Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Some great detective work there gunter. Two buildings one would not expect to be Billies, with their very ordered Victorian and later re-facings. Though given the provenance of Capel Street, buildings of this date should never be overlooked. There is at least one other pair on Capel Street (aside from the obvious ones) that I have my suspicions about.

It’s interesting the extent to which rear facades were completely refaced in the 19th century. I think this is a theme we have exposed for the first time on this thread. It’s not a trend one would expect of bedraggled 19th century Dublin, and perhaps gives an indication of just how poor a quality rear facing bricks were in the first half of the 18th century. Nice set of paired returns above too.

Referencing gunter’s earlier Jervis Street drawing again, it highlights in elegant detail how the Dutch Billy format was so very effective in lending individuality of architectural expression to each house while also creating a coherent and impressive whole, in a manner that the oft-celebrated reticent Georgian terrace with idiosyncratic doorcases never could.

In this respect, I think the gable-fronted house is eminently more suited to the Irish psyche, with its desire for independence of style and declaration to the world irrespective of the wider consequences. The Billy format enabled free expression at roof level, while reining owners’ flights of fancy into an organised collective that was thoroughly pleasing to the eye.

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