The renewal of Thomas Street-James Street as a major city thoroughfare has been a key element of the ongoing Business Area Improvement Initiative over the past 3 years.
The major repaving programme that took place in 2014 saw much of the route completed and now Dublin City Council is embarking on a final section of pavement – and arguably the section most in need of attention – from No 66 (Chadwick’s) to Catherine’s Lane West on the south (outbound) side. This area will be fully reconstructed as part of a programme starting on 8th August and lasting approximately 8 weeks.
In addition to the pavements there have been other measures over the past 12 months including decluttering, the addition of new tree planters (with more to come), new ‘Dubline’ infrastructure, new bus shelters, and most strikingly the installation of new heritage street lamps (with a further 40 proposed from Bridgefoot Street to James Street Fountain). All in all it marks a multi-million euro investment by Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland in this historic city centre street.
The investment has not been restricted to the Council: local business too are playing their part. The Shopfront Improvement Schemes in 2015 and this year have incentivised a number of owners to renovate their properties and shopfronts. Arthur’s Public House, Dublin Cookie Co., Finestyle Furniture, La Catedral Studios and Reilly’s Pharmacy are just some of the premises who’ve successfully taken part in the scheme, and a number of other premises will begin projects in the second half of this year. We’ve discovered, and are now restoring Dublin’s oldest house at 130 Thomas Street. And most notably, the scaffold has just gone up on a 6-week restoration of the iconic arch at Chadwick’s. This will be a very visible uplift to the historic streetscape along this part of the street.
Along James Street, Diageo Ireland made a major investment in its properties in 2015, transforming the appearance of the street, bringing new uses such as the Open Gate Brewery and their own corporate offices, and letting properties to NCAD for use as the new Postgrad Annexe to the College.
Thomas Street has come a long way in a short time. There’s much still to do but its worth thinking back to the condition of the street in 2011-2012 and appreciating the hard work from many quarters to remake one of the city’s best-loved streets. Onward and upward!
If you would like more information on investing in The Liberties and Dublin 8, then please contact Stephen Coyne of the Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative or browse these pages.