Over the last few years there has been lots of blog posts about old signs preserved on modern buildings. This is a great post about such signs in New Jersey. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye out for them around Dublin. I found a few before I stumbled across this great website with tonnes of them and this post from comeheretome. Anyway here’s ten of my favorites.
1. Starting with my name’s sake – The great (now late) Finn’s hotel Nassau Street. James Joyce met Nora Barnacle outside this establishment.
2. While the tailors outfit Louis Copeland is still going strong on Wicklow Street this is worth a mention. This is a view from the Junction of Suffolk’s street/St Andrews street. (Apologies for the pun – it was unforgivable).
3. There’s two quite well known shop ghosts on O’Connell St. Firstly there is this relic of a long gone cake shop. While today it’s a rather banal shoe shop, it did have 15 seconds of fame during the 2006 Love Ulster schmozzle when a few pairs of shoes were stolen during a riot. Incidentally this building is not the original confectioners hall opened in 1849 – that was destroyed during the 1916 rebellion.
4. And also on O’Connell street – A.R. Thwaites & Co, formerly a chemist, now the paddywackery merchants Carroll’s. (Thwaithes is carved into the stonework above the current Carroll’s sign).
5. Hector Gray was one of Dublin’s most famous street traders before he opened a shop on Liffey street. Its now closed but you can vaguely make out Hector’s name.
6. Caple Street has some of the more controversial buildings. I am not sure what the Firn? Shop was but ‘Good Vibrations’ leaves less to the imagination.
7. A recent and welcome addition to the ghost buildings on Caple Street has been the ‘Life House’. What the future holds for this building is not certain but the ‘Life House’ will be missed by few. The ironically named home of Youth Defense with it’s long association with religious fueled bigotry and misogynistic propaganda have made it a less than popular landmark on the Dublin landscape.
8. Operating on this site since 1767, Thomas Read’s Cutlery shop was reputedly the oldest businesses in Dublin until it closed in the 1990s. While its unsurprising that a shop that sold swords among other things, found it hard in to survive in the late 20th century, sadly the the iconic shop front has been allowed to fall into disrepair. Comeheretome have written this piece on its decline.
9. This travel agents saw its the glory days in the pre-internet era. Situated in Stoneybatter, I dont know when it closed but its telephone number seems decades old – Dublin numbers now have seven or in some cases eight digits. Anyone know when they changed?
10. Finally we come to more of a vampire than a ghost. This
building structure thing was due to be the headquarters of Anglo-Irish bank before the recession revealed astonishing levels of corruption in the bank. Once the symbol of the Celtic Tiger Anglo-Irish is now sucking the life blood out of Ireland with it’s debt that we have been forced to pay. Read more here. (This photo is by William Murphy on flickr.)