“Every City Needs a T’ing.”

Dublin, Ireland
September 8, 2015

Copyright © 2016 Douglas Landback

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When you hear the words “Dublin, Ireland,” you may think Guinness. After all, they’ve been brewing it there since 1759.

Maybe you think of the Book of Kells on display at Trinity College, the world-famous manuscript written by Celtic monks in 800 AD. Or, Dublin’s Temple Bar district and its endless pubs. Or perhaps, all of the literary greats that hailed from the city on the Liffey.

James Joyce. Samuel Beckett. George Bernard Shaw. William Butler Yeats. Oscar Wilde. Bram Stoker. Jonathan Swift. Brendan Behan. To name but a few.

Or, maybe you think about Dublin’s ancient heritage as a 10th Century Viking settlement?

My point? Dublin is clearly not a city lacking in culture, historical importance, charm or famous landmarks. Which is probably why I was so amused by The Spire.


The Spire of Dublin (AKA “The Monument of Light”) is a 40-story tall stainless steel pin-like monument on O’Connell Street on Dublin’s northside. It’s actually the tallest sculpture in the world. Who knew?

The spire is an elongated tapered cone, roughly 10 ft at the base, narrowing to six inches at the top, 400 feet above the street. It is constructed from eight hollow stainless steel tubes that were pelted with ball bearings in order to reflect light just the right way.

The pattern around the base of the Spire is based on a core sample of earth and rock taken from the ground where the spire stands. I though it was just an unfortunate imperfection in the steel.

I was fascinated by the spire’s purity of form and was challenged to photograph it in a unique way…although I’m pretty sure after a decade and a half, there’s no “new” way to shoot it. To appreciate my more abstract shots, you need to step back and see the spire in context. So, I’ve offered a few different images to accompany my “Image of the Day.”

While studying the sculture, I asked a local Dubliner the most obvious of questions, “Why?”

She replied, “Every city needs a t’ing.”

That’s when I realized that’s what’s been holding Tampa back. We need a “t’ing.”