Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Anonymous
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On my contention that 32 Thomas Street is an altered twin ‘Dutch Billy’:

@Devin wrote:

No. The roof just seems to be ‘left’ on top of the four-floor building, rather than integrated into the top floor, as they always were (and as you have illustrated in your examples). Am pretty sure it’s some form of later Georgian roof.

I’m close to giving up on you Devin!

I’m guessing that you’ve seen enough Georgian roofs to know that they always sprang from structural walls, even if the, barely structural, stairwell wall had to be pressed into action!

To answer your earlier question, no, I’ve not been inside this house, but that doesn’t matter, this type of twin axial (perpendicular if you like) roof can’t be constructed except on a supporting beam under the valley, whether I’ve actually seen it in the flesh or not. Georgian domestic building practice didn’t use beams, especially ”some form of later Georgian” building practice.

The key point about this house (and the other two and three bay former twin Billys I’m claiming) is that the roof structure is illogical, it is ”. . just . . ‘left’ on top of the four floor building . . ”, that is unless you can see it with the twin gables that this roof structure was designed to support!

The reason that the roof of no. 32 seems to be floating and detached from the house below is the same reason that dictated the design of the close-coupled twin gabled design at New Row South and Jervis St. (examples clearly established by photographic record), the need to maintain circulation headroom on the top floor.

If you compare the centre section of no. 30 Jervis Street to a sketch reconstruction of 32 Thomas Street, the effect of the double gables is roughly the same!


the central section of 30 Jervis St. compared to a sketch reconstruction of 32 Thomas St. in a slightly cojectural context.

@Devin wrote:

Can these be read as a former set of gables fronting Nassau Street? I wouldn’t think so. Afaic they’re just one of the many roof arrangements came to in the Georgian period in response to site, party wall division, water draining etc.

Devin, I think it would be dangerous to attempt to draw conclusions from this terrace. It’s a corner site, for a start and the site is shown by Rocque to be occupied by the last house on the east side of South Frederick St. Anything could be going on here, or more likely, nothing. These roofs would not have occured on a standard mid-terrace Georgian house, which is what you seem to be suggesting 32 Thomas St. is, despite the evidence of the central chimney stack/corner fireplaces, the standard ‘Billy’ return and the completely unstandard (for a Georgian house) double roof.


A high level view of the same block


The Nassau St. site shown on an extract of Rocques map (1756)

@Devin wrote:

BTW I agree that Dutch Billy was a good streetscape, . . . But my favourite of all was ‘organic Georgian’ – eg. what can still be seen on Lower Ormond Quay.

So now you’re going to claim that the charm of Lower Ormond Quay has something to do with the Georgians :rolleyes:

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