Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Anonymous
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@gunter wrote:

The hatchet job done on this ‘Protected Structure’ obscures all of that and turns the house into a kind of caricature.

Apologies for that statement James, but I was in shock:)

The disadvantage of raising stuff on a forum like this is that you never know who’s out there reading it, or if the discussions are actually engaging with the people who share the same passion about the subject, but who perhaps may have better things to do at one in the morning.

The advantage of a forum like this is that is that subjects can be teased out and research and any expertise shared without waiting for life’s-work books to be published, by which time positions are already entrenched, or the subject matter is academic anyway.

As one of the posters stirring the pot on this thread, I’ll be attempting to digest the plethora of new information you’ve just supplied us with later on when time permits, but I certainly want to acknowledge the huge amount of effort that you’ve clearly put into this project and also the valuable new information that your work brings to the subject, now that we can read it and soon, hopefully, see the photographs!

First reaction though would be to quote back to you one of your closing sentences:

@JKMA wrote:

. . . In many ways it would have been a lot easier to go down the ‘fantasy’ route and force no 42 to be the building that we ‘wanted’ it to be – Double Gables and all!.

Is that not more an argument for conserving the building in it’s ‘found’ state, rather than reinstating some earlier, and presumed original features, and not others, especially when the full story of the house is acknowledged to be not yet fully known, and in the circumstances where the ‘Georgian’ make-over was such a magnificent piece of work, in it’s own right?

Either way, I hope you will agree that not enough is yet know about these houses and it is crucial that important former ‘Billys’ (like 20, 21 & 32 Thomas Street, for example) which are currently under threat, are studied in detail and given the protection they deserve.

We need a database, we need to know what the range of variations there were. We need a register of surviving houses, or houses with surviving features. There are literally hundreds of Dutch Billys across Dublin alone, lurking behind later facades waiting for their story to be told.

It’s like as if one of the best chapter of our architectural history has had all the pages torn out and scribbled on.

We just have to piece it back together.

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