Sunday 22 September 2019

Gresham Hotel's new lease of life

The Gresham’s facade is being restored to its former glory
The Gresham’s facade is being restored to its former glory
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

IT survived the Easter Rising more or less intact, but was then destroyed by fire during the Civil War in 1922. Since rising from the ashes in the 1920s on the then newly-renamed O'Connell Street, the Gresham Hotel has been through nearly a century in which its facade has endured the grime associated with life on the city's busiest thoroughfare.

Acquired by Spanish hotel chain RIU Hotels & Resorts last year, the famous four-star has now started down a road which will see it restored to its former glory, both inside and out. And as our picture shows, the Gresham's facade is already standing out thanks to the work being done by Dublin's leading stone cleaning and restoration specialist, P Mac.

Working in partnership with London-based firm, Thomann Hanry, the company is employing a technique known as 'facade gommage' to restore the appearance of the hotel, which in its heyday hosted numerous of the world's most famous stars.

Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, John Wayne, James Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, The Beatles, Laurel & Hardy, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald are just some of those who called the Gresham home while staying in Dublin.

The facade gommage cleaning technique is seen as ideal for use on a busy, public-facing establishment such as the Gresham as it is the only method which doesn't require the building to be shrouded in unsightly scaffolding for weeks or months.

Working from a cabin on a lorry-mounted hydraulic boom, the team now on site is expected to clean the entire facade of the Gresham in under two weeks.

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