Strictly speaking this blog entry is outside my remit, hence no n/25 in the title, but …

In Dublin we inherited a great architectural legacy from the Georgian period. Great buildings such as the Four Courts, Royal Hospital Kilmainham and the Custom House as well as the great squares; St Stephens Green, Rutland Square and Merrion Square to name a few.

Lower Fitzwilliam Street 1961/1970
Lower Fitzwilliam Street 1961 & 1970
Within a few weeks in June 1963 two Georgian tenement buildings collapsed on Bolton Street and Fenian Street killing four.  This assisted the ESB who, at the time, had being facing serious resistance in getting 16 Georgian buildings on Lower Fitzwilliam Street demolished. Permission was granted and the construction of the Sam Stephenson and Arthur Gibney designed office block split a row of houses stretching from Mount Street Lower to Leeson Street; The Georgian Mile.

We lost part of our heritage that day.

The ESB in 2013 announced plans to demolish their 1960’s office block and replace it with a Grafton Architects and O’Mahony Pike designed building. The problem the ESB faces is that the Dublin City Council, understanding the mistake it made in the 60s by allowing the Georgian buildings to be demolished, have had in place the policy of having the lost facades be rebuilt.

However a proposal has been placed before the council to replace the wording of the policy

To promote the reinstatement of the Georgian facade of the 16 Georgian houses on Fitzwilliam Street Lower, which were demolished in 1965

with one which partly reads

… which respects and enhances the character and composition of the Georgian streetscape …“.

Link to the full text changes is contained here:
Proposed Draft Variation (No.16) of the Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017

If this proposal is accepted we would lose the chance to restore our heritage for at least another generation or two. If it’s kept then of course there is the danger that the ESB may decide to keep the Stephenson designed building.

Me, I’m thinking we hold our ground and keep the policy as is.

If you wish to express an opinion you have until 4.30pm on Friday 17th Jan 2014 to contact the Planning Department. Either email or write to

Niamh Lambert,
Administrative Officer
Planning Department,
Dublin City Council,
Block 4, Floor 3,
Civic Offices, Wood Quay,
Dublin 8.