Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Social
Provincial Bank of Ireland
In Use As
1820 - 1850
Corner-sited end-of-terrace five-bay three-storey over basement limestone former bank building, built c. 1829, with a four-bay brick and limestone dressed side elevation to Mallow Street and an adjoining three-bay two-storey over basement building to the east. Railed basement area to front and side, now covered with timber decking, and all converted to a bar c. 1998. M-profile hipped natural slate roof with cement rendered chimneystack and clay pots concealed behind parapet wall with limestone coping and heavy limestone cornice and frieze extended across the side elevation. Smooth limestone ashlar front elevation with the bay to either end forming a shallow breakfront. A smooth limestone platband at first floor level continues across the side elevation. Channel rusticated limestone ashlar walls to ground floor and a moulded plinth course at ground floor level also extended across the side elevation. Red brick walls to side elevation laid in Flemish bond with cement pointing and flush smooth limestone quoins, with rubbered red brick arches to the window openings. Square-headed window openings to first and second floors, with round-headed openings to the ground floor on both elevations, all having limestone sills and one-over-one timber sash window with historic glass and ogee horns. Moulded architrave surrounds and side aprons to the sills on the first floor of the O'Connell Street elevation with the breakfront bays having a pair of scrolled console brackets supporting a cornice above. The central bay is flanked by a pair of pilasters with scrolled console brackets supporing a pediment with shaped side aprons to the sill. The ground floor round-arched window openings have a smooth limestone recess. A square-headed door opening to the ground floor of both breakfronts comprising a moulded limestone architrave surround flanked by a pair of scrolled console brackets supporting a pediment above and containing a double-leaf flat-panelled timber door, that to the north opening onto a limestone threshold step, platform and three steps. Platform flanked by decorative arrow head cast-iron railings with bottom rail and corner posts, set on a limestone plinth and returning to enclose the basement, while the south doorcase is without steps. Gauged brick elliptical-arched door opening to the Mallow Street elevation with patent rendered reveals containing a carved limestone doorcase comprising of a pair of half-fluted Doric columns on plinth blocks supporting a plain entablature and replacement glazed fanlight. Original flat-panelled timber door opens onto limestone flagged area bridging basement area with a pair of decorative cast-iron bootscrapers, flanked by cast-iron railings, as per above, returning to enclose basement. Much of the former bank's interior has been incorporated into the new bar use and comprises of an entrance lobby and three large rooms opened up to form an open-plan bar and restaurant area extending into to the adjoining rear building, with a vaulted basement accommodating toilets below. Carved green marble door surround to entrance lobby with green marble dado and black marble skirting, mosaic tiled floor, corniced ceiling and hardwood glazed panelled double-leaf door. The principal rooms have a panelled ceiling with downstand beams forming compartments with an acanthus cornice supported by a course of paired foliate brackets. Several green marble pilasters support the entablature while all the window openings have architrave surrounds and panelling. A square-plan carved timber bar on a black marble base occupies the centre of the space, possibly being the former bank counter. A triple-arched overhead screen is located between front and rear buildings. The vaults to the basement retain their original ceramic tiling and some iron doors from the former safes.
This landmark building is in good condition and has a very finely detailed façade with historic windows and glass. The side elevation blends successfully with Mallow Street, and ties the two streets together seamlessly. Much of the interior is original and clearly demonstrates a good change of use without the loss of architectural features. Although the building is a later insertion into the Georgian streetscape, its formal façade composition and sympathetic proportions add variety and interest. The lettering 'PBI' refers to the Provincial Bank of Ireland which was established in Ireland in 1825 and later merged with the Royal Bank of Ireland and the Munster and Leinster Bank.