CORK’S most iconic hall will be reopened at the end of the month after the floor has been restored.
Cork City Council’s Concert Hall floor has been tread by dancers, music lovers, royals, fretting politicians seeking election and runners getting ready for annual city marathon over the last ten decades.
The original boards were laid back in the 1930s and are being fully restored due to 157 broken springs in the underfloor structure.
The Concert Hall first opened its doors in 1936 and has hosted the likes of rockers Rory Gallagher and U2, as well as several festivals and the annual Over 60s talent competition finals.
Large scale concerts have been held there as far back as the 1970s and it also hosted the first and only Olympic medal ceremony outside of an Olympic Village as well numerous freedom of the city ceremonies, and the 2018 Royal Visit to Cork.
The Concert Hall was also home to the UNESCO Conference 2017 as well as many other international conferences over the years.
Most recently, the venue was used as a counting centre for the local elections over the course of three hectic days at City Hall in May.
The hall can hold 1040 people standing and 960 seated and is 40.6 metres in length and 20.7 metres wide.
It is believed that the floor was damaged in the 1980s during an exhibition which overloaded and distorted the floor levels, resulting in broken springs and excessive deflection in the support structure.
A council spokesperson said: “Attempts had been made in previous decades to repair the damaged areas by fitting wedges in place of the broken springs to level up the floor, but this failed to prevent the bounce that had developed in the centre of the Hall.
“The City Architect explained that once the old floor finish was removed, evidence was revealed of the exceptional quality of the original construction; steel beams were laid across a line of 9 concrete plinths in the sub-floor, repeated 22 times along the length of the hall, with twin sprung flexible couplings at each joint.
“The project was managed by City Architects in collaboration with the Facilities and Works sections of Cork City Council,” the spokesperson added.