Categories of Special Interest
Architectural Artistic Historical
Torch Theatre/Dublin Coffee Tavern Co
Theatre/opera house/concert hall
In Use As
1870 - 1875
Terraced five-bay three-storey former theatre and showroom, built 1871 and altered 1879, now in commercial use, with arcaded ground floor. M-profile slate roof, half-hipped to south, chimneystacks to north party wall, hidden behind parapet wall. Moulded masonry entablature surmounted by deep bracketed cornice, flanked by round-headed consoles. Red brick walls laid in Flemish bond with channelled moulded soldier quoins. Granite plinth course. Moulded masonry string course over masonry entablature. Arcaded ground floor comprising channelled rendered pilasters supporting round-headed arches having moulded surrounds, moulded masonry impost course and dropped masonry keystones. Engaged round-plan columns with floriate capitals and masonry banding on square plinth bases supporting masonry cornice and entablature, surmounted by deep moulded masonry dentillated cornice. Round recesses to spandrel walls with marigold motif bosses. Gauged brick segmental-headed window openings to second floor having masonry sills and single-pane timber sliding sash windows. Segmental-headed window openings to first floor with shouldered architrave masonry surrounds, dropped keystone and moulded masonry sills, set within pilastered masonry surround having fluted consoles supporting stepped cornice, with single-pane timber sliding sash windows. Round-headed openings to arcade, on masonry sills and panelled rendered risers having recent fixed timber framed display windows with wire-mesh security cover. Round-headed door openings having moulded masonry surround, moulded impost course and dropped keystone. Plain glazed fanlights with steel grille to interiors, double-leaf timber panelled door to north and original double leaf timber panelled door with decorative cast-iron grille upper panels to south. Door opens directly to street.
Now in use as an antiques shop, this former showroom and theatre has additional historical interest, having been the headquarters of the United Trades Council and Labour League in 1935. It was built by John McCurdy for James Kerr, who manufactured Belleek China in 1871 and later remodelled by Albert E. Murray for the Dublin Coffee Tavern Co. Its myriad of uses reflects the importance of Capel Street as a commercial street, but also as a primary thoroughfare of the city, with significant residential and community activity. The façade is enlivened by render detailing, most notably the arcaded ground floor, window surrounds and cornice, which provide aesthetic interest. This Victorian building provides an element of variation to the architectural tone of Capel Street and make a positive contribution to the streetscape.