Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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@Devin wrote:

There’s an interesting photograph in the EIS of the original Manor Park application for the site (53-storey etc. buildings), showing its 2nd floor front room where you can see the ‘inside’ of the gable front

Also there are photographs of the interior of No. 20 and it has an original heavy early 18th century staircase with barley sugar balusters … at least for the first 10 steps. After that the balusters have been ripped out, and the scars are conspicuously new and raw looking … hmm

No 21 may also have an early staircase however in the photos it’s covered over with sheet timber.

Re demolition, the houses have a stay of execution at the moment as the latest (and third) Manor Park application has just gone in for a portion of the site which does not include them, in order to deliver the space required under the Digital Hub contract before the deadline of May ’08 (9 month extension in the case of an appeal), however the previous two applications sought their demolition …. not to mention inappropriate replacement!!! Might be worth putting elevations up if I get time.

Devin: I had a quick look through the planning files earlier today and I posted up some info on these applications on the Thomas St./James St. thread. There didn’t seem to be an EIS with the second application and I could find nothing in the file on the houses to be demolished incl. 20 & 21. There was a ‘Record of Historic Structures’ document, but it just covered the Protected Structures and skipped from no. 19 to nos. 22-23 (the old library).

No. 21 is a facinating little house, but the complete rebuilding of the front elevation, in comparatively recent times, is going to make it difficult to unravel. This house is very low and possibly suggestive of an older still triangular gabled type structure, like the Marrowbone Lane houses, rather than a curvilinear ‘Dutch Billy’.

The interesting thing about no. 20 is that, as you say, a significant amount of the interior arrangement survives and I didn’t realise, a piece of the staircase too. The survey plans show a massive pair of corner fireplaces on each level. Most original ‘Dutch Billys’ were altered in the late 18th century and this Georgian masking is now an integral part of the history of these houses, but no. 20 has lost it’s entire top storey and like the Capel St. house, is therefore a good candidate for restoration to it’s original condition, without the dilemma of reversing later alterations. I’d much prefer to see a retained streetscape here with some careful restoration of rare and valuable house types than the bizarre brick curtain that deBlacham & Meagher have proposed to bring down over most of this streetscape.

I took one quick copy of this proposed elevation (which is still a live planning application) and I’ll see if I can stick it up on the Thomas St. thread.

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