THE PIANO MONUMENT – MARINE PARADE IN NEWTOWNSMITH DUN LAOGHAIRE
When I worked in Dun Laoghaire as a tourist adviser some of my co-workers referred to this as the monument or the piano.
Newtownsmith [I have seen it spelled as Newtown Smith] is part of the current seafront area facing out to Scotsmans Bay in Dun Laoghaire. The name was also previously applied to Islington Avenue until the 1860s.
The “Smith” of Newtownsmith was Samuel Smith, who lived at Stoneview House on “Sam Smith’s Road” [ now named Lower Glenageary Road] and was the main supplier of granite for the construction of the Dun Laoghaire harbour. He was also a builder and it is believed that he built some of the homes in Newtownsmith.
The houses on Newtownsmith were fully developed by 1860, but at that time they were directly on the rocky foreshore and there was no green space or parkland in front of them.
By 1908, a strip of infill about 50m wide had been created in front of the houses as a flood defence.
The rocky foreshore was infilled to create sea walls, a promenade walkway, and a park and the work was completed in 1921 and the opening of the park is commemorated by a monument.
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