The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) sponsored Merrion Square Open Day in conjunction with National Heritage Week on Saturday. We decided to walk over and check out the festivities.
We started with a walking tour that departed outside the Irish Georgian Society on Merrion Square South.
Our guide, Conor Lucey, a post-doc in Art History and Cultural Policy at University College Dublin, led a group of about 30 people around the square pointing out the sights and history as we went. For example, we learned that the windows in these Georgian townhomes were sized according to the importance of that floor of the house in the social life of the residents. The largest windows (on the first flow above the entrance) lead into the drawing room where guests were entertained. The main bedrooms were on the second story, and the top floor, or garrett, housed any children and servants.
We learned that the houses were initially built along Merrion Square West. The construction continued for several decades and became more uniform and visually appealing as time went by.
Irish Archiectural Archive at 45 Merrion Square East and is the largest home on the square.
Irish Architectural Archive for a brief guided tour.
Irish Architectural Archive also features a lovely library that is open to the public (after a brief registration as a reader).
National University of Ireland. The distinguishing feature of this townhome is the gorgeous murals upstairs.
Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) at 8 Merrion Square North. This talk centered on Michael Stapleton, one of the renowned stuccodore or plasterworker of the Georgian period. The RIAI showcased several examples of fine Georgian plasterwork including this border and ceiling decoration.
Thanks again to the Electricity Supply Board for sponsoring this great series of events and for giving the public a glimpse into life in Georgian Dublin.