ULSARA 50: Planned Publication

ULSARA’s 50th Birthday is in 2018, and our thoughts are turning to plans for marking this milestone. 
It was in 1968 that Carmencita Hederman and several other concerned local residents established the association as a pressure group to protect the residential character of the neighbourhood from commercial development and the conversion of family homes to offices. The result is that fifty years on we have a generally pleasant and well-protected area. Not all battles ended in victory, but the overall result its there for all to see. Preparations are already underway to celebrate the occasion. 

We plan a publication on the architecture of the area, based on the main “estate” developments – Darley, Molyneux, Pembroke etc – and a garden party for members on Bloomsday. Those with longer memories recall epic battles, on Leeson Park in the 1980s for instance, and more recently with Dartmouth Square and the oral hearing on the planning appeal against certain developments in the Ballsbridge triangle.   

Much early work focused on efforts to preserve the distinctive architectural features of the area. These included fighting against the unauthorised removal of front garden railings and the creation of guidelines for the design of front gardens where off-street parking was permitted. ULSARA was also instrumental in seeking protected structure designation for the Georgian and Victorian buildings and terraces of this conservation area. 

ULSARA’s documents, many of which chronicle these campaigns, are being transferred to Dublin City Council Archives for safe keeping and for the use of future municipal historians. However, as much of the material relates to individual houses it was considered appropriate to apply the usual thirty-year rule. Guest of honour at our quinquennial celebrations will be our founder Carmencita Hederman, the former Alderman and Lord Mayor, who lives in Upper Leeson Street and who with her late husband Billy and a few others founded the Association. Today the general fine state of the area is in great part a tribute to the work of these founders but also to the efforts of subsequent members, chairmen and committee members of ULSARA.

As part of our planned publication, we are looking for any photos, stories and records of the area. Let us know if you have any of interest.


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