1850 - 1860
TOWNPARKS(ST. NICHOLAS' PARISH)
Almost freestanding thirteen-bay four-storey hotel, built c.1855, having basement, five-bay side elevations and limestone front and side elevations. Recently added flat-roof attic floor with slate-clad sides, five and six-storey extensions to rear, and recent flat-roof extensions to south-east elevation of basement. Front façade has three-bay entrance breakfront and two-bay advanced ends. Carved cornice with tooled supporting brackets, and cast-iron and replacement uPVC rainwater goods. Ashlar front and north-east elevations, rusticated to ground floor, and with tooled plinth, carved plat bands to eaves, ground and first floors, carved cornice to ground floor with frieze above, and carved sill sourses to first and higher floors. South-west elevation has snecked rubble walling, cut-stone sill courses and cut-stone string course between ground and first floor levels. Rendered to rear. Square-headed window openings throughout having tooled sills to recessed ground floor windows, with chamfered reveals to front and north-east elevations, moulded surrounds to upper floors. Block-and-start surrounds to south-west elevation windows. Six-over-six pane timber sliding sash windows to front façade, some having internal timber shutters, and having several two-over-two pane timber sliding sash windows to rear. Six-over-six pane sliding sash and replacement uPVC windows to basement. Entrance doorways to ground floor of entrance bays flanked by rusticated pilasters having moulded plinths and surmounted by billet moulding course, frieze with gold-painted patera, moulded cornice and entablature above with rectangular panels, and cornice. Square-headed doorways having replacement glazed timber doors and overlights, flanked by pilasters with moulded plinths and capitals. Moulded limestone stepped approach to front with brass and cast-iron hand rails, and flanked by cut-stone pedestals with moulded plinths and cornices supporting ornate cast-iron lamps. Replacement timber glazed door to south-eastern advanced bays having timber side-panels and overlight. Limestone steps to basement entrance having replacement timber panelled door. Cut limestone plinth with ornate cast-iron railings to basement area, having cast-iron piers to corners.
This impressive hotel was designed by J. S. Mulvany who also designed Ceannt Station to which it is attached, the two buildings sharing many architectural features. It is prominently located on Eyre Square and its well executed classical style and detailing ensure that it is the most eyecatching feature of Galway's principal civic space. The quality of the limestone work is evident and the economies made with the less-visible south-west elevation is interesting. The various string courses and plat bands enhance the building and emphasise its horizontal form. The retention of historic materials such as timber sash windows and the ornate cast-iron railings to the front, further enhance this important structure.