Wolfe Tone Park is located in the centre of Dublin on the site of the original graveyard adjoining St. Mary’s Church, Mary Street. Sir William Robinson, architect of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, designed the church in 1697. The land was de-consecrated and transferred to Dublin City Council for use as a public park in 1966. As part of the HARP (Historic Area Rejuvenation Project) development programme for the north inner city, Dublin City Council held a competition to redesign the park.
The intention is to provide a place for public recreation that is knitted coherently into the existing urban fabric and informed by patterns of pedestrian movement. The layout attempts to generate and sustain the maximum amount of activity within the grounds of this small park and engages more openly with the immediate adjacent environment.
A diagonal line along the north south axis delineates between the grass beach and the paved promenade. The promenade links Abbey street and the quays with the precinct of the church and facilitates pedestrian traffic through the park itself. An extensive area of hard landscaping is created in the immediate vicinity of the church to encourage a strong relationship between the building and its external environment. Its refurbishment is a separate ongoing project however it is intended that both schemes will ultimately be integrated to form one coherent organisation. A line of trees is set along the Jervis street boundary to screen the park from nearby traffic.
A palette of economical materials is employed, granite paving consistent with nearby Henry Street and the future plans for Mary street will ensure a continuity of surface. The landscaping is dominated by four Holm Oaks retained as specimen trees from the old park. A selection of headstones is set into the ground along by the FAS building and WolfeTone St. At night the area is well lit by lamp standards, augmented with additional low level lighting incorporated throughout the park to accent various features and generate an alternative nighttime landscape.