Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby exene1 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:24 pm

Morlan wrote:A curious little lane. You can still see the auld bolard in your first picture on StreetView here: http://goo.gl/maps/BRWhe
Thanks. Amazing that bollard survives!



Morlan wrote:Image
Marshalsea Lane, Thomas Street. Site of Robert Emmet's principal depot in 1803. These depots were used to manufacture and store war material. Taken from "Footprints of Emmet" published in 1903.
I presume this is taken at the crossroads of the lane, looking west, as the Windmill tower which is in the adjoining site can be seen in the background.




Image

This image appears to be taken at the same spot looking in the opposite direction - ie. out to Bridgefoot Street.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Punchbowl » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:13 pm

New windows on Thomas St

Image
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:37 pm

Aaah great to see. Detailing is lovely. Colour really enhances the brick.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Punchbowl » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:17 am

You know, I actually think this Thomas St regneration project has done more harm than good. In the mad rush to clean up the street, they seem to have accepted that anything is better than nothing. The above window job looks worse than it did without windows. Bakers pub and its recent paint job is all wrong, and the tarting up of Frawleys and its neighbours makes that stretch look bland, unremarkble and therefore, dispensible.

The only good thing is the exposure of the original brick on the block containing the old Rogers pub (due to heavy rain and wind) - it just shows that a simple restoration of the upper floors in the V-shaped mess that currently exists, could finally make sense of that sad looking terrace.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:11 pm

What has been going on at no. 37 Thomas Street has absolutely nothing to do with any Thomas Street Regeneration Project.

There have been low-grade works on-going in that unfortunate house for a long time now and long before there was any campaign to regenerate Thomas Street. This is in spite the fact that no. 37 is a 'Protected Structure', any works to which, as a Protected Structure, require planning permission. Those appalling windows have just put the illegal icing on the unauthorized cake.

In its heyday, in the 1730s and '40s, no. 37 was the merchant house of Charles Willcocks, a prominent Dublin tallow chandler and supplier of candles to, amongst other clients, the light-ship that guarded the entrance to the Liffey in the years preceding the construction of the Poolbeg Lighthouse.

Charles was born in Mount Melick the son of Stephen Willcocks, merchant and member of the Quaker community there. These Willcocks were cousins of Joshua Willcocks and his sons, Issachar and John, who were successively partners with fellow Quaker, and Joshua's brother-in-law, Joseph Fade, in his banking enterprise next door to Charles Willcock's house at no. 36 Thomas Street, lately the left-hand half of the Frawleys premises.

Joseph Fade and Joshua Willcocks were partners in business by 1717, the year that Joshua's will is dated, but the date by which the Fade-Willcocks bank had established its premises at 36 Thomas Street may not be that early. After Joshua's death, it appears that Joseph Fade ran the business alone until about 1728 at which point he took in Issacher and John Willcocks as partners in the bank. Early deeds relating to no. 36 are proving difficult to find, but lease records, that I think we can identify as relating to no. 35, indicate that up to mid-1728, it was various members of the extended Willcocks family, including Mr. Willcocks, the chandler, who held no. 36 and there is actually no mention of Fade as an adjoining holder until after that date.

In the circumstances, there is the distinct possibility that part of what the Willcocks brothers brought to the party in becoming partners with Joseph Fade in his 'bank on the Glib' was the property on Thomas Street which the newly formed partnership may have immediately set about redeveloping as the five-bay mansion/banking house that substantially survives at no. 36 today.

It also wasn't until after 1728 that Joseph Fade moved on from being just a financier and property speculator to become an active developer in Dublin with the development of properties he had acquired on Georges Lane, setting out of Fade Street and Joseph's Lane in the process. Fade was to go on to to acquire, in 1729, an out-of-town, 50 acre, estate in Clontarf/Coolock and subsequently build a second mansion there, called Furry Park House, in the 1740s, a house which also substantially survives, following a lengthy conservation battle, and which is remarkably similar in scale and layout to no. 36 Thomas Street.

For reasons that are incomprehensible to me, no. 36 Thomas Street has still not been entered on the City Council's Register of Protected Structures despite all the submissions that were made about the house during the planning application that sought its demolition some years ago.

As for the recent Frawleys paint job, Punchbowl, which I understand you are correct to attribute to the Thomas Street Regeneration Project, personally I think this is as tasteful as anything of the kind I've seen in Dublin in living memory. Again this is just a personal observation, but I think it may be more beneficial to direct your ire at the people who are letting down Thomas Street, rather than the handful who are finally trying to do something positive for the street.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Punchbowl » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:20 pm

Thanks Gunter, I stand thoroughly corrected!
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:29 pm

I can tell you that it took 6 months of banging on NAMA and receivers door, and a media campaign that made much of 'State-sponsored dereliction' to get even the basic work done on the former Frawleys terrace. Even at that, the superficial paint job..and thats all it could possibly ever be was almost scuppered by the DCC Conservation Office becoming interested in the work taking place and seeking to have something more substantial done. Quite within her rights and welcome in many ways, but it begged the question as to why the Council werent more proactive above the building going into ruin in the first place.Otherwise the City Council were of little help in delivering this improvement.

The paint job is temporary. It cleans up the terrace and removed the eyesore that it had become. Realising the Fade Mansion is another days work.

Elsewhere, building owners for the most part didnt take part in the cleanup. St Catherine's Church and a number of shops were repainted. There are more plans in the pipeline. Progress was slower than hoped. Everything from tailored guidance leaflets to planning assistance from DCC to colour charts and a consultant were made available, but ultimately people do their own thing.

Some measures like the street art and flower planting are just temporary measures to brightening the street up. Street art can be painted over....its the more serious damage like pulling out sash windows that is harder to undo.

No. 37 has been flagged repeatedly to DCC Enforcement, albeit by others. The now-Ladbrokes corner at Meath Street has also been flagged. The shopfront is non-compliant and the works to the upper floors (likely to have been completed now) fell well short of what was hoped for - ie to clean back to the brick.

Ladbrokes paid for the painting to be done to the section above their premises. Myself and other pushed for a more ambitious scheme to remove the paint and restore the brick and tried to encourage the parties to invest a little more money. However the owner of the upper floors, John Gaynor Solicitor has other ideas and just wanted the building painted. And Ladbrokes weren't stumping up for a restoration.

It looks as if DCC Enforcement will do nothing about either the Ladbrokes Shopfront, Gaynors unauthorised signage or the repaint.

The group on Thomas Street engaged with a number of high profile sites, some came forward to help and others weren't interested, happy to sit on their dilapidated properties.

Work to regenerate the public realm was promised from July but nothing further has been heard of it since May. The works to refurbish the QBC were to take 9 months and include pavement renewal, new Scotch standard streetlights (more likely the cheaper things found on the quays) and no doubt lots of lovely bollards.

Eircom are proposing to double up the number of telecom cabinets on the street. DCC is powerless to stop them.

Some positive things are happening. A refurbishment of Nos. 138-140 Thomas Street should start this month. A planning application is being prepared for a new Student Accommodation building in the Digital Hub. A couple of the smaller properties will be more extensively refurbed over the next few months.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby exene1 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:19 am

Punchbowl wrote:New windows on Thomas St

Image


Holy god!!!! X_X ..... This is one of the buildings that makes Thomas Street so interesting, architecturally. The keyed brick window linings, unusual four-over-four windows. Lots of old glass. Old pointing job. If you want historic patina this is it! Untouched mid-19th cen. upper elevation, until this window replacement. Complaint gone in to planningenforcement.ie
Protected Structure. They have legal protection.

Image

Image
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby exene1 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:50 am

The sash windows seen there had been hidden behind boards over the windows for the last number of years.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Morlan » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:18 pm

I also complained to planningenforcement@dublincity.ie a few days ago, no response as of yet.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:26 pm

Planning enforcement were on to it following notification before the white van even pulled away last week. A file is now open.

Listen, the dogs on the street knew this building was being gutted for the past year, and everyone sat on their hands. Everyone. I have no doubt whatsoever this includes an array of officials. Shocking and just incredibly sad. Previous unauthorised works at this building two years ago were flatly ignored by DCC when formally brought to their attention.

exene1 captures the beauty of this building in a nutshell. Its signifiance lay in the marvellous and very rare, untouched mid-nineteeth century patina of its exquisite brickwork, exceptionally fine wigging and the most curious, horizontally paned sash windows glazed with shimmering cylinder glass.

Of course, the wonderfully brooding, heaving mass of a mid-1800s facade conceals a handsome merchant town house of c.1755-60, with possible earlier fabric as charted by gunter above. It has (or had) a giant corner chimneystack and very nice Dublin joinery internally. Lovely doors, skirtings and balusters from both its original construction period and subsequent wave of modification in the mid-1800s. B&Q plaster mouldings are now evident from the street.

Protected Structure indeed.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:40 pm

Are there any examples of where a restoration of such a building has been done properly?

Whilst I agree that protected structures should be protected the steps one must take to gain planning permission are incredibly onerous and, ultimately, very expensive - much more so than you would ever gain back in rent on places like Thomas Street. And a tenant won't want to be freezing cold in the winter with condensation lashing down the windows

We bemoan owners for letting buildings fall into disrepair but not everyone is a slumlord. Some people can't get the money for improvements because the rental vs refurb equation just doesn't stack with the bank. In some cases letting it fall down is cheaper.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:52 pm

I disagree with this. Yes its more complicate to own and properly maintain a protected structure but it is certainly not 'incredibly onerous' as you maintain or very expensive. The issue here was that the building owner spent a long period of time failing to do basic maintenance on the property and then systemically went about removing elements of the building that were important to its character. And all this under the nose of Dublin City Council. Its not anymore expensive to repair and repaint the older sash windows that it is to put in uPVCs.

And at the end of the day, if you dont care what happens to your protected structure...then sell the building to someone who does care and invest your money in bland suburban shite. There's plenty of scope for uPVC there.

As for good examples? I suppose that with over 9,000 protected structures across Dublin city, most of which are not butchered or falling down and where people generally care for the building and heaven forbid are proud of their building and its heritage, there must be some examples.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Punchbowl » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:40 pm

There's no such thing as an honest mistake with a protected structure, or at least there shouldn't be. The owners must be informed of how important the building they have is, and either they're aren't, or they're deliberately being ignorant. It's that sort of grey area that allows them get away with it.

I will go back to what I said about the Thomas St campaign, although less forcefully this time. I still wonder if amongst the scramble to clean up the appearance of the place, things were allowed happen just for the sake of it. Yes, this house has been consistently picked at for years, but the timing of the windows, with the pressure on owners to fix up their joints, worried me. Not really a go at the volunteers or campaigners - perhaps they didn't realize there was a set of rare windows languishing behind the boards - but surely any movement to restore this street should be thorough, and well researched. Again I'm making it sound like they put the windows in themselves - I'm not really - but part of the whole campaign should have been enlargement with the various owners and gentle reminders of what it is they have and how to protect it. Then again, maybe they did know - but couldn't do much about it. Or maybe they didn't know, and didn't have anything to do with it. I mean, it's not really their job anyway, is it?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:35 pm

How would you suggest a programme to improve the street should be done Punchbowl?
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby wearnicehats » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:53 pm

StephenC wrote:I disagree with this. Yes its more complicate to own and properly maintain a protected structure but it is certainly not 'incredibly onerous' as you maintain or very expensive. The issue here was that the building owner spent a long period of time failing to do basic maintenance on the property and then systemically went about removing elements of the building that were important to its character. And all this under the nose of Dublin City Council. Its not anymore expensive to repair and repaint the older sash windows that it is to put in uPVCs.

And at the end of the day, if you dont care what happens to your protected structure...then sell the building to someone who does care and invest your money in bland suburban shite. There's plenty of scope for uPVC there.

As for good examples? I suppose that with over 9,000 protected structures across Dublin city, most of which are not butchered or falling down and where people generally care for the building and heaven forbid are proud of their building and its heritage, there must be some examples.


There was a perfectly acceptable proposal to breathe life back into a building on Eden Quay recently. The planning has been withdrawn unfortunately and I suspect that is because the planning restrictions put on the proposal by DCC in relation to the protected nature of the existing building were commercially unworkable. But hey! at least it will slowly crumble to the ground unmolested
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:11 pm

Always an example of what you'd like not to see out there. And to be fair there can be an unduly onerous approach taken by the Council. And it can be excessively expensive to simply find out of you can get permission for the work you'd like to do.

Your comment lacks specifics and you dont seem certain that the application was withdrawn because of restrictive planning. And perhaps the proposals were poor quality..who knows.

However, there are plenty of examples around the city where a PS is maintained in good condition and viably reused.

In the instance of No 37, the owner simply disregarded all the advice and best practice made available to them and went ahead with destructive behaviour that has significantly reduced the attractiveness of their building and resulted in the loss of features on interest on the building. Its a real shame.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:32 pm

StephenC wrote:In the instance of No 37, the owner simply disregarded all the advice and best practice made available to them and went ahead with destructive behaviour that has significantly reduced the attractiveness of their building and resulted in the loss of features on interest on the building. Its a real shame.


Perhaps advice was made available to the owns of no. 37, but even if that is the case, part of the problem as I see it is the seemingly arbitrary nature of the 'Protected Structure' register.

Why is it that no. 37 Thomas Street is a Protected Structure, but neither no. 36, nor no. 38 are?

Particularly when the house retained its original sash windows, the façade of no. 37 [which is probably a late 19th century re-facing of the house that Charles Willcocks was inhabiting in the 1740s] had qualities in its proportion and the distinctiveness of the detailing that clearly merited Protected Structure status, but it isn't just the façade of no. 37 that is protected, it is the whole structure, so clearly, the local authority had a notion that the structure as a whole had conservation significance.

In the fifteen or twenty years since no. 37 was first included on the Register of Protected Structures, has anyone in the local authority ever communicated with the owners of no. 37 to explain what the particular qualities were that mark his building as worthy of a level of conservation protection that the neighbouring structures don't merit?

Which leads on to a second question; has anyone in the local authority any actual information on the house to communicate?

Has any research been undertaken, in the fifteen or twenty years since the house was first listed, in an effort to clarify the significance of the structure, or any features that it may retain?

Should we really be shocked and dismayed that property owners regularly behave with little or no regard for the Register of Protected Structures?

Essentially we have a system here where the owners of Protected Structures are left to fend for themselves in an information vacuum, often with little or no idea why their particular house was singling out for inclusion on the register in the first place and where they have little reason for confidence that the register is either fair or grounded in anything more that a superficial glance at the streetscape.

Like no. 37, both no. 36 [The Fade-Willcocks Bank] and no. 38 ['The Pied Bull'] have undeniable streetscape merit, even in their present 19th century guise, but in addition to that there is strong documentary evidence that both structures were newly rebuilt between 1728 and 1734 and it is probable that much of the fabric of both houses substantially dates from this period. As we know, the built-heritage of this period, which was the heyday of the gabled tradition, continues to disappear at an alarming rate.

For decades, Dublin City Council have treated their responsibilities for building conservation as a bloody nuisance and even today responsibility for protected structures is dispersed among half a dozen departments or divisions; Planning, Planning Enforcement, Conservation, City Architects Office, Heritage Office etc. all of which fragmentation conveniently keeps the goal of building conservation from ever being a serious objective that might require the allocation of actual resources.

I'm not defending the owner of no. 37 Thomas Street for his culpability for the unauthorized works to this Protected Structure, but if I was defending him, I think I'd be entitled to join the city manager into any action taken against him.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:23 pm

Yes agree with that. The whole system is incoherent. Designation of buildings (especially 2001 at the adoption of the substantive RPSs of counties as as result of the new Planning Act) has been arbitrary and not based on any rational or verifable (or probably accurate) information. The NIAH process grinds on years and years since the first listings were published. Its is a joke.

Of course this building also lies with a statutory ACA, which should offer some protection to its neighbours. But who pays a blind bit of attention to those, least of all in the Council.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby exene1 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:13 pm

The plaster building next to 37 Thomas Street, on the left below, also needs correct windows reinstated in it.

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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby gunter » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:13 am

Those are some very high quality pictures you've got hold of there exene

Image

Behind that rendered façade, No. 38 may be substantially the 'new brick house' that a Benjamin Stanley, victualler, built in 1734, in replacement of an earlier house on the site which had been occupied by a John Lewis. In July of that year, Stanley acquired a lease of the property from the widow and spinster daughter of John King, brewer, who in turn held the ground from the Earl of Meath. Stanley had dabbled in development before on another site near by on Thomas Court and we may even know who the actual builder was for the Thomas Street house as one of the witnesses to the 1734 lease was a William Brabing, carpenter.

For that date, and given the 22 foot, three-bay, façade, there is little doubt that the new house looked like this conjectural restoration of no. 20 Thomas Street, though possibly without the stone bands that were beginning to be omitted in favour of plain brick façades at this time.

Image

The property was known at this time by the sign of 'The Pied Bull' which was a popular name for inns in England in the 18th century, some of which survive today like a popular one that this sign belongs to in Chester.

Image

Behind the Pied Bull on Thomas Street was a second smaller inn simply called 'The Bull Inn' which was entered through a passageway on the west side.

Each of these houses are rich repositories of local history, of one kind or another, it would be nice if we had a greater appreciation of these layers of history and kept them in mind when decision are being made about chucking out the old windows etc.
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:59 pm

The remains of Lynch's Pub on Thomas Street destroyed by fire this evening...

http://www.thejournal.ie/thomas-street- ... 5-Oct2013/
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Punchbowl » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:13 pm

There's been a lot of unsocial activity round those parts lately (I live on Echlin St) - not that I'm suggesting anything. All I know is that a quick peek through the windows of this pub recently (through Marshalsea Lane) showed a pretty intact pub interior, and god know what else lurking in the back rooms, and basement. It would be a shame if the pub had something worth hanging on to...
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby Punchbowl » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:17 pm

Actually, from the pictures it looks like it was the back buildings that went up
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Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!

Postby StephenC » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:31 pm

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