History of the Banking Hall
A history of the Banking Hall
1863 – A new Dublin Landmark
The Banking Hall Entrance at No. 5 College Green was established in 1813 by The Royal Irish Institution to promote arts in Ireland with regular exhibitions by the old masters. The building was demolished in 1863 and subsequently rebuilt in 1866 as the headquarters of the Provincial Bank, one of Ireland’s three main banks at that time. The grand design comprises a seven bay main building over three stories with a pompous pediment and columns. The architect William G. Murray died while in dispute with the bank over his fees as the cost of the building was twice the estimate.
1900’s – A place in history
After trading successfully as a bank for a century, one which witnessed an array of tumultuous change in Dublin and society, in 1966 the Banking Hall became a branch of the newly formed Allied Irish Bank. While it operated as a bustling bank branch, the original encaustic tiles formed the floor and the high ceilings with elaborate plasterwork and marble columns gave positive displays of its glory. These features ensured that bank customers knew this was no ordinary bank branch. Its location in the heart of Dublin ensured the prime position in corporate Ireland.
Turn of the millennium – A distinct era
With the Banking Hall restored to its former glory following significant construction from 1999, the Westin Dublin was opened in September 2001 in Numbers 35 – 39 Westmoreland street, in what was a sizeable building and restoration project. The original hand carvings and plasterwork were returned to their earliest condition as were the encaustic tiles with the bank logo still visible in the foyer floor of the private entrance. Four replica chandeliers were commissioned and hung from their prime positions from the 15 metre high ceilings, with each chandelier 3 metres in height and comprising of over 8,000 pieces of crystal. The much admired stained glass roof was also replaced after restoration.
At the epicenter of Dublin, the five star Westin Dublin and the Banking Hall connect College and Westmoreland Streets and overlook legendary Trinity College Dublin. A wonderful equilibrium has been created between historic architectural glory and modern amenities.