Lol. The phrase saving the Irish from themselves
springs to mind.
However unremarkable or modest the architecture of Irish towns may be, it is still a vernacular heritage that expresses the origins of place. Just because the sun doesn't beat down on ranks of red tiled roofs, doesn't mean our buildings are any less plain than those of a typical Italian town or village - indeed quite the opposite in many instances. Sadly, what does make our buildings unworthy is when they are decimated in a manner that strips away everything that makes then interesting and readable: the hand crafted windows hacked out, the chimneys lopped off, the stone roof slates replaced, the facade decked out in plastic, and faux heritage additions that are neither aesthetically pleasing or historically appropriate. Is it any wonder these buildings, and more specifically the streetscapes they inhabit, are undervalued.
To be a little more upbeat, here is a rare complementary, contemporary addition to a grand classically proportioned building of c. 1860, in the form of a crisp new shopfront.
Okay the polished stone may be a tad luxurious, but the proportionality and simplicity is there. A matching shopfront on the other side, a lick of paint and some restored upper floor fenestration and we'd be onto something.
A couple of doors down and these fine late Georgian houses have just been painted a very interesting palette of colours. Arguably the last house should not have been treated the same, but no matter.
The torquoise of the walls has been picked up in a satisfyingly robust splash on the doors and railings, while the windows and reveals are a lovely sea-green white. Extremely striking.
Though a shame the beautiful limestone of the carriage arch wasn't stripped back. Never mind.
These fine knobbly railings feature all over Dundalk from the early to mid-19th century.
Strangely, the steps of this house's front door step down at an angle - not quite sure what's going on there. Great bootscaper.
On a less positive note, this little charmer with attendant grounds as shown here before was recently refused permission for demolition and the construction of apartments on the site.
All well and good, but this is the site today
They may have reapplied, but things aren't looking good...