Categories of Special Interest
W.J.Kelly/Maskora Turkish Baths
In Use As
1930 - 1935
Attached five-bay four-storey commercial building, built 1932-3, having attic storey whose middle bays are presented as part of general facade. Upper floors used for period as Turkish baths from 1934. Central three bays recessed slightly. Flat roof concealed behind brick parapet, raised over middle bays, topped with soldier course of brick and moulded stone coping, surmounted by wrought-iron and steel rails to outer bays. Concealed rainwater goods. Machine-made rustic-faced red brick walling, laid in Flemish bond, with stone paterae over middle bays. Moulded stone crown cornice to outer bays, over third floor and adjoining those of buildings to each side. Round-headed recesses to full-height of first to third floors of recessed bays, with painted and rendered panelled aprons, and narrow openings to projecting bays. Square-headed windows throughout, with shallow projecting concrete sills, brick soldier course to heads, and windows appear to be multiple-pane side-hung replacement metal casements with overlights (tripartite to central bays). Square-headed doorway to south bay, and shopfront spanning four northern bays, all framed by replacement polished black granite-clad surrounds and surmounted by modillioned lead-lined cornice over moulded and painted fascia with raised lettering 'Weir and Sons [No.] 99', extending across to encompass building to south. Timber display windows over polished granite stall-riser, with curved glazed sections flanking deeply recessed central porch. Modern fully glazed doors to main entrance, opening onto granite tiled porch with contrasting trim and lettering 'Weir & Sons'. Flush timber door with overlight and replacement brass furniture to south bay, providing upper floor access.
This Art-Deco building, a relatively rare type in Dublin, was built by architect Vincent Kelly for W.J. Kelly, Men's Outfitters. The Maskora Turkish and Russian Baths were opened on the upper floors, two years later, with interiors by George L. O'Connor. From such exotic beginnings, the building now serves as offices and a jeweller's. The façade, which is characterized by its rustic machined brick, arcaded central windows and flanking giant piers, provides a striking contrast in style to the adjoining late Victorian commercial blocks, although it cleverly harmonizes with them, through the crown cornice and parapet, which maintain a visual continuity across what was once a unified block. Despite alterations, it makes an important contribution to the architectural diversity of the historic streetscape of Grafton Street.