Thomas Crosbie Holdings: 97 South Mall is considered to be one of the most
magnificent buildings in Cork. This Victorian Renaissance- revival style bank was formerly the Provincial Bank of Ireland, designed by W.G.Murray and built about 1840.
Occupying a prominent corner site at the end of the South mall, opposite the Cork Savings Bank (another building of note built by Kearns Deane a few years earlier)
The South Mall façade is two stories of 9 bays with a blind arcaded attic set behind a projecting Corinthian pedimented columnar breakfront. The external carvings on the upper levels of the façade contain the coat of arms of various Irish cities as well as representations of industry and commerce. The façade to Parnell Place is longer but less elaborate, having a central doorway formerly giving access to the bank manager’s living accommodation. Interesting architectural features include the solid parapet with arcaded niches and the fine dressed limestone finish. This substantial and well maintained building retains much of its original fabric and lends character to the surrounding streetscape. Recently remodelled internally and extended at upper levels to the rear in a contemporary but appropriate manner under the direction of Reddy O’Riordan Staehli Architects. The principal features of the original building such as the banking hall, the fine timber staircase and former manager’s office and living quarters were retained. Some of the heavily-constructed vaulted areas formerly containing the bank’s safes were also retained
South Mall: This Street was originally a branch of the River Lee. Along the South Mall on the left hand side going towards the City Hall, you will see a series of steps leading up to various offices. The arches under the steps were originally built for boats going to the warehouses behind the dwellings of the merchantmen.
Imperial Hotel: Situated on the South Mall. This hotel has been serving Cork since 1813 when the Cork Committee of Merchants commissioned architect Sir Thomas Deane to design and build the Commercial Rooms. In 1816 the merchants requested Deane to extend the original building along Pembroke Street to serve as a hotel and coach-yard. The Imperial Hotel, originally the place where merchants met to discuss business remains one of the most popular business and social centres in the city today.
The hotel has played host to a number of renowned figures including Fr. Mathew the temperance priest, writers such as Sir Walter Scott, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens and composer Liszt. Michael Collins, who negotiated the Free State Treaty in 1921, spent his last night in room 115 of the hotel.