Two office buildings bookend the ‘sunny side’ of Thomas Street, and the recent refurbishment and remodelling of these properties highlights the continuing evolution and renewal of this historic street.
No 10-13 Cornmarket
The placename ‘Cornmarket’ stems from a long-gone market hall that once stood in the centre of Thomas Street, at the point where it approached the old western gate of Dublin. The corn market gave way to the street-ordering efforts of the Wide Streets Commissioners in the early 19th century, and the place we now call Cornmarket is itself as much a creation of later 20th century road widening to create the heavily traffic route of High Street and Bridge Street.
This end of Thomas Street is marked by its solid and confident commercial buildings, and No 10-13 Cornmarket is an example in point. Built in 1877, the seven-bay four storey building was originally constructed to be a warehouse for Webb & Company, a provisions merchant selling clothes and homewares.
The Buildings of Ireland website appraises the building as follows:
A fine purpose-built commercial premises with ornate granite detailing, this building retains much of its original form and fabric… It was built to designs by McCurdy & Mitchell as a warehouse for James H. Webb & Company, listed in Thom’s Directory of 1880 as ‘clothiers, woollen drapers, house furnishing, linen and Manchester warehouse’. This building has a commanding presence, built to express the solidity and wealth of the company. It appears to have been designed as a shop as well as warehouse, with large display windows at the ground floor level. In 1901 and 1911, it was the residence of several draper’s assistants, typical of Dublin department stores of the time.