Thursday, 15 November 2007
I found this old postcard of Margate College and thought, it surely couldn't be the building I'd heard had gone to make way for College Square shopping precinct, home to Somerfield, Argos, and Iceland.
Thanks to a secret admirer, we get to see how 14-15 Cliff Terrace looked in her prime in this original postcard. The postcard is from 1900 and shows the ground floor as a pastry cook and confectioner shop. Next door at 13 and 12 are clearly high quality shops at the same period. Which adds to the argument that they have enough historical history as shops for them to remain so.
Monday, 12 November 2007
TDC have replied stating:
We would welcome any comments that you may have regarding the proposed works. I would like to clarify that a site notice will be posted on site within the next week, giving a further 21 days consultation, and an advert has been placed in the Thanet Extra.So, we shall see...
As with all applications, the plans are available to view at the Council offices, and additionally are published online within 5 days of the date of the letter notifying you of this application, which should be by tomorrow. Essentially the plans remain as per the planning application, and a Design and Access Statement relating to the listed building has also been submitted. If you have any difficulty in accessing these plans please do not hesitate to contact me.
Monday, 5 November 2007
The report from English Heritage is testament to what we have in Margate that is worth preserving:
We have been asked to assess 14-15 Cliff Terrace for listing alongside 12-13 Cliff Terrace (see separate case UID: 164702). The buildings are the subject of a planning application, due for determination in the coming weeks, which proposes their conversion to 10 flats and entails the demolition of parts of the building and the erection of a three storey extension to the rear. 12-15 Cliff Terrace are in the Margate Conservation Area. English Heritage was advised that there was a threat of pre-emptive demolition if we notified the owners about the application to list the buildings; as a result no internal inspection has been possible.
Cliff Terrace dates from the early-C19 and was originally an L-shaped terrace with five three storey houses running north-south, perpendicular to the seafront, and further houses running east-west. These Georgian buildings survive, albeit much altered, at Nos. 10-13 Cliff Terrace. In the mid-C19, possibly in 1852 when records suggest the terrace was redeveloped, No. 14-15 Cliff Terrace was rebuilt to create prominent corner building which survives today. This was no doubt to take full advantage of the panoramic sea views offered by the site. The work was certainly
completed before the early 1870s and historic maps of that date show the terrace's new terminus at No. 14-15 Cliff Villas. It is likely that the new buildings were rooms for boarding, demand for which had been generated by Margate's booming popularity as a seaside resort. Internal inspection may reveal how each of the rooms were accessed, most likely off a central staircase and landings. The fascia and consoles of the shops appear to be original suggesting there were never ground floor
residences; indeed late-C19 directories reveal that one of the shops housed W H Strand, a florist and fruitier.
Margate is a town of great significance in the history of the English seaside resort. Alongside Scarborough, Whitby and Brighton, it has a claim to be the country's first seaside destination and was certainly the first resort to boast sea water bathing facilities. Margate's terraced houses are an important component of its history and the town was the first to reinterpret the squares of Georgian London in a seaside setting: Cecil Square was built by 1769, followed by Hawley Square in the 1770s. The terrace endured as the principal domestic form in Margate throughout the C19.
Recommended Grade: II
Outcome: Yes, list particularly along the seafront where that most coveted feature in holiday accommodation - the sea view - necessitated the high density development that terraces provided. Many of Margate's terraces are very fine and in their architecture they reflect the popularity and prosperity of the town in the Georgian and Victoria periods. A number are listed for this special architectural and historic interest including Buenos Ayres of c1803, Fort Crescent of 1825-30 and Royal Crescent of the
1850s (all Grade II).
Nos. 14 -15 Cliff Terrace is a four-storey plus attic block in red brick and is mid-C19 in date and character. The most impressive feature of Nos. 14-15 Cliff Terrace is the dramatic fenestration: two large, three-storey oriel windows dominate each of the two seaward elevations. Barely any brickwork is visible, aside from the last bay on the north elevation, suggesting that an unusual structural approach may have been used in the building's construction to allow for the almost blanket coverage of the elevations with windows. The oriels are four-light windows with moulded timber mullions, dentil cornices in the entablatures and, on the upper two storeys, segmental or triangular pediments. The lights contain sash windows, the outer ones using curved glass, and all are original. The ground floor contains traces of C19 shop fronts including consoles and a fascia with dentil cornice. Much of the rest of the shop fronts is later work. The elevations are terminated by a bracket cornice and the attic storey with dormer windows and three ranges of chimney stacks.
Increasingly greater selectivity is required when recommending terraced houses built after 1840 for listing due to the great numbers that were built and that survive. Over the mid to late-C19, terraced housing became the preserve of the lower middle classes and upmarket terraces, which tend to be of greater architectural interest, were concentrated in places where dense development was required such as the seaside (in resorts like Teignmouth, Devon or Saltburn, North Yorkshire) or newly laid out areas of cities (Pimlico in London and Park Place in Sunderland are examples). Generally where high quality developments of terraced housing such as these survive, particularly with a strong townscape or streetscape context, they merit listing (most of the terraces mentioned above are listed at Grade II). The requisite quality and distinctiveness is certainly present at 14-15 Cliff Terrace: the red brick Queen Anne-style elevations with classical detailing are lively and the height of the building is notable, reflecting the need to maximise the provision of rooms for boarding along the seafront. Even more remarkable is the fenestration, which is exceptionally extensive, even in the seaside context. Surprisingly, none of the windows have been replaced in plastic and the consistency of the original timber sashes is noteworthy. The building is of special interest in epitomising two of the
principal characteristics of seaside architecture: building tall and building to exploit seaviews. Advances in construction techniques which allowed more extensive fenestration along with the arrival of plate glass enabled Victorian developers to take advantage of this seaside location to a fuller extent than their Georgian predecessors, who built the much smaller and more conventional houses alongside No. 14-15 Cliff Terrace. The final point is drawn out further by Cliff Terrace's westerly neighbour, the Grade II-listed 1-24 Fort Paragon, a terrace of 1830 which was refaced in 1853. The proximity of the two rows shows the very different approach to seaside terrace building in the Georgian and Victorian eras: in comparison to the oriel-windowed 14-15 Cliff Terrace, which is clearly tailored to take advantage
of the seaside site, the balconies of Fort Paragon are the only concession to the location. Whereas Cliff Terrace has two prominent seaward elevations, only the east façade of Fort Paragon is articulated. Together, the two terraces illustrate two important phases in the development of
Margate as a seaside resort in the late-C18 and C19 and Cliff Terrace has group value with Fort Paragon. Houses of the Victorian era are underrepresented on the Margate list. Whereas the majority of pre-1840 terraces where a significant proportion of the original fabric remains are listed, even some of the high quality developments of the 1850s and later have no statutory protection through designation. 14-15 Cliff Terrace is one such example, a distinctive and characterful Victorian building which evidences some of the architectural fashions and constructional developments of that era, which is clearly worthy of listing.
14-15 Cliff Terrace are recommended for listing for their special architectural and historic interest and group value.
Summary of Importance:
14-15 Cliff Villas are recommended for listing for the following principal reasons:
* the red brick Queen Anne-style elevations with classical detailing are lively and the height of the building is notable, reflecting the need to maximise the provision of rooms for boarding along the seafront
* even more remarkable is the fenestration, clearly tailored so that holiday boarders could enjoy much-coveted sea views;
* the consistent survival of the original timber sashes and glazing is noteworthy;
* 14-15 Cliff Terrace also has strong contextual interest, standing in contrast to and having group value with the Grade II-listed Fort Paragon.
No. 14 & 1515-OCT-2007
End of terrace building, mid-C19, with later alterations particularly to ground floor shops.
EXTERIOR: Nos. 14 -15 Cliff Terrace is a four-storey plus attic block in red brick and is mid-C19 in date and character. The most impressive feature of Nos. 14-15 Cliff Terrace is the dramatic fenestration: two large, three-storey oriel windows dominate each of the two seaward elevations. Barely any brickwork is visible, aside from the last bay on the north elevation, suggesting that an unusual structural approach may have been used in the building's construction to allow for the almost blanket coverage of the elevations with windows. The oriels are four-light windows with moulded timber mullions, dentil cornices in the entablatures and, on the upper two storeys, segmental or triangular pediments. The lights contain sash windows, the outer ones using curved glass, and all are original.
The ground floor contains traces of C19 shop fronts including consoles and a fascia with dentil cornice. Much of the rest of the shop fronts is later work. The elevations are terminated by a bracket cornice and the attic storey with dormer windows and three ranges of chimney stacks.
164760 Case UID: Proposed LBS UID: 504191
Proposed List Entry
More info on English Heritage's Seaside Heritage project here