Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby altotude » Sun Oct 23, 2005 8:36 pm

Grianblah, a house on the corner of Orchard Road and Palmerston Park, was recently sold for in excess of €7 million (before auction).

http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2005/08/28/story7325.asp

I don't remember the details, but read at the time on the auctioneer's site that it was an early 20th Century (perhaps 1920s) built residence, designed by a prominent Irish architect of the time. While €7 million might seem excessive, it is a beautiful house that sites perfectly on the park. I'm not qualified to detail the architectural signifcance, though I am sure it exists.

Last week a planning permission notice went up - the buyer intends to demolish the house and replace it with a modern 2-story. (S)He also intends raising the height of the surrounding walls.

This arrogance seems to me like more vandalism in favour of vulgar display. I intend to object to the application, and would appreciate any information you might have about the house and the park. I would also encourage others to object to this woeful plan.

insignificant.ie@gmail.com
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby GrahamH » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:25 pm

There's the most fantastic architecture round the Park (including the trees :)), but unfortunately unlike virtually every house within a squre mile of here, Grianblah (no 26) is not a Protected Structure...
How do planing authorities handle cases of architectural merit that aren't PSs I wonder?

Have got got a picture altotude?
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby ctesiphon » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:27 pm

If it's not a Protected Structure, or abutting a PS, then the owner can pretty much demolish at will. Have you checked the RPS of the Dublin City Council Development Plan? That should be your first port of call.
If they intend to replace a single dwelling with a single dwelling, there would be slim grounds for objection- injury to the character of the area or to the setting of a Protected Structure in the area would be one avenue, but it can difficult to prove.
Your best bet would be to engage a planning consultant if you feel very strongly, as they would be able to give you specific direction and advice. In the long run it can be worth the couple of hundred euros fee if it protects the value of your house or your area. Not knowing the particular property in question I can't say much more than that.
You could also make an Observation on the application rather than the standard Objection- a chance to say what kind of development you'd find acceptable.
If you're looking for info on the park, 'Four Roads to Dublin: A History of Rathmines, Ranelagh, and Leeson Street' by Deirdre Kelly might have something, or the local library.

EDIT: Cross post with Graham! :)
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby PVC King » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:38 pm

Good luck with it

This City needs to preserve as much early 20th century architecture of merit as possible given its scarcity based on the prevailing economic winds of the time. This proposal sounds opportunistic
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:04 am

The house is in the Arts and Crafts style and was (reputedly) designed by Manning Robertson, a distinguished town planner and architect who was one of the leading lights in Irish Architecture in the 20's and 30's and wrote several books on architecture and many articles in the journals of the time. He trained in London in the same practice as Lutyens.

The house was bought for just under 8million at auction. The planning application is accompanied by an architectural conservation report which suggests that the house has no architectural merit and is in such poor repair as to make its preservation impractical.

I visited it when it was being shown prior to auction and thought it very beautiful and well kept and it seemed to me to have a lot of architectural merit.

Money does not always equate with taste I suppose?
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:04 am

Do you know who prepared the conservation report, publicrealm?
However subjective taste may be, I would have thought architectural merit was a measure more objective. ;)
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:04 am

Yes, the report was prepared by a James O' Connor (FRIAI).

No doubt an eminent architect and perfectly entitled to his opinion.

I do hope that the DCC planners don't share it however and I certainly don't. Decision will be due around mid Dec I think - but I wouldn't be surprised if DCC asked for further info on the building to be demolished.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:04 pm

I have just learned that DCC has decided to refuse permission based on heritage and sustainability grounds.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:46 pm

Sounds like good news.
Thanks for that, publicrealm.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby altotude » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:48 pm

Permission was refused on the following grounds (from http://www.dublincity.ie):

"The proposed development, by reason of the demolition of an existing habitable house, which contributes positively to the character of this residential conservation area, would be contrary to the Z2 objective in the Dublin City Development Plan. Moreover the proposal does not accord with principles of sustainable development and policies to discourage the demolition of habitable houses (Res 5). The proposal would render it difficult to resist similar development, which would cumulatively undermine the character and legibility of the Conservation Area irrevocably. It is therefore considered that the existing dwelling should be retained in accordance with policies H13 and H27 of the Dublin City Development Plan."

A small victory for common sense, I think.

I lodged an objection but was out-of-time by one day. Incidentally, I think I had a case for arguing that their calculation of time is one day too short under the legislation ... Also, as a sidenote, they didn't refund the fee but said I could use it for another objection or write to have it refunded. The legislation says they "shall" refund the fee - giving them no option. Pedantic, I know, but they should send the money back.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:04 am

Hi Altotude,

They should refund your fee - the purpose of the fee is to cover the administrative costs associated with the consideration of the submission/observation. As you were out of time the PA were statutarily debarred from considering the submission/observation (art 29.3) and therefore the cost does not arise.

Regards,


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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:43 am

altotude-
publicrealm is right re the refund.
Also, I'm curious to know why you think they got the date wrong. Not that it matters as the decision suited you, but they rarely make mistakes like this in DCC. (It could matter if the applicant appeals to ABP as you'd be prevented from getting involved in the appeal process, though.)

Thomond Park-
Why the edit? Your post originally had some very useful info on the protection measures afforded to non Protected Structures and buildings not in Conservation Areas. Any chance of a reinstatement?
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:16 am

Grianblah hasn't gone away you know! :)

Noticed a new site notice the other day - this time for an extension to original plus raising of part of the perimiter wall along the roadside.

I hope to view the file next week.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:23 pm

Checked the application today.

It is described as an application for extension and refurbishment.

Again stated that the house is not of architectural importance.

The proposed 'extension' is on all sides (n.s.e.and w.) of the existing house, which is effectively being demolished, with the interior being completely redesigned:( .

Closing date for submissions/observations April 6th.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby PVC King » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:15 pm

You could concentrate your submission on your concerns as to the 'architectural integrity of this building.

Paul any moves on DoCoMo?
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:01 am

Thomond Park

Yes - I do intend to do that (plus a few other things!)

I have attached a few images (at least I think I have:o ) and would be interested in views as to whether the building has any architectural merit?
Attachments
Grianblah.jpg
Grianblah.jpg (194.77 KiB) Viewed 4625 times
Grianblah 001.jpg
Grianblah 001.jpg (154.03 KiB) Viewed 4597 times
Grianblah 002.jpg
Grianblah 002.jpg (197.74 KiB) Viewed 4557 times
Grianblah 003.jpg
Grianblah 003.jpg (214.64 KiB) Viewed 4542 times
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:03 am

Oops,

Sorry they are all sideways :o
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"A curiously Irish fusion of the Garden Suburb and the Prairie Style."

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:21 am

Architectural merit?
That double-height galleried hall is quite an unusual feature, it retains its original internal layout (has it been extended with a flat roof already?) and materials, good example of design of the period substantially intact. If the building is of sufficient quality (and as it contributes to the character of the area- the important bit of the previous determination) in the eyes of DCC to prevent demolition, then its character should be key in any new decision. Presumably a wraparound extension would detract from that?

Any pics or details of the proposed extension?

EDIT: That gallery affair looks most peculiar. In the first interior pic of the sitting room with the blue chairs you can see the shadow of stair treads / ladder rungs on the far wall- this steep stairs is just out of shot to the left in the dining room (?) pic where the gallery is visible at the top. Is there another way up? That's hardly the only access. Or is it just an elaborate shelf- maybe formerly a library? Either way, it's an unusual feature, as is the way the beams that support it meet each other- almost like Japanese joinery.
The whole thing is a bit Arts and Craftsy, Lutyens-ey, with a suspicion of Frank Lloyd Wright. Reminds me of a house in Fingal, near the back of the airport. And that one is a Protected Structure, afaik, though a bit bigger and with extensive formal grounds.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby phil » Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:49 pm

[quote="publicrealm"]The house is in the Arts and Crafts style and was (reputedly) designed by Manning Robertson, a distinguished town planner and architect who was one of the leading lights in Irish Architecture in the 20's and 30's and wrote several books on architecture and many articles in the journals of the time. He trained in London in the same practice as Lutyens.
QUOTE]

The Irish Planning Institute seem to have an award named after him. I also think he designed a group of houses just off Temple Hill in the Monkstown/Blackrock area. He also wrote Dun Loaghaire. The History, Scenery and Development of the District., which was published in 1936. It is a very interesting book.
Seems also to have been involved in the Sketch Development Plan of 1941. Overall, he sounds like a very interesting individual.
http://www.irish-architecture.com/buildings_ireland/dublin/city_development/abercrombie.html

That house is very unusual looking. Why anyone would want to knock it I simply don't know! Something more must be done to preserve our 20th Century Built Heritage.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby altotude » Tue May 23, 2006 2:15 pm

DCC have given permission (subject to a few conditions) to development of the house.

See decision here.

The documents section contains the drawings - as a total layman I can't quite read their significance, but it seems to me that while a lot of work will be done the exterior shell of the house will be largely retained. Professional views?

I am very disappointed that it's going ahead and also that the new owners thought this action necessary, but the outcome is certainly preferrable to the destruction of the house.

Incidentally, the conservation report is also on the documents section. The author thought the "property has no redeeming architectural features of note ... and, in my opinion, is a poor example of the architectural design of its period." Again, professional views? Seems, in my view, to be a questionably definitive statement.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby GrahamH » Wed May 24, 2006 1:11 am

Could you relink the decision altotude? It doesn't seem to be working.

I have jigged publicrealm's pictures about - hope you don't mind:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Almost by definition this house is quite rare, being a substantial early 20th century residence of distinctive design and character. Whether it is worthy of protection is for somebody who knows what they're talking about to decide, but certainly it seems to have an element of architectural merit - or should that be historical merit, I'm not sure. Both it seems.

Why anybody would want to substantially alter such a time capsule of a building, of a certain architectural character if not quite distinction, let alone demolish it, I do not know.
What a shame :(
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby altotude » Thu May 25, 2006 6:32 pm

Sorry, the link probably won't work because it's a search result.

Easiest thing is to go to http://www.dublincity.ie/ and click on Planning, you can do a planning search for "26 Palmerston Park" - you'll get 4 results, the highest number of the 2006 applications is the relevant one.

Looks like DCC were beginning the drainage work required today.
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby publicrealm » Fri May 26, 2006 12:58 am

Sadly the proposal, although couched as an extension, is effectively a demolition.

In this regard the statutory notices were quite misleading as the claimed a small amount of demolition. In reality there is a tiny amount of retention and everything of value is being bulldozed. I was aware of this but chose not to pursue it.

I don't blame the owner but I am genuinely astonished that his professional advisors (and architects in particular) would not point out that what he had bought was worth far more than what is proposed (although the proposal is well designed).

It is very sad. I didn't object second time round because I felt that the new owner has certain rights and I had already alerted DCC (in an objection to the first application - with a separate copy to the Conservation Officer) of the obvious architectural and cultural significence of the structure. I had asked that it be added to the record of Protected Structures.

DCC has failed here (perhaps I have too but it is tiring and expensive to pursue these horrors).

Not a good outcome and I'm a bit depressed as I have just been reading the PVC windows thread.

Must get out more.:(
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby phil » Fri May 26, 2006 11:58 am

In the 'Conservation / Restoration Report' the architect, who seems to completely dismiss the building, says it "appears to be transitional between Edwardian and Art Deco but exhibits none of the vitues of either." Does this dwelling fit into any particular style? I would have said it looks more 'Arts and Crafts' than anything else. It also reminds me of some early 20th century houses in Sussex, but I really don' know for sure. Any professionals have any thoughts on this?

http://www.dublincity.ie/docimage/Temp/temp_doc_200605261044419531250.PDF
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Re: Palmerston Park (Grianblah)

Postby ctesiphon » Fri May 26, 2006 2:08 pm

Agreed, Phil. My comment above (14th March) pretty much sums up my take on the merits of this (including the message header, which might have gone unnoticed- A curious fusion of the garden suburb and the prairie style).
Put it this way- Manning Robertson was a pretty knowledgeable man from what I can gather, so if there are stylistic references there they are presumably deliberate, and if there aren't, then that would have been his design choice too.
What irks me is that the architect is dismissing this because it doesn't fit neatly into any pre-existing categories (as he sees it). If, say, a record reviewer were to dismiss REM's Chronic Town ep by saying 'It falls chronologically between Talking Heads' Fear of Music and U2's Under a Blood Red Sky, without displaying any of the virtues of either' they'd be laughed out of it. It reflects badly on the writer's ability to determine merit in an objective way, in as much as such a thing is possible.
There's a whole can of worms here about objective value vs. subjective taste, but I haven't time to go into it. In essence, I'm not a fan of, say, nineteenth century run of the mill Gothic churches, but I can appreciate that they have an architectural heritage value that exists outside my personal preferences.
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