Friday, 5 October 2018

A Georgian townhouse with
a 20th century stucco shopfront

The arched stucco-fronted shopfront was inserted in No 44 O’Connell Street, Limerick, around 1920 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Patrick Comerford

When I had my ’phone out in Limerick early yesterday and was caught by surprise by the presence four Buddhist monks walking briskly along O’Connell Street, I was trying to photograph 44 O’Connell Street, an interesting early 19th century Georgian townhouse with a fine early 20th century shopfront.

No 44 is a terraced, two-bay, four-storey over basement former townhouse that was built around 1800, although the arched stucco-fronted shopfront was inserted on the ground floor around 1920.

Until recent years, this was Stewart’s chemist’s shop or pharmacy. The shopfront comprises a central elliptical arch with a three-sided canted bay containing a decorative foliate timber display window with a dentilated cornice and flanked by a pair of piers.

On either side of the shopfront is a round-arched door opening also supported by a pier at either end.

All four piers have an impost moulding with disc motif below and a roped bowtel moulding to the arches with an architrave above and two recessed discs to the spandrels.

The dentillated cornice is repeated on either side as a lintel cornice, with all three arches having a multiple-paned overlight of vertical emphasis and original glass.

The arch on the south side (right) has a flat-panelled timber door, with an oval glazed panel matching the overlight, and brass fittings dating back to 1920.

The door opening on the north side (left) has a replacement timber glazed door.

Both doors open onto a limestone threshold step directly onto the pavement of O’Connelll Street.

A cast-iron basement grille to the pavement and a cast-iron coal hole cover set in square limestone surround.

This terraced building retains its façade composition, with red-brick walls laid in Flemish bond with cement pointing, and this intact and well-designed early 20th century shopfront. It is part of an intact terrace that is part of the Georgian architecture of Limerick’s city centre.

No 44 O’Connell Street, Limerick, was built as Georgian townhouse around 1800 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

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