the historic granite paving sucessfully, with appropriate pointing in a sand-lime mix (akin to the work done on Capel Street). Not quite David Norris’s gates idea, but some civic improvement anyhow.
That’s a good paving job by the council which adds to the area. I never thought I’d be saying that about paving done in Town. The trees are a nice touch and the paving is well-executed. It just shows what a difference proper paving and street furniture make to the urban fabric. If this little example could be replicated across the city Dublin would be a far more attractive place to live in. Hopefully a re-paving job like this will be part of the government’s jobs initiative announced yesterday.
btw, is that an actually used pole in the foreground or another useless bit of clutter?
@Alek Smart wrote:
I listen on a regular basis to impressively titled Public Representatives and the likes telling us all about the Knowledge Based Economy and our incredible potential to be innovative and attract Googles,Facebooks,and EBays to our City……perhaps the last-named one might be a source of cheap, working,light-units which some passing African Missionaries might endevour to connect up for us in our hour/century of need. :crazy:
Exactly, we get caught up with creating the internet capital of Europe here in Dublin but can miss out on the basics. I’d love to have a budget of about a €100 million to go round fixing up the footpaths, sorting out streetlighting, cleaning up facades, repainting road markings and removing unnecessary poles. Simple minor works like this would dramatically improve the urban fabric of Dublin and make it a much more livable and attractive place.
The recession is having a terrible impact on the quality of street lighting and the like here in Dublin. Cheap and garish are the order of the day and Dublin City Council barely lifts a finger to do anything about it.
Great photos Graham, as always. You really did have a great vantage point. That photo of the President is amazing. O’Connell St. really does look like a proper national main street when looking at these photos but those plastic window boxes of flowers are ridiculous. What is this, a village féte? They should have proper pots for state occasions like these.
btw, has anyone noticed how Enda Kenny has gained about a stone since becoming Taoiseach? I never saw him with such a paunch before. As Leader of the Opposition he looked a lot slimmer than he is now.
@Paul Clerkin wrote:
Thats because they’re waiting on a sign pointing upwards like a giant finger 😉
Haha, that could be it. I didn’t know it was a Phase II sign StephenC, we’ll probably have to wait a few weeks for it to be fitted out then. Still no sign of the information panels yet.