03/09/2014 Minister Humphreys opens GPO and Parnell Square exhibitions in Irish Architectural Archive
Wednesday, September 3rd 2014:
Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is this evening (Wednesday) visiting the Irish Architectural Archive (IAA) to officially open two exhibitions which provide a look behind the scenes of the GPO and Parnell Square.
The GPO – 200 Years, which is being supported by An Post, features original sketches for the building by Francis Johnston, architect to the Board of Works. The second exhibition – The Architecture of Parnell Square – is being supported by Dublin City Council and revives a collection which was first shown in Trinity College 40 years ago, in the same year the IAA was founded.
Speaking this evening, Minister Humphreys said: “Exhibitions such as these are invaluable in heightening public awareness of the importance of our built heritage. The two exhibitions give members of the public a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of two of Dublin’s most iconic spaces”.
“The GPO exhibition includes detailed sketches for this remarkable building, which is continuing to fulfil its original purpose as headquarters of the Irish Post Office 200 years after it was first built. The Parnell Square display includes wonderful black and white photographs, commissioned by Desmond Guinness, which reveal the decorative interiors that lay behind the plain brick facades.
“The GPO exhibition, in particular, is timely as it gives us an insight to the building that came to play such an essential role in the 1916 Rising. As the 2016 Commemorations approach, I am pleased to be working with An Post on the development of a new interpretive centre at the GPO, which is due to be open in time for Easter 2016, and will complement other major projects being undertaken at the National Archives, National Concert Hall, Kilmainham Courthouse and Gaol, the Military Archives and Richmond Barracks.
“These two exhibitions are an excellent example of how important is it to record and preserve our built heritage for future generations.”