Forum Replies Created
O C St is infintely better than 20 years ago – less traffic, more people
Can’t say I have noticed a difference in either of this myself. “More people” is not necessary a good thing and has certainly not translated into better shops anyway.
but the removal of the trees, the widening of the pavements and the reduction in car traffic has made it a far better place.
As I said in my original post, these have happened and have improved it, but we’re talking about 15 years of an economic boom. In that time, we’ve gotten trees and a pavement. This doesn’t inspire much confidence in the future.
There are dodgy characters on every main street in the world.
O’Connell St certainly has nowhere near the same welcoming atmosphere as, say, Grafton St. I mean, I’m from the inner city myself so not exactly unused to rough areas, but apart from tourists, the average Dubliner does not saunter up O’Connell St to window-shop or enjoy a coffee/brunch. And Abbey St is downright intimdating these days with gangs of junkies hanging out at the Luas stops, occasionally attacking the tram with a golf umbrella like I saw a while back.
There’s a long way to go and the redevelopment of the Western side will have a massive impact as will metro. Feel free to give up but i hope you’re in the minority
Well, as I said in the my original post – it’s now been 15 years, when the country was swimming in money. For the forseeable future, the country will be paying billions in interest to artificially prop up property prices for our developer overlords. O’Connell St was shit when I was a student, it still shit (with trees) now that I’m (almost) middle-aged. There’s a difference between pessimism and realism, and I think I’m being realistic here.
Am I the only one who thinks O’Connell St is beyond help? Sorry for being a downer, but we’re at the end of 15+ years one of the longest economic booms we’ve had, the street is as bad as ever, and we’re past the point where there is any money to deal with the problem.
Sure, it has gained the Spire, some new trees and new widened pavements. On the other hand, the street still only has one decent store, Easons (Clery’s as always resembles something from the Soviet era), and the northern end of the street is now even worse. The Savoy has a lovely new lobby, yet now has screens smaller than some people’s televisions. I work near it and the number of dodgy characters has increased in the last year; one day alone I saw a fist fight in the middle of the street and am attempted snatching. No guards around; they were probably off somewhere arresting pregnant ex-travel agents.
I note that the fountain is still there, switched off, 5 years later. What a disaster. Only in Ireland do things like this seem to happen….
Well, only 5 years after originally posting this thread, I managed to get a copy of that “Houses of Ireland” book on eBay, and yes, it does feature some wonderful interior pictures of that house. I’ve only glimpsed peeks throughs the windows before, but inside it does resemble a living museum. I’ve chatted to the owner briefly on the street, a lovely elderly gentlemen.
Anyone catch the documentary on Saturday night about Edinburgh Castle by Jonathan Meade? He dismssed the fretting over the subject of pastiche in relation to buildings near the castle by talking about a Jewish restaurant owner he knows in Rome who serves prosciutto – because he likes it.
It is the only element on the refurbished parts of the street that is uncomfortable for pedestrians, but it’s a big one, as anyone who’s been whacked by a wing mirror will tell you
More than uncomfortable, I imagine – years back I saw the aftermath of a pedestrian being whacked by a bus’s mirror on Nassau St, with a thick trail of blood leading into Trinity College….
When I read about this development, I was taken aback in admiration for TCD. That is, at the sheer size of their bollocks. Speaking as an ex-Trinity student who was brought up in the Pearse St area (as the crow flies, I lived about 2 minutes from those buildings they seek to demolish), I’m old enough to remember when Pearse was still a fairly lively place. Let’s not imagine that the buildings TCD own were dilapidated or financially unsound when they bought them; in many cases there were businesses there, but the college’s pockets were deep. If anyone thinks they’re turned over a new leaf, look at what’s happened on Lincoln Place in the last few years. Again, what was a fairly lively stretch of with a cafe, restaurant, bookstore and pub is now blank wall.
The only reason that TCD claim they need to demolish these buildings is so that the poor young waifs of the area can have access. One wonders what the two other gates already on this stretch of street – which are locked for most of the day, and open only to electronic card holders at other times – are for? As I mentioned, I was a student who lived 2 minutes away, but I often ended up having a 15 minute detour by the Front Gate to get into college. This had nothing to do with the fact there are no gates on Pearse St, and everything to do with paranoia towards their neighbours (hint to TCD: if someone wants to rob something from the college, they will go to the trouble of walking around to the Lincoln Gate).
Anyone know where I can lodge a complaint?
Is there anywhere we can write letters of complaint? Garda Press Office, relevant Corpo contact, etc.? Damaging the bridge is bad enough – leaving horseshit on it sounds like they really don’t give a damn how the public perceive (it must have been a Garda horse, since i doubt anyone’s been trying to drive carriages across the bridge).
Something needs to be done, alright. At night it looks fine, and even from a distance during the day with bright sunshine. But up close, the joins look simply awful. And I’m speaking as a _fan_ of the Spike.
Also, does anyone know what the story is with the Urinal Beside the Gaiety fountain? It seems to be been turned off for a while, and no longer micturating down the street….
After thinking of the recent civic “improvements” carried out in Dublin:
* The Spire (I was a fan of this at first, but
not the mottled, dirt-streaked, red-
nosed version ultimately foisted on us)
* The “plaza” on South King Street, complete
with urinal fountain
* The awful concrete wasteland that is now
the park on Jervis St.
… I’m hoping they leave Moore St well enough alone.
I think there’s a difference between arguing you should retain the spirit of place and arguing that you should avoid _any_ changes. Of course Moore St could do with a facelift, but I think most people fear that any chances will be like the construction of the Ilac Centre section – for the worse. Isn’t there already a plan to knocking down most of the street opposite the Ilac centre section to construct a mall? It’s very hard to argue that the spirit of the street can be maintained if it’s hemmed in by two large buildings.
As for Smithfield, I imagine the jury is still out on the success of that. I live only 10 minutes away max, but the only time in the past few years that I had reason to go there was for the French food fair. Even after 10 years of the so-called plan, there really isn’t much up there at all; all shine, no substance.
Isn’t the plan to knock down most of the street and have it even _more_ like the Ilac Centre end?
I’m not sure how one considers the street “oppressive”. Dilapidated, sure, but it’s lively, diverse, and not unfriendly. Do we really need another Grafton St? Or another twee mall?
Does anyone know what would have been going through the mind of the architect who designed the Setanta Centre?:
“Hmm, you know, what this building _really_ needs is a big useless space underneath where winos can piss. Yeah, and I’ll stick a hidden mosaic over in the far corner where it can safely be ignored.”
Here’s my idea; let’s knock them all down, find the plans for the original buildings there (we can come up with a definition of “original” later) and start again. If any architects claim this diminishes their profession and limits their creativity, we just send them here:
I’m amazed that the Pram Shop inspires such hatred. I think it’s kinda cute, and a hangover from Old Dublin. I’d love to see it preserved in some fashion, while every modern building on High St is reduced to rubble. Am I simple contrary?
On this note, does anyone have an old pictures of the area? (High St, Christchurch Place, etc). I’m now living on Castle St, and would love to know how the area looked years ago. I’d be specially curious to see pictures of where Jury’s now stands, and also if any exist of Archbishop Usher’s house, where the Castle Inn now is (I believe it was only knocked down in the 40s, after remaining their for 500 years).
>Do you really think that developers really >intentionally choose to let property sit idle, >earning them nary a penny?
If it’s that bad, why don’t they simply sell the property? If they don’t want to deal with the hassle of developing a listed building, then why buy it? Obviously it’s worth more to them to simply sit and wait. Supposedly this particular building has been derelict for 11 years.
>It’s pointless to make a building or >development proposal on a property until >you actually own in, and An Taisce is going to >fight anything of any actual architectural >value
Sorry, but looking around this city, I simply find it impossible to believe that Ireland is somehow a conservationists’ paradise. Compare to it any other European city and the lack of old buildings is tragic. Within the area of the old city walls, there’s a few medieval churches, Dublin Castle, and, er, that’s it.
Yup, that one. The “exterior part” (at one point the church was four times as large as it is now, and those exterior walls are still there – in fact, there’s a etching from the 18th century which depicts them as already being ruins then, with local women hanging washing from them) has been renovated over many years; I believe the church has only been open to the public for the past year or two. Well worth a visit. (More on it in “Life in Old Dublin” – http://indigo.ie/~kfinlay/Old%20Dublin/chapter13.htm)
For kitsch value, you could try the Carmelite Church on Aungior St.
St Audeon’s on High St? (The medieval one, not the recent Catholic one). Absolutely amazing interiors, with many genuine medieval elements (for example, a tomb depicting dancing skeletons!).
Hawkin House still stands.
The IRA still has semtex to decommission.
I see a way out of this…
Hopefully some Georgian buildings are rebuilt, reinstating what _was_ the longest Georgian terrace in the world. I’m always amazed at such destruction; was it done out of sheer ignorance, overriding ambition, or misplaced patriotism against “British” symbols?
The tour at the renovated Number 29 Georgian building (partly funded by the ESB) is especially entertaining because of the barbs thrown by the guide against the ESB.
Walking down South King St on Saturday, all the black stone “benches” are gone and the fountain is turned off; to be honest, it looks better turned off, now merely resembling a drain rather than a broken _pissoir_.
Shouldn’t there be an Archeire Name and Shame column for these civic flops?