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Ebrington Square Review
During 2013, this 26-acre development on the River Foyle's east bank and former military barracks was a dynamic hub in the U.K. City of Culture festivities. The square is named for Lord Ebrington, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland during the years (1839–41) when many of the military buildings here were erected, including the Star Fort, one of the architectural highlights. During World War II, the barracks became part of a naval base that later functioned as an anti-submarine school. The base closed in 2004 and will be developed over the next decade. The former officers' mess, for instance, is being transformed into a boutique hotel.
Storyboards along a tourism trail will relate the history of this site that was a Jacobite camp during Derry's 17th-century siege, but the new development's cutting-edge infrastructure is an equally compelling tale. With its built-in geothermal heating deep underground, Erbington Square, linked to the old city by the Peace Bridge, has a reduced carbon footprint. Water is partially heated by the surrounding earth before being pumped to the square's buildings. Ebrington Square's transformation won't be complete for several years, but already this development has breathed new life into the east bank, or waterside as it's commonly known.
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