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Principal shopping area of Dublin (Grafton Street, Kildare Street), Dublin, Ireland

July 26th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Principal shopping area of Dublin

Grafton Street (Sráid Grafton in Irish) is Dublin's principal shopping street, running from St. Stephen's Green in the south to College Green in the north. The street was named after the first Duke of Grafton, who owned land in the area. It was developed from an existing country lane by the Dawson family in 1708, after whom the parallel Dawson Street is named.

Since the 1980s, the street has been mostly pedestrianised, with the exception of the short stretch running between Nassau Street and College Green. This short stretch contains two notable Dublin landmarks, the eighteenth century Trinity College Provost's House and the late twentieth century statue of Molly Malone, which has become a popular Dublin meeting place. St. McDara's Community College do stuff here. A life-size bronze statue of Phil Lynott was unveiled on Harry Street, off Grafton Street, on 19th August 2005.

Buskers, including musicians, poets and mime artists commonly perform to the shopping crowds.

The opening of the Luas tram system at the end of June 2004 has led to a 20% increase in pedestrian traffic on the street as of October 2004, although the construction of a large shopping centre in Dundrum (the largest in Ireland) toward the other end of the line could threaten these figures. Grafton Street rents increased by 46% between 2003 and 2004. The average 2005 rent was €3,653 /m2-year, making the street the seventh most expensive street in Europe. However, certain key retail sites rent for an astonishing €15,000 /m2-year, beating the world record . (Europe's most expensive, Champs-Élysées rents for €6,600 /m2-year while the world's most expensive is Fifth Avenue, New York, which goes for €11,500 /m2-year).

Bewley's Oriental Cafe, a Grafton Street institution since its opening in 1927, announced at the end of October 2004 that it would be closing before Christmas, along with its Westmoreland Street cafe. Following a campaign by the Mayor of Dublin, Catherine Byrne, the Cafe on Grafton Street was kept.

Kildare Street is a well known street in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland close to the principal shopping area of Grafton Street and Dawson Street. Some Irish government departments have their offices on this street but it is most famous for Leinster House, built by Richard Cassels in 1745, the current seat of the Irish parliament. The National Museum of Ireland and National Library of Ireland are located on either side of the Leinster House and were built in 1885.

Trinity College lies at the north end of the street while St. Stephen's Green is at the southern end, with the well-known Shelbourne Hotel on one corner. The Dublin offices of Alliance française are located at 1 Kildare Street.

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