Tuesday 6 December 2016

Clerys' grand staircase and tea rooms to stay: Plans in motion for new shopping landmark

Published 07/08/2016 | 02:30

Clerys’ feature staircase will be restored to its original condition if planning proposals for the former store are approved by Dublin City Council
Clerys’ feature staircase will be restored to its original condition if planning proposals for the former store are approved by Dublin City Council

It's a staircase that should immediately be recognisable to generations of Dubliners and to anyone in Ireland who ever made the annual pilgrimage to the capital on December 8 for their Christmas shopping.

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As one of Clerys' most imposing and impressive features, it's set to be restored to its original condition in proposals submitted by OCS Properties in its planning application to Dublin City Council last week.

Should that application be successful, it would also see the renovation of the famous tea rooms, frequented by customers of the former O'Connell Street department store prior to its sudden closure.

The proposed works are described by architects, Henry J Lyons, as a "key element" of plans for the iconic building, the original design of which had been based on Selfridges's flagship store on London's Oxford Street.

In a new departure for the space where shoppers once repaired for refreshments, OCS Properties, which is headed up by D2 Private's Deirdre Foley, are proposing the introduction of a new facade to include a series of 'Juliette' balconies which will sit above the street level.

The addition of a new 'rooftop destination' populated by bars, restaurants and entertaining spaces is also proposed. The developers say these spaces will be available for day and night-time use, and would offer a unique vantage point from which to enjoy views of Dublin city.

The ground, lower ground and first floors of the building are to be set aside for high quality retail while the former department store's upper office floors are to be opened up for letting to local and international companies.

Earl Place, a side street which up to now has been largely neglected, is to be rejuvenated with plans for a new boutique hotel.

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