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Belfast - upper crescent


jezzaxj

28DL Member
28DL Member
Hi all

There is a row of terrace buildings in the Botanic Area of Belfast on Upper Crescent that have been derelict for as long as I can remember. Just beside the Kainos offices behind the Crescent Arts Centre.

Passed by them today and I noticed building work being done on them and was wondering, does anyone know what they used to be, what their story is, and has anyone ever been able to get into them in the past?

I'd be half tempted to have a look at them myself some evening if I could but I imagine with the construction work ongoing there's not much exciting to see
 

AmyArchery

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi all

There is a row of terrace buildings in the Botanic Area of Belfast on Upper Crescent that have been derelict for as long as I can remember. Just beside the Kainos offices behind the Crescent Arts Centre.

Passed by them today and I noticed building work being done on them and was wondering, does anyone know what they used to be, what their story is, and has anyone ever been able to get into them in the past?

I'd be half tempted to have a look at them myself some evening if I could but I imagine with the construction work ongoing there's not much exciting to see
If it's the building I'm thinking of there's a bit of info on the heritage at risk register. Had looked at them myself but builders seem to be in and out of them regularly plus I think they've been more or less stripped inside:
Upper Crescent was perhaps the grandest terrace development undertaken to the south of the town, an elegantly curving row of three storey dwellings in a late regency style built in 1846 by timber and shipping merchant Robert Corry. The authorship is uncertain, but Dr Paul Larmour has suggested that the hand of Charles Lanyon may have been involved. Corry himself undertook the building work and took up residence in the house to the east end, and, for the first few years of its existence, the row was known as ‘Corry’s Crescent’. No.14 Upper Crescent In 1849 this property was occupied by a Mrs Dickey, a Henry Smith (‘Linen manufacturer’) by 1852, and a Jane Millford by 1860. A Rev W.S. Darley became resident in the later 1870s, with a Mrs Thompson listed in the 1899 directory, William Galloway (‘Damask designer’) in 1920 and a Rev R.H. White in 1930. In the 1950s this building and its two neighbours to the east (nos.15 and 16) served as the ‘Ulster Nature Cure Clinic’. In the 1960s all three were a acquired by near by Queen’s University and converted to student residences. It was probably at this point that the major internal changes to the buildings were carried out, however, one suspects that the earlier presence of the Ulster Nature Cure Clinic probably entailed some alterations, perhaps the creation of doorways between the formerly separate properties. Larmour offered the rather forthright opinion of this part of the Queens Conservation Area: “The concave Upper Crescent of 1846, with a giant Corinthian order applies to the centre and ends, all finished in stucco, is the grandest Neo-Classical terrace in Ulster. The straight-run Lower Crescent of 1852 is in the same vein but its layout seems never to have been fully completed. It has also suffered more alterations than the earlier terrace”. That assessment may not be so true today, however, as nos. 4-6 Upper Crescent (which appeared in Buildings at Risk, Vol. 2, p. 18) have been replaced, no. 1 (which featured in Vol. 6, p. 21) has been subject to major refurbishment and nos. 14-16 remain very much at risk. Having first been highlighted in Buildings at Risk, Vol. 6, p. 26, when they were at that time ‘to let’, they are now completely boarded up and victim to graffiti. Reviewed Nov 16. Refs: Larmour, P., Belfast: An Illustrated Architectural Guide, Friar’s Bush Press, 1987, p. 12
 

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