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Pics: Grafton Street from 1913 to 1991

Grafton St is currently undergoing a major makeover – so here’s how it has looked down through the years.
Aug 5th 2013, 8:45 AM 27,354 26

GRAFTON STREET HAS seen many changes throughout its lifetime, and it is currently undergoing yet another makeover.

As one of Dublin city’s main shopping thoroughfares, it has seen millions of locals, visitors and tourists pass through during its lifetime.

Dating back to the 17th century, and originally a residential street, since the 19th century it has been a destination for those who want to spend money – but also those who want to watch Dublin life in all its guises.

Today, a wander down the street will see you pass by earthy flower sellers, internationally famous retail stores, buskers, mime artists, and camera-toting tourists.

The look of the street has changed much since its early days, but glance above the sometimes gaudy signs and neon frontage and up to the building fronts above, and you’ll find the true face of the Grafton St of old. The incredibly detailed buildings (some of whom had bomb shelters in their basements) are a side of the grand face of Dublin, and a look back at the days when each one was a home and not a retail store.

Grafton St is never quiet. It can be bawdy, it can be overwhelming, it can be tricky to walk down when the weather brings ice, but it’s part of the beating heart of the capital.

The street is currently undergoing construction work – after which its rickety paving will be smoothed and hopefully weather-resistant – so here are some photos that show the other faces of Grafton St throughout the years.

All photos courtesy of Dublin City Public Library and Archive.

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Aoife Barry

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