'Dublin Docklands - An Urban Voyage’ is a work in progress, commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, and due to be completed in the autumn of 2008. The following tale represents research I have undertaken for the project which may or may not be used in the final book.
For many years, the skyline of the southern docks was dominated by the 82.4m (252ft) high Gasometre. It stood on the corner of Macken Street and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, right where the legal firm of McCann Fitzgerald now have their offices in the building known as Riverside 1. Built in Hitler’s Germany and designed by Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg, the Gasometre’s purpose was to store gas for the Alliance and Dublin Consumers' Gas Company. Completed in 1934, it had a capacity of 3 million cubic feet (c. 85,000 m3). This landmark – and seamark - was demolished in 1993. It would possibly have been felled earlier but for the arrival of two Peregrine Falcons who took to nesting on its roof. A bold plan to painted it up as a pint of Guinness did not come through and down it came. The late ‘Sea Scout’ Sipper Dick Vekins built a miniature gasometre using some of the original corrugated sheets salvaged during the demolition. This can now be seen in the St Andrew’s Resource Centre on Pearse Street. ‘Anyone can have a gasometre’, says Betty Ashe, ‘but they can’t have one made from the original’.