Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Artistic, Social
In Use As
1885 - 1895
Attached three-bay five-storey over basement neo-Classical bank, dated 1890, with ashlar limestone facade, pedimented portico to upper floors, double-height ground floor pedestal with entrance portal, and half-basement. Abutted to west by concrete-framed wing of 1975. Roof is pyramidal and covered with lead, and has ashlar limestone chimneystacks to end walls, with moulded tops and with panels to sides. Walling is rusticated to ground floor and ashlar to upper floors. Windows are square-headed to lower ground, and to top two floors, segmental-headed to basement, round-headed to first floor, and with oculus windows to upper ground floor, latter with festooned aprons. Openings diminish in height and generally have timber casements. Ground floor has full-height round-arch entrance portal with heavily enriched soffits and spandrels, spanned by projecting swan's-neck canopy carried on deep, carved brackets. Openings to upper floors recessed within Giant Order Composite portico with engaged columns flanking middle bay and engaged pilasters flanking ends and supporting modillioned pediment, with lettering 'Ulster Bank Limited' fixed to frieze. Bases of columns carry richly carved cartouches in deep relief. Returns of pilasters have panels to bases. Portal leads to deep porch with coffered ceiling, white marble flooring and red marble dado, leading to double-leaf highly polished timber double-leaf door with pediment and foliate cornice, flanked by smaller side doors, all enclosed by ornate cast-iron gates. Basement well enclosed by curlicue cast-iron railings with lamp standards flanking approach steps.
An impressive Victorian neo-Classical bank by Sir Thomas Drew with Richard Orpen, displaying well-designed proportions and high-quality detailing, that give the building a striking presence in the streetscape. The facade retains its original fabric and enriches the character of what is a culturally significant setting and streetscape, with many other historically significant buildings nearby, including Trinity College. The foliate stone carving, unusually large barrel-vaulted entrance portal and narrowly projecting pediment portico attest to the Victorian opulence of both the building and the surrounding commercial district. The ironwork portal gates are superb and represent a good exemplar of the skill and artistic qualities of the iron craft. The late-1970 granite-clad colonnaded extension, by Boyle & Delaney are a strong statement of the architectural fashion of their time and comprise elements that respect the character of the older building.