A city should be a living, breathing entity which is allowed to stretch and change in order to remain alive; however, some of us who want to preserve the past cringe when we see beautiful old buildings torn down in favour of 'new builds', some of which seem put up for utility rather than looks. So too, sometimes what is left from the past is not always as beautiful as we might hope.
The inspiration image for today's Sepia Saturday reminded me of those wonderful instances in which developers decide to marry the old and the new. They are able to maintain the living city, by renovating and refitting the structures of the past for modern day usage, while still preserving the best of what once was, and in some cases, even greatly improving on it. So, my contribution for today's Sepia Saturday features some of the spaces and places in Dublin, which exemplify a happy marriage between past and present.
Most striking among these is a metal structure — the old gasworks in Ringsend, Dublin — near my mother's childhood home on Gordon Street. When I was a child I loved the structure, because it looked to me like an enormous cage, perfect for capturing dragons and all sorts of other fantasy creatures. Thought by some to be an eyesore, in recent years it has been transformed into an apartment complex.
|The gasworks, towering over the row houses of South Lotts Road, 1950s.|
|From a similar perspective, over 60 years later, the gasworks conversion finds the neighbourhood little changed.|
|Built in 1881, the George's Street Arcade, also called St. George's Market, |
is Ireland's first purpose-built shopping centre.
Photo, circa 1895, NLI.
|The upper facade of the complex remains little changed. Unfortunately, the awnings are long gone, |
as are the tram tracks of South Great St. George's Street.
|The street is now much more narrow, but the Powerscourt Townhouse facade remains virtually unchanged.|
Inside another sort of party goes on, with all manner of wares to delight shoppers.