No. 95 Merrion Square: An article
Simon McGarr | Dublin
- Target: €360
rewards for funding this project:
A copy of the article in the ebook format of your choice (either Kindle or Apple) or as plain text. Also, a password to access online copies of the notes, documents, letters and other backstage info collected in researching the story.
a project by:
Number 95 Merrion Square- known as Apothocaries' Hall- is a listed building. It was sold to an unknown foreign buyer last November. It stands on the corner of Merrion Square, facing the Oscar Wilde statue, at the end of the Nassau Street/Clare Street tourist trail. It was one of the Square's first buildings, finished in the 18th Century as part of the square's transformation into the city's most desirable address.
Currently, it has a number of broken window panes, a poorly maintained front portico, a damaged front door and broken guttering. There may be other issues inside the building, but these are the degradations visible from the street.
My name is Simon McGarr. I live in Dublin. I regularly walk past Apothocaries' Hall. A few weeks ago, I noticed the broken glass and general air of neglect. I've always particularly liked that corner of the Square- it's near TCD and it used to have Green's bookshop next door. The Hall has a slightly eccentric first floor greenhouse and some really attractive stained glass windows (now almost hidden under layers of grime).
I felt I ought to do something about it. I don't like seeing something wrong and just passing by. I strongly feel anyone can make a difference to their own city. Active citizenship is the best protection against the loss of quality public spaces.
I took pictures and then looked up on my phone what I could find out about the Building's history. I also looked the building up on Google Street view. It looked a lot happier then, and was clearly occupied.
Because I'm a lawyer, I also looked up if there was any legal protection for the building. It is on the Dublin City Council listed buildings register and there's a duty to keep it in good order.
This fundit proposal is to commission freelance journalist Gerald Cunningham (http://www.faduda.net) to write a feature article on Apothocaries' Hall- its history and its current state. I have agreed the rate with him for this article.
Having written it, he will then be free to have that article published -for pay or otherwise, at his own discretion- to the widest audience possible.
When we see our built environment being degraded as we walk around our depressed home towns and cities, it is hard to know where to start a fight back.
The first thing we need to do is to start a conversation about the value of what we have.
Let owners of listed buildings know that Dubliners don't stand silent if we see our shared heritage being lost.
Let's shine a light on this one spot. Let's make a difference.