Re: Re: Brick

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#806272
Anonymous
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19/7/2010

Okay, so the battle to save (what remains of) our Georgian legacy has largely been won. Can we now start a campaign to prevent what we have left from being mauled by botched trade jobs? We may have been twenty years behind the rest of Europe in coming to terms with saving architectural heritage, but alas we remain the same distance away from conserving it in an appropriate manner.

There are exquisite repointing works being carried out in Dublin as we speak, largely being conducted by the leaders in the field, ACOL and Bacon Restoration, which are worth charting in due course. In the meantime, we have the likes of the works just carried out at No. 11 Clare Street to endure.

Before

During

After

Yes the windows have been neatly tarted up, alarm boxes rationalised and the buddleia chopped, but the reason for the facade looking a little, ahem, ‘brighter’ than its neighbours in due to the pointing method used, involving the removal of heavy cement strap pointing and its replacement with lime mortar, in the very loosest sense of the word. The ghastly result at close quarters.

Trowel-loads of coarse lime mortar have literally been stuffed into the joints in a highly disregarded practice commonly known as ‘conservation jointing’. In nearly every course, the joint is half a stretcher high! Honestly, this has to be the worst job carried out on a Georgian townhouse in the past decade. In fact, cement strap pointing demonstrates considerable finesse by comparison.

Not only are these guys butchering houses, they’re also taking the rare business that’s left in the city from the chaps that know what they’re at. This is completely unacceptable. The only reason they got this job is that they can do it cheaper and faster than the professionals.

The original cast-iron rainwater goods have also been replaced in flimsy steel. What a shame.

This is an interesting house (with a fabulous chunky staircase inside typical of Clare Street), with a few quirky features including a Victorian canopy surviving above the door…

…and what appears to be one of two original chunky c. 1750 sash windows in the basement, modified with later sheet glass. If the case, this would make these the only original windows left in Clare Street’s early houses.

By contrast to the disaster at No. 11, three doors down the owners of No. 8 are going about a proposed restoration the correct way, by employing professionals to conduct a test strip.

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