Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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No, I’m just trying to get my head around this.

OK, you’re saying that the present full top storey [and twin roof structure] replaced an original attic storey/roof structure?

. . . not that these houses lost a higher attic storey, I mean, it’s one or the other, right?

If we follow this through, the curious thing now is that, in almost every case where a twin-roofed house survives, or where we have good records of one, the rear elevation is finished in gables and it retains a little ‘Billy’ like return complete with it’s characteristic rear gable also. If there was the level of rebuilding that you’re suggesting, it would be odd to – not just retain, but actually build a new – these elements in the rejected architectural language, when presumably the whole motivation behind the works would have been to modernize.

The level of consistency in the design of these twin roofed houses alone suggests that the basic structural shape is not the product of later alterations.

Now that I understand what the stumbling block is, it should be possible to unearth some definitive information to put this matter to bed. If twin-roofed houses like 32 Thomas St, 25 James St, or 120 Cork Street were the product of a programme of alterations that transformed their previous attic storeys into full top floors, this will have left a trace in the fabric of the upper walls and that will be our answer.

If, on the other hand, no trace of an earlier attic/roof profile is revealed in a detailed survey of these houses, I would think it would be pretty hard to sustain that argument.

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