The scaffolding has risen at 18 Ormond Quay, allowing us the first opportunity to inspect the pebbledashed facades at close quarters.
The mid 20th-century dashing is concealing structural defects at parapet level and on the side elevation. This has necessitated its removal and a thorough assessment of the underlying 1840s brickwork, which was originally designed to be exposed.
The pebbledash will be carefully removed over the coming weeks using tools directed at the underlying mortar lines to avoid damaging the face of the brickwork. We expect to find a number of paint layers underneath, as the facade had been painted in the early 20th century before the pebbledash was applied. This paint, in turn, will have to be removed using a mixture of water washing and gentle hand hammering before isolated bricks are repaired or replaced and the facade then fully repointed.
The process is likely to take 8-10 weeks to complete.
A solitary sample of fine lime jointing known as 'wigging' has survived on the side elevation underneath a former street sign. This beautifully refined sample will be used as the template for the reinstatement of a traditional Dublin wigged joint across the entire front and side facades of the building.
Take a final survey of our famous rustic slurry of pebbledash. We'll miss it after two years anticipating a vigorous chiseling - only just...