Categories of Special Interest
In Use As
1860 - 1865
Attached five-bay four-storey commercial building, built 1862-3, with arcaded middle floors, and having recent shopfronts to ground floor. Rear elevation opens onto courtyard. U-plan hipped slate roof with moulded cornice, rendered chimneystack to north end, and cast-iron profiled gutters. Upper floors have rendered walling with stucco piers flanking openings, moulded archivolts to arcades, those to first floor having toothing and those to second floor having knotwork key blocks and other decoration, capitals to all floors having interweaving knotwork, first floor capitals also having male human masks to sides, top floor having female human masks to sides, and spandrels to first floor having male human masks. Bead-and-reel detail to base of second floor capitals. Cornice to top floor has ball-moulding with lion masks over pilasters, and moulded cornice to floor below forms sill level to top floor. Sill level to second floor comprises courses of fretwork and other devices with rope-moulded base. Top floor has square-headed openings and middle floors have round-headed openings, with two-over-two pane timber sliding sash windows to top two floors, plain fanlights to second floor and replacement aluminium windows to first floor.
Nos. 24-25 Grafton Street is a large Victorian commercial building with a rich and characterful presence. It was built in 1862-3 to a design by Matthew Digby Wyatt. The client was William Longfield, and the builder, Michael Meade. Casey describes it as 'one of Dublin's most entertaining Victorian facades'. The overall emphasis is Italianate, but ornamentation is Celtic-inspired. The upper floors are in the form of stacked arcades with exuberant stucco detailing, comprising interweaving tendril-like motifs, chevron and trefoil detailing and copious figurative carvings. Stylistically, the building is an excellent example of the Victorian tendency to mix styles, with a love of exotic ornament. Casey also quotes a contemporary issue of The Builder, the writer describing the building as 'novel and successful' and further expressing the wish that it may 'stimulate many an Irish architect to...a national style'. Despite the unsympathetic recent shopfront, the building makes a strong contribution to the varied and eclectic character of Grafton Street, celebrated as Dublin's premier shopping street.