Wilton House on College Square North, Belfast. Dating from the early 1830s, the neo-classical building was originally constructed as two houses and is believed to have been designed by Thomas Jackson, a young Waterford-born architect who had recently gone into partnership with the older Thomas Duff of Newry. Towards the end of the 19th century, the pair of houses were combined into one so as to operate as the Hotel Metropole. In 1907 it began to be used as a mission hall for the Adult Deaf and Dumb Organisation which through various incarnations remained on the site until 2011. Since then it has sat empty and falling into dereliction, although at least the property still stands, unlike many others in the immediate vicinity which were lost to bombing and subsequent demolition during the 1970s. Wilton House was finally sold last year to developers who have lodged a planning application to convert the house into eight apartments, with a seven-storey extension to the rear containing a further 19 apartments.
Someone should thoroughly flog those graffiti “artists”.
More likely the developers’ proposal would be accepted. At least it will preserve the building, the only worrying factor is the seven-storey extension at the rear. The other option would be demolition to make room for a hideous tower.
Unfortunately nowadays the guiding spirit of Western civilization is greed. Almost nobody cares about beauty. Is all about profit. Governments spend billions in useless, if not harmful, projects (the promotion of that filth known as “modern art” comes to mind) but would not provide for the maintenace and restauration of historical buildings.
I do hope it is sensitively done. What of the interior, are there any original features?