Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:40 am

Paul Clerkin wrote:Just looking at the roof - wonder if slates were removed to hasten its demise


I would agree that it looks that way. If it was good old-fashioned lead stripping, why are there so many slates missing?

On the other hand, it's a pretty small site and the structure is a P.S. so it's hard to see how an unscrupulous property owner could realistically anticipate an enhanced re-development opportunity by propelling the structure into accelerated decay.

StephenC wrote:re: Protected Structure . . . . . What does that mean?


I was hoping Graham would come in there with the definitions. . . . . . phew;)

As I understand it, under the Planning and Development regulations [hereafter called the Law] local authorities are obliged to maintain a schedule of the structures in their authority area which, by virtue of their ''special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest'' are worthy of protection against decay, destruction and injurious alteration, or words to that effect.

It is also the stated policy of Dublin City Council [p23 of the current DCC Development Plan]:

[INDENT]''To maintain and enhance the potential of protected structures and other buildings of architectural/historical merit to contribute to the cultural character and identity of the place, including identifying appropriate viable contemporary uses''.[/INDENT]
You'll notice that in both of these passages the word 'maintain' is used prominently, but unfortunately not in sense that the authorities believe that they have any obligation to 'maintain' the actual building.

This would be like the Health Service being obliged to 'maintain' a list of all the sick people without any corresponding obligation to actually treat anyone.

Under 'the law' the local authority may not be specifically obliged to take meaningful action in cases like this, but neither is there anything in the legislation to stop them from sending in two blokes with a roll of torch-on felt while we're waiting on the legal heads to sort out something more permanent.

As Graham has pointed out:

GrahamH wrote:Part IV, Planning and Development Act, 2000

Section 58

(2) After serving notice under subsection (1) on a person, a planning authority may—

(b) provide such assistance in any form it considers appropriate, including advice, financial aid, materials, equipment and the services of the authority's staff.


. . . Dublin City Council could choose to interpret the Law to get in there and actively protect this building by carrying out any remedial works ''it considers appropriate''.

. . . . unless stopping the rain pissing in is somehow not 'considered appropriate'.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby photopol » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:45 pm

gunter wrote:. . . . unless stopping the rain pissing in is somehow not 'considered appropriate'.


And why would it not be appropriate with developers hovering in the background? The tragedy is that, the damage having been done, there may be nobody left standing as the object of retribution (polite version). They have not only ruined the immediate physical/built environment, they have sent the whole damn country down the tubes.

Feel like banging my head off a stone wall, if I could find the genuine article. :eek:

Take your point on what have they to gain in the case of a PS, but if the PS status is not going to be enforced?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby photopol » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:33 pm

What happened to the whole of James's Harbour is a national disgrace. This was a fantastic location (in the original sense of the word). Now it's a concreted in crap "industrial" estate, with nothing to recommend it. The regeneration plan (now presumably shelved) was advocating a "water feature" for the old harbour. Better than nothing, but no less pastiche.

Make you very angry. This was an absolutely unique industrial archeological location. And what did the cretins do. Destroyed it. And what are they now talking of doing;. Resurrecting an ersatz/pale evocation of the water bit. God help our children if they ever embark on a serious study of the history of this stuff.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:40 pm

Image

I think this is turning into everything we thought it would be :mad:

Image

Image

There's better news on the Frawleys front, thank god :)
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby missarchi » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:44 pm

I'm a bit miffed as to why they didn't make the top floor a different colour/material
some serious ceiling height there?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Yixian » Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:38 pm

I want to hate the building but by far the biggest visual detraction from that scene are the nasty shopfronts, as usual.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Cathal Dunne » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:00 am

While the building isn't exactly pretty and won't win too many awards, it certainly is better than the burnt-out shells it replaced. Those places looked rather run-down while this looks new, clean and shiny. A lovely bit of detailing work would finish it off nicely.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby OisinT » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:00 pm

Cathal Dunne wrote:While the building isn't exactly pretty and won't win too many awards, it certainly is better than the burnt-out shells it replaced. Those places looked rather run-down while this looks new, clean and shiny. A lovely bit of detailing work would finish it off nicely.

I totally agree. It's a bit weird, but for the most part it's pretty fresh and once it is kept clean it'll be a nice addition to the street.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:11 pm

Hmm I quite like it as well. Its well formed, if a little heavy on top. It would sit in quite tidily on a restored terrace.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:19 am

Ok, we'll come back to that little one beside Chadwick's.

A quick update on that Bord pleanala decision on the Frawley's application.

For anyone who hasn't followed this saga, here's a potted history:

In June 08, Danninger Ltd [a Liam Carroll company] applied to demolish nos. 32, 33, 34-35 + 36 Thomas Street, the old Frawley's store and adjoining premises, and construct a new office block and replacement shops in their place.

Image Image

The proposal causes a bit of a stir on archiseek and elsewhere, not least because many of us had thought that the numerous passages in the current Dublin City Development Plan which extol the virtues of conservation and re-use of older buildings [''though they may not be Protected Structures''] provided a firewall against any further destruction of the city's historic streetscapes on this scale.

The fact that the existing buildings were mostly sound and in good condition and that they formed a substantial part of the setting to St. Catherine's Church, itself arguably the most accomplished exercise in designing an 18th century church into the Dublin streetscape, only added to the incredulity that greeted the proposal.

The first sign that this proposal wasn't being treated as an actual piss-take arrived in July '08 with the publication of an interdepartmental report from Kieran Rose, formerly a senior planner in this parish and now apparently the head of the City Council's 'Economic Development Unit'. The report wasn't the usual one-liner we've come to expect in these situations, it was a mini version of the same official's Sean Dunne/Ballsbridge apologia, a four page ringing endorsement of the scheme's scorched earth approach. The Rose report managed to reference everyone from the OECD, to the NESC and the ESRI, but was chiefly memorable for only mentioning the word 'heritage' once and even then comically in the phrase ''The area has a heritage of problems, including it's image . . . .''

You couldn't make this stuff up.

Incredibly, this was but the beginning of an unfolding nightmare. Following a lame request for additional information that managed to mix up which houses were the suspected early 18th century structures, the submission of a second building assessment report, and a second change of case officer, in November '08 Dublin City Council issued a decision to Grant Permission for the proposal with minimal changes and feeble conditions.

All the time that this was going on, pretty convincing evidence was being assembled that the existing streetscape contained more than just anonymous late 18th, 19th and 20th century structures, as claimed, but instead some very rare and valuable early and mid 18th century house types that otherwise have largely vanished from the building record of the city.

Lively discussion on this site followed culminating in some light-hearted death threats, if memory serves.

Image

The upshot of the appeal to An Bord Pleanála is as follows;

Incredibly, the appointed ABP inspector disregarded all of this new building heritage information and backed up the City Council's decision allowing the total demolition of the existing structures and brought his recommendation for Approval to the Bord.

To their eternal credit, the Bord were unconvinced by their own inspector's report and took the very unusual step of requesting the developers submit a completely new plan incorporating the retention of all the existing structures on the Thomas Street frontage. To assess the new plan, the Bord also commissioned a new report by a new inspector.

Danninger submitted the new proposal in July '09 making it clear that they were doing so reluctantly and that their preferred option was to continue with their original proposal.

Unlike the first inspector, the new inspector, [Ms. Jane Dennely] saw immediate architectural and heritage merit in the existing terrace of buildings and was particularly persuaded by the assessment of the individual structures provided in a third party submission by the Civic Trust.

The result of all this is that Bord Pleanála last week issued a decision to grant permission for the revised scheme requiring the retention of all of the existing streetscape buildings, with specific conditions to research and reconstruct the original roof profile and brickwork façade of Fade's mansion/banking house at no. 36 Thomas Street. Other conditions require the developer to carry out a detailed, comprehensive, analysis of each structure and to be guided by that research in the programme of conservation works to be undertaken as part of the redevelopment.

A huge sigh of relief all round, and deep apologies for earlier getting irritated that the Bord were taking too long ;)
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby aj » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:31 am

you just made my day...best possible outcome with the added bonus that the developer reconstruct the original roof profile and brickwork façade of Fade's mansion.

more importantly does it signify that ABP et al have actually started to give a crap about the architectural history of the city.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Devin » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:48 pm

Ok this is a good decision, BUT, odds were that BP were not going to permit demolition of these buildings on account of their location, merit and robust conservation provision pertaining to Thomas Street and buildings such as these. A huge chunk of this thread has been devoted to this one planning application, and really there is other stuff going on all the while (Eg. no mention anywhere on archiseek of a controversial revised scheme for Harcourt Terrace Garda Station opposite the unique setpiece of Regency buildings, its granting of permission by DCC and subsequent major design changes on appeal). The point being that while any planning-architectural discussion in relation to the city is in general good discussion, a sense of proportionalty should be maintained.

In relation to the condition in the Frawleys decision (Condition 3.b) providing for investigation of the feasibility of removal of the plaster to the Fade mansion to expose brickwork, hmmmmm ... I'm not so sure. Has happened before that tests are done with a view to exposing brickwork to a plastered historic building only to discover that said brickwork is not in exposable condition. God only knows what's under that plaster. The existing plaster detailing is subtle and appropriate in the streetscape (and delineates the 5-bay building). I would be in favour of keeping/repairing it, rather than removing it.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:45 pm

You're actually Kevin Myers in real life?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby GrahamH » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:11 pm

That new infill requires not only a thread of its own, but an entire website. We shall return.

I don't quite see what you're going Devin regarding 'devoting a thread' to the Frawley's case, relative to other development proposals. As you yourself have said on other threads, yes there are other pressing issues to be discussed, but this one is, well, about this one. Indeed, the more case studies the better, provided a broader focus is also maintained.

Regarding the brickwork of No. 36, the condition is to investigate the possibility of removing the render, not that it should be stripped regardless. This is entirely appropriate, not only on architectural and restoration grounds, but also for historical reasons, to establish how the house was originally faced and to what extent this finish still survives.

The Board didn't adopt all of the recommendations of its inspector, including the fairly major omission of the top storey, which is likely to impinge on the vista of St. Catherine's Church along Thomas Street, but we got the bones of what was demanded of this important group of buildings.

An outstanding report by the above mentioned (latter!) inspector.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Devin » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:37 pm

GrahamH wrote:I don't quite see what you're going Devin regarding 'devoting a thread' to the Frawley's case, relative to other development proposals.
Granted the buildings are interesting - primarily because of that hitherto not-offcially-known early Georgian mansion at No. 36 (a number of earlier studies on Thomas Street had missed it, so fair play to gunter or Peter Walsh or whoever it was that identified it) - and deserving of attention/discussion/ranting on the thread, but at the end of the day there's only so many times you can come back and say 'the buildings should not be demolished!'.

grahamh wrote:Regarding the brickwork of No. 36, the condition is to investigate the possibility of removing the render
Em, yes, that's what I said. Look at the post again.

The chances of early brick being in exposable/repairable condition to this building are not good. Could cite a few examples but the bid to restore a brick elevation to plastered mid-Georgian house 9 Merchant's Quay a decade ago found the brick in horrendous condition under the plaster. Such was the condition of the face that what brick could be reused was turned in the opposite direction, and topped up with salvage; a brave and resourceful strategy by the cons. architect involved but the result was not idyllic ... not 100% satisfactory, visually. Keep the existing restrained plaster detailing to 36 Thomas Street, I say. The building just needs construction of an appropriate pitched roof to accord it due prominence and stature in the street .... no need to do more than that.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:34 pm

Devin wrote:Granted the buildings are interesting . . . .

The building just needs construction of an appropriate pitched roof to accord it due prominence and stature in the street .... no need to do more than that.


Could you be any more lukewarm?

These buildings are tremendously important, this decision is tremendously important.

You may believe that all this proposal needed was a page and a half of passages cut and pasted from the Development Plan to get the DCC decision to permit demolition over-turned, but I don't, I think this could have gone either way, precisely because so many people with conservation credentials, of one kind or another, were lukewarm about it.

Despite everything that been written about these buildings, the first Bord pleanala inspector, went along with total demolition That's as close to knife-edge as I want to go.

A while back I posted thumbnails of surviving images of 12 or so late 17th and early 18th century Dublin mansions, all of which, except Fade's, Mountbrown, and the Mansion House, have been lost. The latter two houses, though they survive, are even more altered than Fade's,

We are in last-of-it's-kind territory here.

The Bord's decision acknowledges this by imposing conditions that describe the means required to rescue this house from the state of unrecognised oblivion that it's present appearance condemns it to.

The requirement for detailed research leading to the reinstatement of the original roof profile, the restoration of the windows ''to their original glazing pattern'' and the ''testing . . . to establish the scope for removal of the facade render and exposure of underlying brick facing'' are a package deal that together, if done properly, will bring this house back from the undead state it's in now.

This is a breakthrough moment :)

The Fade mansion and several of the houses we've discussed at length, notably nos. 32, 20 and 21, are coming up to three hundred years old! . . . . and you're getting worked up about Harcourt Terrace Garda Station! . . . . come on Devin get with the programme!

This Bord Peanala decision, and the moves underway to initiate a study on the feasibility of restoring the half derelict, former Billys, at 20 + 21, have the potential to transform the legibility of Thomas Street into what we've always known it was; . . . . the definitive Dublin Street.

The mission now is to make sure there is no slippage, no back-sliding, no plumping for soft options, no half-hearted gestures. Just once, can we say no to half-assed.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Devin » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:04 pm

gunter wrote:Could you be any more lukewarm?

These buildings are tremendously important, this decision is tremendously important.

You may believe that all this proposal needed was a page and a half of passages cut and pasted from the Development Plan to get the DCC decision to permit demolition over-turned, but I don't, I think this could have gone either way, precisely because so many people with conservation credentials, of one kind or another, were lukewarm about it.
Well it's just as well the four third party appeals against demolition* were valid then, eh? The Bord invalidates an appeal at the drop of a planning reference number. Bit of a knife-edgy situation there, eh, since if appeals against this fell or were withdrawn all related submissions would fall too and the scheme would revert to its DCC decision and all buildings would be bulldozed away. And you didn't appeal yourself just to be sure??!

(The Bord did in fact invalidate one of the Frawleys appeals - by the Conservation and Heritage Group - but luckily there was enough time left for them to resubmit a valid one.)

(Btw who was lukewarm? I didn't see any lukewarm appeals.)


gunter wrote:Despite everything that been written about these buildings, the first Bord pleanala inspector, went along with total demolition That's as close to knife-edge as I want to go.

A while back I posted thumbnails of surviving images of 12 or so late 17th and early 18th century Dublin mansions, all of which, except Fade's, Mountbrown, and the Mansion House, have been lost. The latter twohouses, though they survive, are even more altered than Fade's,

We are in last-of-it's-kind territory here.
Well, even more baffling you didn't appeal yourself and placed so much in the hands of few crummy third-party appellants.


gunter wrote:The Fade mansion and several of the houses we've discussed at length, notably nos. 32, 20 and 21, are coming up to three hundred years old!
I don't particularly want to go there again, but 20 & 21 Thomas Street are in an earlier age bracket to 32 Thomas Street. The stairs alone of 20 shows that.


gunter wrote: . . . . and you're getting worked up about Harcourt Terrace Garda Station!
Not the Garda Station, tsk! The scheme itself to sit opposite the one-of-a-kind Regency terrace.


[quote="gunter"]This Bord Peanala decision, and the moves underway to initiate a study on the feasibility of restoring the half derelict, former Billys, at 20 + 21, have the potential to transform the legibility of Thomas Street into what we've always known it was]
Ok that's all fine but lurking ominously in the background now is the big question: will anything happen? Just so happens that the developer with permission for this scheme is probably the most ill-positioned one in Ireland to implement it.

If the site with pp is sold on, will anybody buy it, with the significant 'burden' of retaining and repairing a number of historic buildings? Then there's the 'R' situation ...



*A fifth third party appeal by deBlacam & Meagher Architects did not oppose demolition of the buildings but seemed to use the planning process primarily to buttonhole Dublin City Council about a stone wall outside their offices they would like to see demolished and replaced with railings. Turns out this wall is possibly the sole upstanding remnant of the medieval Abbey of St. Thomas and thus highly rare and valuable (see submission of DMD Consultants of 17/12/08 available in ABP documents relating to the Frawleys scheme scanned on dublincity.ie).
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:25 pm

Devin wrote:Well, even more baffling you didn't appeal yourself and placed so much in the hands of few crummy third-party appellants.


I never said all the appeals were crummy :)

OK, it's no big secret gunter has to mind the pennies . . . . and, as you well know, I still managed to sink €50 into this, which I suspect is more than came out of Devin's pocket :rolleyes:

Devin wrote: (Btw who was lukewarm? I didn't see any lukewarm appeals.)


I dunno Devin, it's your post-match reaction that came across a bit Eamon Dunphy. It seemed like you couldn't wait to jump in there with your bucket of cold water when we'd only just got a bit of a celebratory bonfire going.

In fact, it was hardly even a bonfire, all I did was just give a pretty matter-of-fact potted history of the whole saga for anyone wondering what ever happened to Frawleys, with a brief account of the high-lights of, what I considered to be, a pretty satisfactory outcome in the long awaited decision by Bord Pleanala.

In fact also, I rather thought that I had gone out of my way not to mention that the second inspector found the 'twin Billy' analysis of no. 32 ''very convincing'', . . . . knowing how deeply this troubles you and, . . . . not knowing if you keep your medication to hand.

If you've got issues with Harcourt Terrace Garda Station, or is not the Garda Station?:confused:, why don't you stick it up for comment.

1930s - 50s brick classicism wouldn't necessarily be my thing, but as they say, 'I'm not a gynaecologist, but I'll have a look'

P.S. any references to Eamon Dunphy, or Kevin Myers are generic and are intended to describe any cranky contrarian
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:40 am

The appellant body you presumably refer to is an environmental charity and so, like yourself, doesn't have limitless funds. It doesn't do crummy appeals though :)


gunter wrote:it's your post-match reaction that came across a bit Eamon Dunphy. It seemed like you couldn't wait to jump in there with your bucket of cold water when we'd only just got a bit of a celebratory bonfire going.
Ok, ok congratulations. Yes, absolutely, the various parties involved should deservedly celebrate! It wasn't the intention to throw cold water or anything like that ..... perhaps just jaded from the umpteenth DCC decision on a sensitive site beaten into shape by BP.


gunter wrote:'twin Billy' analysis of no. 32 . . . knowing how deeply this troubles you
Speak for yourself !!!!


gunter wrote:In fact also, I rather thought that I had gone out of my way not to mention that the second inspector found the 'twin Billy' analysis of no. 32 ''very convincing''
Ok well you know my feelings there and we really shouldn't go back into that. A related point which might be made at this moment is that 32 Thomas Street doesn't appear on Rocque, 1756. There's a distincly different configuration of buildings in that location, confirming my own feeling that it's not an early building. And Rocque is known to be pretty accurate - see here


gunter wrote:issues with Harcourt Terrace Garda Station ....... why don't you stick it up for comment.
Done.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Devin » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:14 am

Image

Image

Dirty planning application in to demolish the roofless shell of the 1830s former National School beside St. Catherine's Church, Meath Street (view from rears of Thomas Street, above). They should not be allowed to demolish it. There are precedents for rehabilitation of similar rubble-stone shellls in the same or worse condition at Fumbally Lane, and the Widows Alms House on the Coombe. It's a Protected Structure by dint of being within the curtilage of the adjoining church and is also within the new ACA, the general thrust of which places high value on architectural heritage. It's also believed to be one of the earliest catholic national schools in the country.




Image

It's mostly hidden from view from the street - just this side view from Meath Street.

The report accompaning the planning application as you would expect goes for total write off. If you know anyone who would object, please let them know. Deadline is 29th July.

3075/10
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby GrahamH » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:38 pm

Thanks for the heads-up on this Devin. One of the few early buildings (contrary to popular belief) left on Meath Street, this school is significant in its own right, but also in how it contributes to this charming cluster of institutional buildings tucked in behind the corner with Thomas Street. Probably the strongest enclave of such in the entire area.

It is a favourite mantra of John Adddison, probably the leading structural engineer in Scotland who has pieced back everything from proscenium arches to ruins clinging on for dear life to cliff sides on the outer fringes of Atlantic coastlines, how engineers' reports typically focus entirely on the negatives. There isn't a single virtue mentioned in the above consultant's report, which can only be extracted by deduction, namely that the lower levels of the building are relatively sound and the majority of external fabric survives. None of the solid parts of the structure are mentioned, while all of the compromised parts are. How can one make a reasoned decision based on this? Surely a schedule of sound and unsound parts should form the very basis of any reasoned assessment of such a structure, followed by a more detailed breakdown of defects? We only appear to have got the latter.

Lovely to see the six-over-six sashes on the rear of the presbytery, which has (or had :rolleyes:) fashionable two-over-twos to the front.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby aj » Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:49 pm

cant see them allowing this to be knocked
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:27 pm

aj wrote:cant see them allowing this to be knocked


Don't usually get involved in these threads but I used to live round there

I'm reminded of the expression "sit down before you fall down". In this safety age I doubt very much that it can be saved. The structural report is pretty damning - it recommends the building be taken apart and used as spares for other buildings

The documentaion states that if the roof was not reinstated the building would be added to the derelict buildings register in May 2009. Was this done?

Shame it's sat there for 25 years with no-one bothering about it. I fear it's too late
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Devin » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:32 pm

wearnicehats wrote:The structural report is pretty damning
You sound new to this. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but if you want to demolish a building, you pay somebody to condemn it.

We should get those engineers to pen a similar damnation of St. Luke's Church in the Coombe, a roofless ruin for two-and-a-half decades.

... and the shell of St. Kevin's Church in the park on Camden Row .. needs to be cleared away.

..... and that roofless ruin on the hill in Athens, what's it called?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:27 pm

Devin wrote:You sound new to this. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but if you want to demolish a building, you pay somebody to condemn it.

We should get those engineers to pen a similar damnation of St. Luke's Church in the Coombe, a roofless ruin for two-and-a-half decades.

... and the shell of St. Kevin's Church in the park on Camden Row .. needs to be cleared away.

..... and that roofless ruin on the hill in Athens, what's it called?



leaving aside your rapier wit for a second - do you know if DCC made good on their threat to add it to the register?
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