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D4 outrage at bid to bulldoze 'iconic' offices


Architectural merit: The former Texaco HQ in Ballsbridge

Architectural merit: The former Texaco HQ in Ballsbridge

Architectural merit: The former Texaco HQ in Ballsbridge

PLANS to demolish an iconic Ballsbridge building that "mirrors" the American Embassy in style face stiff opposition from An Taisce and residents groups.

The former Texaco HQ, which has most recently been used as an Audi showroom, is a prime example of 1970s architecture that should be protected, heritage chiefs say.

Number 83 Pembroke Road was one of the most expensive office sites in Ireland when it was built.

The application from West Register (ROI) Property Limited for demolition of existing building and ESB sub-station and construction of an office building has been given a council go-ahead.

But fresh objections to An Bord Pleanala mean plans have been put on ice.

In 2003, Dublin City Council lodged objections to plans to alter the facade on architectural and historical grounds.

But now it has approved the plans to create a new five-storey office block.

Residents, businesses and An Taisce are up in arms about the latest development.

An Taisce said there was "no doubt about the positive contribution or its architectural merit".

"It remains the position that DCC considered that the building was of such architectural merit that the proposed alterations to it were deemed to be inappropriate," An Taisce said.



"It cannot now be the case that DCC consider the same building to be of such negligible architectural significance as to warrant demolition."

The Upper Leeson Street Area Residents Association said the building was unique in its form and had "considerable architectural merit and importance within the Ballsbridge area".

"Obviously the most important modern building in Ballsbridge is the American Embassy built in 1964 to the design of John Johansen. No 83 acknowledges this by cleverly mirroring it with a similar distinctive precast form and material," they said in a letter to An Bord Pleanala.

The association wants the building identified as a protected structure.