10 Henrietta St is a double-fronted house built by Luke Gardiner in the early 18th century for his family. He was a property tycoon of Celtic Tiger proportions and he also built Mountjoy Square and all the streets surrounding it as well as Henrietta St, named for his daughter. Over 800 people lived on Henrietta St in 1911 which is a far cry from when its 15 houses were built, before fashion followed the Duke of Leinster to the southside of the city. Barristers and professionals lived there. The design of the house is attributed to Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, who is best known for designing the Houses of Parliament which are today the Bank of Ireland on College Green. The front of the house would have originally been brick like the rest of the street but it was cement plastered over in the last century.
Today the Gardiners' house is owned by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, who kindly opened their doors to Open House Dublin. They received a Europa Nostra grant about 10 years ago to assist with renovations and the tour was given by one of the architects involved in the project, which is complete. The house has some beautiful ceilings and reproduction wallpaper based on the original which they found under centuries of grime and paint. Most of the interiors dated from the 1760s. The ballroom is a lovely, peaceful chapel today and features the 20th century addition of a Harry Clarke stained glass window. The staircase was moved from the front of the house to the back at some point and the original ceiling is intact.
I was so pleased to see this building. Henrietta St is much neglected today apart from those on their way to the Kings Inns or the Registry of Deeds and could really benefit from some renovations.
Other posts about Open House Dublin 2010: Newman House, National Library of Ireland, Grangegorman, 11 North Great George's Street