REDEVELOPED CENTRAL BANK BUILDING – HAS THE TREE OF GOLD SCULPTURE BEEN RELOCATED TO THE FOWNES STREET CORNER
Central Plaza, also known as the Central Bank of Ireland Building for its former tenant, is an office building on Dame Street in Temple Bar, Dublin. It was the headquarters of the Central Bank of Ireland from 1979 to 2017. It is Ireland’s only suspended structure building’, with its 8 floors hanging from central concrete cores. Each floor was built on the ground and then raised into place. It was controversial for being out of scale with its surroundings and for being constructed 30 feet (9.1 m) taller than approved.
As of 2022, the building is undergoing renovations including the addition of a “rooftop venue” and observation deck. It had been reported that the developers of spent more than €100 million renovating the main building and associated buildings as a mix of offices, retail, restaurants and cafes. The complex was due to be available for fit out from August 2020.
In 2016 it was confirmed that ‘tree of gold’ sculpture by Eamonn Doherty at the Central Bank’s old headquarters on Dame St would remain in situ despite speculation that it was to be incorporated into its new offices in the Dublin Docklands. However, that the sculpture has been relocated to the Fownes Street corner of the complex.
For many years I thought that the sculpture outside the Central Bank was the ‘Money Tree’ but it is officially named “Crann an Oir” which means “Tree of Gold”.
In 2015 the Central Bank announced that it was to spend €500,000 to move its iconic golden ball from outside headquarters on Dame Street in Dublin to its new base at North Wall Quay. Soon after publishing some photographs of the sculpture I was contacted by a number of people indicating that it could not possibly cost so much to relocate a sculpture. I contacted the bank and they advised me that the cost included much more than just the removal of the sculpture. Later a journalist contact supplied the following quote: “It is believed the estimated cost was accurate, despite a Central Bank official dismissing it as ridiculous at the time”.
The sculpture, by the late Eamonn O’Doherty, was chosen in 1991 as the result of a competition.
Éamonn O’Doherty (1939 – 4 August 2011), born in Derry, Northern Ireland, was an Irish sculptor, painter, printmaker, photographer and lecturer. He was best known for his sculptures in public places. He died, aged 72, in Dublin.
Well known sculptures by Éamonn O’Doherty include the Quincentennial Sculpture on Eyre Square in Galway and the famous Anna Livia installation.