'Dutch Billys'

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:01 am

Yes a tragic event - another conservation disaster that could and should have been avoided.

Image

More information and pictures here:

http://www.dublincivictrust.ie/news-ent ... 1332287117

Fantastic Dawson Street material there by gunter - how do I miss these posts! Requires careful devouring...
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:07 am

In the old days, these two houses would have been dumped in a skip before the smoke had cleared, so, if we’re searching for positives here, at least everyone involved [from the Corpo to Hegarty] have been taking their time with this.

Image

As altered as these two houses were, they were still probably the least altered former Billys in this whole Oxmanstown Green quarter of the city, and that redbrick façade of no. 6 was the absolute highlight of Benburb Street [no offence intended].

Image . . . Image
the facades of the two houses taken a couple of years ago

In terms of Billy typologies, this pair had most of the standard features of the two-bay, three storey over basement, a type which used to be very common particularly in secondary locations, the likes of Bolton Street, Georges Quay etc. One feature that is missing is the half brick step-in to the rear gable above the roof of the closet return, but the reason for this seems to be that the Benburb Street houses were built with external walls of just one brick thickness in the first place instead of the usual brick and a half. This impressive level of frugality hasn’t helped with the rigidity of the structures which, it has to be said, were showing signs of some bulging and sagging a long time before the fire.

Image
rocque’s map 1756

This section of Benburb Street was originally called Tighe Street, presumably after Richard Tighe who, we discussed before, had acquired the site, previously the old Bowling Green, from the Corporation, of which he was a prominent member. Rocque shows a complete terrace of 17 houses on the North side of Tighe Street [then called Gravel Walk] in 1756, and the eastern six of these houses essentially survive in one form or another as nos. 1 – 6 Benburb Street.

That the Benburb Street houses originally featured standard cruciform roofs is very probable on typological grounds and it is also indicated on the ground in a pattern in the brickwork of the party wall with no. 4 to the east, however this is one element that should reveal itself much more clearly in the brickwork of the party wall between the two houses if the process of partial demolition is conducted with enough care.

Image

I think the pair of returns must be kept to their full height, the damage here is not extensive and the fabric of the returns appears to be substantially original and largely unaffected by the 19th/20th century alterations.

What with these later alterations being out of the way and all that, one could see how this could yet turn into a good news story . . . . if we can get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.

Although I can already think of a few people who will want to pour cold water . . . and I'm not thinking here especially of the fire brigade.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby urbanisto » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:23 pm

Hmm DCC Architects suggesting the day before this post that the buildings would be demolished down to first floor level...and the presumably closed up and left to rot.

http://www.dublincityarchitects.ie/?p=210#more-210

I heard a few years ago (not sure how reliably) that this stretch of Benburb Street was entangled to a great degree with the Criminal Assets Bureau and that ownership of much of the street could not be fully determined, I am not sure if these buildings fall into a wider site or have stand alone owners who just haven't been able/bothered to maintain the buildings. Regardless, Benburb Street isn't exactly a shiny beacon for urban regeneration stimulated by largescale infrastructural investment is it.
urbanisto
Old Master
 
Posts: 2497
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Punchbowl » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:42 pm

Haven't been down there yet. Have they been demolished?
Punchbowl
Member
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:22 pm
Location: Echlin St

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby urbanisto » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:31 pm

Dublin City Council have 'undertaken repair works' .... ie demolished

http://www.thejournal.ie/red-line-luas- ... 1-Mar2012/

You gotta love Dublin.
urbanisto
Old Master
 
Posts: 2497
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby urbanisto » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:39 pm

Yup...well and truly repaired. It was much too depressing to photograph...particularly on such a lovely day. With the extent of destruction now undertaken it really makes little sense to retain whats left. Its such a shame, two interesting little buildings lost to the city. How much of that due to negelct.

Something stood out at me on reading an otherwise unrelated article in yesterday's IT - MEET OUR RESCUERS:

ACROSS TOWN, FAR from the hip and edgy Eastern Comfort hostel boat, lies the sedate neighbourhood of Wilmersdorf. On a busy street the sign for the Kegel-König promises “German food and bowling”.

Inside the decor is tired 1980s: canary-yellow walls and wood-effect vinyl flooring. In a backroom overlooking a car park, six men and two women, mostly pensioners, sit at two tables of four, engrossed in their game of cards. They are playing the popular game of skat, which some suggest is a close fit with the German character.

In the basement, the lights flicker on to reveal a sizeable bowling alley, anno 1960. Wolfgang ran this bar and bowling alley for a decade but gave up when the new owners – Irish investors – jacked up the rent.

“I understand they want to make a return on their investment, but they wanted too much money,” he says. Pointing at a sizeable hole in the basement roof, he adds: “I had to battle with things like this for years. I don’t understand why the new owners don’t invest in their property.”


I dunno..maybe its generalising, but looking around our city, on this fine spring day, I cant help wonder why even the basics cant be done...window cleaning, painting, basic upkeep. We celebrate our design culture with PIVOT Dublin but our design professional seem to have deserted ship...merchanising, interior design, architecture, building presentation, shopfront design.
Perhaps if these two had been better cared for...with responsible usage we might not be looking at a pile of bricks right now.
urbanisto
Old Master
 
Posts: 2497
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:57 am

What we’ve ended up with here is the worst possible outcome; the two houses have been demolished, we’ve found out almost nothing about them that we didn’t know before, and the value that this city puts on its pre-Georgian stock is demonstrated to still be at or near zero.

Image

If you have a pair of houses [one of them a Protected Structure] and they are the least altered surviving structures that date to the original development of a three hundred year old street and, after fire damage has burnt off a good part of their non-original roof timbers, the local authority can’t be bothered to devise a structural cage to secure the intact walls of these houses, I think it’s time to conclude that many of the people drawing pay-cheques in this city, in positions of heritage protection, just don’t get the whole Dutch Billy thing.

All we can do now is pick through the rubble.

Image

This is a view down the hall to the stairs of no. 6 after the fire, but before demolition. It's interesting that the stairs clearly had winders, an early feature that almost never appears in later houses.

Image

The same stairwell from the rear during demolition. The remains of one of the stair timbers, cut off with a chain saw, can be seen on the right and square mortise holes can be seen in the trimmer beam and in the beam on the left built into the stairwell wall to receive the tenon of the first floor beam that would have originally divided the span of the small, square section, joists in the back room. All the floor joists and support beams had been replaced in no. 6, some may have survived in no. 5.

Image

One of the sawn off flights of stairs can be seen dumped on the pile of rubble in the yard.

Image

The charred remains of one of the newel posts and a lone surviving banister demonstrate that the well crafted stairwells in these houses had survived the later modernisations.

Image

This is a photo of the stairs in the five-bay orphanage house in Harold’s Cross, discussed earlier, which is a very close match for the banister and newel post detail in the Benburb Street houses . . . . orangey-red paint included.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby urbanisto » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:00 pm

Always strikes me how expeditiously these things are dealt with by Dangerous Buildings. Not a lot of time given over to the whys and whens. Did anyone document the buildings for posterity, I wonder?..a regular condition on permissions that include demolition of older buildings. I know things had to move quickly (danger of falling masonry to pedestrians, situation affecting Luas services etc) but it would seem to have been all done with unseemly haste. A big shame.
urbanisto
Old Master
 
Posts: 2497
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:36 am

Anyone who attended Peter Walsh's superb lecture on the subject of 'Dutch Billy and the lost gabled tradition' in the Gilbert on Wednesday evening will have noted that these two houses at nos. 5 and 6 Benburb Street had been identified as altered Billys as far back as 1973.

It could be argued that the replacement roof structures gave these houses a later appearance, but the evidence for the original cruciform roof profile was there in the fabric, if the characteristic plan form, stair detail, and shared corner chimney stack weren't in themselves enough to trigger the identification.

Image

A high level view from the rear taken immediately after the fire. Under the satelite dish on the adjoining roof to the left [between the later yellow brick gables of the new roof on no. 4] you can just make out an area of roughly finished red brick and stone corresponding to the central gable that would have originally completed the party wall separation between the cruciform roofs of nos. 4 and 5.

Image

another view with the outline of the internal gable outlined in red . . . and in more detail below

Image

Why would you go to the trouble of replacing the entire roof structure?

Image

In all probability the roofs of these two Benburb Street houses probably looked a lot like this surviving cruciform roof at no. 92 Camden Street, with tiny slates patched and repaired repeatedly over the course of nearly two hundred years before someone decided [probably around 1900] to strip the lot and replace them with a pair of simpler roofs.

A drastic decision certainly, but not quite as drastic as the decision taken last week to deal with the fire damage by knocking the two houses down.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby urbanisto » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:24 pm

We've come so far...
urbanisto
Old Master
 
Posts: 2497
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:45 am

Dutch Billy on Eden Quay

DeVeres art auction house are selling an interesting painting by William Sadler at the moment [as advertised in Saturday's Irish Times]. It shows a glimpse of Gandon's new Carlisle Bridge and the vista down Eden Quay towards Gandon's new Custom House.

Image

Eden Quay was a creature of the Wide Streets Commissioners, but in the Sadler painting, it hadn't been fully realized yet with a hoarding evident around the quay wall and one of a stepped terrace of seven Billys [depicted by Rocque on what had previously been the east end of Bachelor's Walk] still standing in the middle distance, beyond the first two five-bay arcaded blocks constructed eastward of the corner with the new Lower Sackville Street.

Image

Image

The future Sackville/O'Connell Street and Bridge outlined on Rocque's map. A WSC map, published in McCullough's Urban History of Dublin shows this intervention in more detail and clearly shows the intended set-back to Eden Quay that necessitated the demolition of the seven Billys [six in the WSC map].

The Wide Street Commissioners were the arch destroyers of Billys in the days before the baton was passed to Dublin Corporation.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby exene1 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:10 am

Image

Wow, rare moment just before Eden Quay was developed .... and with an old gabled house still standing. The Georgian terrace looks smart. The Wide Streets Commissioners had a fantastic vision, whatever about the rights and wrongs of redeveloping an area.
User avatar
exene1
Member
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:26 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:18 pm

On the subject of paintings of Dublin streetscapes, this is a Harry Kernoff painting of Georges Quay with the Loop Line Bridge just visible on the right, Luke Street running back from the quay on the left, and Tara Street Fire Station tower in the distance.

Image

The three storey houses on Georges' Quay were apparently known as 'old Flemish houses' at the time and are recognisably the same house type that we were discussing on Benburb Street. Georges' Quay was developed at the same time as Barrack St./Tighe St [Benburb Street] and was just called the 'New Quay' until the opportunity to honour the new monarch, George I, arrived in 1714.

Image

No disrespect to Kernoff, but fortunately we also have a photograph of the same terrace from a little earlier. Cruciform roofs, chunky chimneys and, in one case, pinched-in upper floor windows, tell the story that the Georgian flat parapets do their best to conceal.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:43 pm

Oh nice work Gunter.

Here's another for ya - Aungier Street.
420254_348272361879168_100000892215045_1060488_1115591215_n.jpg
User avatar
Paul Clerkin
Old Master
 
Posts: 5428
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Monaghan

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby simon.d » Sun May 20, 2012 10:59 pm

Any thoughts on this building in Lady Lane, Waterford? Triple gabled Billy Facade?

Image
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby David Murray » Mon May 21, 2012 4:29 pm

These dutch billy buildings on Parnell Street have been mentioned before on this thread. Looking through the Dublin City Library website I saw these images taken in the aftermath of the Dublin bombings in 1974. I hadnt seen them on this thread before and thought it might be worth bringing them to attention. Images 14 and 22 refer.

http://dublincitypubliclibraries.com/im ... ngs?page=1
David Murray
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby simon.d » Mon May 21, 2012 10:50 pm

Another two candidates on Barronstrand street, both demolised.. Note the pinched upper storey windows, implying a prior front facing gable... The one on the right was only knocked a couple of years ago to make way for a Penny's enlargement...

Image
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Fri May 25, 2012 12:40 am

Image

It is difficult to know for sure about the Baronstrand Street houses, you'd like there to be at least one other characteristic.

Image

As we looked at before, Chernley shows Baronstrand Street fully gabled in his c 1748 view, but then again he shows the houses to be three storey, including attic.

On the other hand the two houses south of the RC cathedral are on the side of the street hidden from Chearnley's view and, pinched-in top storey windows are otherwise difficult to explain especially in the case of four storey houses that were clearly built with some prestige in mind.

The Lady Lane house will definitely merit a closer look, pity it seems to be 'sale agreed' or we could probably masquerade as potential buyers and book a viewing. There appear to have been a number of high profile residents of Lady Lane in the 18th century, at least two of them holding the position of 'Recorder' in Waterford Corporation, perhaps no. 22 belonged to one of these gents. I don't suppose anyone down there in the sunny south east has some local knowledge they'd like to share . . . maybe narrow the search down a little bit.

Image

Still in Waterford, that five-bay house that was rebuilt three times and now forms part of the Granville Hotel, and which we postulated was originally one of the broad single-gabled mansions shown in Van der Hagen's view of the Waterford Quays, it turns out originally had one of those scrolled pediment doorways like no. 10 Mill Street, as seen in this view of a Bianconi coach pulling up to Commin's Hotel as it then was in the 1850s.

Image

It's a pity the artist couldn't have stood back another few feet [OK I know there's a drop] and shown us the top of the house.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sun May 27, 2012 11:06 pm

Image

This is a clearer print version of that Bianconi coach picture, with the scrolled pediment to original Commin's Hotel door more clearly depicted, although it is still missing an entabliture which may be down to provincialism or more likely, dodgy draughtsmanship.

This in another view of Commin's Hotel in the 1880s with its new wider doorway and gawky unconvincing pediment, as well as a enough luggage piled up on the pavement in front to send Michael O'Leary into spasm.

Image
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby simon.d » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:24 pm

gunter wrote:
The Lady Lane house will definitely merit a closer look, pity it seems to be 'sale agreed' or we could probably masquerade as potential buyers and book a viewing. There appear to have been a number of high profile residents of Lady Lane in the 18th century, at least two of them holding the position of 'Recorder' in Waterford Corporation, perhaps no. 22 belonged to one of these gents. I don't suppose anyone down there in the sunny south east has some local knowledge they'd like to share . . . maybe narrow the search down a little bit.


Just noticed this today.. Below is a detail from a sketch drawn in 1774 by S. Wynne.. I've got a feeling the building to the left of the Bishops Palace is the rear of that house on Lady Lane.. Not shown clearly but Looks like there's at least two large rear facing gables, and artist could have omitted the third..

Image
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:49 am

As it turns out Simon, it is emerging that these triple gabled houses tended to be double gabled to the rear.

We know this from a remarkable survivor in Rathmines which, with its Regency façade, is a doppelganger for your Lady Lane house in Waterford.

Image
22 Lady Lane, Waterford

Image
5-bay house on Summerville Park, Upper Rathmines Road

Despite its superficially Regency appearance, the Rathmines house probably dates to the 1730s and importantly about two thirds of the original roof structure survives behind an altered flat parapet, which, together with the particular window spacing of the façade, reveals that the house was originally one of the series of triple gabled houses built on the outskirts of Dublin that we discussed before. The rear elevation here, and probably in the case of many triple gabled houses, was double gabled with a central dip over the half landing of the stairwell where headroom was not a problem.

Image
a ramped staircase with a square newel post detail featuring engaged half banisters of distinctly hand made appearance would be consistent with a 1730s date

Image
the aerial view from the south shows the steeply pitched pair of roof projections at the rear that originally would have been joined at the ridge by three similar roof projections to the front, linking to the triple curvilinear gabled façade

Image
another view of the rear from the roof of an adjacent apartment block

This is a rough photo-shop of the Rathmines house with its gabled profiles restored and showing the logic of the window spacing as originally set out, but without going to the trouble of removing the Regency render and new doorway.

Image

The plaster wreaths on the present facade exactly match where the rain-water outlets would originally have been and, if we're very lucky, this may be an indication that the original brick facade survives substantially intact behind the later render with the plaster features added to hide these bumps in the brickwork.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby simon.d » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:32 pm

Thanks for that gunter, that Rathmines building is extremely similar, and a great reconstruction... Any idea what the original render would have been like?

gunter wrote:As it turns out Simon, it is emerging that these triple gabled houses tended to be double gabled to the rear.

We know this from a remarkable survivor in Rathmines which, with its Regency façade, is a doppelganger for your Lady Lane house in Waterford.


I dunno if that's the case with the lady lane one.... The sketch seems to suggest the rear was three bay.. As the two gables portrayed are skewed to one side, and I think you can make out the tip of the third gable... But not sure.. It was one grand building in it's day standing out against the Bishops palace (an extremely grand building!) as it does in that sketch above.. And some very wealthy person I'm sure lived there, be nice to know more of the history.....
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby simon.d » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:01 pm

gunter wrote:As it turns out Simon, it is emerging that these triple gabled houses tended to be double gabled to the rear.

Looks like you're right... Found another depiction with a clearer outline of the gables by W.H. Bartlett..

Image
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:18 am

If anything, I think the earlier image is the more convincing as a representation. Where did you find that Wynne drawing? If this is the Rev. Samuel Wynne, his draughtsmanship seems to be pretty accurate even if the late Knight was a bit dismissive of his ‘feathery’ watercolour style.

If you can find it, Sautelle Roberts [son of Waterford’s favourite son; John Roberts] is supposed to have painted a view of Waterford City from the east to go with his dodgy 1795 view of the city from the west. There’s a chance he may have splodged in something to represent the rear of the Lady Lane houses.

We may be homing in on the owner/builder of the Lady Lane house [no. 22, outlined in red on the 1834 town map and 25 inch O.S. map], but it will take a bit more digging to be sure.

Image
the 1834 town map showing Lady Lane with no. 22 closing the vista down St. Francis Lane

Image
the 25 inch O.S map showing Lady Lane again with the parish boundaries marked between St. Michael’s, St. Peter’s, St. Olav’s and Trinity Parish

Alderman Ambrose Congreve is recorded as being resident on the south side of the street in 1732 in a dwelling house three properties from the Presbyterian Meeting house [outlined in blue] in St. Olav’s Parish. Unusually for a relatively small street, the houses on Lady Lane divide into four different parishes with only a handful being in St. Olav’s.

Congreve became mayor of Waterford in 1736 and was also M.P. for both the county and the city in the 1730s. If no. 22 does turn out to have been Congreve’s town house, and if we can confirm that it was originally triple gabled, that would be a particularly good fit as I think it is emerging that the curvilinear gabled tradition here was especially strong in the 1720s and 30s among the members of city and town corporations and among the prosperous merchant classes, two groups that were systemically inter-linked.

In a Waterford context, the Corporation commissioned Van der Hagan painting of 1736, depicting the Corporation’s grant project to extend the Waterford Quays, illustrates the status of the gabled tradition as something of a corporate style at this time.
gunter
Old Master
 
Posts: 1925
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby simon.d » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:26 am

gunter wrote:If anything, I think the earlier image is the more convincing as a representation. Where did you find that Wynne drawing? If this is the Rev. Samuel Wynne, his draughtsmanship seems to be pretty accurate even if the late Knight was a bit dismissive of his ‘feathery’ watercolour style.

If you can find it, Sautelle Roberts [son of Waterford’s favourite son; John Roberts] is supposed to have painted a view of Waterford City from the east to go with his dodgy 1795 view of the city from the west. There’s a chance he may have splodged in something to represent the rear of the Lady Lane houses.


Here's Sautelles Painting... It's seems to be very vague about the features of the various buildings..

Image
simon.d
Member
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Ireland