Bricklayers Guild Hall

Re: Bricklayers Guild Hall

Postby teak » Tue May 08, 2012 1:08 pm

All of the above, I think is the only conclusion we can draw. . . . What’s the story with the Phoenix Park Wall?

Yerra, I heard it on the Sunday morning Miscellany programme years ago.

Apparently, a gombeen builder by the name of William Dodson got the contract to wall in the newly designated park grounds.
He also got the task of building the Anna Livia Bridge at Chapelizod.
Anyhow, the bould Bill subcontracted the bulk of the wall to numerous less well-connected masons at a fraction of the per length rate that he'd agreed for himself.
Result, the wall falls down at many points and a Commission of Inquiry is held into the whole thing.
Curiously, the work done on the Anna Livia seems to have been well approved by the Commission. When the new cantilevered walkways were added in recent years, they found they could build walkway supporting piers on the foundations of the breakwaters up- and down-stream of the arches.
A sort of 17th century instance of cross-subsidising the more interesting part of the public project by skimping on the routine part.
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Re: Bricklayers Guild Hall

Postby GrahamH » Wed May 09, 2012 11:46 pm

The Dodson case is notorious alright - quite the Priory Hall of its day, though even then still likely to be more fireproof.

I hadn't seen the extended version of the Bricklayer's Hall before - you couldn't make this stuff up.

Image

At least it's somewhat comforting that standards started to slip a long time before now. A once marvellously stocial, austere mausoleum-like facade confidently slotted into the streetscape, completely butchered by a cack-handed, lop-sided add-on by Bob the Builder's great-grandfather. The new rustication running straight into the original serene ashlar of the upper floor is bad enough, but to course it as randomly as ashlar just takes the biscuit. And what was the original cornice not getting right to warrant such a clunky deviation? As for the mini-Wyatt window alongside the original - talk about asking for a visual fisty-cuffs, never mind the random toothy gawk of a cornice tacked above as icing on the cake. Who are these guys, and where can I subcribe to their newsletter? The poor aul balustrade got a whack too. Probably recycled for the new decking out the back.

The original building is very much in the style of Frederick Darley, though the balustrade is a bit much for his chaste manner. Architect Isaac Farrell is another name of this era that springs to mind. I imagine it was originally built with a large, square top-lit hall on the first floor, before the building was extended later in the nineteenth century with a new access door to the side and a long narrow passage leading down to a vast new hall added on the back as suggested by the aerial view.
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Re: Bricklayers Guild Hall

Postby gunter » Thu May 10, 2012 12:20 am

I was thinking William Farrell, the architect of Kilmainham Court House, as a possible candidate.

The broad entrance door composition to the brick Layer's Hall is a bit like his Grand Jury entrance to the Kilmainham building, which I think was a competition winner in 1817. The extraordinary elongated fanlight here is something of a design highlight in Farrell's career, as far as I can tell, but the Brick Layer's Hall would be another, if it his.

Image
Grand Jury entrance to Kilmainham Court House
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Re: Bricklayers Guild Hall

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 10, 2012 12:28 am

Ah I think you have it. I was looking at it only at the weekend but couldn't place the fecker. The tripartite window above the pictured doorcase shares a similar relationship on Bricklayer's Hall. Likewise with the cornice and frieze at parapet level.
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Re: Bricklayers Guild Hall

Postby gunter » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:30 am

I was going through a file of newspaper cuttings from the 1970s . . . as you do, and I came across this snippet from a wonderfully beligerant article entitled; Squandered Dublin - 2, by Elgy Gillespie, Irish Times, 28 May 1976:

Image

Also found my, half page, cutting of the Liberties Moterway shocker from the Irish Times of 26 June 1973, which was a bit damp and is currently undergoing conservation on the radiator.
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