Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Anonymous
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The same house type as the pair of Wilde houses on South Anne Street is this survivor at no. 50 Mary Street opposite St Mary’s Church.

No. 50, outlined on Rocque’s map of 1756.

The house is just hidden by the church in this Lawrence photograph that shows the adjoining house at no. 51 with its characteristic Georgianized version of a two-bay Billy façade.

Despite the loss of it roof and attic storey, the house is included on the list of Protected Structures, probably due to the fact that it [until recently] retained a significant amount of its original internal panelling.

Dublin City Council’s Conservation officer objected to a recent planning application for a new shop-front to a Polish shop across the facades of nos. 49 and 50 Mary Street on the basis of a withering report on the destructive effect of unauthorised works being undertaken at the premises.

The Conservation Officer’s report records;

The removal of surviving sections of historic panelling on the left and right hand side of the staircase [internal spine wall] at ground floor level.

Damage to surviving lath and plaster internal walls and insertion of unauthorised steel works to internal spine walls.

The removal of a round-headed surviving section of timber sash window, frame and architrave to landing located between ground and first floor levels.

The removal of surviving sections of historic panelling and surviving section of box cornice along staircase particularly along internal spine wall where panelling was largely intact.

The removal of original window architraves to rear room windows located at first and second floor levels.

The insertion of two steel beams to the front and rear rooms which also resulted in damaging a section of original cornice to the rear room at first floor level.

Damage to section of surviving base of former panelled rear room at second floor level.

The steel bracing straps located on the upper floor levels have not been fitted to best conservation practice. The associated connection bolts are standing proud of the wall.

The internal staircase was not adequately protected during works which were ongoing at the time of my inspection.

Notwithstanding the objections of the conservation officer and the fact that the structure is the subject of ‘Live enforcement’ proceedings, the Planning Dept. merrily granted planning permission for the new shop-front two weeks ago.

From peeking through the fanlight the extent of the internal hacking is clear as is the quality of the original panelling and timber cornice where it has survived in the hallway.

A view of the rear showing the characteristic return now largely sheeted in plastic to protect the fabric from weather damage while somebody works out what to do with the building.

I’ve ghosted in the probable original profile of the front gable, based on the known precedents we’ve been looking at above. Unfortunately, I haven’t so far found any photographic records showing the original roof.

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