What Is This? [UPDATE]




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Sibling of Daedalus writes:

“It’s the scale model used by the Irish-American architect Augustus Saint-Gaudens (above) when designing the Parnell Monument, erected on this day in 1911. Sadly, the model itself was subsequently destroyed, and only this photo (top) remains.
Saint-Gaudens, born in Dublin in 1848, was the most famous American sculptor of his generation. He designed the statue of Parnell which stands at the base of the moment. The obelisk and base were the work of Henry Bacon (who also designed the Lincoln memorial) and GP Sheridan.

“With An Fianna Eireann training in the Rotunda Gardens, Maud Gonne’s radical women’s organisation, ‘Daughters of Ireland’ up the way in North Great George’s Street, the monument was right at the heart of radical Dublin of 1911. No wonder that, according to RF Foster in his new book [Vivid Faces] , the network of small shops and restaurants around O’Connell Street and Parnell Square soon became thronged with young coffee sipping would-be revolutionaries…And on that subject congrats to Andy, Slightly Bemused and Ciaran Adamson for guessing correctly [see comments].”


And that view today?


Saint-Gaudens Pic: Ansmagazine

Google Street View

Thanks Louis Le Fronde

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33 thoughts on “What Is This? [UPDATE]

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    I can see the Ambassador and the Parnell obelisk. So I’m guessing this might be the construction of the Carlisle Bridge (now O’Connell Bridge)?

    1. Slightly Bemused

      I agree. Looks like a diorama of the top end of O’Connell Street (perhaps when still Sackville Street), mounted on a wooden platform on top of a wooden crate.

      At a guess, it may have been made for an aerial view scene for a film of the period – I am guessing late 1800s – when helicopters or drones were not so handy :)

      1. Pretendgineer

        It could be a scale model made for the Wide Streets Commission during the widening of Sackville St.

        1. Slightly Bemused

          Good point, I forgot about that. The white background ‘sky’ made me think photography, though.

      2. Spaghetti Hoop

        No sign of Nelson so it must have been mounted on the north side of the Pillar – not the bridge as I initially thought.

  2. wearnicehats

    it’s a reconstruction of the day in 1865 when a giant albino wild boar rampaged along the quays. Stuff of legend now of course. There’s a mention of it in Ulysses allegedly.

  3. Paul

    Photograph taken before 1928 of a scale model looking down Dame Street towards College Green with a proposal to replace the then existing statue of William of Orange on horseback with some sort of monument/cenotaph.

    1. Selife Sensation

      Actually it is almost certainly a model of the north end of O’Connell/Sackville Street as viewd from the south, that would appear to be the Ambassador Theater to the left of the monument and the East side of Parnell Square to the Right.

  4. JoeO

    The hole in the gable wall in Moore St that the GPO garrison tunneled through before setting up the new HQ in Moore St, before the final surrender.

  5. Andy

    A photo of a model, looking towards the Gate Theatre from O’Connell St., showing the proposed Parnell monument in context.

  6. euro88

    A model to show how the stand of the Parnell monument would compare to the height of other buildings in the vicinity.


    A picture from 1922 after a bit of a who-ha where all the buildings got bombed, and this photo was taken through some sort of baricade/fort possible.

    OR (bonus guess)

    a photo taken from the top of Nelson’s pillar showing the building of the Parnell Monument!

    What do I win?

  7. mike

    Re update with Google streeview photo captioned “today”.

    Today, actually, the area has loads of barricades and siteworks in advance of the Luas Cross-city Green line extension. Streetview is from 2009.

    1. Selfie Sensation

      I’d call you a pedant but I’m sure I would somehow be inaccurate in so doing thus driving you to correct me.

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