'Dutch Billys'

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:09 am

ctesiphon: I saw that in the paper too. The bit that worried me was the last three words '. . . obvious development potential'

I think DCC are aware of 71 Camden Street, it may even be a PS, I must check it out. One of the books, possibly McCullough, flagged it as a masked 'Billy'. It has all the attributes, the low floor to ceiling heights, the steeply pitched cruciform roof, corner fireplaces, gable to the rear. I'd love to see the inside, must make an appointment with the auctioneer. Better polish the shoes though, if I'm supposed to look like I have €1.75 million.

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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:56 am

Always loved that one - what a gem. The window is such a token gesture :)

Back on Dame Street there are suspicious goings-on in respect of the gable of this previous featured suspect.

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However the main brick of the facade would appear to be Victorian machine-made brick.- and not just suggested by the darker bands, but the red brick itself is clearly 'modern'. Bizarrely the rebuilt portions to the top appear older - perhaps just an inferior replacement brick was used. Water damage appears to be the cause of the venerable appearance to the sides. Given the somewhat dated fenestration, it's possible the lower portion of the building was a Billy that was refaced in the late 19th century, and subsequently repaired to the gable.
Why the building is being 'aired' to the extent that it is is a cause for concern :mad:


Next door is a delight.

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An18th century window clinging on in there at the top.

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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby johnglas » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:27 am

You guys keep identifying these examples of 'Dutch Billies' (there, I've exercised my schoolmarm tendency), which is really what a properly proactive planning section in DCC should be doing. Every time there's some hint of works applied for or suggested, they should be in there with help and advice about how to 'conserve' them (in the widest possible sense). Here, these two buildings need to read as two separate volumes - the SEIKO sign should go, the entrance to the ground floor modified to reflect the difference (I presume all original detailing here is lost), any remaining interiors conserved and the brick properly repaired. These buildings are gems and part of the patrimony of the city. You can argue about the presentation of the buildings on either side, but at least they are all in good repair and have not the derelict look of, say, Thomas St.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Saucy Jack » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:33 pm

Westview in Cobh with a full set of terraced houses rising up the hill

A few more on Shandon St.in Cork City ion various states of disrepair & a few more in the city centre itself.

There is a fuine pair of houses with ornate gables on the Ennis Road in Limerick.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Pilear » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:37 pm

there was a fire in these two buildings recently which probably is the cause of this activity
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:56 pm

It was said earlier is this thread that the 'Dutch Billy' developed into a full blown building tradition with a highly developed range of typologies developed to address particular site conditions.

A particular favourite appears to have been the tappered corner site. Unlike their Georgian successors, who were often clueless when faced with anything other than a square site, Dublin's 'Dutch Billy' builders absolutely revelled in angled corners.

We can only speculate about the treatment of many of the angled corners that appear in Rocque's map, but one or two examples survived long enough to be photographed and these few examples hint at the depth and ingenuity of the tradition.

Probably the best example to study is the junction of New Row South, Ward's Hill, Mill Street and Blackpits, in the Liberties. Three of the four corners here produced angled building plots that appear to have been developed simultaneously and with real synergy and must have appeared in the 1720s as a genuine urban declaration of intent. We have scant information on the two western corners, but a series of early photograps record glimpses of the original appearance and, subsequently, the sad decline of the two brilliant structures, (each a pair of houses), on the two eastern corners. [Red X = site of current proposed development] [Blue X = corner developed by Zoe, in the 90s]

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The New Row corner with Blackpits is now going forward for redevelopment (site notice posted last week) after being in a development hiatus since the pair of houses, known locally as the '7 Gables', was substantially demolished in 1903.

I will post up below some of the sequence of photographs that illustrates these two eastern corners together with a drawing of what I believe was the original appearance of the '7 Gables' corner.

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This vista up New Row towards St. Patricks Cathedral, records a terrace of 'Billys' and the corner with Ward's Hill, on the left. On the right is a former distillery building, known as 'the Laundry building' in the 20th century, and a Protected Structure, which it is proposed to refurbish and convert to office use. In the right foreground is what then remained of '7 Gables' with original 18 pane flush sash windows still evident on the first floor.

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This older photograph shows the same Ward's Hill corner on the left, but this time with the elegant curvininear gables still intact, if only just. The New Row facade is four bay and is capped by a Siamese twin gable arrangement reflecting the fact that the tappered site has been resolved by the ingeneous device of splicing the primary roof structure into two, with the junction probable covered by a central common chimney stack.

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The little axonometric drawing of the Ward's Hill corner, I did a long time ago and I think I need to review some aspects of it.

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The least that we should look for, if this development is to be granted planning permission, is a thorough archaeological investigation of the corner site to record and recover the exact original floor plans of the houses and any other information that a dig might reveal. We know so little about these 'Dutch Billy' houses and especially the complex corner houses, that it would be unforgivable if this corner was to follow the Zoe corner under concrete without every last original detail being recorded and published.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby paul h » Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:36 pm

[ATTACH]7588[/ATTACH]
Not sure but i think this is one?
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Image061.jpg (291.53 KiB) Viewed 6981 times
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:13 pm

Paul: That group on Amien Street and a Dutch gabled house around the corner on Talbot Street appear to be examples of a late19th century revival of interest in the gabled house. The trend seems to have been across the board in Victorian cities, but the Talbot Street example (posted last year by Devin on the Talbot St. thread) looks much more connected to the characteristic Dublin 'Dutch Billy' that was, about then, vanishing everywhere from the building record.

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The Talbot Street house was probably designed by some, out of touch, third rate, architect with an unhealthy interest in out of date building types.

Ha!, how sad is that?





oh fuck
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby johnglas » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:51 pm

gunter: did the 'oh fuck' just creep in there? You realise I want to eat your heart out for doing drawings like that!
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:27 am

The old axo drawing of the Ward's Hill / New Row South corner was an attempt to get to grips with the twin, gable ended, roof plan on a tappered site, but I know it still isn't right because we don't have enough information on the floor plans of the two houses. Rocque's map shows the corner house as the bigger of the pair with a tiny corner yard to the rear of a tiny house taking up the right-hand half of the New Row frontage, but that is an inprobable arrangement and it doesn't accord with the division line on the early Ordnance Survey maps, which show the right hand house as the bigger of the two, wrapping around the the rear of the corner unit!. There is also the possibility that, unlike the 'Seven Gables' corner opposite, which was always a pair of houses, the Ward's Hill corner may have started out as a single large house and was subsequently divided into two.

This is where recovery of the foundation plan, in a detailed archaeological investigation, is critical.

The planning application (Reg. no. 3072/08) for the 'Seven Gables' site was declared invalid, so the clock hasn't started ticking on that one yet. The 'Seven Gables' corner encapsulates so much that is inventive and characteristic in the Dublin 'Dutch Billy' tradition, that It really should be investigated thoroughly first, including archaeological trial holes, before any decision to permit the redevelopment of the site is granted.

Here are a few more pics of the site today and of the 'Seven Gables' before demolition. The 19th century view from Mill Street with the 'Seven Gables' just visible in the distance on the right is wrongly labelled 'Marrowbone Lane with William Jameson's Distillery' from Freddie O'Dwyer's Lost Dublin.

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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby johnglas » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:50 am

Hard to believe that an area with so much character has become so banal; let's hope that at least the founds can be identified and recorded before the inevitable.
Incidentally, I have been aware of the newbuilds on the left in the middle illustration since construction; it's what I would call 'decent' domestic architecture - not great, not 'progressive', but which sits very comfortably into its site and provides a good living environment in the city.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Tighin » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:46 pm

There's a particularly beautiful pub around the corner from Marrowbone Lane - not sure of the name of the street, but if you kind of swing left then right into Thomas Street you come on this pub on a corner with a most beautiful curved aspect.

I wonder would the Tenters be a likely place for the Dutch Billys to be, seeing as the Huguenots and their ilk hung out there?

Perhaps my view of them is inaccurate, but they seem to me like the housing of sturdy upper-working-class people, shopkeepers, artisans and the like?
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:49 pm

Speaking of pubs in the Liberties, DCC recently granted permission for demolition of the Ardee House pub, which closes the view west on Newmarket (see bottom picture). It's been appealed by An Taisce - http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/229648.htm. How is the area supposed to maintain what's left of its character and sense of historic layering if we go demolishing the remaining older buildings?

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gunter wrote:Image
Existing view looking west on Newmarket towards Chamber Street. The stone warehouses on the right form the west corner of Brabazon Place, opposite Gray's on the east corner. The warehouses are derelict and look to be prep'd for re-development. They are 19th century replacements of the original gabled houses, but they are part of the story of the space and should be retained and worked into the redevelopment rather than bulldozed and forgotten.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:15 am

Devin: I saw that there was a previous application for the demolition of this corner pub which, I thought, had been refused. It's hard to believe that DCC would grant permission for this. This building is an example of a perfectly decent corner structure in good condition and of a scale that reflects the original scale of the streetscape.

The last remaining former gabled house on Chamber Street virtually adjoins this pub and is currently in a perilous condition, having been vacant and on the market for about a year now. If the corner gets demolished and redeveloped, the context in which you could make a reasonable case for the retention and restoration of the gabled house will disappear.

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Detail of the ground floor showing the lovely shop window and the decay in the timber beam above it.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:29 am

Yep - one of the most extraordinary buildings in Dublin to happen upon at the moment. Well worth a look on curiosity grounds alone. The layers of peeling paint on the shopfront are extraordinary - rarely will you come across such an intact example of a generational fruitless exercise in maintenance. It's like cardboard in parts it's that thick. The Victorian arched window is a real delight, while the first floors' shout alteration of an early structure.

Suffice to say this building is also not protected. The decision on the pub was a real shame - leading the charge for more of the same blandness from Cork Street. Ironically it's also one of the fre buildings in this area - new or old - that's actually in good condition.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:55 am

Yeah its scale is appropriate to its location. It's not suitable for a Coombe Bypass-style apartment block, which is what they want to replace it with.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:24 am

Devin wrote:Yeah its scale is appropriate to its location. It's not suitable for a Coombe Bypass-style apartment block, which is what they want to replace it with.


This is the dilemma that the planning system is struggling with at the moment.

We know that Dublin is failing the density test and has been since the process of slum clearance, to solve a different problem, created the sprawling, traffic choked, city we have now. Everyone is agreed that densification is the solution, but that prescription is being interpreted by developers as a licence to replace the existing street scale with a much higher street scale and, in the absence of a clear directive from the planning authorities, they're doing it the only way they know how, which is randomly, piecemeal, opportunistically using corner sites as bridgeheads.

We must have seen fifty examples in the last six months. Here's the one for the corner site on New Row South / Blackpitts that was previously the location of the famous 'Dutch Billy' pair known locally as the 'Seven Gables' (posted earlier)

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The proposal is for a ten storey composite curved apartment block, justified presumably on the basis that it is a 'corner site' and it delivers 'densification' and the developers had to work around retaining a 'Protected Structure' elsewhere on the site.

My view on this, as expressed on other threads, is that this is an established streetscape, now approximately 300years old, that has fallen on hard times and what is required here is urban mending, not the introduction of a mega-block that ignores the established scale of the streetscape. There is an argument for height on the site, as there is for a vista capturing element given the potential for exploiting the view down Ward's Hill from Newmarket, but these elements, to be justifiable, have to respect the scale of the streetscape first and foremost.

It the easy way out to say that the Zoe apartments opposite are low quality shoe boxes that have little design merit and they shouldn't enter any discussion on the shape and form of the redevelopment on the current site, but, as johnglas has pointed out, these buildings and the 'Tenters Pub' on the Mill St. corner are the streetscape reference point and they effectively reproduce the scale, if not the astonishing heritage and detail of the original gabled houses from the period when these streets were first laid out.

Repairing streetscapes and delivering densification are not mutually exclusive objectives, but I think that we need to develop design and planning approaches that are much more sensitive and imaginative, if we're not to loose what little character we have left and replace it with little more than the gap toothed, imbalanced, cityscape that we would have had anyway, if there was no planning control system in place at all and redevelopment was happening, restricted only by the means available to the owner and the fashion of the day.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:05 am

Couldn't agree more. Which is why I was more than a little surprised to find out yesterday that De Blacam and Meagher have just lodged an application for a seven storey block right next door to St. Catherine's Church on Thomas Court.

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Proposed setbacks could however mitigate much of the impact.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby missarchi » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:54 am

I blame the development plan...

you need style/material overlays and height overlays

and photographic vision...
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:35 am

St. Catherine's Bakery, there was a real throwback, tiny shop, creaky floor, turnovers 3 for £1.

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this would be a view of the rear of the site with the tower of St. Catherine's rising up on the far side of Thomas's Court.

Must get a closer look at the building. No matter how prestigous the architects, I just dont trust the building record reports that are being submitted with planning applications at the moment.

The Frawleys development Building Record Report states that '34 -35 is a 3 bay symmetrical facade in a muted, vaguely Art Deco style' and it reports of no. 36, (Fade's early 18th century mansion) 'The building is Victorian in character'! and that the rear elevation ' . . has blocked up windows in various styles'! No. 32, which I would put my mortgage on being a rare twin 'Dutch Billy', is just an early Georgian with a double hipped roof apparently.

The one interesting thing from the Frawley's application was an archaeological report from Claire Walsh which included a trial trench as well as a desk top survey. Nothing outstanding turned up but the extent of the monastery is clear and they are at least trying to find it.

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An extract from the archaeological report with the monastery that GP was asking about overlaid on Rocque.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GP » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:18 pm

The sketch of the rear of the Marrowbone Lane building reminds me of the rear of a building on Aungier Street. I don't live in Ireland so I can't go and check the details but the back of this building was visible when the new hostel was being built on Little Longford Street. If you are on Little Longford Street, going west, you need to turn right on to Aungier Street and it is the second building on the right. The maps. live.com page shows scaffolding a year or so ago. Worth looking up?
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:10 pm

This isn't really the right thread for this, but the point I want to make relates to the site of the 'Seven Gables' which we've been dealing with a couple of posts back on this thread.

This is one of the promotional images for the 'Millcourt' development that looms up behind the retained 'Tenters' pub at the corner of Mill Street and Blackpitts.

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The development was granted planning permission last year and you can see why, the image is very compelling.

The view down New Row South uses, to the maximum, the framework of the stone 'Laundry building' (former distillery and Protected Structure) on the left and the similarly scaled, red brick, Zoe apartment development, on the right, to set off the sharp looking, blue tinted contrasting contemporary vertical vista closer in the distance. The colour scheme is an advertising executive's dream, even the double yellow lines look like 'go faster stripes' into the future.

But this is still haphazzard planning, it's still represents a random jump in the scale of the streetscape that can't be readily followed without knocking everything else down and starting again. The Mill Street view is much less compelling. The developers weren't going to waste any subtlety down a back street like this and loose valuable floor area breaking up the scale.

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Mill Street looking north towards the Millcourt development. Looking north up New Row from Mill Street.

The new proposal for the 'Seven Gables' site follows directly from the 'Millcourt' decision. Naturally it's one storey higher at 10 storeys just to squeeze the last ounce out of it, but even at nine storeys it would have been more than twice the height of the original streetscape and any gestures towards subtlety have been dispensed with now that the precedent has been set.

It's hard to believe that streets that started off with such cutting edge urban intentions in the late 17thy century and which were fully developed by the early 18th century, through the vagaries of the shifting sands of fashion and a long decline into tenement squalor, are now on the point of ending up with a disconnected mixture of decent, but suburban scaled, two storey terraces and brash over-scaled multi-storey apartment blocks.

If this process of development without apparent guidance is allowed to proceed unchecked, in a few years time, the only scale of development which won't be represented on these streets (except by the much maligned Zoe schemes of the 1990s) will be the (average) four storey scale that is the one that is patently the most appropriate to the existing street widths and urban patterns and also, the most responsive to a respect for the heritage of this area of the Liberties.

The Liberties is one of the few areas of Dublin where people still believe in the concept of Heritage, as something real, something to stay connected to. The last thing you want in the Liberties is a random scattering of over-scaled apartment blocks that could have been designed for any site in Dublin from the airport to Sandyford.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:51 pm

This is a stab at a mock up of the original appearance of 41 Stephen's Green, which is one of the five remaining former twin 'Dutch Billys' that I've been able to identify. and the corresponding existing view showing the present Victorian dormers. The two houses to the right are standard 'Dutch Billys' altered in Georgian times to conform to the flat parapet fashion of the day.

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existing

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a reconstruction of the facade as I believe it to have appeared.

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The rear of no. 41 showing the twin gables and original return (on the right) and the rear of no. 43 showing a standard 'Billy' in mint condition.

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Some interior shots of no. 41 showing the panelling and the fine staircase which, like the Bachelor's walk example, was located at the front of the house (up to first floor level)
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:44 pm

I was just having a quick root around the Treasury Holdings website and it appears that TH own half the 'Dutch Billys' in Dublin!

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I'm not sure if I mentioned earlier, but I have the highest regard for Treasury Holdings and I always think of them as splendid people who consistantly have the best interests of this city at heart. Anything that they might wish to do down the docks is entirely their own business and fine by me.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby hutton » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:56 pm

gunter wrote:I'm not sure if I mentioned earlier, but I have the highest regard for Treasury Holdings and I always think of them as splendid people who consistantly have the best interests of this city at heart.


LOL :D

Come on Gunter, it's July 17th not April 1st... Some of the more novice readers of this site may think that you're actually being serious! :p
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