Henrietta Street is the earliest Georgian Street in Dublin – it is the model from which Dublin’s Georgian identity is derived. Construction on the street started in the mid-1720s, on land bought by the Gardiner family in 1721. Construction was still taking place in the 1750s. Gardiner had a mansion, designed by Richard Cassels, built for his own use around 1730.
The street was popularly referred to as Primate's Hill, as one of the houses was owned by the Archbishop of Armagh, although this house, along with two others, was demolished to make way for the Law Library of King's Inns.
The street fell into disrepair during the 19th and 20th centuries, with the houses being used as tenements, but has been the subject of restoration efforts in recent years.
There are currently 13 houses on the street. The street is a cul-de-sac, with the Law Library of King's Inns facing onto its western end.
It is also a popular period location for film and TV companies. Among the productions filmed there are Albert Nobbs, Inspector George Gently and Foyle's War.
I moved to this area more than twenty years ago and was encouraged to do so by the government in order to revitalise the city centre. There were all sorts of promises about redeveloping the area but as time passed the area became more and more neglected.
Recently there has been a change for the better and I assume that the increase in interest in the area is mainly due to the Luas Tram System Extension which is ongoing at present. Starting in December there will be two tram stops close to my home. One will be on Dominick street and the other will be at the old Broadstone Train Station. A large college campus is being developed beside the train station so a lot of student accommodation is now in the construction phase and much of it will be available to rent later this year or early this year.
At this stage I do not know what is going to happen with Henrietta Street but I am very much aware that there will be a new museum at 14 Henrietta Street. The construction is certainly impacting on me but I really do hope that it will add to the attraction of the area. Considering that I stated that there are thirteen houses you might ask how can there be a museum at No.14 - the first intact house is No.3, No.6 is a flat within No.5 and there is a No. 15 next to the Museum. There is a rumour that No. 15 will be redeveloped. Visit http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/pipe-works-and-pipe-dreams-1.1939102 for more information about No 15 and the derelict site beside it.
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