Restore Restore

Postby urbanisto » Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:25 pm

RESTORE RESTORE.....

Anybody seen this BBC programme 'Restoration'. Joe Public votes on which poor old building thats seen better days should get a Changing Rooms Makeover!!!

There are two Northern Ireland candidates.... any Irish suggestions (imagining that RTE were to undertake a similar project)?
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Postby Papworth » Tue Aug 19, 2003 5:05 pm

The derelict and abandoned and so historical Arsenal in the Phoenix Park. Great location, great elevation great things could be done here.

Francis Johnston's St. George's Church Hardwicke St. if its not too late to save its spire.
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Postby dc3 » Tue Aug 19, 2003 8:22 pm

Have indeed seen the show and am a little in too minds about it. Yes the publlicity is useful and the attention to conservation issues is good. I find the celebrity endorsement ending, which is seemingly a bit of an ad on, adds little and cheapens the show.

Ptolemy (really, some parents should use their brains around the baptismal font ) gives me a Pt'ain.


The Baths were stunning, had heard of them but never saw them before. The Music Hall was fun too. The Lino factory has potential.

Some of the other projects have the look of being money pits, not just capital works but huge on going running costs, with no clear use which would give an income stream.

Magazine Fort is an interesting suggestion.
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Postby notjim » Tue Aug 19, 2003 9:26 pm

now the arsnel, what a great place for a science museum, near the zoo, in the park, interesting star shaped walls, etc etc. this was the subject of my first post ever, oh, three years ago and i still believe it.
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Postby Papworth » Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:55 am

Any house, all the houses on Henrietta St - just to see how it could look travel to Hillsbourough village and see a very similar row of Georgian houses fully restored in that magnificient time capsule of Georgian architecture.
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Postby doozer » Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:50 am

Beat me to it Papworth...Henrietta Street definitely needs rescuing.
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Postby Rory W » Wed Aug 20, 2003 1:38 pm

That show seems to have captured the imagination in the UK and appearently there are a load of volunteers offering there help on some of the buildings featured.

My girlfriend and I were watching the show last night, she asked who were the two presenters (outside of Gryff) I said one was an architect and the other a building historian - she heard Ptolemy speak and instantly said "he's the architect". Then I told her his name was Ptolemy...(cue eyes to heaven).

The Northern Ireland on is this Friday 22nd at 9pm BBC 2.
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:18 pm

At least he knows what he's talking about, even if he utterly dominates over the woman, she being reduced to scraping paint of the walls in every episode.

I love this series, the production values are amazing, we tend to gloss over the reconstructions as mere wallpaper but they're excellently made.

And what is so important overall is that what makes the series are it's subjects, the buildings themselves.

I was only thinking of an Irish version last night, Henrietta St sprug immediatly to mind, but of course there must be structures in every town in the country worthy of such treatment.

But as to the idea that 3/5 million be sunk into a country house in this country seems unlikely to say the least, not least with RTE on board, remember the BBC series 'Servants' a few months ago, RTE purposely kept a low profile in it's making largely because of it's subject matter - country house , oppressive British, Irish people not interested in such Anglican content etc etc.

There'd more likely to be a series about the saving of dolmens and cist graves, they, apparently being more 'Irish'.

RTE seems to think that Ireland was a twilight zone between the building of Newgrange and 1916, nothing was built, nothing happened
(oh, except the Famine of course - as always a wonderful nostalgic, nationalist tear jerking opportunity)
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:28 pm

The graveyard last night was amazing, is there any such private graveyard in Ireland?
If I could vote though, it would be for Adam's house in Scotland, what a gem.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:54 pm

Mount Jerome is a private graveyard - owned by Masseys I seem to remember.

Ptolemy is a little ott ok
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Postby ew » Thu Aug 21, 2003 11:24 am

I thought the graveyard was wonderful. The biggest part of its charm for me was the fact that it was quite overgrown and decaying. I'm not sure I'd like to see it restored and cleaned to an original clean state. I accept that it must have been nice when it opened originally, with clean cut stone, tidy lawns and maintained pathways but that is not what should be aimed for. I think preservation rather than restoration is more suitable in this case. I suppose this means fixing roofs and the like to stop further major decay but please stop at that.

I know it's a hard balance to strike, and I would have more experience of the issue regarding classic cars - the patina and scuffs of old leather seats coupled with the smell of old cars is often the first thing to be destroyed when a car is restored.

I would highly recommmed a vist to mt. Jerome too by the way!
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Postby Papworth » Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:25 pm

A very neglected and historical graveyard in dire need of preservation and most certainly worth seeing is the old Goldbridge cemetary at the back of St. Michael's Estate Inchicore. The caretaker lives just outside the old graveyard's main gates - just knock on his door and he'll open the gates into a very interesting and abandoned place.
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Postby Hugh » Thu Aug 21, 2003 6:49 pm

Sort of programme that makes me grind my teeth. Why the gameshow format (it's made by the makers of Big Brother)? Why not just do it straight? The boy-girl buildings detective thing is cringingly awful.

Presenter Griff Rhys-Jones has an air of shifty embarrassment about him as if he knows he's in a duff production, and tries to compensate for this with leaden humour.

And I always pray before such a programme that we won't see the ghastly, strangulated-vowels Lucinda Lambton, but yup, there she was in the last instalment. When she turned up, I switched off.

Can't get too worked up about the buildings, either. This urge to restore everything to within an inch of its life is so neatpot. What's wrong with a bit of picturesque dereliction and decay?

Coming soon no doubt: Anne Robinson in a Weakest Link spin-off where hated modern buildings are voted for demolition. It's probably already in production.
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Postby GrahamH » Thu Aug 21, 2003 7:16 pm

I agree about not sanitising the graveyard, or indeed other structures, but when so many structures are in danger of collapse, esp such important buioldings such as the house in Scotland, restoration is necessary.

I too hate the clinical restoration approach of so many projects, even when I visited the Custom House in Dublin, there was a distinct lack of history and 'oldness' inside, everywhere is so roped off and smothered in blue carpets and so clean and nicey nicey.
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Postby Rory W » Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:32 pm

Oh yes agree about Lucinda Lambton - I was wondering when she would turn up. Fortunately she isn't one of the hosts as in "one foot in the past". I know the show is an example of dumbed down television but (cue Reithian voice) at least its getting architecture and conservation out to the masses.

New to BBC this autumn - "I'm a celebrity architect, engage my services" - Rogers, Gerhy, Libeskind and Foster are locked in a studio for four weeks to design wobbly buildings/Gerkins/bridges etc at the end of each week one of them is voted out by the public - the winner gets his monument constructed by Ant and Dec and some chimps in the jungle of south America. Whats not to love about this idea - glamourous location, public votes, animals, cheeky chaps Ant and Dec. Can I have my £50 grand now please.
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Postby urbanisto » Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:04 pm

Can I have my licence fee back please!!!
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Aug 22, 2003 7:10 pm

I don't agree that the production is tacky, dumbed-down or Big Brother-like in any way, fair enough phone-voting is used but thats all, they don't go blazing it about the place
"CALL THIS NUMBER NOW AND YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!"
It is under-stated, informative, mildy quirky and above all gripping - when do we otherwise get a chance to see so many wonderful structures and well explained?

The focus is exclusively and unashamedly on the buildings, (admittedly I hate the 'celebrity' contributions too) and as a result is very effective at promoting the country's built heritage.
As for Griff, despite the fact that he now looks like Bob Geldof dragged through a hedge backwards, I find him fun, welcoming and charmingly unpretentious.

And no - I don't work for the BBC (although I hope to!)
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Postby asdasd » Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:52 am

I find the comments of Mr. Hickey hilarious. Seemingly it is petty nationalism to believe that the Anglo Irish houses built around the country are less Irish than the indigenous buildings. If so then the inhabitants of the mansions must have been petty Irish nationalists because they believed themselves to be English or Anglo Irish, and thoroughly unrelated to the Irish aboriginals whom they quite clearly oppressed. I am sure that other previously colonized countries make the distinction between native and imposed architecture and certainly more so than Ireland; any Indian would differentiate between the Taj Mahal and an Anglo Indian imposition, the latter been seen - quite correctly - as less Indian.

And given the real costs of this imperialistic feudalism , the penal laws, the famine and the general servitude of tenancy, any love for such buildings is as pathological as would be an African American's love of a slave holders house. Even if it were a fine piece of architeture it would have been built and maintained on the sweat anf blood of his ancestors. So no descendant of slaves would eulogise these buildings; only the progeny of tenant serfs. True slaves.

It continues to be my belief that Ireland in the world's most colonized nation. Other colonized, and previously oppressed people, do not generally love the architecture and mores of their previous occupiers ( by which I mean the Anglo Irish and not the English, it is meaningless to blame English people en masse for imperialism), with the same gusto as Irelands elites.

The colonized mind with it's absorptionand internalization of imposed (self) hatreds, and love and desire of the mores of the previous oppressor - very obvious on this board - is an interesting study. I suggest reading some of Said's works.
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Postby GrahamH » Sun Aug 24, 2003 1:29 am

My point is that Irish television refuses to indulge in any sort of coverage of 'colonization' objectively or otherwise.
I don't suggest that we be PC and glorify everything British and avoid any sort of 'nationalism',but ANY coverage of our built surroudings from the 18th and 19th centuries would be welcome - British or otherwise.

And I most certainly don't agree that the Anglo Irish were oppressive towards the 'natives' because they were Irish - they did so because of the culture at the time - wealth v destitution.
In Britain - rural folk were equally oppressed and poorly treated, not necessarily on the same scale as here as estate cottages etc were provided, but the 'colonizers oppressing the natives because they're natives' theory dosn't wash to a large extent - although I accept that many landlords were far from sympathetic to Irish simply because they were Irish.

You say there is a love for the mores of the previous oppressors on this board - of course there is a love for these structures here, but not because they're British, or because we feel we must be objective and PC and cast all 'nationalisim' to one side, but because they're old, many exceptionally beautiful and worthy of aclaim.
This is an architecture site after all - I put it to you asdasd that you are reading a little to much into our contributions!
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Postby Max » Sun Aug 24, 2003 12:05 pm

I was interested to learn that Mount Jerome is privately owned. That no doubt is one of the reason why it looks so tacky - so full of pompous monuments. How much nicer, how much more restful, is Prospect Cemetery. Walking in Prospect one feels at peace, whereas in Mount Jerome one just feels a sense of wonder at why the rich of the 19th century choose to spend their money on costly monuments to the dead rather than the living poor.
Sorry about the mildly political nature of this posting - I will understand if it removed by the moderator
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:41 pm

Monday 15th Sept.

Was anyone else knocked out with incredulity at the Northern Irish Lissen House coming second in the polls yesterday?

For those who did'nt see it, Victoria Baths came first, with Lissen second (can't remember 3rd)
I never knew sympathy votes could be so effective - because this was clearly one of those!
People on 'the mainland' are usually so alien to Northern Ireland in every respect.

I was raging that Victoria Baths won, they did'nt need the money - one way or the other the local autority would have stumped up the cash as a result of all the hype & publicity.

Poor old Mavisbank in Scotland was the most deserving, for so many architectural & historic reasons - and the fact that it's unlikey that such a sum is otherwise going to be made available to it.

And Lissen House certainly won't either, it's staircase was amazing and so important.

Victoria Baths was extraordinary too, but should'nt have won, it could have got all the money it wanted regardless.
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Postby James » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:28 pm

You're not really serious are you ASDASD????,

Its not 'petty nationalism to distinguish between the two, just plain stupid (and I'm speaking as an Olympic Standard eejit).

If you take that line you come back to three Iriah Architectural building types - 1. The Round Tower, 2. The Ball Alley and finally 3. the hole in the ground with branches and skins over that the poor befuddled Irish peasantry lived in until some 'colonist' introduced the concept of the 'building' (probably some bleedin norwegian).

As to scales of colonialism - don't be a nit, for most of our history the King of England (like it or not) was regarded as 'Our' King.

Lastly - was the Duke of Leinster an Irishman, Stapleton the stuccodore - was he Irish, were the PBI who built everything in this country Irish?.

Honest to God, sometimes the 'sophistication' of thought processes such as yours on Archeire would be funny if they were'nt so monumentally daft.

Wake up, smell the daisy's and buy yourself a copy of Maurice Craig's 'Dublin' - then again you can't really trust Craig to properly appraise 'Irishry' he's a Belfast Prod!!!!!!.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:32 pm

heheh :)
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Postby Papworth » Tue Sep 16, 2003 9:58 am

Ireland's greatest contribution to late 20th C architecture and continuing into the 21st C has to be the invention and proliferation of the SUPERPUB.
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Postby d_d_dallas » Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:32 am

There were comments made about focusing on ancient buldings (I'm being lazy and not inserting the exact quotes).

Surely the restoration of Newgrange is something we can all be proud of - a world heritage site if there ever was one in this country. I'd prefer to see something like that restored over Henrietta St (no offence to Henr St!).
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