Shopfront race to the bottom

Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby hutton » Wed May 14, 2008 8:49 am

Do I want a safari in Kent or a bicycle? Im very confused by some of the shops on this thread :confused:

Maybe I'll just stick to a pram for Lunasas recycled baby :D
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby ctesiphon » Wed May 14, 2008 9:46 am

What's the connection between prams and bikes? My grandfather used to have a bike and pram shop in Donnybrook in the 1940s-1950s, and the combination struck me as odd, but Eurobabycycles and Mr Whelan would suggest that it was a fairly common occurrence. (Oddly, two of the 4 sons of that grandfather went into the electrics game- again, like Paddy Whelan.)

Is it that they both require similar types of maintenance?

Great photo by the way, gunter.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby KerryBog2 » Wed May 14, 2008 4:59 pm

ctesiphon wrote:What's the connection between prams and bikes? ........
Is it that they both require similar types of maintenance?


Yes, the connection is mechanical and more. The springs used to reduce vibration on bikes carried over to pram design. Prams had wheel-bearings, spoked wheels, and like those on bikes, the spokes required regular tensioning. Main brands were Silver Cross, Walker and Pedigree. From memory Kilroys in Dublin were the main pram distributors, and also distributed bicycles. (I think they were an early acquisition by Smurfit? ) Choice of "working class" locations for combined bike / pram shops also is linked to finance - a shilling a week on the drip for the bike and the same for the chisler's pram. In the '60s there was a great bike shop in Dalkey - Mr. Coombs, stacked to the roof with scrap bikes, he would not deign to sell a pram; and another in Dun Laoghaire, Leiths, that sold bikes & prams.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby ctesiphon » Thu May 15, 2008 8:45 am

Cheers, KB. Silver Cross I had heard of (when I saw your post last night I had to resist the temptation to post a photo of ctesiphon aged 1 asleep in a Silver Cross, all the more tempting given the presence of The Brother in the same photo! :)), but not the others. My grandfather's shop (none of the names you mentioned, btw!) probably served a similar function, as it dated from a time when Donnybrook was far more socially diverse than today (Sean Dunne, take note- it's only two generations since Dublin 4 had an established working class population).

Prams today would probably have more in common with SUVs than bikes, alas: ATPs. ;)

c. (Currently enjoying a Shimano Nexus hub gear, and coveting a Rohloff speedhub.)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:03 pm

Spotted on a recent trip to Copenhagen:

Image

Bikes to the right, prams to the left. :)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:42 pm

what's with the bike shops and archiseek? my grandfather and dad ran a bike shop for many many years in Monaghan
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:18 pm

Image

Those connoisseurs of discreet, understated signage, Spar, opened a new shop on Smithfield about a year ago with all their usual restraint and good taste. But it since went on fire and will not now be reopening. Poetic justice?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby KerryBog2 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:16 pm

Devin wrote: ...........But it since went on fire and will not now be reopening. Poetic justice?


Possibly, but it's due to the death of Breakfst Roll Man. Sales at Deli counters have plummeted. Sales of so-called "convenience" grocery shopping have also gone down the toilet. More will fold in high rent areas, many more will not go ahead due to lack of funding.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:41 pm

... as Ireland goes back to local shops operating on small margins.


But since this is a shopfronts thread:


Image

A protected structure on Capel Street in early '08.




Image

And in early '09.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby tommyt » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:08 pm

to be fair devin there's not a whole lot fundamentally wrong with that imo-nothing irreversible or irritatingly chain branding about it-if you saw it in Amsterdam or Copenhagen people on here would be romancing about how it added to the gritty urban patina of an ever transforming neighbourhood etc...
Johnny Eagle's tattoo parlour was/has been up there like Custer' s last stand on that block for decades and whatever lease or ownership he held there possibly kept that terrace from the bulldozers that obliterated that whole city block- I'd allocate honorary urban design tastelessnes squatter's rights to the terrace on this one ;)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby gunter » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:44 pm

Whatever about the signage, whoever did the restoration of that building (two - three years ago) deserved a medal, imo. This is a Wide Streets Commissioners terrace I presume?

With subtle pointing and a deliberate effort to go back to the original detailing (knocking of plaster window reveals etc.) they somehow managed to turn a grotty yellow brick building into a classy brown/red brick building.

I better come clean on this, a yellow brick is just a failed red brick, in my book.

Graham will probably have something to say (probably did have something to say) about the window panes, but imagine if the whole terrace was restored to this standard, shopfronts and all, including the two houses that have lost their Wyatt windows, what a head turner that would be!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:42 pm

Tommyt, I know what you mean. It's sort of agreeably tacky. On the quaint side of tacky perhaps ... And as you say perfectly reversible. Problem is the knock-on effect - somebody else then does something worse: A few doors up in the same terrace, a guy has just refurbished the shop unit (on the left in the pic below). And, to keep up with the Salon Urody people and create more space for the signage of future tenants, he has enlarged the shopfront fascia over the column capitals, so that the effect of the arms and hands (columns & capitals) holding up the fascia is lost and the uniformity of the five shopfront buildings is messed up.

It's a really unique terrace in the the city and a great survival so it'd be a shame to see it bastardised too much. Gunter I agree - high standard of conservation to that building that you don't usually get in this part of the city. The tuck pointing is an example of how it should done and the sashes are historically accurate.


Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby tommyt » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:15 pm

I take your point. If you're familiar with the concept of 'geurilla gardening' perhaps an new clandestine amateur urban joinery unit could tackle this faux pas!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:29 pm

Some more quirky shops on Capel Street. Lot of Asian shops now.


Image

Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:18 pm

And you're catching some really well done pavement works in the lower right corner as well. Lots of those around the city lately.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:06 pm

Image
Late '90s pic.


Image
Today


I think this terrace is worth a few more words ... nowhere else to talk about them really. All protected structures. Built 1820s.

They're looking a lot better now than they used to. As can be seen in the late '90s pic, they were fairly rough. Seemed touch and go whether they'd be kept. Another similar terrace on Winetavern Street beside Christchurch was demolished in the '60s, so I think it was good that these were kept.

The three on the left, Nos. 82, 83 & 84, were restored circa 2000. The timber Doric shopfronts and Wyatt sash windows had been either inappropriately replaced, altered or were in poor condition, so all were remade (some small elements of original shopfront fabric may remain). Arguably more surviving original joinery fabric could have been retained.

The facades got a type of flush pointing in lime mortar, which was the DCC Conservation Office-approved pointing at the time. That might seem a bit crude to us now with all this fine tuck pointing going on to period buildings around the city, but it was a big step forward to get people to stop cement pointing.

This was the early days of the P&D Act 2000 so it was a major achievement to get buildings like these in a more marginal area restored to a decent standard. As far as I know the DCC Conservation Officer at the time, Nicci Mathews, did a lot of work on this and helped owners receive available PS grants for the work.

If you read the planning permission conditions for Nos. 83 & 84 (Ref. 2039/00), there's a sense of being dragged kicking and screaming into the age of the new conservation legislation. Eg. Condition 4:

[INDENT](I) Refurbishment works to the roof shall allow for the retention of the profile of the original roof. Replacement slates shall be of natural slate to match the existing. (ii)The existing facades and rear walls of the building shall be retained and restored and shall allow for the rebedding of the original parapet level and the reinstatement of the third floor window opes and arches. The method and materials for the cleaning, re- pointing or replacement of brickwork /masonry shall be the subject of written agreement with the Planning Authority following the submission of details. (iii) A detailed statement of the method for the retention, repair and where appropriate replacement of the windows in both buildings shall be submitted for written agreement prior to incorporation into the proposed development. (iv) All existing internal architectural features of note including the architraves, skirting, picture rails etc. shall be retained, protected and made good. Reason: To ensure the protection of the architectural character of these Protected Structures [/INDENT]

An applicant today would have to submit a detailed schedule for all of that repair work to a PS themselves before an application would even be validated.




Image

So the restoration of this building in the terrace a year or two ago maybe gives a better idea of de present state of knowledge in conservation.




Image

As gunter said, it would probably be nice someday to restore the two at the end, Nos. 78 & 79, whose window opes were changed, to the original Wyatt window and Doric shopfront design, and also infill the gaps to each side of the terrace thanks to DIT Bolton Street's car park. As seen in this drawing from Shaw's Directory of 1850, the shopfronts of the two at the end had already been knocked into one by 1850, but the Wyatt sashes were still in situ upstairs.



Image

The plans of the building at each extremity of the terrace taper away to nothing at the back, which I suppose tells you that the terrace itself was an infill, & was dictated existing buildings. Adds to their peculiarity.

Seen better on Live Maps actually: Capel St.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby hutton » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:33 pm

Devin wrote:
Image

And in early '09.


I see that somebody's seen the light, or sign as it were - and signs on, the neon sign of "Salon Urody Solarium" and illuminated plastic box have gone.

Devin must be a happy bunny :D
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:35 pm

Yeah somebody must have complained.


But if you read back, hutton, the consensus was that it had its charms.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby jimg » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:32 am

Nice to see them restored. It reminds me of calling the fire brigade to report that one of them had caught fire late at night about 10 years ago. From the "late 90s" photos, it looks like it must have been number 84. It was a dramatic situation; the upstairs was rented out as a flat or flats and a woman was screaming on the street that some-one called Jimmy - presumably her son or boyfriend - was still in it. As it turns out, the building was empty. The drama was heightened by the fact that it seemed there was a store of fireworks in the burning flat.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:29 pm

Ah Capel Street eh?!

I must admit I find this (otherwise charming) terrace a complete mess. The brickwork's all over the place, the windows for the most part a disaster, and most properties exhibit a lack of basic maintenance. Even with the most recent, and by all accounts most accomplished, restoration, a red mortar and colourwash was used on what is yellow stock brick in a yellow stock brick terrace! I mean, is it just me?

This isn't purist diatribe, this is basic stuff. We live in a city where the fundamental building blocks are Georgian brick barns. If we cannot even tackle the most basic of issues affecting these, then what hope can we hold for the wider city? Botched detailing on these simple buildings is always so painfully evident.

Otherwise, a charmer of a terrace with some admirable efforts interspersed along its length.

gunter wrote:a yellow brick is just a failed red brick, in my book.


Okay, so a debate for another day, but there's no way that remark is being allowed slip through the net!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby gunter » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:34 pm

GrahamH wrote:Even with the most recent, and by all accounts most accomplished, restoration, a red mortar and colourwash was used on what is yellow stock brick in a yellow stock brick terrace! I mean, is it just me?


I have a feeling that, in many cases, red mortar was use in the original pointing with the lime putty tuck detail, is this not true? Presumably it was used to remove the shame of the yellow stock brick!

I think it works superbly.

. . . yellow brick; . . . two words; . . . . half-baked :)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:48 pm

:rolleyes: :)

A traditional technique it may be, but going by Devin's 1990s photograph, that building had never been colourwashed! Even if it had, logic would dictate the simple removal of whatever fragments remained rather than compromising the wider terrace. As far as I'm concerned, such practices are akin to the hideous Victorian obsession with smearing render over facades as a quick fix solution to fleeting whims of fashion.

Further observations on the merits or otherwise of brick colouring would perhaps be better left to a brick thread (oh the prospect), but I shall leave you in the capable hands of architect, Isaac Ware, quoted in the Department of Environment's Guide to the Repair of Historic Brickwork, launched only last night in the Custom House.

In his Complete Body of Architecture from 1756, Ware 'describes the mid-century change in taste in England from 'hot' to 'cool' colours, red bring considered 'too fiery and disagreeable to the eye'.

Someone get this man a brandy!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:12 pm

You definitely do see examples around town of very old stained red facades which are are now worn and revealing a different original brick colour.

The job on the Capel Street building is very much in the 'faded Dublin redbrick' tradition. Ok perhaps there is an argument that he/she who did it was maverick and should have kept the yellow brick of the others. But I don't think it has compromised the terrace. It more highlights that the other brick facades need some tlc. In regard to the 3 mentioned earlier which were restored in 2000, it would probably best to repoint them along the lines of the tuck-pointed one (whatever about staining). That flush pointing they received is more suitable for back elevations; not really presentabe for a front elev.

Job just done on North Great George's Street, below, in a deeper Georgian red (possibly by the same firm who did the Capel facade, as pointing & lack of plaster in reveals as seen in Malton prints etc. is same).

Btw Graham, what do you mean by the windows of the Capel Street terrace "are for the most part a disaster"? Four out of the five Wyatt buildings have accurate replica sashes, which is pretty good for a group of buildings in Dublin.



Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Morlan » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:50 pm

Devin wrote:I think this terrace is worth a few more words ...


Fantastic comparison with the pics Devin. Very interesting.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby johnglas » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:55 am

Oh, for the simple cool plainness of yellow, mellow brick as a relief from all that fiery red - I feel atouch of the vapours!
Here, brick was not used at all as a building material until well into the 19thC and the coming of cheap imports from England by rail. Traditionally harled rubble would have been used until the more widespread use of sandstone ashlar in the great tenement building booms in the mid 19thC; as it happens, red sandstone is always considered superior to 'blond' (yellow), which was the first to be used widely in the city. I don't agree, but red did keep its colour better through soot (until the great - and sometimes disastrous - stone-cleaning binge of the 1980s) and was associated with more up-market areas.
I've always liked London stock brick and it's worthwhile remarking that old red brick in, say, Amsterdam is often painted over in very dark colours. On the other hand, red brick in all the countries around the Baltic has a charm that it's hard to beat.
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