05 October 2018
A Georgian townhouse with
a 20th century stucco shopfront
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.