18 MARCH 2023
I am often asked why are doors so colourful in Dublin and unfortunately I must admit that I am not sure. Some claim When Queen Victoria died, it was decreed that all doors must be painted black in mourning. Instead, the Irish painted their doors every colour of the rainbow. Any colour except black .
I once went on a walking tour and the tour-guide offered up the following story: Two famous Irish writers George Moore and Oliver St. John Gogarty lived next door to each other. Legend has it that Gogarty would come home drunk and often knock on Moore’s door. To help Gogarty avoid this mistake, Moore painted his door green. Gogarty escalated by painting his door red and the colourful doors of Dublin trend was born.
No. 86 Merrion Square is distinguished from others in the terrace by its wide, five-bay façade. It displays typically elegant proportions and is enlivened by a good Ionic doorcase, complete with petal fanlight and 1988 hand-painted panels of the door. The building is enhanced by its intact setting, which contributes to the intact appearance of the square. Developed as part of the Fitzwilliam Estate, Merrion Square is one of the best-preserved Georgian streetscapes in Ireland. The north, east and south sides of the square are lined with terraced houses of eighteenth and nineteenth-century date, while the west side is terminated by the garden front of Leinster House. The houses maintain a relatively uniform building height and design, attributed to standards promoted in Fitzwilliam’s leases. Individuality was introduced through the design of doorcases, window ironwork and interior decorative schemes.