The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage has recently published An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Dublin South City, the thirty-fourth in a series showcasing the Architectural Heritage of Ireland. The book was launched on Tuesday 28 November in the National Library by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Martin Colreavy, Principal Advisor in Built Heritage and Architectural Policy.
The Introduction is a companion piece to An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Dublin North City and, together with the accompanying survey, is a portrait of that part of the city enclosed by the Liffey and the Grand Canal – otherwise known as “the southside”.
Dublin can boast a rich built heritage dating back to the earliest of times. Two cathedrals in the south inner city, Christ Church and Saint Patrick’s, are examples of medieval buildings that continue to serve the city. From humble origins as a Viking settlement, the city rose to the status of the second city of the British Empire in the eighteenth century and many of the finest buildings date from that period including the Trinity College campus, City Hall and the Parliament House on College Green. The mere mention of Merrion Square and Saint Stephen’s Green brings to mind a Georgian city boasting terraces of red brick houses and fanlit doorcases.
Dublin is admired as a scholarly city and the nineteenth century saw the development of the Leinster House complex as a cultural quarter including the National Library, National Museum, Natural History Museum and National Gallery.
Kilmainham Gaol is synonymous with the 1916 Rising and the political upheaval that saw Dublin restored as the capital of an independent Republic. The Irish Free State government was responsible for some of the most significant buildings of the early twentieth century including the Department of Industry and Commerce building with its low-relief panels in the Art Deco style. Art Deco appears in a wide variety of building types across the south inner city including the Alliance and Dublin Consumers’ Gas Company building on D’Olier Street, the Theatre de Luxe on Camden Street, the Dublin Corporation flats at Pearse House, and the Guinness Power House on James’s Street.
The regeneration of Temple Bar in the 1990s, and the ongoing redevelopment of the Docklands have seen some of the south inner city’s built heritage adapted to new uses. The adapted buildings stand side by side with exciting new developments which, over time, may be considered part of Dublin’s rich built heritage.
An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Dublin South City showcases the city’s architectural heritage from the medieval period up to the present day. The text by Niamh Marnham is illustrated with over two hundred colour photographs and archival drawings.
An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Dublin South City is available in all good bookshops and online at www.wordwellbooks.com