The buildings 2-5 Fenn’s Quay comprise the majority of an 18th century terrace with remarkably intact interiors. Cork City Council included the buildings in their Historic Area Action Plan, which obtained European Union funding for their conservation. The City Council played a significant role in the conservation process, in both policing the project and suggesting acceptable final users.
Historical research based on the original title deeds and other deeds in the Registry of Deeds established the likely construction date of 1750. Other research traced the evolution of the terrace. A Quaker family appear to the original developers of the site.
The plan is unusual in that is a series of parallel angled layouts in response to the dictates of the then river channel rather than the more common stepped facades. The buildings were originally a single house through all floors with the intervention of shop at ground floor level in the 19th Century as evidenced by remaining window heads behind the shop fascia.
The building was recorded by measurement and photographic survey prior to conservation. One outstanding feature of the houses is the intact internal wall panelling and staircase. Many windows were later replacements and in poor condition save for one original example.
The external wall to the street was in danger of general collapse as the facing brick was parting from the wall proper due to the collapse of the 19th century timber beams beneath. This gave rise to the major significant intervention in Fenn’s Quay with the replacement of these beams with the concrete beam at first floor level in order to stabilise the front wall. The previously slated rear wall was re-slated with natural slates on lime mortar bedding.
The project was awarded the RIAI Silver Medal for Conservation in 2005.