Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Anonymous
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@gunter wrote:

In the case of Dublin anyway, the real explanation however is that, for much of the 18th century, a Georgian doctrine that offered little more than a street architecture of restrained repetition simply couldn’t compete here with a thriving indigenous gabled tradition that was creating streetscapes of vibrant rhythm.

So when eventually parental control in matters of street-architecture was re-asserted and an English-like Georgian conformity did take hold here, much of the 18th century city had already been developed and all that the new Georgian doctrine could do was tack on some trademark garden squares and a bit of axial street planning to the pre-existing pattern of organically generated urban growth, in pursuit of a largely successful mission to transform Dublin into London-lite.

It’s not one that everyone would share, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

@gunter wrote:

As we’ve seen before at Bachelors Walk and elsewhere, this type of roof structure denotes a ‘twin-Billy’ as almost everyone knowns

Nice to hear a balanced, reasoned sum-up of the whole debate 🙂

@gunter wrote:

that no. 32 Usher’s Quay was originally a ‘twin-Billy’ is corroborated by this print of the facade of 31 + 32 from a 19th century billhead of ‘Atkinson and Co.’ ………

….. the twin pediments that originally would have terminated the twin roof apexes [not illustrated] are lost, but everything else that we conjectured for the facade of the similar ‘twin-Billy’ at no. 34 Molesworth Street – the four bay second floor over a three bay first floor and a fine off-centre entrance door, is there in black and white..

Well, ok, the demolished 32 Usher’s Quay had a perpendicular-laid, double roof and appears to have been some form of gable-fronted house originally. But, again, it’s conjecture to declare it to have been twin gable-fronted on the basis of those two historic drawn depictions you show. (And the house has some potentially interesting parallels with the material posted earlier on the demolished 34 Molesworth Street, though it’s all a bit conjectural too.)

For one, in order for pediments to have been in proportion to those curves at each side of the parapet as drawn in the Atkinson billhead, there is scarcely room for two pediments, let alone two more inner curves (and twin curvilinear pedimented gables are even less plausible on the building as drawn in the Bartlett print).

I’d love to believe it gunter but, as always, the biggest clanger is that twin gable fronts on small plots never come up in old prints … not even the very oldest ones by Place and Tudor before the earliest wave of alterations would have ‘got’ them.

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