Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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HI Gunter et Al

No offence taken, frankly I think I would have said the same.

Yes we did consider the option of reinstating the flat parapet ends. A couple of things influenced our thinking in deciding not to do so although it is something of a ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ scenario.

Firstly the parapet ends appeared to be more late 19th century than any earlier and tallied with the works involved around the time the house became a DMP Barracks.

Secondly the parapet end construction was causing problems for the main body of the parapet and top floor wall, resulting in a severe deflection of the upper portion of not just the parapet but also of the wall at that level. That wall is as I mentioned earlier isquite ‘delicate’ – while it appeard to be of massive construction it is actually a brick skin with a 300mm (roughly) gap behind, filled with all kinds of rubbish, broken brick, stone, mortar etc and with an inner leaf one brick thickness.

The parapet ends could have (and still could be in the future) reconstructed, however they would need to be independently stable structurally (effectively cantilevered) and capable of receiving high wind loads, the work involved would probably be quite obtrusive.

As we knew that the building had a gable albeit of a humbler profile type, and were going to end up with these ends removed, we followed the existing profile as closely as possible and formed the curves shown, as I said – the approach is wide open for debate in a case like this.

In many ways I feel that if we had retained less of the original integrity of the facade (eg: tuck pointed the brick, removed the brick window surrounds, ‘prettified’ the gable ends etc) that the appearance would feel more harmonious. I am also convinced this would not have been a desirable solution.

As I said – no 42 turned out to be quite a different creature to that which we had expected it to be, no bad thing mind you, but it is somewhat ungainly and ‘spartan’ looking for a house of its type.

As to databases: Well someone is going to have to write up this subject, you can see the dangers inherent though, we simply do not know enough about these houses to reflect with any accuracy their original range of appearances.

Of course the Heritage Council have our reports and records, and we will lodge our photos and survey data with the |Archive.

The photographer has completed some internal shots and we have aked for some more to be taken, however we will not have completd the final photos until the front facade windows and one or two other items have been dealt with.



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