Rebuilding it would restore heart of the city
THE suggestion to rebuild The Dutch House is an excellent idea (The Post June 15-17).
Utilising apprentice training in various aspects of carpentry and electronics under qualified supervision of The Oak Frame Training Forum deserves all-round support and incentive.
A spin-off benefit to completion of this possible project, especially if rebuilt at its original city centre crossroads position rather than upon the as intimated and now redundant, Bank of England site – I refer to tourism.
Tourists enjoy local history, Bristol is illustrious.
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The old city quarter of St Mary-le-Port is likely to be rebuilt when economic conditions prove viable. Surely The Dutch House must feature in this redevelopment together with reconstruction of the city's founding crossroads junction.
This is a conservation area and through traffic should be re-routed around the old city's periphery as pre-World War II, rather than as today, through its heart.
As a pointer, my 1935 edition of the classic, Ward Lock travel guide shows Bridge Street and Dolphin Street as part of the A38 around the old city.
These two thoroughfares could be rebuilt to absorb today's traffic, out of the old city's core centre.
This effort would result in High Street, Wine Street and Mary-le-Port Street becoming service roads only – so very desirable for residents and tourists alike.
C E W Beak
THROUGHOUT my long residence in Bristol, I have noted unceasing nostalgia for the Dutch House and wished that Britain had followed the continental practice of rebuilding bombed treasures.
The National Trust's Head of Buildings said "40 per cent of our skilled force is due to retire – who steps into their shoes?" Enter Nigel Howe, whose inspired proposal will provide much needed training and satisfying future employment in a way which will delight Bristolians and visitors alike by recreating this magnificent landmark. (compare the resounding success of the Matthew project!)
Reconstruction would also prevent possible redevelopment of the site in the style of the present eyesore.
I HAVE to say I'm unexpectedly encouraged by the story published on June 15 regarding the suggested scheme to rebuild the much lamented seventeenth century Dutch House, lost to Luftwaffe bombing in 1940. As a relative newcomer to Bristol, I was intrigued enough to do a bit of research a few years back as to how that derelict spot on the edge of the beautiful old centre of Bristol came to be such a glaring and jarring mess. And on discovering some old pictures of Dutch House I was saddened to see what had been lost.
Today it's perhaps not obvious to the casual observer that the High Street / Corn Street / Wine Street / Broad Street junction is actually a crossroads. And not just any old crossroads, but the geographical heart of old Saxon Bristol, leading down to the Bristol Bridge, the whole raison d'être of why Bristol was built where it was.
The reinstatement of that crossroads, with Dutch House providing its fourth and most imposing corner, would seem to me to be a vital restoration of the historic heart of the city.
There would no doubt be those who say it couldn't be done. But if the likes of Dresden can rebuild its entire historic centre and beautiful Frauenkirche cathedral from nothing more than rubble, and if Warsaw likewise could rebuild its famous castle square from total obliteration, then why not Bristol's Dutch House? And before anybody asks, it would be simple enough to re-route traffic down the old route of Bridge Street and Dolphin Street to rejoin Wine Street in its rightful place behind St Mary Le Port church just like it was before the War, and without any real loss to the size of Castle Park.
I say Bristol should embrace this plan and make it happen.