There are some chameleon companies that make the businesses stand out from their competitors. New to Dublin, some businesses are converting old businesses into new ones. For example, The Church and Jervis Shopping Centre are two companies that have converted historical buildings into new businesses.
The Church has a unique aspect to it that sets it aside from the other businesses like it because it was once actually a church. It was formerly known as St. Mary’s Church.
It was built in the beginning of the 18th century by famous architect, Thomas Burgh. Similarly, he was the same architect that built the Trinity Library and many other famous buildings. St. Mary’s Church is famous for numerous other reasons as well. In addition, Renatus Harris built an organ within the building and there is a beautiful stained glass window that was rebuilt after it was destroyed in the Irish revolution. George Frideric Handel was known to practice the Messiah on the organ often. Further, Arthur Guinness and his wife were married here in 1761. Moreover, many famous people to Ireland were also baptized here, attended services, and were even buried on the grounds. The author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Jonathan Swift, attended services here. Other people like Sean O’Casey, John Wesley, Mary Mercer, Lord Norbury, and many more.
St. Mary’s closed in 1964 and lay untouched until it was purchased by John Keating in 1997. After purchasing the church, he had it restored. However, this took seven years to complete. Now, John M. Keating’s Bar, the building reopened in December of 2005. In September of 2007, the building was acquired by new owners and renamed “The Church Bar & Restaurant”.
The Jervis Shopping Centre wasn’t always a shopping centre and was not built to be one originally. It used to be a hospital founded in 1718 by six Dublin surgeons which started in Cook St. The surgeons built it to be the Charitable Infirmary at their own expense.
In 1786, the hospital was moved to the Earl of Charlemont’s former mansion at 14 Jervis St. The infirmary moved there in October of 1796. The control of the hospital was later taken over by the Sisters of Mercy. In 1870, a contract was signed for a new building to be built for the hospital to move into. The building was designed by Charles Geoghegan and was estimated at EUR 29,000, but ended up costing over EUR 55,000. The work began in 1880 and was completed in 1886. The Jervis Shopping Centre is now located in this very building. Meanwhile, only the external facades remain of the original hospital.