Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals and churches

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Here is an account of the competition for the building of ST Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, from the pages of the Irish Builder.

THE very unusual line of conduct adopted by two of the competing architects for Cloyne Cathedral, and the peculiar nature of the conditions drawn up by them for the signature of the third, may, perhaps, deserve a few words of comment. We cannot but think that they would have consulted better for their own professional dignity by ascertaining in the first instance the views of the third competitor as to an alteration of the conditions. Leaving aside this view of the question, we think some of their proposed conditions are peculiarly unfeasible. The wish to bind the successful competitor and the committee so that no alteration could possibly be made in the drawings: this we think is very objectionable, because it invariably arises, in an important work like the one under consideration, that as it progresses many modifications or substitutions of minor things may be very conducive to the value of the building, without increasing in any appreciable degree the expenditure. If the conditions as proposed by Messrs. McCarthy and Goldie had been adopted by the committee, no alteration, even if it was to reduce the expense, could have been practicable without necessitating a violation of them. Condition No. 2 as proposed by them would not, we think, be a very acceptable one to architects of large practice, as it would involve a considerable amount of extra labour in making duplicates of all submitted drawings, specifications, &c., because the drawings “are not to be returned to the architects on any pretext whatever until the expiration of the time named” (twelve months), and the selected architect should of course have copies of all his drawings in order to prepare ” all supplemental drawings and specifications that may be necessary,” &c. Few builders capable of undertaking such a work would care to go to the trouble of preparing tenders on the terms proposed in condition No. 6, and surveyor’s fees on a work of such magnitude would add not a little to the total cost. For the present we shall dismiss the subject with these remarks, as our readers will easily see from the correspondence (which we print on another page) whether Messrs. McCarthy and Goldie were right in proposing, or Messrs. Pugin and Ashlin in refusing, the conditions.
[Taken from Irish Builder, Vol. IX, 1867, p.284]

For more on the controversy surrounding the competition for Cobh Cathedral, see the following link;

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