Urban buildings


Sir, - On returning from a visit to some of the wonderful lived-in towns of Andalucia, it was so very galling to see again an example of the contempt with which some of our municipal bureaucracy regards urban vernacular buildings.

I refer to the imminent destruction of the impressive Harper Campbell courtyarded warehouses between Union Street and Union Place in Sligo town. This stoutly built warehouse complex is the only such example listed in An Foras Forbartha's 1976 Inventory of Buildings of Architectural Interest in Sligo town.

Part of this fine and now rare example of Sligo's 19th century industrial architecture has been in the ownership and indifferent care of Sligo Corporation for over a decade. This local authority's induced dereliction on either side of these warehouses has now prompted the borough engineer to conclude, despite their strong construction and structural integrity, that they are dangerous. The county manager has organised that they be pulled down forthwith.

So notwithstanding a plethora of state and semi-state bodies now devoted to heritage, it seems that the power of obdurate municipal officialdom remains unfettered. Would that we had some of the enlightenment and pride of small town Spain in such matters. - Yours, etc.,

Nicholas Prins, Strandhill, Co Sligo.