Plans have been unveiled this week for a proposed $78 million cultural quarter in one of Dublin's finest Georgian squares.
According to Eircom, a new city library will be the centerpiece of the redevelopment of Parnell Square on the city's northside, leading to the city's main thoroughfare O'Connell Street.
Dublin City Council said the Beverly Hills-based property investment company Kennedy Wilson was donating $3.2 million 'on a philanthropic basis' to get the project started.
The firm will spearhead a drive to raise the remaining $74 million needed from investors to complete the overhaul.
Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri told the press that the new public landmark will inspire the physical and economic regeneration of the historic area.
'Parnell Square is the first and finest of Dublin's Georgian squares. The area has a rich and important history with philanthropic origins,' he said.
'This bold and visionary project can act as a catalyst for regeneration across the city, drawing Dubliners and visitors of all ages in new directions and creating new business opportunities.'
According to the proposals the north side of the square will be pedestrianized and a new civic plaza created to link the new library with the existing Hugh Lane Gallery as well as the Irish Writers Centre and the Dublin Writers Museum.
Dublin City Council’s development plan reportedly says that a 'cultural cluster' is emerging around Parnell Square. It also notes that institutions such as the Dublin Writers’ Museum, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane and The Irish Writers’ Centre 'are serving to culturally underpin the rejuvenated O’Connell Street with an exciting cultural quarter around Parnell Square.'
The mew plan stresses the 'special architectural quality' of the square, which is described as part of the capital’s 'grand civic spine.' The civic spine is a route through the city centre along which the city’s primary civic, cultural and historic attractions are located, the development plan states.