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Craig Davis

Notjim it would be great if you could post any images of (or links to) the Nassau St. scheme

Graham you say that ‘it seems from what you say that is limited to ntl monuments which would be a different ball game’.

The Charter defines the term ‘monument’ as being equally applicable ‘not only to great works’ from the past ‘but also to more modest works of the past which have acquired cultural significance with the passing of time’. While originally the term was applicable to monuments it has since been extended to cover the built heritage. The aims of the Charter were effectively incorporated into Irish Law with the signing of the National Monuments Acts 1930-1994, followed by Local Government Planning Acts 1963-2000.

– In the preamble to the Venice Charter it is stated that ‘It is our duty to hand them on in the full richness of their authenticity’. i.e. they must be genuine.
– Article 3 states that ‘The intention in conserving and restoring monuments is to safeguard them no less as works of art than as historical evidence.’ Wouldn’t this be falsified evidence?
– Article 9 states that conservation work is ‘based on respect for original material’.
– Article 11 states that ‘The valid contributions of all periods to the building of a monument must be respected, since unity of style is not the aim of a restoration.’
– Article 12 ‘Replacements of missing parts must integrate harmoniously with the whole, but at the same time must be distinguishable from the original so that restoration does not falsify the artistic or historic evidence.’
– Article 15 states ‘All reconstruction work should however be ruled out “a priori.” Only anastylosis, that is to say, the reassembling of existing but dismembered parts can be permitted. The material used for integration should always be recognizable and its use should be the least that will ensure the conservation of a monument and the reinstatement of its form.’

Graham you wrote that ‘essentially they used to exist but were wrongly demolished’ I think a statement like this is quite moralistic and an over-simplification of what happened. You may be of the opinion that what was done was wrong, but it is not a matter of fact. I’ve previously said that people who I’ve talked to about this issue, such as conservationists and conservation architects were against building mock facades like this. Are they wrong? I don’t think what you’re proposing is wrong I simply disagree with you on this.

‘Of course interiors would not be rebuilt, the issue is the exterior streetscape’.
I don’t advocate either, but if you’re going to rebuild the facade why not extend the logic of this idea to recreating the interiors as well? As you know Georgian redbricks were quite modest on the exterior but were they shone was through interior detail.
I think it is a much wider issue than the exterior landscape, however if this is your primary concern surely pedestrianisation of Westmoreland Street would be much more beneficial than simply recladding modern buildings from the first floor up.

Would you propose that the owners of the Weston Hotel be ordered to remove the additional levels that were built which significantly increased the massing of the building(s) also (especially when seen from Pearse Street)?

I have much admiration for the work carried out by the Wide Streets Commission, and the grand ideas incorporated in their work. Sure it would be nice if the streets laid out according to their designs were still intact. I think Westmoreland Street would look better if the original Georgians which stood on the site of the EBS building had not been demolished. But it happened so lets move on.
There’s more important issues out there- such as the proposed demolition of the terrace on York Street, or the fact that Dublin covers 4 times the area of cities in Europe with equivalent populations- due to suburban sprawl, and continues to roll out over neighboring counties with banal ‘meritless’ semi-d’s.

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