‘Dutch Billys’

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  • #799845

    Anonymous

    Further to the discussion we’ve been having on the Thomas Street thread about the, so called, ‘Protected Structure’ at 37 Thomas Street, the hugely important house at 91 Camden Street is currently being subjected to similar unauthorized works.

    Dublin City Council were notified last Friday that these works were under way and of the significance of the house, but, to date, no notices have been served on the property and no effective action has been taken, either to halt the unauthorized works, or assess the damage already done.


    unauthorised works under way on Friday 6th Sept, with the rare, stone-built rear gable already partially rebuilt in blockwork and the cruciform roof stripped.


    unauthorised works still on-going this morning.

    Photographs from two years ago show the remarkable completeness of the original roof structure, the last cruciform roof in Dublin to retain this level of original fabric.


    the interior of the attic storey looking towards the rear gable


    the interior of the attic storey looking towards the crossing from the rear


    a section of the original slating


    a view through the crossing to the lunette window on the front façade. The front and back attic spaces can only be accessed by crawling under the primary cross beams that form the main structure of the cruciform roof, suggesting that these spaces were only ever intended for storage

    #799846

    Anonymous

    Work proceeding this afternoon, full throttle, with the rear elevation being given a nice coat of cement render!

    Although there has been something of a breakthrough on the legalities front, with some of the boys now wearing high-vis jackets . . . . possible evidence of a Corpo visit??

    You couldn’t make this stuff up

    #799847

    Anonymous

    What is the problem with DCC enforcement dept?
    People need to start making formal complaints instead of just accepting thats the way it is.

    #799848

    Anonymous

    The damage to 91 Camden Street may be far more extensive than we feared. There are disturbing reports that the entire original cruciform roof structure may have been ripped out.

    If this is the case and the owner, builder and architect responsible for this act of cultural vandalism are not held to account by the local authority, then it is the local authority who must be held to account.

    #799849

    Anonymous

    This would be a tragedy if true – the damage detailed above was enough, but for the whole interior structure to be binned too is a total disgrace, and a sad, sad loss for Dublin.

    #799850

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    is there an architect involved Gunter?

    #799851

    Anonymous

    Has there been any response from Enforcement, given the inertia of that department on Thomas Street?

    #799852

    Anonymous

    The enforcement section apparently finally gained access to the building a week after the City Council were notified of the unauthorised works. It is through DCC that word has filtered out that the entire original roof structure is gone and a new roof structure erected. Since the original roof sprang from about 450mm below the second floor ceiling level, I can only assume that the damage extends to the second floor also.

    The guy I talked to in enforcement was very pleasant, which, frankly, is not what you want from an enforcement officer. He claimed to have no knowledge of what the original roof structure would have been and therefore had nothing to compare the new roof structure with, although even with this limited insight he could observe that all the timbers were new.

    My understanding is that there is an architect of some kind engaged in the unauthorised works currently under way at 91 Camden Street.

    The legislation pertaining to ‘Protected Structures’ is crystal clear.

    None of the works of repair and renewal that can be assumed to be exempted development in the case of ordinary buildings can be assumed to be exempted development in the case of Protected Structures.

    To avoid any doubt, Section 57 of the Planning & Development Act sets out the procedures by which the owner of a Protected Structure may apply for a Declaration from the local authority determining whether certain specified works are, or are not, exempted development.

    In the case of works to a building on the ‘Protected Structure Register’, only works specifically detailed in a Section 57 Declaration, issued by the local authority, can be claimed to be exempted development.

    In making that determination, the only works that can be considered permissible as exempted development are ”. . those works [that] would not materially affect the character of: (a) the structure, or (b) any element of the structure which contributes to its special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest.”

    The roof structure of no. 91 Camden Street was the defining characteristic of the house, there was no other cruciform roof in Dublin that was comparable to it in terms of the survival of original fabric, it is inconceivable that any layman, let alone any professional, could have misunderstood that.

    Knowing the the removal of the original roof structure could never be deemed exempted development, it was the clear obligation of the owner of 91 Camden Street, and his architect, to apply for planning permission if they intended to carry out any works to the structure and particularly any works to its distinctive roof.

    Because the building is a Protected Structure, such a planning application would always be preceded by a number of consultations with the local authority conservation officer where the scope of the works would be discussed and any misunderstandings on the value of the structure put to rest. As the works pertain to a Protected Structure, the local authority would have advised the owner that the planning application itself would need to be assembled by an architect specifically accredited in conservation and be accompanied by a detailed appraisal of the historic/architectural value of the structure and accompanied also by a detailed method statement setting out the case for the proposed works and the manner in which they are proposed to be carried out so as to specifically minimise any loss of original fabric, or loss of character, in the structure.

    What is happening to 91 Camden Street is the exact opposite of what is set out in the legislation and it is impossible not to conclude from the manner in which the works have been carried out, without any visible scaffolding, protective mesh or site signage, that it was entirely the intention of the owner and his crew to carry out these works under the radar and thereby avoid all the obligations that pertain to Protected Structures detailed above.

    This will keep happening in Dublin until the local authority are forced to make a stand.

    The legislation says:

    58. (4) Any person who, without lawful authority, causes damage to a protected structure or a proposed protected structure shall be guilty of an offence.

    If the local authority do not take effective action against the people who have caused this damage to 91 Camden Street, then they will be among the people directly responsible for the damage to the next Protected Structure that the cowboys gut.

    #799853

    Anonymous

    What is going on at this building is a scandal. Red cessation of works notices have been slapped on two-up two-downs in Portobello when the will was there, while here on Camden Street, on one of the most important buildings in the city, things merrily chug along as they always do with the proud new owners of this building. The well known czars of Camden Street. In any civilised city, there would be a team of officials and the police down at a site of this significance. Here, as we speak, two and a half weeks after being brought to the planning authority’s attention, a team of operatives continue to crawl over the roof, full steam ahead, finalising their gut job, while the crisp Section 152 warning letter sits on a doormat out in Lucan of the ‘architects’ involved in this unholy debacle.

    What a complete farce. This is beyond GUBU stuff. Not least as it’s contrived from all sides.

    #799185

    Anonymous

    Anyone with an interest in the Dutch Billy tradition and the place it should hold in the record of Irish street-architecture, would have been well advised to steer clear of the ‘Street View: Urban Domestic Architectures 1700 – 1900’ symposium in Trinity today .

    It wasn’t just that no aspect of the entire gabled tradition featured in any of the papers presented, or that the first presentation appeared to chronologically pick the development of a house on Henrietta Street as the day’s starting point, as though B.H. [before Henrietta Street] was some kind of primordial ooze out of which the classical Dublin town house magically emerged, it was that the whole significance of the 18th century gabled tradition, as a distinctive native phenomenon and as a critical factor in influencing the street-architecture that followed it, simply hasn’t registered.

    The pre-lunch discussion was almost comical in its absurdity. Something like two hundred of the best minds in the field of Irish architectural history floundering on the question; why was it that the façades of Georgian houses in Dublin were so plain, compared to the façades of contemporary Georgian houses in Britain?

    This is the same question that the morning chair, Christine Casey, had herself posed in her chapter of ‘The Eighteenth Century Dublin Town House,’ published in 2010, to which there is no satisfactory answer . . . . unless one considers the exuberantly banded and gabled houses of the typical Dublin streetscape that immediately preceded the emergence of the dull brick box. This is precisely the comparison that everyone in the field seems bound and determined not to make

    Every exuberant phase in architecture is followed by a phase of deliberate restraint, we all know this. In turn, every minimalist phase succumbs eventually to a renewed interest in more elaborate or decorated forms. Dublin began to adopt a distinctly plain form of Georgian architecture in the middle years of the 18th century in a deliberate reaction against, what a small coterie of Dublin developers portrayed as, the excesses and irregularity of the prevailing gabled tradition.

    We can justifiably fume against the cowboys who illegally butchered the original cruciform roof of 91 Camden Street in the last few week, but if our academic classes continue to under value the extent and significance of the tradition that this house belongs to, as this symposium did, are we in any position to point the finger at the cultural vandals in the yellow jackets?

    #799854

    Anonymous

    Planning notice just posted at No 91 (for retention obviously)

    #799855

    Anonymous

    Sean Curtin (Limerick – A Stroll Down Memory Lane Vol. 13) has managed to get hold of the best version of this particular photo.

    The other versions of the Tholsel along with the three buildings that I have seen to date were very blurred (Limerick Museum).

    Even the watercolour from Thomas Ryan was based on a poorer one.

    This documents nicely the existence of yet another Dutch gable on Mary Street / Gaol Lane.

    #799857

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Platten Hall, Co. Meath
    http://archiseek.com/2014/1700-platten-hall-co-meath/#.UwOnZ_ldX3Q

    Described in a publication of 1907 as “It is an ugly building now, in spite of its rich red colouring; but in formelr days, when it was a story higher, and had a gabled roof, its appearance was doubtless more attractive. “

    #799856

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Ànd more on Turvey, images and a description from 1906
    http://archiseek.com/2014/17th-c-turvey-house-donabate-co-dublin/#.UwOtPfldX3Q

    #799858

    Anonymous

    Platten Hall was certainly a fascinating house and if the house was originally gable-fronted, prior to the removal of the top storey in the mid-19th century, that would link it stylistically to Pallas Anne in Co. Cork, with which it shared a rich red brickwork and crisp stone detailing. The builder of Platten Hall, Ald. Graham of Drogheda, prospered after the ejection of the Jacobite council in 1690 and is linked to several properties in the town whose redevelopment about this time clearly belonged to the gabled tradition.

    There has to be a sketch, or a fuller description, of Platten Hall slumbering on a shelf somewhere. The future Mrs Delany, who spent forty years twittering relentlessly about every detail of 18th trivia, spent several weeks as a guest of her cousins, the Grahams, in Platten Hall in early 1732, but managed to record no observations on the architecture of the house. She repeated this feat as a visitor to the important, and then newly built, Hamilton house on Molesworth Street, although on that occassion she did note that the Hamilto house ‘. . looks cheerful and neat.’

    Yes well, moving on, Seafield, in it’s original form, and the re-modelling of Turvey, both in north Co. Dublin, would seem to belong to this putative group of gable-fronted country houses. This group would soon be stylistically overwhelmed by a tide of country-house building in the sturdy Palladian formula of Cassells and others. It was left to a group of modest, single and multi-gabled, five-bay, houses, mostly on the perimeter of the city, to continue the curvilinear gabled tradition, in rural locations, into the late 1720s, although, as we know, the gabled tradition continued to dominate the street-architecture of the city into the late 1740s and indeed lingered on in less fashionable areas for another twenty years after that.

    The recorded Dublin townhouse that most closely fits the characteristics of this early 18th century gabled, country-house, group is probably the Ward’s Hill house which Peter Walsh has long speculated may also have been originally gable fronted.


    The Ward’s Hill house off Newmarket

    The measured proportions of the facades of these houses, the use of stone quoins, plat bands and segmental headed windows in combination with flat headed windows and the presence, in each case, of a particularly elegant classical doorway, all suggest that the houses of this group were the product of a high level of architectural involvement.

    But which of our architectural practitioners were indulging in pedimented, curvilinear, gables at this time when all the books tell us they should have been transitioning smoothly out of Anglo-Dutch classism straight into pure Palladianism?

    #799859

    Anonymous

    Back to urban matters, many artists made a career out of painting the appalling dereliction in Dublin, in the 20th century. Seamus O’Colmain [1925 – 1990] was one such artist who practiced in a sort of gloomy impressionist style that was well suited to the subject matter.

    This is one of O’Colmain’s paintings which popped up on a art auction web site recently:

    The painting is just entitled; ‘Old Dublin Street’, and it appears to depict what might be a twin-gabled house along side another gabled house that might also have been originally twin-gabled, but has had some kind of bite taken out of it. Normally I wouldn’t put a lot of store in an image such as this having a whole lot of topographical value, especially since the location is so vague in the title, but images of twin gabled houses are hard to come by and we have to take what we can find.

    I’m struggling to put a location on this streetscape, if in fact it existed at all outside of the O’Colmain’s imagination, would anyone have any idea?

    #799860

    Anonymous

    Streets with an elbow in them are not that common in Dublin. One location that could be a possible match is Fishamble Street, looking south, up the hill from about the junction with Essex Street west.


    a poor quality image taken from google maps of that location now.

    The ‘Kennan’s’ house [yellow brick] was reduced to three storey for most of the 20th century, but obviously there is a discrepancy in that the painting shows the house in this position to be three-bay wide, not two-bay as it actually is. A large shed, the Kennan’s steel warehouse, occupied the site of the adjoining houses in any images I can find going back to the 1960s, but if we could find even distant images of the houses that were there before, it might be possible to confirm that this is the location.

    Note that there is a lamp post at about the same spot depicted in O’Colmain’s painting. Lamp posts remained doggedly resistant to re-location, no matter what scale of redevelopment was happening around them.

    #799861

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster

    Kennans at an earlier time

    [attachment=0:zdqkvwfc]kennans.jpg[/attachment:zdqkvwfc]

    #799862

    Anonymous

    There’s good news and bad news on the Seamus O’Colmain front.

    The good news is that, some of his other sketches and paintings suggest that he could, on occassion, hold one or two lines of perspective together, which is encouraging if we’re hoping to establish that his ‘Old Dublin Street’ view contains anything like accurate streetscape information.

    The bad news is that O’Colmain never seems to have had much of a clue himself where any of the streetscapes that he depicted in his paintings actually were.

    Take this painting, apparently entitled; ‘the Bellman, Meath Street’

    Meath Street!

    Even the lowest council official in the comatose wing of the conservation department could tell you that this streetscape is the north side of Back Lane, featuring, as it does, the great baroque entrance to Tailors Hall.

    In fact, O’Colmain’s painting exhibits a remarkable resemblence to the above photograph of the same scene in the Old Dublin Society’s collection, which rather leads to the suspicion that O’Colmain may not have been trudging down the grubby streets of 1940s Dublin, sketch book in hand, but instead, taking the slightly easier route of lifting his views from old photographs.

    This may not be particularly welcome news to anyone who may have bought one of O’Colmain’s paintings, at around €4,000 a pop, but it’s good news for us, if it means that there may be a corresponding photograph of that ‘Old Dublin Street’ with those, apparently twin-gabled houses, slumbering in a collection somewhere.

    #824378

    admin
    Keymaster

    Any further thoughts on the painting location Gunter

  • Author
    Posts
  • #799845

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Further to the discussion we’ve been having on the Thomas Street thread about the, so called, ‘Protected Structure’ at 37 Thomas Street, the hugely important house at 91 Camden Street is currently being subjected to similar unauthorized works.

    Dublin City Council were notified last Friday that these works were under way and of the significance of the house, but, to date, no notices have been served on the property and no effective action has been taken, either to halt the unauthorized works, or assess the damage already done.


    unauthorised works under way on Friday 6th Sept, with the rare, stone-built rear gable already partially rebuilt in blockwork and the cruciform roof stripped.


    unauthorised works still on-going this morning.

    Photographs from two years ago show the remarkable completeness of the original roof structure, the last cruciform roof in Dublin to retain this level of original fabric.


    the interior of the attic storey looking towards the rear gable


    the interior of the attic storey looking towards the crossing from the rear


    a section of the original slating


    a view through the crossing to the lunette window on the front façade. The front and back attic spaces can only be accessed by crawling under the primary cross beams that form the main structure of the cruciform roof, suggesting that these spaces were only ever intended for storage

    #799846

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Work proceeding this afternoon, full throttle, with the rear elevation being given a nice coat of cement render!

    Although there has been something of a breakthrough on the legalities front, with some of the boys now wearing high-vis jackets . . . . possible evidence of a Corpo visit??

    You couldn’t make this stuff up

    #799847

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    What is the problem with DCC enforcement dept?
    People need to start making formal complaints instead of just accepting thats the way it is.

    #799848

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    The damage to 91 Camden Street may be far more extensive than we feared. There are disturbing reports that the entire original cruciform roof structure may have been ripped out.

    If this is the case and the owner, builder and architect responsible for this act of cultural vandalism are not held to account by the local authority, then it is the local authority who must be held to account.

    #799849

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    This would be a tragedy if true – the damage detailed above was enough, but for the whole interior structure to be binned too is a total disgrace, and a sad, sad loss for Dublin.

    #799850

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
    • Offline

    is there an architect involved Gunter?

    #799851

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Has there been any response from Enforcement, given the inertia of that department on Thomas Street?

    #799852

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    The enforcement section apparently finally gained access to the building a week after the City Council were notified of the unauthorised works. It is through DCC that word has filtered out that the entire original roof structure is gone and a new roof structure erected. Since the original roof sprang from about 450mm below the second floor ceiling level, I can only assume that the damage extends to the second floor also.

    The guy I talked to in enforcement was very pleasant, which, frankly, is not what you want from an enforcement officer. He claimed to have no knowledge of what the original roof structure would have been and therefore had nothing to compare the new roof structure with, although even with this limited insight he could observe that all the timbers were new.

    My understanding is that there is an architect of some kind engaged in the unauthorised works currently under way at 91 Camden Street.

    The legislation pertaining to ‘Protected Structures’ is crystal clear.

    None of the works of repair and renewal that can be assumed to be exempted development in the case of ordinary buildings can be assumed to be exempted development in the case of Protected Structures.

    To avoid any doubt, Section 57 of the Planning & Development Act sets out the procedures by which the owner of a Protected Structure may apply for a Declaration from the local authority determining whether certain specified works are, or are not, exempted development.

    In the case of works to a building on the ‘Protected Structure Register’, only works specifically detailed in a Section 57 Declaration, issued by the local authority, can be claimed to be exempted development.

    In making that determination, the only works that can be considered permissible as exempted development are ”. . those works [that] would not materially affect the character of: (a) the structure, or (b) any element of the structure which contributes to its special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest.”

    The roof structure of no. 91 Camden Street was the defining characteristic of the house, there was no other cruciform roof in Dublin that was comparable to it in terms of the survival of original fabric, it is inconceivable that any layman, let alone any professional, could have misunderstood that.

    Knowing the the removal of the original roof structure could never be deemed exempted development, it was the clear obligation of the owner of 91 Camden Street, and his architect, to apply for planning permission if they intended to carry out any works to the structure and particularly any works to its distinctive roof.

    Because the building is a Protected Structure, such a planning application would always be preceded by a number of consultations with the local authority conservation officer where the scope of the works would be discussed and any misunderstandings on the value of the structure put to rest. As the works pertain to a Protected Structure, the local authority would have advised the owner that the planning application itself would need to be assembled by an architect specifically accredited in conservation and be accompanied by a detailed appraisal of the historic/architectural value of the structure and accompanied also by a detailed method statement setting out the case for the proposed works and the manner in which they are proposed to be carried out so as to specifically minimise any loss of original fabric, or loss of character, in the structure.

    What is happening to 91 Camden Street is the exact opposite of what is set out in the legislation and it is impossible not to conclude from the manner in which the works have been carried out, without any visible scaffolding, protective mesh or site signage, that it was entirely the intention of the owner and his crew to carry out these works under the radar and thereby avoid all the obligations that pertain to Protected Structures detailed above.

    This will keep happening in Dublin until the local authority are forced to make a stand.

    The legislation says:

    58. (4) Any person who, without lawful authority, causes damage to a protected structure or a proposed protected structure shall be guilty of an offence.

    If the local authority do not take effective action against the people who have caused this damage to 91 Camden Street, then they will be among the people directly responsible for the damage to the next Protected Structure that the cowboys gut.

    #799853

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    What is going on at this building is a scandal. Red cessation of works notices have been slapped on two-up two-downs in Portobello when the will was there, while here on Camden Street, on one of the most important buildings in the city, things merrily chug along as they always do with the proud new owners of this building. The well known czars of Camden Street. In any civilised city, there would be a team of officials and the police down at a site of this significance. Here, as we speak, two and a half weeks after being brought to the planning authority’s attention, a team of operatives continue to crawl over the roof, full steam ahead, finalising their gut job, while the crisp Section 152 warning letter sits on a doormat out in Lucan of the ‘architects’ involved in this unholy debacle.

    What a complete farce. This is beyond GUBU stuff. Not least as it’s contrived from all sides.

    #799185

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Anyone with an interest in the Dutch Billy tradition and the place it should hold in the record of Irish street-architecture, would have been well advised to steer clear of the ‘Street View: Urban Domestic Architectures 1700 – 1900’ symposium in Trinity today .

    It wasn’t just that no aspect of the entire gabled tradition featured in any of the papers presented, or that the first presentation appeared to chronologically pick the development of a house on Henrietta Street as the day’s starting point, as though B.H. [before Henrietta Street] was some kind of primordial ooze out of which the classical Dublin town house magically emerged, it was that the whole significance of the 18th century gabled tradition, as a distinctive native phenomenon and as a critical factor in influencing the street-architecture that followed it, simply hasn’t registered.

    The pre-lunch discussion was almost comical in its absurdity. Something like two hundred of the best minds in the field of Irish architectural history floundering on the question; why was it that the façades of Georgian houses in Dublin were so plain, compared to the façades of contemporary Georgian houses in Britain?

    This is the same question that the morning chair, Christine Casey, had herself posed in her chapter of ‘The Eighteenth Century Dublin Town House,’ published in 2010, to which there is no satisfactory answer . . . . unless one considers the exuberantly banded and gabled houses of the typical Dublin streetscape that immediately preceded the emergence of the dull brick box. This is precisely the comparison that everyone in the field seems bound and determined not to make

    Every exuberant phase in architecture is followed by a phase of deliberate restraint, we all know this. In turn, every minimalist phase succumbs eventually to a renewed interest in more elaborate or decorated forms. Dublin began to adopt a distinctly plain form of Georgian architecture in the middle years of the 18th century in a deliberate reaction against, what a small coterie of Dublin developers portrayed as, the excesses and irregularity of the prevailing gabled tradition.

    We can justifiably fume against the cowboys who illegally butchered the original cruciform roof of 91 Camden Street in the last few week, but if our academic classes continue to under value the extent and significance of the tradition that this house belongs to, as this symposium did, are we in any position to point the finger at the cultural vandals in the yellow jackets?

    #799854

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Planning notice just posted at No 91 (for retention obviously)

    #799855

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Sean Curtin (Limerick – A Stroll Down Memory Lane Vol. 13) has managed to get hold of the best version of this particular photo.

    The other versions of the Tholsel along with the three buildings that I have seen to date were very blurred (Limerick Museum).

    Even the watercolour from Thomas Ryan was based on a poorer one.

    This documents nicely the existence of yet another Dutch gable on Mary Street / Gaol Lane.

    #799857

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
    • Offline

    Platten Hall, Co. Meath
    http://archiseek.com/2014/1700-platten-hall-co-meath/#.UwOnZ_ldX3Q

    Described in a publication of 1907 as “It is an ugly building now, in spite of its rich red colouring; but in formelr days, when it was a story higher, and had a gabled roof, its appearance was doubtless more attractive. “

    #799856

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
    • Offline

    Ànd more on Turvey, images and a description from 1906
    http://archiseek.com/2014/17th-c-turvey-house-donabate-co-dublin/#.UwOtPfldX3Q

    #799858

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Platten Hall was certainly a fascinating house and if the house was originally gable-fronted, prior to the removal of the top storey in the mid-19th century, that would link it stylistically to Pallas Anne in Co. Cork, with which it shared a rich red brickwork and crisp stone detailing. The builder of Platten Hall, Ald. Graham of Drogheda, prospered after the ejection of the Jacobite council in 1690 and is linked to several properties in the town whose redevelopment about this time clearly belonged to the gabled tradition.

    There has to be a sketch, or a fuller description, of Platten Hall slumbering on a shelf somewhere. The future Mrs Delany, who spent forty years twittering relentlessly about every detail of 18th trivia, spent several weeks as a guest of her cousins, the Grahams, in Platten Hall in early 1732, but managed to record no observations on the architecture of the house. She repeated this feat as a visitor to the important, and then newly built, Hamilton house on Molesworth Street, although on that occassion she did note that the Hamilto house ‘. . looks cheerful and neat.’

    Yes well, moving on, Seafield, in it’s original form, and the re-modelling of Turvey, both in north Co. Dublin, would seem to belong to this putative group of gable-fronted country houses. This group would soon be stylistically overwhelmed by a tide of country-house building in the sturdy Palladian formula of Cassells and others. It was left to a group of modest, single and multi-gabled, five-bay, houses, mostly on the perimeter of the city, to continue the curvilinear gabled tradition, in rural locations, into the late 1720s, although, as we know, the gabled tradition continued to dominate the street-architecture of the city into the late 1740s and indeed lingered on in less fashionable areas for another twenty years after that.

    The recorded Dublin townhouse that most closely fits the characteristics of this early 18th century gabled, country-house, group is probably the Ward’s Hill house which Peter Walsh has long speculated may also have been originally gable fronted.


    The Ward’s Hill house off Newmarket

    The measured proportions of the facades of these houses, the use of stone quoins, plat bands and segmental headed windows in combination with flat headed windows and the presence, in each case, of a particularly elegant classical doorway, all suggest that the houses of this group were the product of a high level of architectural involvement.

    But which of our architectural practitioners were indulging in pedimented, curvilinear, gables at this time when all the books tell us they should have been transitioning smoothly out of Anglo-Dutch classism straight into pure Palladianism?

    #799859

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Back to urban matters, many artists made a career out of painting the appalling dereliction in Dublin, in the 20th century. Seamus O’Colmain [1925 – 1990] was one such artist who practiced in a sort of gloomy impressionist style that was well suited to the subject matter.

    This is one of O’Colmain’s paintings which popped up on a art auction web site recently:

    The painting is just entitled; ‘Old Dublin Street’, and it appears to depict what might be a twin-gabled house along side another gabled house that might also have been originally twin-gabled, but has had some kind of bite taken out of it. Normally I wouldn’t put a lot of store in an image such as this having a whole lot of topographical value, especially since the location is so vague in the title, but images of twin gabled houses are hard to come by and we have to take what we can find.

    I’m struggling to put a location on this streetscape, if in fact it existed at all outside of the O’Colmain’s imagination, would anyone have any idea?

    #799860

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Streets with an elbow in them are not that common in Dublin. One location that could be a possible match is Fishamble Street, looking south, up the hill from about the junction with Essex Street west.


    a poor quality image taken from google maps of that location now.

    The ‘Kennan’s’ house [yellow brick] was reduced to three storey for most of the 20th century, but obviously there is a discrepancy in that the painting shows the house in this position to be three-bay wide, not two-bay as it actually is. A large shed, the Kennan’s steel warehouse, occupied the site of the adjoining houses in any images I can find going back to the 1960s, but if we could find even distant images of the houses that were there before, it might be possible to confirm that this is the location.

    Note that there is a lamp post at about the same spot depicted in O’Colmain’s painting. Lamp posts remained doggedly resistant to re-location, no matter what scale of redevelopment was happening around them.

    #799861

    Paul Clerkin
    Keymaster
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    Kennans at an earlier time

    [attachment=0:zdqkvwfc]kennans.jpg[/attachment:zdqkvwfc]

    #799862

    Anonymous
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    There’s good news and bad news on the Seamus O’Colmain front.

    The good news is that, some of his other sketches and paintings suggest that he could, on occassion, hold one or two lines of perspective together, which is encouraging if we’re hoping to establish that his ‘Old Dublin Street’ view contains anything like accurate streetscape information.

    The bad news is that O’Colmain never seems to have had much of a clue himself where any of the streetscapes that he depicted in his paintings actually were.

    Take this painting, apparently entitled; ‘the Bellman, Meath Street’

    Meath Street!

    Even the lowest council official in the comatose wing of the conservation department could tell you that this streetscape is the north side of Back Lane, featuring, as it does, the great baroque entrance to Tailors Hall.

    In fact, O’Colmain’s painting exhibits a remarkable resemblence to the above photograph of the same scene in the Old Dublin Society’s collection, which rather leads to the suspicion that O’Colmain may not have been trudging down the grubby streets of 1940s Dublin, sketch book in hand, but instead, taking the slightly easier route of lifting his views from old photographs.

    This may not be particularly welcome news to anyone who may have bought one of O’Colmain’s paintings, at around €4,000 a pop, but it’s good news for us, if it means that there may be a corresponding photograph of that ‘Old Dublin Street’ with those, apparently twin-gabled houses, slumbering in a collection somewhere.

    #824378

    admin
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    Any further thoughts on the painting location Gunter

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