The Spire is a culturally homeless edifice which stands idle in the heart of Dublin city. It is a meaningless and costly eyesore which occupies the site of a formally grand and popular Classical structure known as Nelson’s Pillar.
Unlike the Spire, the pillar was funded through subscription by the Catholic and Protestant business class of Dublin who had good reason to be grateful for Nelson’s naval victory at Trafalgar. His victory restored the freedom of the high seas and removed the threat of a French invasion which lead to lead to a great period of prosperity in Dublin. Indeed, over 400 Dubliners were involved in the famous battle.
The Pillar was a Classical structure, a symbol of European civilisation. It was not only an attractive sight but a stairs within the column permitted Dubliners to climb to the viewing deck at the top and survey their city. The stone structure was built by Irish craftsmen using Irish materials and was constructed to stand the test of time. It required little or no maintenance.
The Spire cost over €4.5M to construct in 2003. Since then, it has cost upwards of €300K p/a to maintain, despite being initially sold as “self cleaning.” This does not include the vast cost of replacing the 2,000 LED lights on the top of the structure. In comparison, Nelson’s Pillar cost the modern equivalent of €300K to construct and a nominal fee to maintain as it was a sold stone structure.
The upper portion of the pillar was destroyed by a bombing in 1966, and even then, that fine solid Irish structure took weeks to fully remove. The cost of maintaining the meaningless spire, which has no cultural connection to Dublin, will significantly increase over the years as the structure deteriorates.
A robust Classical structure, built by Dublin men with Irish stone, allowing Dubliners to see their city from birdseye view, celebrating a man who brought riches to the city was replaced by a meaningless synthetic needle which will not last aesthetically or physically.