Boston architect Michael Murphy flew into Dublin this morning to address a landmark conference in the GPO on the creation of a cultural quarter focused on Moore Street -  a street running behind the post office which was the site of the Rising leaders' retreat and their surrender. 

Best-known for his seminal memorial sites in Montgomery, Alabama — including the epic Legacy of Slavery Monument — and the Embrace Sculpture on Boston Common, Murphy cut his teeth on projects designed to reclaim history in South Africa and Rwanda> He has been lauded for bringing two million visitors to Montgomery since the monument opened in 2018 - generating $2bn of income for the city which was the capital of the Confederacy. 

Hosted by inner-city Dublin TD Mary Lou McDonald, the half-day conference in the GPO was aimed at replacing a commercial shopping mall plan for Moore Street with a community-led initiative — backed by relatives of the 1916 leaders —  to transform the 'quarter' with a history and heritage-led development. "Around the world, we now see city development proposals where organisations are using the value of place rather than the values of profit — ironically these projects have delivered better economic outcomes than the strictly commercial proposals," Murphy told the Irish Echo. "Moore Street is a living memorial landscape where we can rewrite the story of the struggle for independence to create a place for work, living and play while also being reminded of its deep history and our pride of place.