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The Carlton Development and Upper O'Connell Street

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

Upper O’Connell Street:

The doorway of 42 O'Connell Street, Dublin 1. The last surviving Georgian House on O'Connell Street (Catholic Commercial Club, 42 O'Connell Street Upper, Dublin 1).

The ‘Dublin Central’ proposal (currently before An Bord Pleanala) lies directly within the O'Connell Street Architectural Conservation Area and adjoins other listed buildings including the General Post Office. The proposed development includes itself several Protected Structures in the location.

There are numerous buildings slated for demolition as part of the ‘Dublin Central’ (Savoy Cinema) scheme. On O'Connell Street, these include: 42 O’Connell St., Dublin 1. 1750-55 date. This is a unique 18th century building, and is the last 18th century Georgian House remaining on O'Connell Street.

43, O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1, rebuilt after 1922 and a protected structure.

44 O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1, was reconstructed after 1922, internally similar to a 18th century structure, and is a protected structure.

45 O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1, (whose flat-arched door opens to the rear wall on Moore Lane), was built in 1789 of Portland stone, a protected structure and unique in Dublin City, the façade reflects 18th century architecture as application acknowledges. 52-54 O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1, (Carlton Cinema), a protected art deco structure, unique in Dublin. 55-56 O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1l, rebuilt in 1931. 57 O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1, red brick structure and protected. It was rebuilt in 1926 after destruction in 1922. 58 O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1, which is another protected building, rebuilt in 1920#s it shares an interior lightwell with No.57. 61 O’Connell St. Upper, Dublin 1, is of 18th Century origin, and as such is a unique survivor of the destruction of both the 1916 and 1922 street fighting in Dublin, also slated for demolition. The Importance of the O'Connell Street Terrace:

These outstanding pieces of Dublin’s unique architectural history are slated for demolition, with facades retention. These unique pieces of Dublin architecture date collectively from the 18th century, to the rebuilding after the war of independence, to the art deco (Carlton) cinema of the 1930’s. The post 1922 buildings are fine pieces of street architecture, with facades of Portland stone and red and brown brick.

Early 20th century architects sought to reflect the 18th century layout as part of the post War of Independence / Civil War reconstruction, so destruction of this terrace is a loss of 18th architectural form in O’Connell Street itself. This proposal to demolish listed buildings on O'Connell Street is a licence for the demolition of the city, if listed buildings on the main street of the capital can be struck off the protected list (the protected status applies to the structure, not simply the extent façade), to facilitate a commercial development.

Threat to Listed Buildings: • The focus should be on the proposed O'Connell / Parnell St. destruction, Moore Street is used to disguise proposed destruction of listed structures on the capital's principal street. • The application was accompanied by kitsch imagery with coffee shops and bars promoting an aspirational urban and cultural quarter (re. Temple Bar and the rhetoric accompanying the destruction of parts of Dublin's increasingly vulnerable fabric), this from a property development corporation renting the Savoy site out as a casino. • The open support from the acting Taoiseach which attempts to politicise the application. • Alternative proposals to demolishing another part of Ireland's national street are many, one idea is to rebuild the Carlton cinema as a National Library / (and / or Dublin Central Library), as most of the books could be centralised in a single location on the national street. On the anniversary of the 1922 Civil War, it would be another tragedy if another phase of destruction commenced in O'Connell Street. As a national street it deserves to have its buildings protected and the street itself used for state offices, perhaps even a Taoiseach's residence. Another idea would be to turn over the G.P.O. to the National Museum as a central museum facility housing War of Independence and Civil War exhibits.

Doorway, 42 O'Connell Street. (42 O'Connell Street Upper, Dublin 1).

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Klark Kent
Klark Kent
Sep 04, 2023

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