"Unidentified" = City Hall, Donegall Square, Belfast

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Where: Northern Ireland, Belfast, United Kingdom

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1906

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
This photo had been languishing on our catalogue with the sad title Unidentified - an unacceptable state of affairs, but our fantastic Flickroonies have rectified the situation...

Thanks to Niall McAuley for identifying this location as City Hall at Donegall Square North, Belfast in record time and providing us this link that says that City Hall was completed in 1906 - giving us an earliest possible date for this photo!

Nice history of Robinson and Cleaver Department Store in from Vab2009 - that's the building at right of the photo.

Thanks also to
Cuddly Nutter for this information on the statue of Queen Victoria:
"The main sculpture outside the entrance was created by the sculptor Sir Thomas Brock RA to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Carved from Sicilian marble the eleven foot sculpture depicts the Queen as the regal ruler of the Empire; around the lower facades are beautiful bronze figures representing the shipbuilding and linen industries, another of a child facing city hall represents education. The sculpture was unveiled by King Edward VII in July 1903."

And great work on dating from all quarters. Consensus from evidence gathered is succinctly put by Gerry Ward:
"This is most definitely between 05 Dec 1905 - the date of the electrification of the Belfast Tramway system and the date in 1907 when Stevenson’s building for Steen & Milliken was completed. There is a reference to this building in the 04 May 1907 edition of Irish Builder, page 49, maybe Carol could access a copy in Library Towers to see whether it was finished at that time."

Did indeed check the Irish Builder, and Steen & Milliken's building was still under construction in April 1907 (from issue dated 4 May 1907). I think we can assume April 1907, given the length of time taken to put a publication together...

Date: Between December 1905 and April 1907

NLI Ref.: L_CAB_04202

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 62523
jtreade singer sewingmachines employersliabilityassurance flagpoles heinz tomatochutney tomatosoup pollocks rodman trams tram77 shops statue pillars awnings ireland robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection glassnegative robinsoncleaver cityhall belfastcityhall donegallsquare donegallplace belfast antrim northernireland ulster royalavenue jamespollock jamesapollock photographicdealer kodak robinsonandcleaver departmentstore castlejunction nationallibraryofireland locationidentified dateestablished

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  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:38:55

    Reverse Google Streetview

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:42:30

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley What was that? 2/3 minutes? You guys are losing your edge! :) Stand by for a toughie then (rolling sleeves up here at Library Towers)...

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:43:05

    Wiki link on Belfast City Hall, completed in 1906.

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:51:38

    I am pretty certain that is Belfast with what was Robinson Cleavers shop on the right hand side. And Donegall Place is the street in leading away.

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:52:21

    Belfast City hall looking down Royal Avenue.

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:53:03

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Lol!! Big buildings like that have to a be big city..LoL!!

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:53:45

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanekillen Donegall Place and then Royal Avenue in the distance.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:54:51

    Rooting around on the Lennon-Wylie pages: 1907: 47. Pollock, James A., photographic dealer, stationer Still there 1918, no help.

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    Vab2009

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:58:03

    Robinson Cleaver opened in 1874 in Castle Place before moving to this site a couple of years later. www.culturenorthernireland.org/article.aspx?art_id=770&am...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:58:27

    Singers were there in 1907 and 1918, too. No help.

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 08:59:59

    I remember Pollocks in Great Victoria Street in the late 70's earily 80's there was a Number of Specialist Photographic Retailers in Belfast then only 3 now if you include Jessops.

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:01:05

    1904 the trams were electrified and in 1906 the City Hall was built. www.localhistories.org/belfasttime.html

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:05:08

    Those lamps used to be outside the Lord Mayors house so they got moved everytime there was a new Lord Mayor. They stopped that some years ago, presumably because of the expense invoved, they are now outside the Ulster Hall in Bedford Street.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:08:01

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009 Was City Hall finished by 1906?

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:09:16

    Lennon & Wylie has the Singer shop there in 1908 too.

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:11:00

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I know from my local history reading it was. And this Belfast City Council website is the best reference I can come up with at the moment. www.belfastcity.gov.uk/cityhall/index.asp

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:22:34

    You can't tell if the City Hall was completed when this was taken. The main sculpture outside the entrance was created by the sculptor Sir Thomas Brock RA to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Carved from Sicilian marble the eleven foot sculpture depicts the Queen as the regal ruler of the Empire, around the lower facades are beautiful bronze figures representing the shipbuilding and linen industries, another of a child facing city hall represents education. The sculpture was unveiled by King Edward VII in July 1903.

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:45:54

    Robinson Cleaver department store opened in Donegall Square 1888, so no help there.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:45:55

    1910: 41. Rodman, William & Co. Ltd., Heraldic and General Stationers, Fancy Goods Warehouse, Print Sellers, Gilders, Picture Frame Makers and Photographic Materials Depot; res., Wm. Rodman, Riverside, Holywood There in 1907 to 1918, too!

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 09:53:26

    If you look in street view on the LHS of Donegal Place there is a shop called Mango. It has a dedication 190X and I can't make out the last digit. Its not there in this Photo.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2012 10:00:12

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley D'oh, sorry. Missed the "finished in 1906" link.

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 10:14:16

    1907 www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcomiskey/4544693206/ Since the old building is still standing in this photo and we have electric trams it must be 1904-1906?

  • profile

    billh35

    • 13/Jul/2012 12:15:05

    Current view - maps.google.ie/maps?q=city+hall+belfast&hl=en&ll=... The view is looking across Donegall Square North into Donegall Place towards Castle Junction with Royal Avenue in the distance. The photo is definetly post 1 January 1905 as the trams are wearing Belfast Corporation Tramways livery and the company only took over the tram operation on that date. The CIty Hall was completed in 1906. The street lights were/are also used by the Corporation and City Council outside the homes of the Lord Mayors. They are erected when someone becomes Mayor and removed when they leave office.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 12:36:47

    From the DIA, that 1907 building: Name: STEVENSON, SAMUEL Building: CO. ANTRIM, BELFAST, DONEGALL PLACE, NO. 051? (STEEN & MILLIKEN) Date: 1907 Nature: New shop and offices being built by Robert Corry Ltd. Front almost entirely in Mount Charles stone..

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 12:40:08

    I think we've got our date 1907 ? http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thought you might spot something about the trams ;-)

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 12:40:48

    Looks like 1906 to me! OK maybe early 1907, but #51 didn't go up overnight

  • profile

    Cuddly Nutter

    • 13/Jul/2012 12:46:22

    Post January 1905 but pre May 1907, probably 1906.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jul/2012 13:24:44

    There is backwards writing on the left hand edge which may say something like: Donegall Place something Belfast

  • profile

    Gerry Ward

    • 13/Jul/2012 18:21:02

    This is most definitely between 05 Dec 1905 - the date of the electrification of the Belfast Tramway system and the date in of 1907 when Stevenson’s building for Steen & Milliken was completed. There is a reference to this building in the 04 May 1907 edition of ”Irish Builder”, page 49, maybe Carol could access a copy in Library Towers to see whether it was finished at that time.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2012 19:34:35

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley It's never, ever the date written on Lawrence glass plates - location and plate numbers only!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jul/2012 19:48:23

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryward I'll check it on Monday and let you know. Thanks for all the hard work.

  • profile

    anthony1928 (Have A Great Day)

    • 13/Jul/2012 22:23:47

    Wonderful image and capture.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 17/Jul/2012 09:09:46

    Right, here we go! http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryward From The Irish Builder and Engineer, May 4, 1907, page 324:

    Messrs. Robert Corry, Ltd., are also at present building new shop and offices in Donegall-place for Messrs. Steen and Milliken. The front elevation is almost entirely in Mount Charles Stone. The architect is Mr. S. Stevenson, Royal-avenue.
    That's under Building News from all around the country...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 17/Jul/2012 09:13:27

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryward I'll check through the Building News section for Belfast for the latter half of 1907 then?

  • profile

    Gerry Ward

    • 17/Jul/2012 09:29:28

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Thanks Carol. As there is no evidence of any building work - in fact the previous building is still there - and if Robert Corry was at present building the new shop (May 1907), then this photograph was taken (after 05 Dec 1905) and most likely before May 1907. Here is MajorCalloway's photo taken from almost the same spot in the 1960s: Donegall Place Belfast 1960's

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 17/Jul/2012 09:29:44

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland We don't really care when that building was finished, what we want to know is when they pulled down the old #51 which we see here. We now know this shot was before May 4 1907. (beaten to it by http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryward , excuse the repetition :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 17/Jul/2012 11:04:18

    So, between December 1905 and April 1907 (allowing for time to get 4 May 1907 issue of the Irish Builder together)! That's pretty good...

  • profile

    billh35

    • 17/Jul/2012 16:35:01

    And it was taken on a weekday! (ducks quickly to avoid the oncoming slap from the Member for NLIoTC) whereas Major Calloway's shot was a Sunday (explained by the lack of people and vehicles!)

  • profile

    Gerry Ward

    • 17/Jul/2012 17:03:23

    ... shop awnings out on a Sunday ... in 1960s Belfast? Whatever are you thinking?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 17/Jul/2012 18:02:09

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] NLIoTC??

  • profile

    billh35

    • 18/Jul/2012 09:39:18

    NLoIoTC then? Gerry, this was a weekday pic (hence the awnings) where Major Calloway was a Sunday.

  • profile

    mambo1935

    • 22/Jul/2012 21:31:44

    good photo!

  • profile

    billh35

    • 02/Jun/2013 11:35:05

    Your co-ordinates don't work?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Jun/2013 09:32:40

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Hi Bill. Missed your comment there in the general flurry. Which co-ordinates are you talking about?

  • profile

    billh35

    • 15/Jun/2013 09:36:05

    Can honestly say I now have absolutely no idea! I think a message with co-ordinates in it was posted and has now been edited/removed.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Jun/2013 18:53:19

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] No problem - crisis averted! :)