VICTORIAN UNDERGROUND TOILET BLOCK SOON TO BE A RESTAURANT STILL DERELICT 6 JANUARY 2021
There are two separate entities – a small park and an underground public toilet.
In November 2018 I read that this facility was to be restored as a cafe or restaurant and I also discovered that the area was locally known as the “Four Corners of Hell” because crossroad junction of Kevin Street, New Street South, Dean Street and Patrick Street had a pub on each corner and became especially rowdy at closing time. This caught me by surprise, especially as I should have been aware that these facilities existed having gone to school in Leeson Street and college in Kevin Street.
Initially I thought that it was an old monument or memorial but upon seeing the entrance I realised that it was an underground public toilet block.
In the 1950s and 1960s there were about seventy public toilets in Dublin but all of them have been closed. The underground public toilet block at the junction of Kevin Street and New Street was one of a number that were built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in response to an increasing demand for public facilities in the city. Underground facilities such as this were partially hidden from general view in order to satisfy Victorian perceptions of decency. It retains many of its historic features including railings, gates and decorative ventilation shaft.