Deco Beach – Galway City

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  BTH 11 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #704621

    john white
    Participant

    I was at a wedding last weekend in Galway city. It must be the Atlantic/American influence or something but they have some deco style architecture there. A street running accross upper Whitegate street or something has a sad neglected grey building on it with crappy shops in the bottom and aluminium windows. It looks very similar to the Deco Beach ones. I took a photo and will post it when I get it. I’d love to see it restoed externally at least. Painted white with lilac and pink details and with those windows replaced.

    Also on the way back to Dublin on Sunday from Galway my girlfriend admired some water towers – one standing alone in a field and another more dilapidated vandalised one in Craughwell . Took some shots.

    All in all a very exciting week-end with some exploration too!

    John

  • #711883

    MG
    Participant

    Asrt Deco buildings are in short supply in this country and we’ve lost a few over the years – someone should do a photographic survey of the remaining ones

  • #711884

    john white
    Participant

    I agree. I took shots as I said and will post them when I can.

    John

    http://www.johnwhiteartist.com

  • #711885

    Anonymous
    Participant

    We are trying to piece together a list of all Art Deco/ moderne buildings in Dublin: any suggestions of examples outside Dublin?

    Also, how predominant is the cinema AND petrol station typology of a simple stepped facade?

    Thanks

    Snagpry@Ireland.com

  • #711886

    john white
    Participant

    Well, I’ll have a think about that.

    There certainly seem to be hundreds of cheap
    old buildings with stepped facades – church halls etc. I suppose it depends on how general you want to be. If you just want excellent – that’s harder obviously.

    There’s a Bauhaus/Deco-ey [I’m no expert ] building in Drogheda – near the CBS i think.
    A hospital? Not sure. It’s quite special apparently.

    There’s a another huge building in Galway City on the side road from the Train Station & Hotel at Eyre Square to the Claddagh. It’s very Bauhaus, maybe leaning toward Deco.

    Hmmm… what else?

    The cinema/pool hall on Wexford Street?

    I think over the week-end.

    John

  • #711887

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks John….come up with anything? I’ve just noticed the same stepped facade typology being used for cinemas, little garages etc…interesting v.simple use of Art Deco motif

  • #711888

    john white
    Participant

    Hi there

    No other ideas at the moment. Just that usually the stepped gable facade in this country just seems to appear on really crappy cheap heaps. Like garages, church halls etc. Just stepped concrete blocks I suppose.

    I know St. Kevin’s Hall in Blessington and hundreds of others [former Ballrooms of Romance I shouldn’t wonder ] have it. Behind this is a shed with a barell corrugated steel roof.

    I am very interested therefore because of this in seeing more quality, imaginative use of the idea – as are you.

    By the way – did Raymond McGrath’s BBC radio interior designs ever achieve reality?

    John

  • #711889

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just noticed this query.

    1. The building in Galway may be the former Savoy Cinema, now closed which has a distinctly deco facade and is grey at the moment.

    2. There is a fairly large site dealing with Art Deco and moderne buildings in Ireland at

    http://www.geocities.com/paris/salon/6941/deco1.htm

  • #711890

    Anonymous
    Participant

    There are two Deco buildings in Ringsend
    (you pass right by them as you come into Ringsend from town via Pearse St. – they’re on the left hand side).

    One is owned by Telecom Eireann, brick,
    quite Dutch Moderne-y, the other is more classically Deco and has gorgeous sunburst/Egyptian style detailing – unfortunately it’s painted a pretty dull
    dark brown.

    There’s also quite an interesting building in Ashtown (Dublin 15), right on the Navan Road, opposite the Phoenix Park racecourse. It’s a factory, Internationalist (still white) with most of its original long windows. I was worried for a while, as it seemed to be threatened with demolition, but they’ve actually kept the original building and demolished (I think) a later addition. They’ve retained a tower from that part though.

    By the way, if you’re passing that building, take a look at the house behind the stone wall on the opposite side of the road, right beside the racecourse – it’s very obviously being allowed to decay and be vandalised, and I doubt it will last much longer (like the buildings of the course itself…).

  • #711891

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi again Siobhan,

    Yes, do you mean the library on the bend in the road at Rigsend? Also, the building now owned by Windmill Lane Productions is very egyptian indeed. Love it. The one at the bridge at Ringsend with the clock and glass brick is lovely too – though perhaps ugly to some tastes.

    If I ever get a digital camera I’ll make a website.

    Do you remember a Deco/bauhaus one on the Naas Road? A mechanical parts supplier I think. Apparently it was lovely with wrap around windows etc. Now sadly demolished.
    Do you know of it?

    Cheerio
    John

  • #711892

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Are you thinking of the old Aspro factory?

  • #711893

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Speaking of Ringsend what about the building (I think its an ESB substation)Between the new apartments (Charlotte Quay et al)and the Bus garage, just opposite the Texaco garage. This is one of my favorite buildings in Dublin. And probably the best looking bit of utility architecture in Ireland.

    RoryW

    PS there is a Bauhaus style house just down fom where the old Aspro factory stood (now bloody Texas Homecare),on the apex of the Naas road and the old Naas road at Bluebell. This house was threatened by Burger King who wanted to pull it and its mock-tudor style neighbour down to build a drive-through (yes thats how it’s spelt) restaurant. But I think that they gave up on the idea. Also note the Brooks-Thomas office Building (now only half its original size), this whole area seems to be a modernist enclave.

  • #711894

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi John and Rory,
    It wasn’t actually the library I was talking about, but now you mention it, yes, I know it well – there are quite a few in that style (in fact, possibly the same blueprints) around Dublin – I know the one in Phibsboro, not sure how many more there are.

    Anyway, the one I meant is I think the one Rory is talking about – it’s right on the same road as the Telecom building (glass bricks… *drool*!!), closer to town. It’s a huge building, very majestic. It’s not an ESB substation though… I believe it’s actually occupied by a company that deals with those funny square blue bins you find in the women’s toilets (i.e. they incinerate “feminine hygiene products”).

    I’ve taken a few photos as a matter of fact, on the roll still in my camera, as soon as it’s used up & developed I’ll post them. By the way, does anyone have photos of the Adelphi before it was desecrated? The lower facade was clad with aluminium tiles, v. unusual and v. gorgeous. I wait for the bus everyday directly opposite it, it makes me ill to look at it now… I wish I’d managed to steal a few of those tiles before they destroyed it… I wonder if they kept them?

    Siobhán.

  • #711895

    Anonymous
    Participant

    errata!

    I just had a look at the Windmill Lane website, http://www.windmill.ie , *that’s* actually the building I meant… it was formerly a generating station for the tram system. Dunno where I got that “feminine… etc” idea!

    Don’t you think they could improve the colour though? The gold detailing works gorgeously, yes, but do you think it should be a bit brighter in general? I dunno, I suppose Ringsend isn’t South Beach…


    Here’s what the website says:

    >The comfortable surroundings, relaxed >atmosphere and professionalism found in >Windmill makes it an ideal place to work and >you’ll find yourself wanting to return for >your next project. Situated in a listed Art >Deco building that previously played host to >a generating station for the Dublin tram >system, a Bovril factory and a snooker and >amusement club, we try to keep the old >traditions alive by taking the bus to work, >always having Bovril in the kitchen, having >a full size snooker table and Sony >Playstation in the green room.

    Siobhán

  • #711896

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Regarding the libraries…..

    There were four built to similar plans at
    Phibsboro
    Ringsend
    Drumcondra
    Inchicore
    They were designed by Dublin Corporation Architects

  • #711897

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes Siobhan, I reckon the Windmill Lane one SHOULD have gaudy green and pink colours on it. A bit of gold leaf too.

    I’m being serious.

    4 Libraries eh? And designed by the corpo?

    Amazing. It’s funny to think what state organisations USED to achieve aesthetically. Like the Portland Row BBC Radio4 building.

    John

    Oh Paul, I asked my friend if the Naas road one was the Aspro factory last night but it didn’t ring a bell. Y’see he mentioned a spiral staircase. Raymond McGrath’s wasn’t it?

    John

  • #711898

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Spiral staircase? well thats the Aspro factory OK – look at the ilustration I posted further up – designed by Alan Hope (1909-1965) and winner of the RIAI Gold Medal for the period 1947-49.

  • #711899

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Snag said in an earlier posting that he was trying to do a survey of Deco in Ireland… I was just wondering if there’s a Dublin/Irish Art Deco Society… and if not, would anyone else here be interested in forming one?
    Siobh.

  • #711900

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Good suggestion… I’d be interested in getting involved in that – it could be promoted through here…..

  • #711901

    Anonymous
    Participant

    John

    The Aspro factory on the Naas Road was later used by Massey-Ferguson Tractors (this is how I remember it) so that could be the mechanical supplier that you mentioned before.

    Rory

  • #711902

    john white
    Participant

    Here’s the building:

    John

  • #711903

    Anonymous
    Participant

    1. The building in Galway is indeed the former Savoy Cinema, closed and basically now just a facade. I think that the architect was Robinson of Robinson & Keefe.

    2. There is a fairly large site dealing with Art Deco and moderne buildings in Ireland at
    Art Deco Ireland
    http://www.geocities.com/paris/salon/6941/deco1.htm

  • #711904

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Where has John White gone?

  • #711905

    Derrick Galway
    Participant

    @john white wrote:

    I was at a wedding last weekend in Galway city. It must be the Atlantic/American influence or something but they have some deco style architecture there. A street running accross upper Whitegate street or something has a sad neglected grey building on it with crappy shops in the bottom and aluminium windows. It looks very similar to the Deco Beach ones. I took a photo and will post it when I get it. I’d love to see it restoed externally at least. Painted white with lilac and pink details and with those windows replaced.

    Also on the way back to Dublin on Sunday from Galway my girlfriend admired some water towers – one standing alone in a field and another more dilapidated vandalised one in Craughwell . Took some shots.

    All in all a very exciting week-end with some exploration too!

    John

    Yeh John.That was the Savoy Cinema in Eglinton St. Galway City Council gave permission for the building (minus the facade) to be demolished along with the Imperial Hotel on Eyre Square, to which it is attached from the rear.

    However, An Taisce appealed and won on massing, height and inappropriate design etc. The latest is that the Imperial is to be developed alone as a retail unit, and, the Savoy side will constitute a phase two development to come later.

    There is also an Art Deco building in Merchants Road (formerely McDonaghs Hardware Store) now a retail unit, with facade left in place.

  • #711906

    notjim
    Participant

    There are more in Galway, good examples are the nurses residence in UCHG and the Fr Griffin Rd Tech.

  • #711907

    THE_Chris
    Participant

    That nurses residence needs painting and cleaning,

  • #711908

    Hiivaladan
    Participant

    In connection with the public libraries,we should note Marino College/Public library. Not quite Deco, but that 1930s blending of attentuated Deco and early Modern (Moderne..I think some call it ). It has a pleasant curving stone doorcase but is marred by an unfortunate ‘mansard’ roof.

  • #711909

    BTH
    Participant

    Should add that the McDonagh’s building on Merchant’s Road has a wonderfully restored original interior as well (apart from a nasty laminate timber floor that’s pretty shoddy looking. The previous tenants were a furniture store but they painted the exterior a really unfortnuate peach colour. It was originally white and looked great. It’s currently lying empty – used as a hugely impressive box office for Galway Arts Festival last year with a great display of photos from festivals gone by. I believe, and I may be wrong, that it’s now owned by developer extraordinaire Gerry Barrett (aka Edward) so I’d have high hopes that whatever it’s future use the fabric and character of the building will be well respected. It’d make a great gallery space or i’ve even imagined it as a really chilled bar/restaurant/venue. In the daytime the quality of light inside is wonderful.

    Theres a couple more buildings not mentioned yet that I’d see as being in the “Deco” style – the old Silke’s warehouse near Dominic St. is a lovely building and could really do with some TLC. Seapoint in Salthill also has echoes of the style and by all accounts has a wonderful old dance hall on the upper floors – I havent seen it myself but Id assume it’d have a fairly streamlined deco type interior. It’s yet another building in Galway that’s underutilized though. Id love to see big gigs and events back there but apparently the lack of wheelchair accessibility has the place lying empty.

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