Minister Madigan opens 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin 1
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht provided significant support(€2.14m) to assist with delivery of an important new cultural and heritage resource
Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Nial Ring, have today opened 14 Henrietta Street in the City Centre. This important cultural, social, architectural heritage asset now opens a new chapter in its almost 270 year history. Henrietta Street in Dublin’s North inner city is the most intact collection of early to mid-18th century houses in Ireland. From Georgian townhouse to Tenement dwelling, 14 Henrietta Street tells the story of the house and the lives of the people who lived there and how social change impacted on them over time.
It’s been a 10-year long journey to rescue, stabilise, weather and ultimately conserve and adapt 14 Henrietta Street. This work began as a result of the Henrietta Street Conservation Plan in 2006, which sought, in key policy points, to address the serious condition of number 14 and its neighbour number 13.
Set in a Georgian townhouse, 14 Henrietta Street tells the story of the building’s shifting fortunes, from family home and powerbase to courthouse; from barracks to its final incarnation as a tenement hall. From the grand aristocratic townhouse of the 1700s to the multi-unit occupancy that operated for 100 years up to the late 1970s. A building that went from initially housing one family of four, and their servants in 1755, to the Census count in 1911, when it housed almost 100 people from 17 families!
That juxtaposition and the crushing reality of the latter cohort are explored in the tours developed for the visitor to follow and absorb. The stories of the house and street mirror the story of Dublin and her citizens. Minister Madigan recognises the importance of exploring these stories today to inform our understanding of both how far we have progressed as a society over the last century, and some of the core areas where we still have more to do.
Minister Madigan commented:
“This Government is delighted to be associated with this wonderful project. My Department made significant funding available to support its completion as one of the Permanent Reminder Projects as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. 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 todays visitor and those living in Dublin in earlier generations – from the Georgian period through 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.
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.”