The former Tropical Fruit Company warehouse is slightly disappointing, compared to the company name – against the odds, ‘Tropical Fruit Company’ still sounds quite exotic in 2012, and I had some notion of sweet terracotta fruit plaques that prevented me from pinning the name to the right building, despite knowing the address. In spite of that, it’s quite a nice brick warehouse from the 1890s, with two neat gables silhouetted on the quay, clerestory windows running from there to the back of the site. The rhythm of the window heights on the upper level is set off even more by the six limestone keystones and the slim brick projections rising above them, and its fussiness is quite appealing.
The two slightly menacing keystones are originals salvaged from the Carlisle Bridge, which was reconstructed as O’Connell Bridge (1880), and they represent the Atlantic and Anna Liffey.
The warehouse was renovated by Beardmore Yauner Byrne and Felim Dunne in 1990, and was used as offices by U2‘s manager, Paul McGuinness. The Tropical Fruit Company (which still appears to exist as a registered company) was certainly still using the warehouse in 1982, anyway, as they sought permission to alter and extend the buildings.