Gresham Hotel Restoration…. 5 years on

By Published On: February 20th, 2023
Our facade supervisor standing in front of the Gresham hotel

Facade restoration of the iconic Dublin hotel

The Gresham hotel restoration was given the green light back in 2018. Our Facade Supervisor Stephen Whelan revisits the historic hotel on Dublin’s main thoroughfare. He was delighted to see that the building still looks great 5 years on from the facade restoration we were involved in.

Collage of building cleaning from 2018

PMAC was delighted to be involved in this prestigious project to return a Dublin landmark to its former splendour. The much-cherished Gresham Hotel in central Dublin had the facelift it desperately needed. The results merit its reputation as one of the most elegant and beautiful buildings in our capital.

Click on the video below to hear Stephen’s thoughts on the project and how happy he is to see the building still looking as good as it did in 2018.

A bright future for the Gresham

RIU Hotels & Resorts – the Spanish hotel chain – purchased the hotel in early 2017. Their vision is to modernise the building throughout, but to do so sensitively. They were aware they needed to honour and celebrate its iconic local heritage. We are renowned stone cleaning and restoration specialists with the experience and skills that come from being a Heritage Contractor. Because of this notoriety we were approached to clean and restore the facade.

We knew from the outset that this was not going to be an easy task. Especially as the Gresham is located on the busiest street in Dublin. O’Connell Street is a designated Architectural Conservation area and is therefore subject to special planning controls. We had the newly established Luas tracks running in front of the hotel. Most importantly, the Gresham could not afford to lose any business or suffer disruption to guests during the cleaning works.

An example of great teamwork

The partnership between PMAC and Thomann-Hanry® was an extremely streamlined and successful process. The PMAC team ensured the facade was prepped before the machinery arrived. All electrical and loose wires and cables were removed in the previous week. Full planning permission had to be sought from Dublin City Council, as we were carrying out works on a listed structure. Our long experience working in the public realm ensured we had the knowledge, expertise and safety credentials to manage a construction site on an extremely busy and heavily pedestrianised street.

The machinery had to be installed at night, as even at 5 am in the morning O’Connell Street is busy with commuters. The PMAC team managed the site and traffic management from the ground while the Thomann-Hanry® team carried out the cleaning works. They are leaders in their field with their sophisticated machinery and highly skilled staff. We are delighted to say that business at the Gresham continued as normal. And the hotel did not receive any complaints during the works, which is quite unusual for a major project.

The O’Connell Street facade was cleaned in five days, after which the machine was moved around the corner to Cathal Brugha Street. The challenge here was traffic management. This street had fewer pedestrians, but we had to park the machinery on the road and disrupt a taxi rank for four days.

We believe the results speak for themselves! The compliments received and attention this project received in the media were phenomenal. There is a real feeling of gratitude towards the Riu Gresham Hotel. Dubliners were happy to see this iconic building regain its former glory and there is a hope this is the start of a major and much-needed rejuvenation of O’Connell Street.

To learn more about the cleaning process you can read our blog from 2018