Like so many Irish towns, Ennis, County Clare sometimes seems determined not to take best advantage, or best care, of its architectural heritage. Nothing better exemplifies this unfortunate state of affairs than Bindon Street, a short stretch of road comprising two terraces facing each other, both holding six properties. A mixture of two and three bays wide, the houses are of three or four storeys over basement, with handsome limestone doorcases and, in most cases, mellow brick facades. Dating from the early 1830s, Bindon Street has the potential to be a splendid, albeit rather truncated, thoroughfare, a celebration of Ennis’s thriving mercantile and architectural past. Alas, while some of the buildings have been decently maintained, others suggest all is not well. No. 1, for example, is distinguished from the others by a bay window added to the ground floor around the middle of the 19th century. At this level all seems fine, but raise your eyes and note the insertion of unsuitable uPVC windows, at least in some openings – others on the top floors are boarded up. A cause for worry.
P.S. And would someone please do something about all those ugly exposed electric cables snaking across every building.
So agree. This could be a delightful street. But surely these buildings must listed. Some local councils are very negligent regarding old buildings.
Listing doesn’t seem to help anything, it may in fact doom some buildings because of the restrictions. Wouldn’t it be better to have uPVC windows than to have none?
4 story over basement buildings will continue to be a problem until the planners and the Georgian society ( of which I understand the Irish Aesthete is thankfully a prominent member) do something to address the issue of lifts . The Georgian Society ( whose headquarters sports a wonderful lift ) appear to be against all lifts so perhaps they could do more than wagging fingers at “the man in the arena “ while pontificating the benefits of climbing 8 flights of stairs .
I agree. Just saw a TV show with a young woman looking at a 3 story walk up in an older building in Edinburgh (gorgeous handrails!) and she could barely make it. She took the place and said she adjusted to the climb eventually. Can’t imagine another flight. They let them basically gut interiors to make them modern/livable, what is wrong with a lift, particularly if added as an extension to the structure at the rear? Or just for the upper 2 stories. I could understand if they are talking about replacing stairs/stairwells.
Bravo! If the building can’t be made useful no one will bother with sinking money into it.
That’s a tough one. I suppose in a perfect world buildings would be forced to be exactly like the day they were built…no exceptions. That old expression “Pride goes before a fall” comes to mind. Yes, one can be rigid and not allow any changes to the old buildings so they sit there empty. The money to keep them dried in runs out. The roof begins to fail. Water creeps in. But…they are still like they day they were built. Time passes. No takers. This scenario never tends to end well.