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14 HENRIETTA STREET TO OPEN

A home to Dublin’s social history, 14 Henrietta Street will officially open to the public in September. It tells the story of tenement life in Dublin, and its origins, through the life-cycle of what was once a home to the elite of the city. Visiting the house opens a door to nearly 300 years of the city’s life, from a grand townhouse of the 1750s to a tenement building from the 1880s to the 1970s, which, in 1911, was home to 17 families. 

Commenting, assistant chief executive of Dublin City Council, Richard Shakespeare said: “When Dublin City Council undertook to save and renovate 14 Henrietta Street more than a decade ago, it was in a derelict state. It is great to see what a fantastic job our heritage, architecture and conservation teams have done to ensure that both the building and this important streetscape has been saved, and that the story of 14 Henrietta Street is told in such an engaging manner.”

The museum is run by Dublin City Council Culture Company, an initiative of Dublin City Council. Interim chief executive, Iseult Byrne said: “To be recognized at the European Heritage Awards is a fantastic achievement for 14 Henrietta Street and the team who worked so hard to rescue it. We are also delighted to be shortlisted for the RIAI Irish Architecture Awards. It is timely that these mentions come now, as we prepare to open for public tours and we invite anyone with an interest in Dublin’s social and housing history or its architecture to come and visit this extraordinary house.” 

The project has been influenced from the outset by new academic research and by engagement with the community of former residents of the house’s 19 tenement flats, whose living heritage the museum seeks to gather, interpret and exhibit. Painstaking research into its architecture and social history has been complemented by the gathering of artefacts and oral histories of people who lived in this house and other tenement houses around the city. 

“The result is a vital new facility where the house is the primary artefact and where the conservation measures and interventions have allowed its many contrasting histories to be transmitted simultaneously. We are absolutely delighted that this work has been acknowledged by the Europa Nostra judging panel and that it has been shortlisted for an RIAI award. We look forward to sharing it with Dubliners and tourists alike.”

While 14 Henrietta Street will officially open in September 2018, advance tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays from 6th July until 8th September, with an opportunity for the visitors to feed back their memories, stories and reflections. Tickets (€9 adult / €6 concession) for the 90-minute tour should be booked in advance.

ABOUT 14 HENRIETTA STREET 

A visit to 14 Henrietta Street opens a door to 300 years of the city’s life, from the grand townhouse of the 1700s to multi-unit occupancy of the 1970s. It explores the lives of the people who lived at14 Henrietta Street through the life cycle of the building, with particular focus on those who lived there when it was tenement housing. It looks at how and where these tenants lived and how social change impacted on them. It also looks at the development of urban life, including suburbanization, housing and development policy and the social and cultural life surrounding all of these. The facility was informed by the ‘Urban Memories and Tenement Experiences’ oral history project, which gathered the memories of former tenants.  

www.14henriettastreet.ie