How Cork's Victoria Hotel will look once it's refurbished

How Cork's Victoria Hotel will look once it's refurbished
How the Victoria Hotel will look once it is redeveloped for retail purposes. Pic: Grafton Architects

Cork's historic Victoria Hotel building on Patrick's Street is to be converted into a retail unit after planning permission was granted for the changes.

The prominent building was a focal point for many political groups and hosted the second-ever meeting of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884.

The Victoria Hotel pictured in 2009. Picture; Larry Cummins
The Victoria Hotel pictured in 2009. Picture; Larry Cummins

Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins and Winston Churchill were some of its former patrons.

The Victoria Hotel dates back to 1810 when it was called the Royal Victoria Hotel and was used by many visiting British, French and Prussian dignitaries.

The hotel was a popular disco location in the city centre in the 1980s and 1990s but has been closed for a number of years.

In 2017, new owners RESAM Properties Ltd lodged plans to build a high-order retail unit on the site of the historic location.

The facade facing Patrick Street will be retained along with the arched decorative ceiling in the first-floor ballroom.

However, the ballroom mezzanine will be removed and new ground-floor shopfronts will be created.

An entrance to the Cook Street aside of the building will also be created.

The building is not a protected structure but is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The application had attracted some objections.

The interior of the former Victoria Hotel.
The interior of the former Victoria Hotel.

John Grace, the owner of John Grace’s Fried Chicken on Cook Street, objected to the development saying the planned development would deteriorate the streetscape.

He points out that the entire west half of Cook Street is currently owned by Penneys who have plans to develop their store.

“Given that both developments represent about 70% of the property on the north end of Cook Street, we don’t believe that planning permission should be considered in the absence of a clear overall plan from Cork City Council for the street,” the objection stated.

Heritage body An Taisce said the Victoria Hotel occupies a central position on St Patrick Street and is an iconic building with significant historical associations. 

They said the development would alter its existing form beyond recognition as one of the most significant early 19th century buildings on the street.

A computer-generated view of the planned redevelopment of the Victoria Hotel on Patrick's Street.
A computer-generated view of the planned redevelopment of the Victoria Hotel on Patrick's Street.

However, planners in City Hall gave the go-ahead for the redevelopment.

This decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Mr Grace and body An Taisce.

However, in recent days, the organisation has upheld the council's decision allowing the development. 

A planning inspector said the proposed development would not seriously injure the character of the area and would not have unacceptable impacts in terms of architectural heritage.

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