Unfortunately some of the houses of McMaster Street fell into a state of dereliction in the past few decades and the original doors, windows and chimneys have been lost.
In 2000 Hearth acquired two properties on the street for restoration. Sash windows and panels doors were reinstalled and the original layout of ground floor rooms reinstated. The back bedroom was turned into a bathroom to replace the outside toilet and the kitchen was extended, dining space was created in the area where the kitchen used to be.
In 2010 more houses were acquired and a second phase of works carried out. All of the McMaster Street houses were improved to meet current standards of thermal insulation while still retaining their distinctive character.
McMaster Street has been selected for preservation as it is one of the last examples of tight urban communities that once existed all over Belfast. The houses are listed and the area is now a conservation area.
Many people believe it is not possible for old and historic properties to be ‘recycled’ and turned into modern, comfortable homes. The restoration of McMaster Street shows that these homes can once again become warm, desirable homes with a little bit of creative thinking.
It is much more sustainable to reuse homes than to build new.