'Dutch Billys'

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Punchbowl » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:53 am

Re: The bleeding Horse 'Billy'.. The Gibbs doorway would have to add to the claim for Billy status? Also, I have an inkling that a number of the Camden St houses may share this, especially one a few doors down from the Simon Community shop (pictures in the pipeline). What irks me most is the wholesale removal of small streets in the Bleeding Horse zone, such as Charlotte St etc.. I live on Charlotte Way and have a feeling it's a relatively new 'cut through street', no?
Punchbowl
Member
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:22 pm
Location: Echlin St

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby cravings » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:16 am

here is the other given photo, of old camden street. i saw them when i read the wikipedia page on Portobello.

Image
cravings
Member
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:53 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:01 am

Punchbowl wrote:. . . . . I live on Charlotte Way and have a feeling it's a relatively new 'cut through street', no?


You're right there Punchbowl, the link between Camden St. and Harcourt St. was created at the same time [in the late '80s?] as the elimination of the two old streets Charlotte Street and Old Camden Street. I doubt if any serious investigation of the remains of the original houses was carried out, what little 'conservation' protest there was at the time seems to have been directed at saving 'The Bleeding Horse'.

Image
It was a fascinating old street pattern.

A couple of the surviving houses at the northern end of Charlemont Street retain 'Billy', or certainly 'Transitional', features, It is probable that several of the structures between here and Wexford Street are of the same vintage, but the continued strength of commercial activity on Camden Street has resulted in a awful lot of rebuilding over the years and early architectural features are hard to find.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:14 am

just taking another look at some of those College Green 'Billys'

Image
Rocque's map of College Green 1757

Image
view of College Green from the bottom of Grafton Street, circa 1770s

Just before the House of Lords portico swept all of this away, we can see the process by which a virtually intact 'Billy' terrace began to be transformed into a Georgian streetscape. The near part of the streetscape appear in the print to have been rebuilt as standard two/three bay Georgian houses, possibly with shopfronts at street level hidden by the Trinity railings, while in the distance a terrace of six 'Billys' are shown still virtually intact.

To get in step with the new Georgian neighbours, the second 'Billys' has had it's gable eliminated and the upper facade rebuilt as a flat parapet, but seamingly with no other alteration to the fabric and the original window arrangement left unaltered.

Image

The first 'Billy' [outlined in red] appears to be a very rare and interesting, two stage, curvilinear gabled house that I suspect may have lost, rather than never originally had, a pedimented capping.

Two stage curvilinear gables are present in the European tradition, but usually on bigger houses where you suspect the profile was chosen as a devise to trim the gable more closely to the supporting roof structure behind. Here's a couple of examples that probably represent Rococco [early-mid 18th century] re-workings of older gabled houses in Memmingen in Bavaria.

Image Image

The profile of the smaller [green] house looks quite close to the College Green example.

The spreading of ideas through prints and pattern books, in the days before Ryanair, would seem to have had a role here, or we could simply be witnessing the process whereby similar challenges, within a commom building tradition, are tackled independently by people coming up with similar solutions.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:03 am

gunter wrote:Image

To get in step with the new Georgian neighbours, the second 'Billys' has had it's gable eliminated and the upper facade rebuilt as a flat parapet, but seamingly with no other alteration to the fabric and the original window arrangement left unaltered.
Maybe, but of course there's always the possibilty that it never had a gable and was constructed with a flat parapet, at the time this was becoming the norm - just that its steep roof behind only allowed one window on the top floor.


[align=center]-o-o-o-[/align]


cravings wrote:here is the other given photo, of old camden street. i saw them when i read the wikipedia page on Portobello.

Image


Image

These photos from the wiki page on Portobello are a really interesting record of the quirky little detour on the Camden Street / Rathmines Road axis which was half destroyed (more in the '90s than '80s I think) by superimpostion of a rectangular block over the old street pattern - a piece of urban planning worthy of Ceausescu which also wiped out the ancient divide of Rathmines Road and Ranelagh Road from Camden Street (they used to split either side of the Bleeding Horse pub, as seen in the map posted by gunter above).

The 1950s B&W photo above shows the little detour from the opposite end, ie. looking back towards Upper Camden Street (Brady's chemist there on corner of Harrington Street and Camden Street is still there today).

See the current situation here on Bing: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&cp=swnyqnggb6c1&scene=29507052&lvl=1&sty=o
The southern portion of the quirky mini detour absurdly still survives, though with a 1990s building in it.




Image

The 1847 map.



Image

The Bleeding Horse in the 1950s. It doesn't really know what it's doing these days, as a piece of urban fabric, since it lost its place at the head of a junction dividing two roads.

Was that one of those little Edwardian sub-stations in the right foreground? (It's been demolished by the time of the colour pic posted by cravings, above.)
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:45 am

gunter wrote:To get in step with the new Georgian neighbours, the second 'Billys' has had it's gable eliminated and the upper facade rebuilt as a flat parapet, but seamingly with no other alteration to the fabric and the original window arrangement left unaltered.

Image


Devin wrote:Maybe, but of course there's always the possibilty that it never had a gable and was constructed with a flat parapet, at the time this becoming the norm - just that its steep roof behind only allowed one window on the top floor.


Have any of us really considered the possibility that these houses were built by aliens?

Here's a book you'd be interested in Devin. It includes a very well illustrated morphology of gabled houses in Lubeck . . . . for ten-year-olds.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I'm seriously thinking of doing a Dublin rip-off called 'gunter's guide to gables' . . . . for ten-year-olds :)
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:23 am

They're cute. We never had a Lubeck or an Amsterdam here though. Nobody in Lubeck took a decision in 1750 that gables would be eradicated from the townscape, as more or less happened in Dublin. In that context the situation I described for the College Green building could easily have occurred.

Stylewise, compared to the European gabled tradition, plain gables, hybrids and vernacular-builder oddities abounded here (though obviously there were some interesting examples too, some of which are well documented). Maybe the thread title should be 'Did Dublin ever have a coherent gabled townscape?'.
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:53 am

Speaking of plainess, simple gables suited the 'plain' Dublin house style best. I think these two on Longford Street were the best Dublin gabled houses of any I've seen. The subtlety of the gables was almost sublime. Terrible shame that they were let go.

Image
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:27 am

Devin wrote:
We never had a Lubeck or an Amsterdam here though.


The whole point of the last 16 pages of this thread is that we can demonstrate that we did have ''coherent gabled townscapes'' here, and not just in Dublin, but throughout much of the urban fabric of most of the urban centres in the country.

Amsterdam was a metropolis in the 17th century, with intense urban activity, a boom in mercantile trade, and streetscapes that were probably an average of two storeys taller than comparable streetscapes in Dublin at the time. With these obvious differences it's probably better not to attempt direct comparisons, but it has to be noted that the situation equalized dramatically in the early 18th century when Holland went into a quiet period, and whereas gabled houses in Amsterdam were always more elaborately decorated than their Dublin counterparts, was the 'gabled townscape' of Amsterdam really more 'coherent' than the gabled townscape of Dublin?

Image
a random section of an 18th century drawing of the Keizersgracht canal frontage in Amsterdam

As a historic city, Lubeck is about as different from Dublin as you can get, but Lubeck was also in decline in the 18th century when we were on the way up, and it appears to me that there was a period, perhaps centred around the 1720s, when the house building traditions in both places matched quite closely and if nothing else the wealth of material in a place like Lubeck can give us valuable insight into the architectural processes at work in keeping the streetscapes of a city in step with changing fashion, which was the point I was attempting to make with those cute extracts from that children's book.

I'll come back to some of those Lubeck parallels in a separate post, but continuing with your analysis of the College Green flat-parapet house, let's look at what you're suggesting.

Devin wrote:
. . . . . . of course there's always the possibilty that it [the College Green house with the gabled window arrangement and the flat parapet] never had a gable and was constructed with a flat parapet . . . . . at the time this was becoming the norm . . . .


In Dublin, we know that Georgian houses didn't evolve organically from gabled houses, they were introduced, fully formed, into the streetscape by hutton's pal, Luke Gardiner, . . . . remember the red squirrel/grey squirrel analogy?

All of the 1740s and 50s terraced Georgians of Henrietta St, Dominick St, Sackville Mall etc. on the north side and the early streetscape houses by Cassells and others on Kildare St. etc on the south side were of this type, i.e. fully-formed Georgians with no particular 'Billy' DNA.

There is evidence that the first handful of Georgian interlopers incorporated corner fireplaces, but otherwise, from the start, they were the total dead-pan brick box we had to get used to for the next hundred years. Main-stream transverse roof structures behind flat parapets to the front were intrinsic from the start and are the defining feature of the style. Flat, mid-wall, chimney breasts followed immediately afterwards as perhaps the defining feature of the interior layout, together with plaster wall finishes in place of timber panelling.

The typology of 'transitional' houses that we've been discussing to explain the existence of whole terraces of later 18th century Dublin houses which reject the standard Georgian lateral roof structure and the standard Georgian flat, mid-wall, chimney breast in favour of continuing with the axial roofs structures and central, corner, chimney stacks of the 'Billy' tradition, all have regular window spacing to go with their Georgian flat parapets. These are a different category.

What we're looking at here on College Green is a terrace of six Dutch Billys with the gable of the second house altered and built up into a flat parapet to look more like the newer terrace of standard Georgian house to the left. We know this [to a pretty high degree of certainty] because we can see exactly the same thing happening all over the city. To see the process in action, you only have to look back at the recent Stephen's Green post.

Image Image

In the 1832 print, we see a terrace of five early 18th century houses, three having managed to retain their curvilinear gables right through what was by then the bulk of the Georgian onslaught and two with the gables eliminated and the facades built up as flat parapets, just like the College Green house. In due course the left-hand pair of Stephen's Green houses [nos. 87 + 88] became Georgianized in exactly the same way, with their gables eliminated and their facades built up to form flat parapets also, in which state they survive today, more or less when you take into account the further butchering noted by Graham. That process is documented in the print and photographic record all across the city, as it is evident in the record of gabled streetscapes throughout Europe, but with substantially less effect in places where the architectural legacy of earlier generations has traditionally been somewhat more respected.

Of course it is possible that a house like the disputed college Green house was built, or rebuilt, to simultaneously incorporate a 'Billy' roof structure, probable 'Billy' floor plans and certainly 'Billy' window arrangements, together with a flat Georgian parapet from the start, but this would be fundamentally illogical and consequently, I suspect, I would rate it a very slight possibility. In your defence, there appears to be a terrace of three houses on Georges' Street in Limerick that may represent just such a phenomenon, but then it is also possible that these three Limerick houses are also in fact altered 'Billys', notwithstanding the fact that they are located half way down Georgian Newtown Pery.:)

Image Image Image
Three grainy views of the three George's Street houses, that appear originally to have been built with a high flat parapet and tiny lunette windows in the attic storeys formed by steeply pitched axial roof structures, as per the gabled tradition. The centre house had been altered before it and the left-hand house were demolished, but a substantial part of the right-hand house survives today, but unfortunately without the all-important attic storey. The drawing dates from 1786 and shows what I think is the rear of these three houses, but again unfortunately not in enough detail to be sure whether the facade treatment was parapet or gable.

Devin wrote:. . . . . simple gables suited the 'plain' Dublin house style best. I think the two on Longford Street were the best Dublin gabled houses of any I've seen. The subtlety of the gables was almost sublime. Terrible shame that they were let go.


OK, but in the 1940s photographs, these houses look much more 'plain' than they would have done originally, with the undoubted loss of detail and depth in the capping pediments and in the fitting of recessed Georgian type windows in place of the thicker framed, smaller paned, much busier, original 'flush type' early 18th century windows.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:49 pm

gunter wrote:The whole point of the last 16 pages of this thread is that we can demonstrate that we did have ''coherent gabled townscapes'' here
Hmmmm, while certainly there's evidence of coherence in places - eg. the views of the old Custom House and King George statue from Brooking with a dense vista of tall gabled houses behind on Essex Street - bunches of small-scale triangular-gabled houses and drainpipes running accross elevations in 'front room' locations such as College Green does not give reassurance.


gunter wrote:Amsterdam was a metropolis in the 17th century, with intense urban activity, a boom in mercantile trade, and streetscapes that were probably an average of two storeys taller than comparable streetscapes in Dublin at the time. With these obvious differences it's probably better not to attempt direct comparisons, but it has to be noted that the situation equalized dramatically in the early 18th century when Holland went into a quiet period
gunter wrote:As a historic city, Lubeck is about as different from Dublin as you can get
When I say "We never had a Lubeck or an Amsterdam here" I'm referring to the 'seriousness' of the gable architecture rather than to comparability with their periods of prosperity or form.

I haven't been to Lubeck but I can see from searching on it that it's a very different city.


gunter wrote:and whereas gabled houses in Amsterdam were always more elaborately decorated than their Dublin counterparts, was the 'gabled townscape' of Amsterdam really more 'coherent' than the gabled townscape of Dublin?
Yeah, I would describe Amsterdam's 'open air museum' of the 17th century as a very coherent townscape.


gunter wrote:In Dublin, we know that Georgian houses didn't evolve organically from gabled houses, they were introduced, fully formed, into the streetscape ............ [though] There is evidence that the first handful of Georgian interlopers incorporated corner fireplaces
True. The 1750s Richard Castle house, 42 Upper O'Connell Street, has corner chimney breasts above first-floor level, but the usual flat, mid-wall ones below that.

(Likewise, wall finish didn't go straight from panelling to plaster, with early examples panelled up to dado level.)


gunter wrote:but otherwise, from the start, they were the total dead-pan brick box we had to get used to for the next hundred years.
Ok, you don't like Georgian houses - I think that's clear by now! But you wouldn't really want to go reconstructing gabled houses / gables in Dublin, would you? Whenever it's done it just looks toytown-ish - eg. the Bailey pub or 66 Capel Street. We have an 18th century Rennaissance city - let's deal with it!


gunter wrote:What we're looking at here on College Green is a terrace of six Dutch Billys with the gable of the second house altered and built up into a flat parapet to look more like the newer terrace of standard Georgian house to the left. We know this [to a pretty high degree of certainty] because we can see exactly the same thing happening all over the city. To see the process in action, you only have to look back at the recent Stephen's Green post.
The reduced number of top-floor windows / flat parapet combo is generally speaking the dead giveaway, the suckerpunch clue of a former gable house. That they might have been like that from the start is just a flirty possibility of something that might have happened after the decision was taken that Dublin was going to look like (a pared-down version of) London rather than Hanover.


gunter wrote:[The process of Georgianising of gabled houses] is documented in the print and photographic record all across the city, as it is evident in the record of gabled streetscapes throughout Europe, but with substantially less effect in places where the architectural legacy of earlier generations has traditionally been somewhat more respected.
Or where the gable didn't fall into distaste.


gunter wrote:Three grainy views of the three George's Street [Limerick] houses, that appear originally to have been built with a high flat parapet and tiny lunette windows in the attic storeys
There is a similar group in Cork, opposite the sidestreet entrance to Bishop Lucey Park (I'm waiting for someone from Cork to post them up) - though their lunette may be more in the spirit of the Georgian 'Diocletian' window. Roofs are front-to-back and about 45 degrees. Hipped at the front, gabled at the rear and with high parapets. They may not be particularly early, but it would be worth having a look at them.


gunter wrote:OK, but in the 1940s photographs, these houses look much more 'plain' than they would have done originally, with the undoubted loss of detail and depth in the capping pediments and in the fitting of recessed Georgian type windows in place of the thicker framed, smaller paned, much busier, original 'flush type' early 18th century windows.
..... with exposed sash-boxes.

I disagree re the original appearance of the gables!! Plain curved gables are readily seen in the contemporary material showing gabled houses. The Longford Street houses may indeed have had decoration - but not necessarily anything more than some moulded coping or a basic pediment.

You do welcome disagreement, don't you? Otherwise we would just get 'the gunter view' on Dublin's gabled tradition. And that wouldn't do, would it? ;)
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:59 am

Devin wrote:. . . . . while certainly there's evidence of coherence in places . . . . . bunches of small-scale triangular-gabled houses and drainpipes running accross elevations in 'front room' locations such as College Green does not give reassurance.


This is where I wonder sometimes if we're looking at the same pictures.

If we take the Joseph Tudor view of College Green and excluding the houses in the far distance down Dame Street, I'm counting twelve small, three-storey, triangular gabled houses probably belonging to the second half of the 17th century, eight definite four-storey 'Dutch Billys', one fine four-storey stepped gabled house annd two houses with flat parapet, at least one of which looks like an altered 'Billy'.

How is that not a ''coherent gabled streetscape''?

Devin wrote:When I say "We never had a Lubeck or an Amsterdam here" I'm referring to the 'seriousness' of the gable architecture rather than to comparability with their periods of prosperity or form.


Architecture-follows-prosperity as form-follows-function, or is supposed to. My point was that, given the divergent states of prosperity between Ireland and Holland in the 17th century, comparing the gabled townscape of Dublin to that of Amsterdam, is asking a bit much. That imbalance evened up slightly in the 18th century, but the legacy from the 17th century is still there in the opposing townscapes making direct comparisons difficult. From a scale point of view, I think Haarlem would probably make a better comparison, but again you have to factor-in the huge imbalance in prosperous merchant housing dating from the boom years of the 17th century, a boom that we didn't have.

Image Image
some Haarlem streetscapes dominated by prosperous 17th century merchant houses, mostly stepped gables, but with new curvilinear 'neck' gabled appearing also.

Devin wrote:Yeah, I would describe Amsterdam's 'open air museum' of the 17th century as a very coherent townscape.


OK, we can settle this. If you believe that say College Green did not present a 'coherent gabled streetscape' and you imply that Amsterdam is full of 'Coherent gabled streetscapes' why not toss out some random street numbers on any of the four great circular Amsterdam canals, 'Singel' nos. 1 - 450, or 'Herrengracht' nos. 1 - 625, or 'Keizersgracht' nos. 1 - 810, or 'Prinsengracht' nos. 1 - 1131, I've got a book here and I'll post up the street elevations of the sections you pick . . . . . and then [with an eye for coherence] we'll compare. :)

Devin wrote:. . . . you wouldn't really want to go reconstructing gabled houses / gables in Dublin, would you? Whenever it's done it just looks toytown-ish - eg. the Bailey pub or 66 Capel Street. We have an 18th century Rennaissance city - let's deal with it!


Yes, the attempts to date at 'Billy' conservation/restoration are not a pretty picture, you get no argument there from me.

I would not attempt to reverse a Georgianized 'Billy', I've made that abundantly clear time and again. 'Billys' being Georgianized is part of the story of the street archhitecture of Dublin, I'd put an information panel on them, telling the rest of the story, but I would absolutely not hack off their parapets and re-make their gables. Did I not make that clear in the extensive discussion we had last year on 42 Manor Street?

Brutally altered or truncated 'Billys' like 10 Mill Street, or Mr. Siev's house on Aungier Street, or the two former gabled houses at 20 + 21 Thomas Street, these are in a different category, these are candidates for restoration in my opinion, Amsterdam style restoration!

Image
before, during, and after views of the three houses on Lindengracht restored in the 1970s.

If you stopped someone in the street and asked them about the architectural heritage of Dublin, they'd know there was some low grade medieval stuff and they'd moan about the modern stuff but everything else would be Georgian this and Georgian that, there is no consciousness of our achievements in gabled street-architecture. What's so wrong about trying to put the record straight?

Devin wrote:You do welcome disagreement, don't you? Otherwise we would just get 'the gunter view' on Dublin's gabled tradition. And that wouldn't do, would it? ;)


I don't understand the question
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:54 am

gunter wrote:OK, we can settle this. If you believe that say College Green did not present a 'coherent gabled streetscape' and you imply that Amsterdam is full of 'Coherent gabled streetscapes' why not toss out some random street numbers on any of the four great circular Amsterdam canals, 'Singel' nos. 1 - 450, or 'Herrengracht' nos. 1 - 625, or 'Keizersgracht' nos. 1 - 810, or 'Prinsengracht' nos. 1 - 1131, I've got a book here and I'll post up the street elevations of the sections you pick . . . . . and then [with an eye for coherence] we'll compare. :)


Ok I'm impressed that you can do a human google and throw up any group of houses from the Amsterdam grachts, but it's not necessary. I know Amsterdam well. I'm guessing you'd like to illustrate disparities in style and scale of the houses, but that's not the same as incoherence. While yeah there's great variety in style and scale along the canals, it's a full-on and fully formed gabled city ............ but come on, it's Amsterdam. There's hardly any need to argue about what it is, now.

Maybe gabled Dublin did have coherence in a provincial sort of way and for its small size at the time .... but it obviously wasn't of such coherence / quality that it could get in the way of construction of a classical city from the mid-18th cen. on (prosperity/political issues notwithstanding).

Interesting 'restorations' there from the '70s .... you do wonder sometimes walking around the 'Dam ... all seems a bit too perfect at times ...

Incidentally there's an excellent history of the city museum on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal for anyone thinking of heading there for a weekend of sex & drugs / buildings & culture.




newgrange wrote:Image
Image

A close-up here of three of the houses seen in the Cuffe Street view posted by newgrange.

So many of these streetscapes of unremarkable Georgian houses and altered gabled houses were wiped out that we should be thankful for the ones that do survive, like Capel Street.

There's one mid-18th century building left on the Cuffe Street / Upper Kevin Street axis, tucked in beside what used to be the Junction pub at the corner of Wexford St ....... looks just like a late-18th or 19th century building, except with a higher roof and small windows.




Image

Cuffe Street again, seen from near the Stephen's Green corner. The three buildings in the previous pic are to the right of the guy on the bike.
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:22 pm

Engaging discussion and pictures. In all honesty, I don't really see the core of the argument here - it's shades of grey, circulating around one's interpretation of 'coherent'.

In simple factual terms, we know that large amounts of streetscape in Dublin was entirely gabled; the form that it took may have been varied, but it was gabled. In terms of building tradition, it is fair to say that Dublin had a coherent gabled outlook, but unlike Amsterdam or Haarlem, did not have the input of architects or established architectural patterns to nearly the same extent. It seems that where this influence did filter through, it was imitated elsewhere, rather than religiously copied - hence the vernacular peculiarity of Dublin gabled houses.

The other factors to bear in mind are planning principles rather than purely architectural ones. Amsterdam and other continental cities appear to have had their equivalents of the Wide Streets Commissioners and rigid estate and city management a good century earlier than Dublin did. In this sense, it is not necessarily the gabled architecture in these cities that is coherent, but rather their urban form. It is unfair to compare Dublin to them in this respect.

In conclusion, I have to side with gunter on the dominance - let's leave coherence out of it - of the gabled building tradition of 17th and early 18th century Dublin. Where I'd differ slightly is on the 'transition period' of the early-mid 18th century. I wouldn't say for a moment that Georgian houses landed in Dublin 'fully formed', and that transitional houses are a small group unto themselves - I see the latter as being precisely that architectural transition, but on a city-wide level. These are the monuments to change. Yes it is fair to say that Gardiner houses were largely landed from outer space, but that's where I'd draw the line. Everything else of this period as far as I'm concerned is a locally-driven transitional movement.

Also on the dates you raised earlier gunter, I wouldn't quite extend the transition right up to the 1780s - the 1770s saw the last peculiarities of what was already an almost dead style, and in an urban context even the late 1760s is pushing it I feel. Just on the chimneybreast issue - interestingly, the transitional Cleo house on Kildare Street features centrally-placed stacks in the front rooms and corner stacks to the rear! A very nice sign of the times, keeping the beloved corner stack out of public view :)

In Amsterdam, original stepped gables are to them quite like what Dutch Billies generally are to us. They're as rare as hen's teeth. If I remember rightly, there's only about 15 left, and this was one of them.

Image

Careful now - nobody move a muscle!
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4590
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:18 am

Devin wrote:. . . . I know Amsterdam well. I'm guessing you'd like to illustrate disparities in style and scale of the houses.


Yeah, that's what I had in mind right enough.

Devin wrote: ............ but come on, it's Amsterdam. There's hardly any need to argue about what it is, now.


The point is, if we all know what Amsterdam is . . . . a 'coherent' gabled townscape, and it's streetscapes typically incorporate wide ''disparities in style and scale'', then we should be able to see in the lost gabled streetscapes of Dublin [which incorporated perhaps less disparity in style and scale] also a ''coherent gabled townscape''.
. . . . back off Graham

I'm working on some comparisons to illustrate this point, which no doubt Devin will dismiss as ''fantasy drawings'' :rolleyes:

GrahamH wrote:. . . . . I wouldn't say for a moment that Georgian houses landed in Dublin 'fully formed', . . . . . Yes it is fair to say that Gardiner houses were largely landed from outer space, but that's where I'd draw the line. Everything else of this period as far as I'm concerned is a locally-driven transitional movement.


That analysis down-plays the pivotal role of Richard Cassels.

There's quite a good potted biography of Cassels in Wikipedia.

Cassels was born in 1690 in Kassel in Germany [hence the family name, usually anglicised to Castle]. Apparently he was of French/Dutch extraction which together with his German birth could have promised so much, architecturally, but he went to London in the 1720s, where it appears he was turned, becoming a follower of Burlington and a proselytizing Palladian.

As luck would have it he arrived in Ireland in 1727 or 28, brought over to design a country house for a Fermanagh M.P. but instead of staying up there where he could do little harm, before you can say 'building boom' he shows up in Dublin and promptly becomes the flavour of the month . . . . for the next 33 years.

ImageImageImage
Cassels early Dublin town houses, 80 Stephen's Green, [1730], 85 Stephen's Green [ 1738] and Bective House, Smithfield [1739]

These Burlingtonesque London imports were followed in the next decade by seemingly dozens more Cassels designed houses including the large but simple Kildare Street / Kildare Place brick houses discussed before.

Since we know that Gardiner's enterprise on Henrietta Street was a slow burner, the role of Cassels in turning Dublin Georgian shouldn't be underestimated.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:09 am

gunter wrote:The point is, if we all know what Amsterdam is . . . . a 'coherent' gabled townscape, and it's streetscapes typically incorporate wide ''disparities in style and scale'', then we should be able to see in the lost gabled streetscapes of Dublin [which incorporated perhaps less disparity in style and scale] also a ''coherent gabled townscape''.
I thought we had more or less finished on this gunter. What more do you want? I already commented in my last post that maybe gabled Dublin did have a coherence, allowing for the likely provincial expression of the gable tradition. You will no doubt be familiar with the quote from page 161 of Craig's Architecture of Ireland about the dutch billys here having "'irregular gables stepped or topped with gracelss triangles or the feeblest of Baroque curves fall[ing] short of the picturesque even in fallacious retrospect'" (now to run for cover from the next onslaught of defence for Dublin's gabled houses:D )
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:03 pm

Devin wrote:You will no doubt be familiar with the quote from page 161 of Craig's Architecture of Ireland about the dutch billys here having "irregular gables stepped or topped with gracelss triangles or the feeblest of Baroque curves fall[ing] short of the picturesque even in fallacious retrospect"


You have to turn over a lot of slimy stones to find a kindred spirit like that :rolleyes:

I think it was on the other . . . ''Origins of the Dutch Billy'' . . . . thread that Trace gave the Craig position on 'Billys', and included that vile quote from C.P. Curran, who it appears was some kind of 'historian' of plasterwork and who has now gone to his reward.

To put the record straight, it would probably be grossly unfair to Maurice Craig to leave the impression that he shared anything like that scurrilous view.

OK maybe Craig, in devoting less than two and a half pages of 'Dublin 1660 - 1860' to Dutch Billys, went a bit light on our extraordinary gabled heritage, but back in 1950 Craig was telling a different story and one that hadn't been told properly before, the story of how Dublin went from architectural obscurity to become the great classical city of lore. In that story, the whole gabled tradition could conceivably be seen as a branch line, and anyway Craig made amends in 'The Architecture of Ireland' in 1982, in which he more than hinted at the scale and importance of the gabled tradition, . . . . . without wasting more that two and a half pages on it:rolleyes:

I'll try and find that other thread and maybe drag it over here.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:30 pm

gunter wrote:You have to turn over a lot of slimy stones to find a kindred spirit like that
Not a hint of bias, of course ]http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/1055/img0002ts.jpg[/IMG]
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:37 am

That's interesting about the Ormond Quay house.

I don't want to re-ignite this dispute, but where a gabled house, like the Ormond Quay examples, appears in a late 18th century print, as they do in many of the Malton views that include stretches of streetscape, we have to ask ourselves; what was the original design of it's neighbours, if not also gabled?

I think that we have to face the fact that the vast majority of the streetscapes of Dublin, for at least the first half of the 18th century, comprised a pretty coherent townscape of predominantly curvilinear 'Dutch Billy' gabled houses.

This is a conjectural reconstruction of the north side of College Green about 1750, based on the evidence provided by the Tudor view and the two 1782 paintings together with the various maps, principally Rocque.

Image

OK, there's an element of guesswork where the 18th century drawings and paintings don't provide enough detail, or are a bit contradictory, but the gist of this reconstruction is probably about right.

Yes, this streetscape is less elabotate than the Amsterdam streetscape depicted in the Keisergracht drawing posted earlier, but there is a fair degree of 'coherence' here.

One interesting thing is the way that the streetscape effortlessly accommodated Pearse's Parliament House, or more correctly, the way that Pearse designed the Parliament House to integrate into the streetscape, with the the great arched and pedimented entrances roughly equating to the scale of the typical adjacent townhouse. This is Palladian public architecture in perfect harmony with gabled street-architecture, is it not?

I think that the evidence would suggest that Pearse was completely comfortable with this relationship and there's even an argument that that curious drawing [with the dodgy perspective and inaccurate details at parapet level] which Craig and McParland have decided must be a somewhat fanciful mid-18th century depiction of College Green is, instead, exactly what it says it is: a drawing, by Pearse, of his proposed design for the new Parliament house in a context that anticipated some adjacent rebuildings.

Image

Who else would have been so concerned to tidy up the context of the new building by moving the low, ramshackled, immediate neighbours aside and sliding into their place the smart, well proportioned, standard 'Billys' that were probably already in-situ a couple of doors down?

It should also be noted that there's not much wrong with the perspective of the old front range of Trinity and even the boundary wall and railings to Trinity appear very accurately drawn [matches Brooking]. The only really dodgy perspective is actually in the depiction of the Parliament House itself which may well be because this building wasn't actually there yet and therefore wasn't being drawn from sight.

As an architect's sketch representation, possibly for client consumption, the clients being the members of the Irish Parliament who were paying for this project, a drawing like this would have been perfectly acceptable and I suspect the slight failures of perspective would have gone entirely unnoticed.

The suggestion of moving the King Billy equestrian statue up to a central position, may well have been a live proposal at the time.

I do like the idea that Ireland's Palladian poster boy both drew and designing his ultimate masterpiece in a touched-up 'Dutch Billy context :)
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:17 am

Nobody think that the College Green drawing could be a late 1720s artist's impression [by the architect] of the proposed new Parliament House??

A couple of things do suggest an early 18th century date:

. . . . the inclusion of the old awkward wall and railings boundary to the front of Trinity which we know was swept away [what year??] to be replaced by the fine arc of ornamental obelisks and chains depicted in the Joseph Tudor view of about 1750

. . . . the Parliment House, in contrast, is shown without it's arc of railings which I think is regarded as contemporary with the completion of the building?, but which may not have been envisaged at initial design stage.

. . . . some of the Sedan chair porters appear to be wearing broad brimmed hats whereas they would probably have been wearing tricorn hats by mid century.

. . . . anyone know anything about carriage design?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A small bit of further information on South Anne Street houses [the two slightly 'Georgianized' Billys at nos. 27 + 28]

Image Image

not much evidence of original mouldings or panelling having survived, but the stairs in no. 28 is splendid and intact.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

unrelated.

Image

This is a nice view across 'Old Dunleary' harbour to the 18th century inn/coffee house on the rocky outcrop close to where the railway line was soon afterwards laid across the old harbour en-route to 'Kingstown'.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:07 am

The last time we looked at these views of the the early 18th century North Gate in Cork and the houses beyond on Kyrls Quay, it was suggested that these prints must be naive later copies of an earlier print by Grogan.

Image Image

This seems to be the original version by Nathaniel Grogan, the elder, currently in the Crawford.

Image

As usual there's stuff in the way, sails, rigging and what not, but Grogan still gives us a very convincing array of gables on Kyrls Quay that includes a high proportion of segmental arched pediment topped curvilinear gables [apparently the Cork preference] inter-mixed with simple triangular gables that may be either the original design, or possibly the result of the loss of decorative gabled features.

Image
a detail of the gabled streetscape on Kyrls Quay

This accords reasonably well with what is depicted in the Chearnley view of about 1748.

Image
detail of the Chearnley view [Northgate is no. 16] and Kyrls Quay is the range of buildings in the centre not in shadow. The same mixture of gables, curvilinear 'Billys' and triangular.

None of these buildings survive today, but back around 1910 the streetscape still showed some traces of it's gabled heritage.

Image
Image
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Praxiteles » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:25 am

Lots of Dutch gables in the street scape in this clip shot in Amsterdam:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/pY0YW9feG58&hl=it_IT&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pY0YW9feG58&hl=it_IT&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6060
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:46 am

We haven't had a good row about twin 'Billys' in a while;)

Image Image
Another look at nos. 119 [Paddy] and no. 120 [Whelan] Cork Street.

Image Image
Without getting information on the interior, we still can't provide conclusive evidence that no. 120 was a twin gabled house, but from an examination of the exterior, it is substantially an early 18th century structure, it has a basement, the return is original, if now slightly reduced with a lean-to roof, the brickwork and rear window fragments are consistent with a house of the 'Billy' period and, though the pitch of the roofs has been lowered, the twin volume is there for all to see.

Image Image
No. 119 is semi-derelict and the roof is missing and the front and back walls have been re-newed in 19th/20th century brickwork, but it too was probably a gabled house and some of the original beams, with their characteristic small square joist notching, can still be seen through holes in the wall.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:12 am

Cork Street, as an ancient arterial route into the city, would have been developed in a more haphazard way than one of the 'planned' new streets of the early 18th century and glipses of the streetscape from old prints show a mixture of 'Dutch Billys' and triangular gabled 'Weavers Houses'.

Image
a sketch showing a mixture of 'Dutch Billys' and triangular gabled 'Weavers Houses' on Cork Street from an early volume of the Irish Georgian Society.

There was an interesting group of such houses west of the Marrowbone Lane junction

Image

Outlined in blue is the site of a pair of originally gabled houses at nos. 82 and 83 Cork Street.

Image Image

Photographed shortly before demolition in about 1961.

Currently sandwiched between a pair of apartment blocks the present nos. 84 and 85 don't look to have much going for them, but no. 84, outlined in red on the map [the numbering system seems to have moved up one since the '60s] is actually a fascinating little survivor whose only hint of antiquity is the central chunky chimney stack and a extra rain-water outlet between the two front windows.

Image

Image

From the building site opposite we can see that no. 84 originally had a pair of roofs perpendicular to the street, just like no. 120 further east. Only the gables survive what looks like a quite recent alteration to a flat roof.

Image
Image

from the rear, the antiquity and the cuteness of this little vernacular version of a twin gabled house becomes apparent.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:49 am

Sterling work gunter! Glad to see those overblown apartment blocks across the road have their uses ;). Rocque's map also appears to show the same plot with no return. It is clear the neighbouring house had the exact same roof treatment, with centrally placed rainwater outlet and shared chimneystack. It would appear the Forte house survived intact until the 1950s - next door probably later again :(

Cork Street does indeed contain a lot of early ribbon development stock. Further west along the street we encounter this mixumgatherum grouping of houses.

Image


The yellow house is clearly a transitional house of c. 1750-60, with ambitiously scaled windows and a charming double-pile hipped roof.

Image


Nice stairwell window to the rear. No segmental heads suggest the house is a little later than the first third of the 18th century. I do wonder of the opes were enlarged at some point though. The chimney appears to be centrally placed between the front and back rooms but it's hard to tell.

Image


The railings are nice and simple, as is the granite plinth. No exposed basement windows alas. There may not be a full basement, if any at all.

Image


The two houses next door are very suspect. The diminutive size of the doors relative to the fenestration suggests the houses were aggrandized at some point, and therefore may incorporate early elements. The clustered windows at first floor level just may suggest former gables, but equally it would make sense to simply centre the two windows neatly on the upper floor in the manner that they are.

Image


What really suggests early origins is a single segmental-headed window to the rear. It is also extremely small, perhaps the original size of the front windows?

Image


Taking in the wider view from the side laneway, we can also see that the chimney is located on the back wall at the junction with the neighbouring house, suggesting a corner chimneystack inside. The same can be said of the other house and its abutment to the yellow house, where a corner chimney is evident.

Image


Damage to the corner house exposes the original rubble calp and granite walling. It really shows up the rawness of these houses' construction, which people are still living in. Nothing but a stack of bound stones rendered over to the outside and inside with a few coats of lime and later cement. Remarkable.

Image
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4590
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:51 am

Image


The wider site is a fascinating pocket of semi-rural settlement in the midst of bustling Cork Street. A number of intact farm buildings to the rear are inaccessible, with the house to the mid-right a particular charmer. Interesting goings-on at the very top there too.

Image


Wandering down the laneway at the side of the two Cork Street houses is like walking back in time into a photograph of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. Just incredible.

Image


I believe we are the last generation to experience this state of raw preservation, on a national level. Virtually all will be gone twenty/thirty years from now.

Image
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4590
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

PreviousNext

Return to Ireland