Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Yes No. 11 always read a little bit suspect in having a gable stranded in the facade, firstly as a more interlocked laying of the old and new brick would have been desirable, secondly as the whole purpose of the exercise was to conceal the fact that this was a gabled house, thirdly as the new brick would surely have mellowed more than it did, and fourthly as there doesn’t appear to have been any other such stark examples in the city – a place that was rife with Billy build-ups. An odd one…

@gunter wrote:

…so for 12 demolished 18th/19th century houses we got x million sq, feet of offices in a giant pastiche block and a fake Dutch Billy – nice.

Yes, but who doesn’t harbour a sneaky affection for that frothy mega-balcony straddling half the street šŸ˜‰

It would appear C.P. Curran is another to be added to the red list!

“Tudor’s Prospect of the Parliament House, 1753, shows the debased mould into which the town was setting – a College Green and Dame Street, whose irregular houses with gables or topped with graceless triangles or the feeblest of Baroque curves fall short of the picturesque even in fallacious retrospect. Further to the west the houses in the Liberties, Dutch with some northern French admixture, were the poor first fruits of the Huguenot dispersal. From this impoverished zone of Nordic building stretching from the Dutch quarter of Potsdam to Dublin, Pearce and his immediate successors delivered us, introducing the nobility of Italian building and its metropolitan fitness.”


It is fair to say that he is not attacking the gabled tradition exclusively. Rather, as we have seen before, the ramshackle urban plan of the city and the absence of order and coherence in its most prominent places, is colouring the author’s opinion of the style. Secondly, he does not take account of the prestige areas of gabled domestic architecture, which was just coming into its own when it got usurped by Pearce and his gang – preferring, as is typical, to focus on the Liberties, where ironically a number of streets displayed more coherence than the rest of the city combined.

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