Eason can trace its history on O’Connell Street to 1886 when Charles Eason acquired the former WH Smith premises, where he was a manager, and went on to establish one of Ireland’s most well-known businesses. Like much of O’Connell Street, significant destruction occurred during the 1916 Rising whilst the building was occupied by rebels. Rebuilding of No’s 40–41 and Abbey Street occurred during the period of 1917–1919 and was one of the first in Dublin to be constructed with reinforced concrete frame and fine carved limestone façade. In 1976 No. 42 O’Connell Street was acquired and was integrated in the existing store.
The building is listed in the Dublin City Record of Protected Structures (Ref. 6012) and is within an area of Special Planning Control.
The building as it stands today comprises a part six storey, via mansard, over basement retail store extending to 61,632 sq ft (NIA). The building occupies a site area of circa. 0.3 acres.
Presently the store trades from ground, basement, first and second floors with stores, offices and ancillary uses limited to floors 3–5. The building is L-shaped with frontage of 20m and 25m onto O’Connell Street and Abbey Street respectively.
Over time the building has had numerous extensions to include the mansard construction on both the Abbey Street and O’Connell Street upper floors with additional light weight extensions at floors 2-4. The store is serviced from dedicated goods inwards access located on Middle Abbey Street.
The Eason flagship store on O’Connell Street is an extensive shop with four shopping floors, reading areas as well as The Muse Café contributing to a relaxed environment. The store is fitted out to a high standard with a carefully crafted mix of contemporary and historical features.