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Officially Opening of 14 Henrietta Street

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2018

Three centuries of Dublin’s social history brought to life at 14 Henrietta Street
Guided tours take visitors through nearly 300 years of city living

People with an interest in Dublin’s social and architectural history are being invited to take a trip  to  Dublin’s  newest  museum,  14  Henrietta  Street,  which  was officially  opened  today (14.09.18)  by  Lord  Mayor  of  Dublin,  Nial  Ring  and  Minister  for  Culture,  Heritage  and  the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD. Set in a Georgian townhouse in the north inner city, 14 Henrietta Street tells the story of the building’s  shifting  fortunes,  from  the  splendour  of  its  Georgian  origins  in  the  1700s,  to  a tenement  building  from  the  1880s  to  the  1970s.  Through  people  and  memory,  it  aims  to deepen understanding of the history of urban life and housing in Ireland. Taking the stories, personal experiences and objects of former residents of the tenements, coupled with ongoing social  and  architectural  history  research,  the  museum  gathers,  interprets  and  preserves Dublin’s tenement history. Tour  guides  accompany  visitors  through  three  floors  of the  Dublin  City  Council-owned building, revealing  the  building’s  many  stories,  told  through  the  walls  of  the  house  itself, recreated immersive rooms, audio and film.

This restoration project by Shaffrey Architects picked up Best Conservation and Restoration Project as well as The Special Jury Award at this year's RIAI Architecture Awards. 

Commenting at the launch, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, said: “From Georgian townhouse to tenement dwellings,14 Henrietta Street is a very important thread in the fabric of Dublin city, and one that Dublin City Council has shown a long commitment to not only preserving, but returning to the public as a memory-keeper. “Dublin City Council acted to rescue this building more than a decade ago and huge work has been carried out over that time to stabilise, preserve and restore what was a derelict building. The idea to turn it into a museum of the city’s social history, tracing its use from a fashionable Georgian townhouse to tenement dwellings, became a reality when planning permission was secured in 2015 and it is fantastic to see what has been achieved in that short period of time. “Reflecting its latter day use as tenement dwellings, 14 Henrietta Street has given a voice to some of our city’s once forgotten citizens. It is very moving to hear that lived history of our city, told  through  the  former  residents  of  14  Henrietta  Street. I’m really proud  to  officially open 14 Henrietta Street today, after what has been an epic 10-year journey for Dublin City
Council; and a 270-year adventure for this fine house.”

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, said: "This Government is  delighted  to  be  associated  with  this  wonderful  project.   My  Department  made  significant funding available to support its completion and it is most fitting that 14 Henrietta Street opens to the public in this, the European Year of Cultural Heritage.   The theme of this campaign is Make a Connection and 14 Henrietta Street succeeds in making a connection between today’s visitor and those living in Dublin in earlier generations - from the Georgian period through to the  subsequent  brutal  and  extended  period  of  tenement  living.   I  believe  that  people  and communities are the custodians of our heritage and the unvarnished memories gathered as part of the 14 Henrietta Street project truly reflect that.”
She added:  "14 Henrietta Street  is a remarkable building.   Being guided through the house really is like stepping back in time.   The detail in all aspects of the museum is impressive, from the restoration of key architectural features to the immersive films projected on the walls.  I have no doubt that this museum will hold a prominent place in the family of museums, telling important stories of our city and culture.  I wish to pay tribute to Dublin City Council and the team of architects, builders, conservators and historians who have collectively breathed new life into this house and this historic street, a major social, cultural and architectural heritage asset for Dublin and the nation."

14 Henrietta Street  continues  to gather memories of growing up in Dublin’s tenements and anyone who would like to share their experiences can get in touch via info@14HenriettaStreet.ie  to  find  out  about  our  programme  of  memory collection  events, which will start later in the year.
Guided  tours  of  14  Henrietta  Street  will  take place  on the  hour five  days  a week,  from  10am  to  4pm  Wednesday  to  Saturday  and  from  noon  to  4pm  on Sundays.  Tickets  cost  €9  adult  /  €6  concession  and  are  available  from
www.14henriettastreet.ie. Advance booking is recommended. Group bookings are available.

Categories: Architecture | Awards | Exhibitions | History

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