J. Seerski

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  • in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731006
    J. Seerski

    I’m afraid to say I’m rather disappointed with the end result of O’Connell Street. Its a long time since I’ve been on this board and since the last time the street has effectively stagnated.

    Arguably the worst building on the street – Findlater House – has not been redeveloped and seems destined to be a dead civil service office. The Gresham has failed to re-develop to Five Star standard. And, alas, the Carlton not only remained undeveloped since the first redevelopment proposal over ten years ago, but the new suggested replacement is a joke. I think its a trojan horse to force high rise in a subsequent planning application. I cannot envision the project either getting the finance nor the commitment for completion.

    The images of the porposal look horiffic and a mess. The suggested new square fronting O’Connell Street is an enormous error. It would break the building line that has been extant since the 18th century, turning the street from a boulevard into a broken and hap-hazard strip.

    I intend to lodge an objection. Cant wait! πŸ™‚

    in reply to: Re-open Broadstone!!! #725015
    J. Seerski
    PVC King wrote:
    Gobsmacked by the above!!!

    1. The Broadstone option will offer no such ease of interchange. As for Cork to Sligo changing at Portarlington, Athlone and Mullingar, why not just complete the Burma Road from Tuam to Sligo!

    2. Solution build the interconnector and flog Broadstone to Derek Quinlan, his management of Claridges has been spot on]

    1. The point is, at present, it is impossible to connect to the Sligo line with the others without going via Dublin. This re-opening would make such journeys between lines viable without going another hundered miles east to Dublin.

    2. How Flippant.:mad:

    in reply to: Re-open Broadstone!!! #725013
    J. Seerski

    Steady on lads – there is no reason why Dublin cannot have another mainline train station and there are plenty why it should.

    It is not an either or situation re Broadstone vs Interconnector – have both if you please, but Broadstone is bothe cheaper and easier to deliver in the short term. Again, it would act as a catalyst to expand the city centre – it needs to go beyond O’Connell Street and St. Stephen’s Green…

    Broadstone is hardly phibsboro – it is TWO STREETS FROM PARNELL SQUARE!

    in reply to: Re-open Broadstone!!! #725008
    J. Seerski

    As the person who started this thread (back in 2003!) I am particularly pleased to hear this is going ahead.

    Broadstone works for several reasons that an interconnector cannot:

    1. An Interconnector will not resolve capacity problems.
    2. An Interconnector will not address the lack of public transport to the northwest part of Dublin/Ireland in general.
    3. An Interconnector will make Heuston obsolete – why on earth would you travel from Galway/Cork to Heuston when you could go to Stephens Green?
    4. Broadstone would decrease capacity problems whereas the Interconnector would redirect all capacity to one or two termini.

    Broadstone will change Irish Rail in a way that has not happened – it will facilitate the re-opening of the Navan and Athlone-Mullingar lines, enabling a truly branchline network to re-emerge. At the moment, if these line were re-opened, Connolly would not cope and frequencies would be even further under pressure. The latter line in particular will facilitate cross-country travel whereas all cross country travel at the moment has to go via Dublin. One example of this: At the moment, to go from Cork to Sligo, you have to go to Dublin first, luas to Connolly, then Connolly to Sligo. With the re-opening of the Athlone- Mullingar line, you could transfer for Sligo via Portarlington/Athlone/Mullingar and Dublin does not come into the equation at all. Similarly, journeys from Maynooth to Galway become viable, Mullingar to Cork etc. etc. A true renaissance in railway travel will begin.

    Broadstone’s re-opening will also act as a catalyst to the regeneration of this part of the city centre. It is a mere two streets from Parnell Square and as stated already it is closer to the Spire than Heuston and is the same distance as indeed Connolly (just checked OS maps). One of Dublin’s major weaknesses is the compactness of the city centre. Broadstone’s re-opening will facilitate the growth of the city centre towards Smithfield and Heuston. Prior to its closure in the 1930s, the area surrounding the station was dotted with hotels. Needless to say, they disappeared with Broadstone’s closure.

    Every day I pass Broadstone I fell like I am passing a neglected elederly woman that has seen better days. Next time I pass, I will ignore her, safe in the knowledge the best is yet to come for her.

    Welcome Back Broadstone – you were sorely missed! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    in reply to: Dorset St (Upper) #715870
    J. Seerski

    Amid all the doom and gloom there are glimmers of enlightened enterprise. No. 1 Synnott Place was painted red for the past 20 years or more and was horribly defaced by advertising hoardings as well as being in a state of neglect. The recent restoration of this building has brought some hope to an area that, while improving, seemed to have lost its heritage in its quest to tidy itself up.

    This building is a beacon in an area that has such beauties as George Cosgrave Car Sales building (horriffic is the word!) and the emasculation of some fine georgian palaces near the Nth Fredrick Street end (there is one fine five-bay mansion that merits investigation, given its size and bulk it must have been a notable address – it is beside the shx coffe shop).

    I do agree with facades being preserved and or re-instated, if only for reference sake to how the area once was. Moreso, it would re-inforce the importance of the existing housing stock that is already extant.


    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #730150
    J. Seerski

    Can I take it then GregF that ‘Supervaluesque’ = cheap? It may claim to be, but fo my liking that store is most certainly not! πŸ™‚

    Related to the O’Connell Street development, before the plans were announced in 1997, Mountjoy and Parnell Square had several sites used as surface car-parks. It is great that the last of these is almost completely re-instated: Parnell Square West is the site of the final replacement of ill-concieved demolitions. It will be completed in several weeks by my reckoning – the facade has been completed. Lets hope these squares will never be allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair.

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #730149
    J. Seerski

    Quote – GregF

    And yes yes yes, those stupid, finicky, parochial, Super Valuesque, Γ’β‚¬Λœlets all join in the funÒ€ℒ permanent banners on the lampposts Γ’β‚¬β€œ how tacky, how lacking in distinction and grace, how small town Ireland, how patronising to citizens, how expensive if nothing else to maintain all year round – these yokes must cost a fortune to produce, pasted the whole way down the street, not to mention the quays and elsewhere.

    This has to be the funniest, most colourful and sadly, truest statement about the redevelopment! GregF – I salute you!

    in reply to: Citywest : Mansfield’s giant heap of crap #745586
    J. Seerski


    ABP says NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #730140
    J. Seerski

    I am in total agreement with you Jimg.

    While it is undeniable that many imporvements have taken place on the street, I beleive that there in nothing noteworthy in these improvements. Such improvements are replicated in streets in towns across the country. The street feels clinical, almost sterile, with no genuine feeling of awe which O’Connell Street would appeared to have had prior to its descent into chaos from the 1960s onwards.

    What I think is really tacky is the inclusion of banner advertising on the new lamp standards. It bears out my belief that what is intented is an improvement in the commercial possibilities of the street moreso than any central desire for civic improvement. If they were non-commercial banners then, very well. But the sponsorships listed on these banners do not hide their essential function: advertisements.

    Moreso than before, the street feels like a motorway. If this was the intention, then the redevelopment was a success. But somehow I understand the initial idea was more noble….

    I am impressed with the floodlighting of the GPO and the sensitive restoration of the statues on the street. However, what really bugs me is the removal of the Jesus Statue. What politically correct moron decided on this? Is it not part of the streets history aswell???

    The statue has historical, as well as folklore, merit for retention. It was said that after the destruction of the Gresham during the Civil War, this statue was found virtually intact in the rubble, was salvaged, and up until very recently was maintained by the taximen/jarveys rank opposite the Gresham. If the council want to start picking and choosing memorials to remove than why not continue on this pc crusdae and remove the O’Connell Monument, the Father Matthew monument, the Gardens of Remembrence….

    Lord Nelson may be joined by other fine monuments that fall out of favour…

    J. Seerski

    How can anyone even begin to approach this topic when it is not even half completed yet – most of the spine blocks are still standing. You are best to wait another five years before approaching this question… Its like asking was the building of the metro a good idea (as in its not even at planning stage yet!!!)

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #729964
    J. Seerski

    Interesting Montage….bears little semblence to reality! Would love to see that terrace on the right hand side – which does not exist!

    Rest assured – the metro will never happen…. even if it does, 2012 is an optimistic estimate for delivery…

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #729903
    J. Seerski

    Does anyone agree and think that allowing any potentially ‘awkward’ demonstration down O’Connell Street in its present state a particularly irresponsible decision? The sheer volume of unlaid stone and piles of rubble as a result of the ongoing works would only make it a rioters/imbeciles paradise….

    Political considerations aside, it was a wise decision to call off the march, considering the troublemakers which were baying for any excuse to start trouble.

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #729897
    J. Seerski

    One important question – has the statue of Jesus been removed from O’Connell Street? If it has its a ptiy as there was an interesting story behind it and the burning of the Gresham in the 1920s.

    Oh and Graham, if you are looking for the other obelisks I mentioned, you need to go to the rotunda gardens behind the hospital where you will see several.

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #729890
    J. Seerski

    Well no need to look far to find those obelisks….

    At the Piazza for the Hugh Lane there are two, and in the gardens of the rotunda there a few more.

    in reply to: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing #764801
    J. Seerski

    I cant see your point kite.

    For the very first time in my life I agree with Eoghan Harris. I’m scared!!!!

    It is disgusting that at a time of greater conservation awareness the countryside is being plundered for short-term gain with long term negative consequences.

    I have the benefit of growing up in Dublin and spending my summers in the midlands – Lucan was a village at the time (1987) and there were long stretches of road from there to Mullingar without any housing. Then they started to appear like ragworth on the roadsides. Now nearly every road is infested with these ugly, visually insensitive, and environmentally unfriendly piles of poor design. You would be hard pressed to find a quarter-mile stretch without a vile bungalow. It is truly incredible that a process that started slowly in the 1980s has completely destroyed the delicate beauty of Irelands countryside. Its not a question of stopping it anymore – it has gone past the point of no return in my opinion….

    Small boreens are now riddled with bungalows. Amazing vistas as disturbed if not destroyed by poor development. And still in many cases villages remain undeveloped, whereas a few miles beyond the bungalow plague manifests itself.

    Eoghan Harris has written the obituary of Ireland’s once cherished beauty. We still have well preserved beauty spots. However, spots is what they are – the general picture is defaced, bordering on the ugly. πŸ™

    in reply to: New Student Residences Building, Broadstone #764705
    J. Seerski

    Horrendous new building. It looks incredibly out of date – the finished side view looks like half of its panels have fallen off, and is reminiscent of Park House on the NCR – another disaster. It has an East Berlin look about it…

    The only redeeming feature is that it re-emphasises, through its poor design, the majesty and splendour of Broadstone Station. Never has the saying ‘they dont build them like they used to’ been more appropriate at this junction. It could have been a good opportunity to build higher given the open space surrounding the site.

    It is a shame that this wonderful site has been wasted with such a poor building. Its finish also seems suspect – it is lived in at the moment yet parts of the render/reconstituted stone cladding on the Phibsboro road side are missing with gaps noticeable near the entrance string course.

    Hendron’s building nearby -if thats what it can be called – presents an enormous opportunity for development – will be interesting to see if this is ever re-developed.

    in reply to: New street and redevelopment for Dublin ? #764508
    J. Seerski

    Well I would say one reason for builing a new street would be the added bonus of having (a) a corner building and (b) an enormous stretch of street frontage which would not be possible.

    Corner buildings tend to be more valuable and attract a higher premium – bizarre but true – Im sure a property economist would agree. Arnotts re-instating its missing tower would enhance the prominence of the building – as well as correcting an architectural imbalance. Also, a corner tower would also add to the buildings prominence.

    As for the building only being extended less than ten years ago, the nature of the business seems to suggest that tearing down and re-building will be a constant feature in retail from now on.

    The intention of Arnotts seem to be not only to expand the store, but act as a landlord for new chosen tenants to enhance the value and image of the area, with subsequent impact on the value of Arnotts itself. It is my understanding that the new street would consist of new stand-alone units, with Arnotts being the landlord. It is interesting that Arnotts are doing what should have been done by Dublin Corporation – namely exercising strict controls over what type of store should open at certain loactions. Not only will this improve the tenant quality of the area, but will be in Arnotts long-term commercial interest.

    In a simialr way, it always baffled me why Clerys never exploited its frontage on Earl Place – a windswept strecth only yards from O’Connell Street – it has enormous potential for development yet it lies as a service depot, a complete waste of space. In a way its similar to Clarendon Street, however there the former service area for Brown Thomas has become a shopping street in its own right.

    in reply to: New street and redevelopment for Dublin ? #764504
    J. Seerski

    On the grapevine…

    I was chatting to a Senior exec in Arnotts who told me all about this prior to the news being revealed in the Indo. What they told me was quite dramatic…

    According to the info I got, the 1960s block fronting onto Henry Street would be demolished and replaced by a street linking Abbey Street. The teneants they are seeking for this development include many US retailers who have never been to Europe before. The intention is to break from the British imported High Street which is repeated ad nauseum throughout Ireland and replace it with stores that will make Henry Street the ultimate shopping destination. The assembled site is much bigger than you may think – it means that on the block surrounded by O’Connell, Henry, Abbey and Liffey Streets, the only major tenants are Pennys, Easons and the GPO – with preactically everything else now in the posession of Arnotts.

    Other pointers to the development:
    The Car park is to be demolished – all car parking to be replaced to basement level for the entire site.
    Arnotts will be redeveloped completely into one of the worlds largest department stores (at present in the top 5 of Britain and Ireland).

    I think the new street is a great idea – Henry Street suffers from having few steets feeding into it, as opposed to Grafton Street. The plan would undoubtedly spread the city centre from its current dominant Grafton St/O’Connell Street/Henry Street axis.

    in reply to: Pre-Georgian Dublin #764222
    J. Seerski

    If you mean georgian aka : between George 1st and George 3rd, then there are quite a few examples still lurching around – mostly the facades are gone, the interiors remain.

    Areas that were constructed before the 1700s include parts of Capel Street, Stephens Green, Ormond Quay and possibly prts of College Green.

    If you mean Georgian in ‘style’ then you would be hard pressed to find any. The Georgian style as we know it today existed prior to the reign of George 1, ie: brick houses with sash windows. However there is one exception to this: it was a typical feature of Dublin housing in the 17th century to have its gable wall at the front of the house as opposed to the side – similar to what you would see in Amsterdam (‘Dutch Billy Gables’ they were called). Some remnants of these exist, though generally the parapets have been levelled, the only clue being the succession of windows not being uniform in sequence.

    Plenty of pre-georgian churches still around!

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #729829
    J. Seerski

    My God how shockingly derilict the northern end of O’Connell Street has become recently – most of the major commercial premises have become vactant in the past year, some for much longer, with no sign of any change. Consider the following list:
    Carlton – Still a pathetic sight of its former self and the main part used as nothing
    Fingal Co Co – completely vacant.
    Aer Lingus Offices – Empty since 2002
    Eircom (Findlater House) Empty for over a year now.
    Bank of Ireland Cavendish Row – vacant for over a year now.
    These are enourmous premises and their continued state of disrepair and idleness makes the area feel more decrepit than it has ever been before. Taking these premises in total, one third of Upper O’Connell Street could be said to be vacant.

    This is surely a shocking indictment of the councils efforts in trying to re-juvenate the area? Am I hoping in vain that things are so bad that the only way is up for this part of the street?:(

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