Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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I completely forgot about those three houses on Haymarket. Weren’t they knocked for some appalling extension to Tully’s Tiles? without a wimper! Wasn’t there even some Emmet connection to one of them, or was that the Georgian on the Green beside the College of Surgeons? You’re absolutely right that a lot of these houses still exist behind altered or rebuilt facades, the whole of the east side of South Fredrick Street, seen from the Kilkenny Design block, (with I think only one exception), is cruciform roofed, former gable fronted, houses with panelled interiors.

In most cases, the Georgian rebuilding of the facade, or the masking of the gable, is now an integral part of the story of the house, and you wouldn’t attempt to reverse back to the original design, but in a few cases, like 10 Mill St. or Gray’s of Newmarket, the case for a scholarly restoration has to be a very strong one.

In the case of Mill Street, neither version of the house now has a roof, so conservation will involve reconstruction, either way. The 1890s alterations were a pretty wilful act of mutilation on a wonderful, (by then nearly 200 year old), house, and to invest one cent in re-enacting this mutilation would be pretty hard to take when we’re dealing with a ‘last of it’s kind’ scenario.

I think the significance of Grays is that it represents a last chance to restore the one remaining house out of the 64 that lined the edges of this wonderful, European scale, 17th century urban space. I don’t know if there’s any immediate threat to Gray’s, but I wouldn’t like to bet against it. Maybe DCC are already on top of this, you’d like to think they would be, but, every time I go down there, like you, I half expect to see a pile of rubble.

I agree a disturbing 100% with johnglas, that what Newmarket needs urgently is a new vision with a comprehensive set of guidlines that would encourage the redevelopment of the remaining properties on the square in a way that respects the original plot widths and the scale of the original buildings with some tasty new in-fill.

Surely it’s not too late to rescue Newmarket with some creative contemporary interventions, and with a restored Gray’s in the mix, giving it, what Smithfield has lost, a tangible link to it’s original appearance, we could have a valuable, and largely forgotten, urban space restored to Dublin’s consciousness, and not just another anonymous mix and match apartmentscape.

Existing view looking west on Newmarket towards Chamber Street. The stone warehouses on the right form the west corner of Brabazon Place, opposite Gray’s on the east corner. The warehouses are derelict and look to be prep’d for re-development. They are 19th century replacements of the original gabled houses, but they are part of the story of the space and should be retained and worked into the redevelopment rather than bulldozed and forgotten.

The redeveloped east end of Newmarket, with Ward’s Hill off to the right.

Whatever about the quality of the Zoe scheme at the east end of Newmarket, it does at least reflect the original scale of of the houses which were long gone by the time this apartment scheme was built in the early 90s. The most recent apartment block is the one on the left which rather crowds out the remains of St. Luke’s church behind and seems to muscles it’s way onto the square without a lot of obvious sensitivity to the historical context.

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