Thursday 12 December 2019

Tivoli to be torn down - once graffiti is preserved

The Tivoli Theatre
The Tivoli Theatre
Some of the graffiti. Photo: Ronan Lang

Approval has been granted for plans to demolish the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin's Liberties and replace it with a five-storey, 289-bed apartment-hotel.

The decision, by An Bord Pleanala, overturned a decision made by Dublin City Council, which refused planning permission for the development last year.

Theatre owner Anthony Byrne is seeking permission to level the 1930s building, which he has operated as the Tivoli since 1981, and build an aparthotel with a gym, restaurant and bicycle-hire shop.

In its decision, the appeals board ordered the omission of the fifth floor of the planned development in the interests of visual amenity.

The board gave the plan the go-ahead after finding that "the proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity".

In a novel condition attached to the permission, the board has ordered that Mr Byrne preserve the graffiti art contained within the site by photographic record, which should be undertaken by a professional photographer.

The board has ordered that a written and digital report containing the results of the photographic survey should be submitted to the council for distribution to public libraries in the capital.

The board said it was inserting this condition "in the interest of preserving by record cultural heritage material likely to be damaged or destroyed in the course of development".


In the appeal lodged to the board on Mr Byrne's behalf, it was argued that the 500-seat Tivoli does not have sufficient capacity to be viable, unlike the 1,000-capacity Vicar Street.

The appeal also argued that the building is in relatively poor condition and does not contribute significantly to the quality of the street.

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