In 2020 Bolton Street College is scheduled to move to the Grangegorman Campus.
I live across the street from this building but if I use the back entrance to my apartment block I am near the new Grangegorman campus and the new Broadstone Luas tram stop. I should mention that my proximity to the new campus is based on the fact that I can pass through Kings Inns most days but unfortunately the access gates are closed at weekends and on bank holidays.
Originally part of the building shown in my photograph was an hotel and this was redeveloped by Dublin Corporation into a college of technology. Much extended in recent years, there are two major additions, an extension along Kings Inns Street from the 1960s and a later extension by Gilroy McMahon to the rear of the building.
Many of the shops, pubs and restaurants in the area are highly dependent on the students attending Bolton Street College and some are worried by the fact the college is due to relocate to the new Grangegorman campus by 2020. However, according to some that I have spoken to the students are not big spender and have always been an uncertain source of income so some managers have developed business plans that do not depend on the students.
At this stage details of the planned move are sparse and there is little or no indication as to what the plans for the vacated building are. Some believe that it is to become a hotel [as it was before it became a college]. However when I spoke to a staff member a few weeks ago he indicated that this was unlikely as a new hotel was already planned for a nearby site. I much admit that I was really surprised by this information but when I checked I discovered the following description of a new hotel:
"Bolton Street Hotel"
"This new build six-storey over basement hotel is located on Bolton Street in Dublin City Centre on a confined site. To maximise the accommodation potential a basement will be constructed and the upper floor of bedroom accommodation will be set-back to mitigate visual impact. The building lines correlate with neighbouring buildings and materials of stone and structural glazing are used in a contemporary manner to respect the proportions of the historic context. As a new building low energy and sustainability will form an integral part of the design." This could be good news because the current site is very ugly and has in the past been the source of anti-social behaviour."
In September 2019, programmes currently operating in the Cathal Brugha Street Campus, the Kevin Street Campus and part of the Rathmines Campus will transfer to two new structures known as the Central and East Quads. In addition, the programmes that transferred in 2014 from Mountjoy Square, Portland Row and Temple Bar will transfer from the newly refurbished buildings to the East Quad. This will bring the number of students on campus to just over 10,000.
The College of Technology, built in the early years of the twentieth century by the city architect, Charles J. McCarthy, is a solid example of a Georgian Revival design. Well maintained, the building retains much of its original fabric despite the alterations and additions. Still in operation as a technical college a century later, the fact that it still serves the brief for which it was constructed is testament to its original design, incorporating generous circulation spaces and adaptable rooms. The figures in the halls and corridors are casts from John Henry Foley's models for figures at the base of the Albert Memorial on Leinster Lawn. Despite substantial extensions, the essential historic character of the building has been maintained and the building forms an important part of the surrounding streetscape.