DAME STREET IN FEBRUARY 2021 AS THE LIGHT WAS FADING
I used a Voigtlander 40mm lens and the results were not as good as I had expected.
The street takes its name from a dam built across the River Poddle to provide water power for milling. First appears in records under this name around 1610 but in the 14th century was also known as "the street of Theng-mote" or Teyngmouth Street. It appears later as Dammastrete and Damask-street. There was a medieval church of St. Mary del Dam which was demolished in the seventeenth century. Sir Maurice Eustace, Lord Chancellor of Ireland 1660–1665, built his townhouse, Damask, on the site. There was Dame's-gate, also known as the gate of S. Mary, which was adjoining the St. Mary del Dam church recorded in 1552 and demolished in 1698. The street was widened by the Wide Streets Commission in 1769, and developed into the city's financial centre.
During the day, the street is busy, due to its central location in the city. It is a five-minute walk to the shopping area of Grafton Street and ten minutes from O'Connell Street. The Temple Bar area of the city is located directly north of the street.
The former Central Bank of Ireland headquarters, now known as Central Plaza, on Dame Street was built in 1975. It was initially higher than planning permission allowed, though this was retrospectively rectified. The new building was built on a parcel of land on which was a collection of Victorian and Georgian buildings including the Commercial Buildings. The Commercial Buildings dated from 1796, and were associated with the Ouzel Galley Society. This building also featured a paved courtyard which served as a pedestrian shortcut between Merchant's Arch and the Ha'penny Bridge beyond. Initially planners wanted the facade the building retained, but it was discarded and eventually a replica was constructed in the scheme. Commenting on the scheme in September 1972, Architects' Journal stated that the proposed building was "an exercise in how to do the greatest urban damage". The Bank left the premises in March 2017, and moved to North Wall Quay.
In comparison, Northern Bank, retained the Italianate headquarters of the Hibernian Bank both the exterior and interior, with redevelopment taking place behind the streetscape. The Allied Irish Banks opposite the Olympia Theatre was designed by Thomas Deane in 1872 for the Munster & Leinster Bank, and is based on the design of the Museum Building at Trinity College. The glass and cast iron canopy of the Olympia Theatre which extends out over the footpath is a prominent landmark on the street.
The street features a modern square, Barnardos Square in front of Dublin Castle and to the side of City Hall. The site had been occupied by a row of shops, one of which was the birthplace of the square's namesake, Thomas John Barnardo. Before its redevelopment, the site had been cleared of the Georgian terrace of buildings which were demolished in the mid-1970s as part of a road widening development. One of the surviving buildings from the block is the headquarters of the Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers' Society.