Chillingworth & Levie Exhibition

- A Cork City and County Archives Exhibition supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht -

Shopping in Style

34 Patrick Street with its return onto Cook Street, was also designed by Chillingworth & Levie and completed the block-

composition of the Munster Arcade, Egan’s and Forrest & Sons. It was to become one of the major reconstructed blocks on the street after the burning. This block also reads as three levels with a prominent balustraded parapet and shared levels amongst the adjacent buildings. The fine stone finishes, height and design of the reconstructions changed the face of Patrick Street dramatically in the space of five years, bringing it firmly on trend with 20th century shopping fashion. In addition to rebuilding 21 Winthrop Street, Chillingworth & Levie also the designed the Winthrop Street Arcade a rare example of an early shopping arcade with 14 units between 1924 and 1926, however, none of the drawings for this scheme are represented in the collection. Retail projects make up a significant proportion of work of the firm. Even in the depths of the 1930’s and ‘40’s recession, the firm was kept afloat with innumerable minor commissions for shop front alterations and internal modifications. An earlier example of this type of work was for Byford & Co. of 38 Patrick Street where a new shop front with internal layout changes was required in 1918. At that time the style of shop front, lettering and logo were Elevation to Cook Street, 34 Patrick Street & 1, 2 & 3 Cook Street, Cork, Chillingworth & Levie, 1925, 65 x 39cm, Cork City and County Archives

Front elevation, 21 Winthrop Street, Cork, ink on paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1918- 24, 23 x 24cm, Cork City and County Archives

Shop front, Byford’s premises, Patrick Street, Cork, ink and pencil on tracing paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1918, 50 x 50cm, Cork City and County Archives

quite individual and were a component of the architect’s design brief.

The Queen’s Old Castle was established as a department store in the 1830’s and was one of the most popular shops in Cork. In 1927, Chillingworth & Levie were engaged to alter the existing shop front. Working with a pre-existing building the architects prepared a number of options with different treatments such as a staggered Art Deco-style parapet and a first floor of decorative round-headed windows, reminiscent of Venice. Each option had an extended single shop front contained within a slim metal framework. The façade as built was quite different with a temple-like portico bearing no relation to the proportion and style of the first floor windows and balustraded parapet. The result was striking nonetheless and reinforced the impressive retail character of the city at the period. Frederick Sage & Co., London, also provided drawings for the fitting of the shop.

Former Queen’s Old Castle, Grand Parade, Cork, Courtesy the NIAH

Proposed alterations to the Queen’s Old Castle, ink on paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1924-27, 56 x 66cm, Cork City and County Archives

Detail of proposed improvements to the Queen’s Old Castle, Cork, ink on glazed linen, Chillingworth & Levie, 1924, 62 x 52cm, Cork City and County Archives

Proposed shop front, pencil on tracing paper, E. Pollard & Co. Ltd, Shop Fitters, 1924-27, 61 x 59cm, Cork City and County Archives

Proposed front elevation, the Queen’s Old Castle, Cork, pencil on tracing paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1924- 27, 52 x 47cm, Cork City and County Archives

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