Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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I want this to be a ‘Billy’, I just don’t think it is. I think that newer brickwork is just a repair.

On the elevation, as I see it, there’s no real reason to see the top floor windows as anything but original. If it was a twin gabled house, I think the top floor would have reduced down to two windows and they would have moved them in to more closely line up with the apexes of the roofs. As well as that, in the gabled tradition, it was the practice for all windows to be of the same size no matter which floor they were on, the composition of the ‘Dutch Billy’ relied, very successfully, on the variety and rhythm of the gables. Once you leave the gabled tradition, the smaller top floor windows come in and, shortly after that, the full Georgian graded window heights according to the varied ceiling heights reflecting the importance of the rooms by floor which, I admit, was a nice little refinement if they hadn’t gone on for the next 100 years and flogged it to death.

For me, the matching front and back hip profiles to the roofs and the parapet details on the Manor Street house are the clincher. If this was an early make-over, would they have gone to the bother of hipping the roofs at the back as well? and sticking in a full flat parapet at the back? This didn’t happen to any other ‘Dutch Billy’ that I know of.

On your pal, Luke Gardiner, here’s a way you can get him off the hook:

They give a date of 1728 for Henrietta Street, which is the same date thats been given for Molesworth Street for example. This is the stark contrast that I see and the reason that the glowing legacy of Luke Gardiner need a radical revision. Molesworth Street is fully gabled, socially mixed (includes tripple gabled Lisle House) and it responsibly in-fills obvious development land between Stephen’s Green (a City enterprise) and Trinity College. Henrietta Street (the Luke Gardiner venture) is an exclusive up-market cul-de-sac of London type houses off an arterial route, with no attempt to integrate into the existing street or development pattern.

If it could be established, for example, that this Manor Street house was originally flat parapeted, and if it could be dated to before 1728, then I’d have lay off on Gardiner on that front anyway, and just concentrate on giving him a good kicking on the ‘shifting the city off it’s access’ point, and the ‘one house design fits all’ point.

Best of luck with that.

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