|'Old Abbey Theatre' |
- illustration Alan Hogan, 1998.
"The Abbey first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904 in the former Mechanics’ Hall, also known as the Hibernian Theatre of Varieties. Prior to opening as the Abbey, the interior was remodeled by architect Joseph Holloway. He reused the existing structure of the auditorium and balcony, but he completely remoulded the proscenium arch, created a new entrance on Marlborough Street, introduced a substantially different seating arrangement, and changed every aspect of the décor, fixtures and fittings.
Despite losing its original building to a fire in 1951, the theatre was rebuilt to a design by Michael Scott and reopened in 1966. After the demolition of the Mechanics’ Hall facades, the stonework was rescued by Dublin architect, Daithi Hanley, who intended to preserve it."
- above text by Archiseek, Computer reconstruction imagery of the interior as it was in 1904, courtesy of Hugh Denard and Noho.
Above is a video by British Pathe featuring Irish President Eamonn de Valera arriving at the site where the new Abbey theatre was built - historic Abbey theatre was destroyed by the fire in 1951.
From an architectural point of view I have never been a fan of what was constructed in place of the old Abbey Theatre. While it was unfortunate that the old building was destroyed by fire, for me it was equally unfortunate to see such an ugly replacement. On the bright side however, there have been welcomed modifications in more recent years making the new building more aesthetically pleasing.
|An impression I made showing how the old Abbey theatre (bottom) would have looked in comparison to it's replacement in the 1960's (top).|
Click on image to enlarge.
Here's a few more samples of my old ink illustrations.
A section of the old George's Street Arcade building
owned by The Grafton Hotel.
'The Four Courts', Dublin - 1988
'John Kehoe's Pub'
- South Anne street, Dublin - 1990
My illustration of the Abbey Theatre can be seen as a background image on Freya Smith's Old Abbey Theatre Blog. Also, don't forgot to check out some of her wonderful 3D digital models.