You might wonder as to how I can find concrete masonry blockwork in any way attractive – I don’t. I think it should be restricted to the back of industrial estates not visible from public roads.
It is cheaper than brickwork. It is cheaper and requires less maintenance than painted plastered blockwork. To me, not only is it cheap, but it looks exactly that – cheap.
So how is it beautiful?
There is an old engraved stone incorporated into the wall of the building. It appears to be written by two different hands and state ‘ I O’Carroll May 8, 1733’. On the basis of date, it is a couple of centuries older than the masonry blockwork structure.
I like to think that this stone formed part of the structure that previously existed on the site.
My hope is that the planning authority insisted on its inclusion – but if I had to bet, I suspect it was the client. The designer of a city centre concrete masonry block structure would be third favourite.
John’s Gate : Named after the old gate house which once stood on the old walls which surrounded the city. Some of these walls can still be seen in this area. There is a video on the Walls of Limerick
My lack of knowledge as to the stone does not affect my opinion that recording and retaining any history of a site or building is welcome and should be encouraged – by planners, owners and designers.
Hopefully, I will get some spare time on a working day in Limerick to call into United Drug and ask if they know anything of the stone. Or maybe, a visit to the Planning files.
Until then, your guess is as good as mine – quite probably even better.