Seeing the chains unlocked and the heavy machinery moving in this morning gave Greystones the heart-flutters, as it looked as though The La Touche Hotel was finally being put out of its misery.
It was back in June, 1894, at the grand opening of this grandest of Greystones buildings, that Lord Powerscourt raised a toast of “Prosperity to The Grand Hotel”. Today, developer Greg Kavanagh’s New Generation Homes responded to a derelict notice issued by Wicklow County Council recently, and hired some construction workers to give the place a good scrubbing and a lick of paint.
All going well, the mortician makeover should be done in two days, leaving Kavanagh free from the fine amounting to 3% of the site’s overall value.
Whether this will mean an actual move on his New Generation Homes’ approved plans to build 26 houses, including five within the shell of the old hotel, remains to be seen. One of the workers today murmured about the fate of another fine old hotel allegedly also owned by New Generation Homes, and one also left to rot and ruin.
The La Touche Hotel has survived The Great Depression, Lautrex and at least two arson attempts. That it is now just a shell of its former self is heartbreaking. Let’s just hope some dignity can be pulled from the wreckage at this late stage…
Below, we take an up close & personal look at the faded hotel, leading off with two video clips from today. You can explore the inside of this old beauty here, and catch her in her prime right here.
And Wednesday’s lick of paint gets underway…