North Georgian Dublin

North Georgian Dublin

Postby aj » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:21 am

Given the state of the North Georgian core of the city and the fact that owners are allowed to let fine buildings fall into disrepair something needs to be done in order to force the owners hand.


Perhaps Kerry County Councils plan to introduce an annual levy of 3 per cent of the market value of the property if the property is not properly maintained would be a first step in reinvorgorating the area.

Owners of derelict homes face 3% levy

ANNE LUCEY

KERRY COUNTY council is to use its powers under the derelict sites Act to ensure that houses bought during the Celtic Tiger era which are now lying empty do not fall into disrepair.

A levy of 3 per cent of the market value of the house can be imposed annually if the houses are not properly maintained, according to a council report.

However the many unfinished houses and abandoned construction sites, some in major tourist spots, will be more difficult to deal with, officials have admitted. Hundreds of houses lie empty in Co Kerry and there are many estates where houses were bought, sometimes in multiples, for rental investment and these were now being vacated, councillors have reported.

South Kerry Independent Alliance councillor Michael Gleeson formally requested the council “to compel house and building owners to maintain the exterior of their premises”. Entire estates were in danger of looking unkempt, with houses unpainted and grass not cut, and permanent residents were greatly upset by this, he said. “The number of unoccupied houses in our towns and villages is going to increase dramatically. It is vital that we maintain these houses in the interests of people nearby,” Cllr Gleeson said.

The council’s director of housing services, John Breen, has told the councillor the Derelict Sites Act, 1990 empowered local authorities to deal with run-down properties, and was not confined to older properties.

“In accordance with the Act, if a property detracts to a material degree from the neighbouring properties it may be considered derelict.” If the property was placed on the derelict sites register and was in a town or village, a levy of 3 per cent of the market value per annum can be imposed on the owners.

Councils could also purchase the site, under compulsory purchase order, but this was a costly option, Mr Breen said.

There was generally a high level of co-operation from property owners, he said, although there had been an increase on the number of sites on the derelict sites register last year.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby Service charge » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:47 am

It's amazing that through the boom very little was done to this area. There should be some serious incentives offered and some radical ideas thrown about. It is a disgrace that all those buildings are allowed to waste away.

Perhaps DCC should commit to taking on large portions and converting them to social housing rather than building any new housing.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby aj » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:27 pm

Service charge wrote:It's amazing that through the boom very little was done to this area. There should be some serious incentives offered and some radical ideas thrown about. It is a disgrace that all those buildings are allowed to waste away.

Perhaps DCC should commit to taking on large portions and converting them to social housing rather than building any new housing.


Given the collpase of the PPP projects maybe this could work?
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby Service charge » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:59 am

Interesting comment article on this kind of thing in the Observer. Talking about Liverpool but similar to what I am saying above:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/22/architecture-heritage-liverpool-hope-street

To say that visiting Turin is like going back to 1910 is to appreciate that the city has not lost its strength of aesthetic identity to postmodern mediocrity. Venerable buildings retain their usage, renovated when necessary, so that the centre is robustly fin-de-siècle and the peeling but lovely arcades and apartments around Piazza dell'Indipendenza are being restored for affordable housing. The Verdi music conservatory looks like the day it opened in 1866.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby gunter » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:58 pm

aj wrote:Given the state of the North Georgian core of the city and the fact that owners are allowed to let fine buildings fall into disrepair something needs to be done in order to force the owners hand.


I would agree with that, but I think we need to look beyond the core as well.

With the floated UNESCO World Heritage designation for the 'Georgian Core', I get the feeling that there is a subconscious movement afoot to ring-fence Dublin's Georgian heritage to just the areas in the immediate vicinity of the four squares, possibly to the detriment of conserving 18th century structures outside these protected zones.

Part of the remarkable story of 18th century Dublin was the sheer scale of the city and with the effective loss of the Quays as a representative of the breadth of the Georgian city, together with streets like Blackhall Street and Rutland Street, this part of the story has been considerably eroded.

A case in point would be these houses at 141 - 144 Abbey Street.

I'd like to claim these as 'Billys', but for the purposes of this discussion we'll just call them Georgian.

All are in perilous condition, none are protected structures, yet they are surviving structures from within the 'core' of the 18th century city, if now some distance from what would be regarded as 'the Georgian core'.

ImageImage

Image Image Image

The corner buildings have lost their top storey and are held together by steel ties, but, as corner buildings with frontage to both Upper abbey Street and Wolf Tone Street (Stafford St.), they could be particularly interesting inside and very worthy of restoration. Both no. 143 and no. 144 (Ed's Barbers) have corner fireplaces and look like former Billys, or at least early transitional Georgian houses, and no. 143 (even though the facade must have been rebuilt in the 19th century) has a Billy style full height return.

I'm not sure if the boundaries of the Capel Street ACA will include these houses.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:03 pm

So much for talk of winning the war for Georgian Dublin.

Image Image Image
the group at 141-144 Abbey St.. . . . . . rear of no. 142 with it's Dorset St. type rear chimney . . . . . . rear of no. 143 with it's 'Billy' type return

The three 18th century houses we discussed last year at the corner of Abbey Street and Wolfe Tone Street were cleared away in the last few weeks.

Yes they were in poor condition and two had lost their top storey, but they would still have merited closer study and, if restored, they would have contributed significantly to validating the Jervis Street area as a once important district in the 18th century development of Dublin

Image

the same corner today with only no. 144 left standing
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby hutton » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:47 am

Well at least there is consistency in what is happening - even if it is completely contrary to what is officially uttered. I quote a thread I started in 2007:

hutton wrote:Dublin: Corner of Bridgefoot St and Ushers Island; 4 floor Georgian left derelict with billboards on the facade. There last week and for 200 years previously - now a derelict site. Needless to say a Conservation Area, although the building itself was not specifically listed on the RPS. Will there be action by DCC - what odds?


Taken from the thread "Theyre at it again - A Georgian goes on the quays / Endangered Georgian Dublin" - http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=5930

Images of what was cleared, a perfectly good building blighted by unauthorised billboards:

Sloan wrote:There is more information on the planning application for Nos. 1 and 2 Usher's Island (now demolished) on this thread

http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=4432 starting on 11 Nov 2005 Post No. 11

Image


Needless to say the intended replacement scheme was never built - and a derelict site now sits at a key corner on the quays...

Apart from the above, and the recent un-development on Abbey Street, I also noticed that another corner house formerly at North Circular Road / Russell Street was demolished one weekend in January 2008, apparently on the grounds of safety.

And of course then there was row about 12 Dorset Street back in 2007 / 8 where DCC, fully in the belief that the house was the birthplace of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, waved on an application that sought to demolish that listed Georgian house. Fortunately An Bord P shot down DCC's consent, and subsequently the developer made a new application to reinstate that building - despite it emerging that it actually didn't have the connection with Brinsley Sheridan!

Meanwhile late last year, the last remaining building that stood on Hammond Lane at the side of the former match factory site, off Church Street, was also demolished. Georgian in appearance, I am sure its removal eliminates a last nuisance that was in the way of redevelopment - yet as that massive site has remained completely cleared and vacant for 15 years, how likely is it that it will be redeveloped any time soon, particularly now given the lack of demand?

So is there a trend here, and if so, where's next?
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby thebig C » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:39 am

Jez, some of those pics remind me of going into town as a kid...late 1980s! I noticed the townhouses beside AXA were gone when I was using the LUAS last Saturday. After they suffered the contagious disease of "falling masonry" which seems to infect alot of inconvenient buildings in Dublin, it was inevitable that they were going to be demolished.

Gunther, looks like you went to extraordinary lengths and heights to get some of those pics!

C
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby hutton » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:04 am

Phoenix magazine also had an interesting if critical article regarding North Georgian Dublin earlier this year. Apparently DCC's draft development plan schedules areas as Georgian where little is left - while excluding the areas that are largely intact...


From Phoenix magazine, January 2010:

GORMLEY’S GEORGIAN DUBLIN BLOWBACK

ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley's proposal that Georgian Dublin be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site is blowing back in his face.

Last November in Leinster House, Gormley proposed Georgian Dublin and its literary associations as a prestigious UNESCO site. Naturally, predictable polite twaddle was expressed in support of this seemingly safe and non-controversial notion.

Regrettably Gormley’s speech was a little unreal, where he singled out and commended Dublin City Council for advancing the renewal of “Dublin’s Georgian Squares, particularly Mountjoy Square and Parnell Square”.

Fact is, although Mountjoy Square park was due for renewal since 2001 under the Dorset Street area plan, this never happened – and instead the council has allowed coach companies and CIE to grab swathes of the square for an ad-hoc on-street bus depot. Even more bizarre is that when former taoiseach and local TD, Bertie Ahern, was leaving office 18 months ago, he made a special grant available for the badly needed restoration of Mountjoy Square’s park. Yet when locals subsequently met with the council, they were informed the cash had been clawed back – by Gormley’s very own Department of Environment.

Matching this has been the stalling of Parnell Square, which was supposed to be restored under the 1998 O’Connell Street Integrated Area Plan. But here again, effectively no progress has been made – with airport metro having provided a handy reason not to proceed until (or if) that’s ever built.

And then there’s the new City Development Plan, which in an exercise that would leave Orwell blushing, proposes to schedule as the “North Georgian City Core”, Summerhill, Gardiner, and Seán McDermott Streets – precisely the streets Dublin Corporation was responsible for demolishing for road-widening etc. in the 60’s and 70’s. Excluded from the “North Georgian City Core” are Mountjoy and Parnell Squares, Henrietta, Dominick, North Great Georges, Eccles Streets and others – precisely the areas where Georgian streetscapes survive!

An Taisce has put in their helpful submission regarding UNESCO accusing the council of having “systemically disregarded the existing national guidelines on protected structures and architectural conservation areas “, and having a "complete absence of controls for management of the public realm of Georgian Dublin”, before advising that “Dublin City Council should be requested to address these issues prior to any consideration for addition of Georgian Dublin to the UNESCO list.”
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby hutton » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:15 am

However there is also little bit of a glimmer of good news; it appears that DCC have received a number of submissions from prominent people calling on Mountjoy Square to be an ACA. Given the draft plan is still in gestation, it would appear DCC have the opportunity to do the right thing...



From The Sunday Times May 23, 2010:

Mountjoy ‘deserves a square deal’

Famous admirers of a historic part of Dublin say it must be protected

Colin Coyle

It is the forgotten Georgian Square of Dublin, overshadowed by its more fashionable counterparts on the southside of the city. But a group of well-known admirers is lobbying for Mountjoy Square on Dublin’s northside to be preserved.

JP Donleavy, the author, Shane MacGowan, the Pogues frontman, and Tim Pat Coogan, the historian, have a sent submissions to Dublin City Council requesting that the square be designated an architectural conservation area (ACA) — a specially protected district — in the council’s development plan for 2011 to 2017.

The square’s custodians are concerned that the council has not proposed to turn it into an ACA in its draft plan, as it has done with a number of historic squares on the south side of the city. In ACAs, building owners are restricted from altering their homes without planning permission and can be required to restore original features.

Ruadhán MacEoin, of the Mountjoy Square Society, said: “As recently as the 1980s the square was used by film crews recreating London in the Blitz because of the number of tumble-down buildings. There is a real danger, facing into another recession, that parts of the square could again fall into disrepair or be exploited by unscrupulous property developers.”

The society is concerned that the “uniformity” of the square is at risk because about one- third of its houses were demolished in the 1980s and replaced with replicas that are not on the list of protected structures.

MacGowan, in his letter to the council, warns that the area is likely to come under pressure over the next decade. “As approximately one-third of the buildings overlooking the square are not original, I understand there is little to protect the unity of appearance on the streetscape,” he wrote.

Donleavy argues that its literary history warrants its protection, claiming that the square’s rich heritage has been an inspiration to him. In his letter he notes that James Joyce refers to the square in several of his books, while Sean O’Casey, the playwright, set his Dublin trilogy in a tenement home on the square. Ernest Gebler, the novelist, also lived on the square, while Brendan Behan was a frequent visitor.

MacGowan also namechecks John O’Leary, a Fenian who lived at number 53 and was immortalised in a poem by WB Yeats. “Number 3 is also understood to have been used by the first Dail,” MacGowan wrote.

Coogan has also added his voice to the campaign, arguing that the economic “crisis” has been caused by the “ravages of developers”. “Our emphasis now should be on preserving our heritage, not destroying it,” he said.

The council has already granted ACA protection to Dartmouth Square on the southside and is planning to grant ACA status to Fitzwilliam Square in the coming months. However, Mountjoy Square’s supporters argue that it is more in need of protection than these squares. Other areas that have already been designated ACAs include parts of the south inner city, Grafton Street, the village of Chapelizod and parts of the northside, including Prospect Square and the area surrounding the Casino at Marino, a neo-classical building dating from the 18th century.

Built during the late 18th and early 19th century, Mountjoy Square is one of five Georgian squares in Dublin. Set on an elevated four-acre plot, it was described by John Heagney, the former Dublin architect, in his book The Georgian Squares of Dublin as the city’s “finest” square. Although it quickly became Dublin’s most fashionable address, it slipped in social status during the late 19th century and was transformed into tenements.

Some of the original houses were demolished during the 1980s, despite the efforts of conservationists such as Desmond Guinness, the founder of the Irish Georgian Society.

Guinness has also written to the council in support of ACA designation for Mountjoy Square, describing it as one of Ireland’s finest examples of 18th-century urban planning and noting that Arthur Guinness was also a former resident.

MacEoin said that preserving the square is crucial if Dublin hopes to continue attracting tourists. “A large proportion of tourists cite Georgian Dublin as their pre-eminent reason for visiting the city,” he said.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article7134091.ece
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby StephenC » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:48 am

Of course this is only of benefit if the ACA is actually enforced!

Back to the Abbey Street buildings, its worth pointing out that all the works to demolish were don in the absence of a planning permission. The last permission was deemed withdrawn after the applicant failed to respond to an FI request within the 6 month period.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby hutton » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:40 pm

StephenC wrote:Back to the Abbey Street buildings, its worth pointing out that all the works to demolish were don in the absence of a planning permission. The last permission was deemed withdrawn after the applicant failed to respond to an FI request within the 6 month period.


Hmmm - that's very interesting; might the owner have got DCC's Dangerous Buildings section to move on it - and if so would that have required PP under the Act? Personally I doubt it as it as it would have been a health and safety "emergency".

gunter wrote:Image


The photo above was of course been the best bit of what appears a farce - a sign left for months that advised people to "please cross to the other side of the road" as it was a "Dangerous Building"...

If DCC's Dangerous Buildings did acquiesce to the demolition of the above structures, it would be interesting to see their technical reports outlining the need, and also what if any alternatives were suggested by DCC as possible options that might have ensured the survival of said structures.

The plot thickens - what has DCC's role been?
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby aj » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:48 pm

i give up :(
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby StephenC » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:08 am

Moi aussi
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby soulsearcher » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:59 pm

I have a pic of the abbey street site just after it was demolished 3 months ago. I cant upload it though. Is it because Im a noob? It is a jpeg less than 700pix wide and less than 293.4kb so should fit within the restrictions (?)
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby aj » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:01 am

I think they have given up on the city centre ..lets just leave it to the junkies they seem to have taken over large areas unopposed by anyone in authority.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby gunter » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:04 pm

That announcement that Dublin was getting a UNESCO 'City of Literature' badge, was that on foot of Gormley's application for World Heritage Site status for Dublin on the basis of our Georgian architecture and our literary heritage. i.e. that we were turned down on the architectural heritage grounds, or was it just a coincidence that the city of literature thing came through now? . . . and how the hell did Edinburgh get a 'City of Literature' badge ahead of us? Harry Potter isn't even set in Edinburgh.

I see someone's been doing their best to return Henrietta Street to something like Luke Gardiner's original morbid vision:

Image

Image

A meticulous re-pointing job on no. 13 [the decision to highlight - London-style - the replacement 19th century orange brick window arches slightly reduces the severity] re-captures the blocky brooding menace 1740s Georgian.

I note however that the little bit of cheer provided by the original central rain water pipe [seen here still in place on no. 14] has been banished from the re-pointed facade.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:02 am

gunter wrote: . . . and how the hell did Edinburgh get a 'City of Literature' badge ahead of us? Harry Potter isn't even set in Edinburgh.



I can imagine the opprobrium if somebody made a stupid comment like this about Dublin literature. Among others, Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Muriel Spark, and Irvine Welsh are from Edinburgh. Numerous novels are also set in Edinburgh, including Trainspotting and some novels by Scott. Edinburgh has the world's largest book festival, which was going on for years before Dublin's. The main train station in Edinburgh is named after a Walter Scott novel, and there's a huge monument to Scott on Prince's Street, much bigger than any monument to a writer in Dublin.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby kinsella » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:39 pm

rumpelstiltskin wrote:I can imagine the opprobrium if somebody made a stupid comment like this about Dublin literature. Among others, Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Muriel Spark, and Irvine Welsh are from Edinburgh. Numerous novels are also set in Edinburgh, including Trainspotting and some novels by Scott. Edinburgh has the world's largest book festival, which was going on for years before Dublin's. The main train station in Edinburgh is named after a Walter Scott novel, and there's a huge monument to Scott on Prince's Street, much bigger than any monument to a writer in Dublin.


It's not a wholly ignorant comment. Those writers you mention, whilst great, are not of the intellectual or artistic calibre of Joyce, Beckett, Shaw, Swift, Wilde etc...

In any case, as Melbourne and Iowa have also been recipients of this accolade, I wouldn't put a great deal of stock in it. ;)
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby gunter » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:45 pm

OK, we're going off on a tangent here and I recognise that archiseek can be a barren place for humour, but Iowa, 'Unesco City of Literature', because - wait for it - 'for eighty years, we've been teaching the world to write'.
. . . . . jesus christ.

I note also, from the Iowa City - Unessco City of Literature - web site; 'Iowa City is often known as the Athens of the mid-west', which I hadn't realized and which probably makes Des Moines the Sparta of the prairies, must check that out. In fairness to Unesco, this dovetails neatly with that other 'Unesco City of Literature', Edinburgh, long known as the Athens of the North, however it raises the question; what happened to the Athens of the feckin Aegean? didn't they have some bearded lads who could write? . . . . even more than eighty years ago :rolleyes:
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:32 pm

kinsella wrote:It's not a wholly ignorant comment. Those writers you mention, whilst great, are not of the intellectual or artistic calibre of Joyce, Beckett, Shaw, Swift, Wilde etc...

In any case, as Melbourne and Iowa have also been recipients of this accolade, I wouldn't put a great deal of stock in it. ;)


Well if the criterion was the number of great writers born in the city, and how great they are, then I think Dublin would be near the top of the list, probably behind London and Paris and other world cities. However, of all the writers you named, only Swift actually lived in Dublin during most of his creative life or made a continuing contribution to the intellectual life there.

Iowa and Melbourne are apparently regional hubs for spreading literature and the virtues of creative writing to the masses, which seems to be an important criterion for city of literature status. Dublin, quite simply, is not, whereas Edinburgh is. I don't see any huge attempt to teach Dublin or Irish schoolchildren creative writing skills, or indeed a huge budgetary commitment to the development of contemporary literature. Dublin likes to focus on dead white males for tourism purposes, rather than being a particularly vibrant source of modern literature. So maybe Dublin should focus on that if it wants to be the world's greatest literary city.

Oh, and maybe also not greenlighting the demolition of homes believed to be the birthplaces of major writers in the English language would also be helpful.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby Hiivaladan » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:59 pm

rumpelstiltskin wrote:I can imagine the opprobrium if somebody made a stupid comment like this about Dublin literature. Among others, Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Muriel Spark, and Irvine Welsh are from Edinburgh. Numerous novels are also set in Edinburgh, including Trainspotting and some novels by Scott.


Not to mention James Hogg, long resident in Edinburgh and famous for "The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner"
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby johnglas » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:45 pm

Hiivaladan: good on you; quite simply the best 'Scottish' book ever. Read it and be afraid; be very afraid!

PS Another very great 'Scottish' book is 'The House with the Green Shutters' by George Douglas; by God, we can be grim Up North.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby gunter » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:19 pm

I never thought I live to see Sinn Fein attempt to do their bit for Georgian Dublin:

Image

. . . but in their timber window reinstatement at 44 Parnell Square, where did they get the idea that the first floor windows were tripartite?

A small number of three-bay Georgian houses incorporated the Kevin-Barry-Hall feature of a pair of larger windows at first floor level, [one on Merrion Sq. North, and another on Merrion Street] which I think has to be interpreted as a throwback to the popularity of this arrangement in the preceding 'Billy' phase, but surely it's inconceivable, from a glazing proportion point of view, that any were tripartite. How are these decisions arived at? or do people just make it up as they go along.
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Re: North Georgian Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:57 pm

The latter, alas. These went in around this time last year. Haven't had a chance to send it to DCC Enforcement, along with an ever-growing list of appalling window jobs on the north side of the city of late. These dodgy repro sash merchants are wrecking the north inner city with appallingly detailed windows, spoiling the prime opportunity we have to reinstate correct windows now that first generation replacements are ending their lifespan. In the case above, they have frilly horns and plastic grids between the panes. Goodness knows what's happened inside... In fact, this hapless Parnell Square terrace - probably the longest mid-18th century terrace in Dublin - must surely rank as the most fecked over in the city in terms of well-intentioned but misguided alterations and interventions. Such a shame to see money so poorly spent, when a little guidance would have made all the difference.

The tripartites are completely makey-uppy, with 1970s aluminium frames here before this. Agreed on the interesting two-bay arrangement. The tiny upper floor windows are a further hangover from earlier house styles.
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