Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Haha – knew gunter would pick up on the, ahem, ‘Pimlico’ house 😉

That’s a lovely little discovery re the backdrop to Gardiner’s Mall :). Discovery in the sense that I imagine hardly anyone has ever had the sharp eye to notice it, or if they had, ever realised its significance. The prospect was always known as something of a marketing ploy, but not to such a blatent degree. The joys of high resolution eh! We must also remember that lower Drogheda Street and Henry Street were still lined with such dwellings, so gable-fronted houses did provide the very real context as well as the artistic scenery to the Sackville Mall development.

The new book, which I have only skimmed thus far, is an impressive volume in its breadth of subjects, but fully agreed on the need for an express focus on the period’s architectural formative years. Perhaps understandably, McCullough limits his topic to house plans, so we shouldn’t necessarily have to rely on his chapter for a stab at early domestic architecture. In the absence of a dedicated chapter, which is unquestionably warranted, at the very least the role of expanding on the issue fell to Robin Usher with his Domestic architecture, the old city and the suburban challenge, c. 1660-1700, Alas, the architecture under the spotlight here is almost exclusively aristocratic, and tells us little of the majority of domestic buildings populating the city at that time. Brendan Twomey’s Financing speculative property development in early eighteenth century Dublin looks encouraging and beautifully written and I look forward to reading it – as indeed every topic in the book. A highly stimulating publication.

McCullough gets particularly juicy when he goes off-topic at the end of his essay. A number of very pertinent issues raised – exquisitely expressed as ever – that are worthy of being trashed out more here at some point. And in Dublin City Council.

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