Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby gunter » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:31 pm

Apparently that parapet balustrade ran the whole way round the back and side elevations as well. The print isn't clear enough to know whether the finish on the secondary elevations was brick [Graham], or rendered [Casey]

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According to Bennett's 'Encyclopaedia of Dublin' in between being the Earl of Aldborough's house and being a barracks, the house was briefly a school, the 'Feinaglian Institute', set up in 1813 by a Professor von Feinagle from Luxembourg.

Bennett says von Feinagle added the chapel [presumably therefore both wings], which would make a certain amount of sense.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:54 am

Hmmm, yet Lord Aldborough himself designed the theatre, hence presumably the wings and the conceptual outline of the pavilions. Perhaps the chapel was only erected behind the previously built facade (if even) when Feinagle moved in? Given additional classrooms also formed part of this ensemble, and all are now demolished, it would suggest they were of the same idiom - built at the same time.

Sadly, the stables which lay behind the chapel on Empress Place have all been swept away too.

That's a lovely view of the house with the gardens, gunter, perhaps with some artistic licence, falling away from the tall house. Looks better than the principal front, where tallness is less of a virtue.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:15 am

In fact, looking at the house again, it would appear the Chapel wing was built from scratch by Feinagle, given the meanness of its detailing with the lack of Portland dressings and the different granite base to the other wing. Remarkably, this can be confirmed by a singular detail smaller than your little finger - namely the simple horn detail to the elegant right-hand window in the curved rear of the Chapel wing, almost certainly dating the whole construction to the late 1810s or 1820s.

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The left-hand window, with larger horns and fewer, larger panes, is a replacement of a later date when the house's sashes were also replaced.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby KatieDid » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:41 am

From Terence Dooley's Irish Heritage Trust survey (pp 53-4):

Aldborough House is located on Portland Row in Dublin 1. Originally built by the 2nd earl of Aldborough, it is now owned by the Irish Music Rights Organisation.

Aldborough House is one of four town houses included in this survey:
- It was the last great mansion to be built in Dublin city during the second half of the eighteenth century, arguably the city’s golden age. The scale and grandeur of the house – it has six principal rooms on the ground and first floors - and the size of its original garden were unprecedented at the time.
- The architect is unknown but given the sheer scale of the house and its design, it most likely was a contemporary architect of note, although there has also been speculation that it was the 2nd earl of Aldborough himself.
- The large forecourt has a private chapel on one side and what was originally a theatre on the other, both attached to the house by curving wings.
- The impressive cantilevered staircase is a major feature of this house. Unfortunately the house has gone through a variety of roles since it was first built. At different stages, it has been a school, a barracks, and a postal and telecommunications depot. As a result, the original fabric of the house has suffered greatly.

For example, in the 1980s, when Aldborough was owned by Telecom Eireann:
- The original site was compromised by the construction of a car park to provide for Telecom vans; the installation of a bank of toilets on the ground and second floors; the vertical division of rooms with studwork partitions in order to provide cellular offices; the surface mounting of a central heating system and a new electrical system; the re-plastering of extensive areas of the house following the treatment of dry rot.
- A new concrete staircase broke the former link to the main house, effectively isolating one wing.
- Many of these interventions are extremely crude in their design and are not easily reversible, in particular the former theatre which was virtually redesigned as a storehouse by Telecom.
- Cement based mortars and renders were used. Short life artificial tiles were used on the roof.

In short, while the building is in reasonably good structural repair, it is in a very poor state of preservation as many of the original features have been lost due to poor conservation practice and unnecessary intervention. Presently, IMRO have extensive restoration and renovation plans for the house.However, these will require a great deal of expenditure, which may be beyond the organisation.

[[url]www.irishheritagetrust.ie/.../Historic%20House%20Survey%20-%20T%20Dooley.pdf][/url]

It obviously was beyond the resources of IMRO to develop the site and was sold for €4.5 million in 2005 to Ely, the sale at the time quoted as to an 'unknown developer'. The poor condition of the building today is a sad indictment of the quagmire this important structure has been left to rot in since 1999.

[[url]http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2005/05/15/story4689.asp][/url]
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby kefu » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:13 pm

On a completely different topic regarding Aldborough's use as a school,
This article suggest that a certain Von Feinagle could have been the genus of the word finagle.
http://books.google.ie/books?id=VWkfaTRQa5YC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=finagle+Von+Feinagle&source=bl&ots=37yk9wS_cE&sig=8OUmb7msewG2wgZad6K_O4czLr8&hl=en&ei=rfWtS86dO4ju0gTOiZyQDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=finagle%20Von%20Feinagle&f=false
Sounds like an interesting character.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby GrahamH » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:47 pm

The Von Feinagle reign comprises a most interesting part of this building's history, something that should be acknowledged in any future restoration (assuming the next owner doesn't skedaddle also ;))

The eastern elevation with projecting theatre wing below. This wing would appear to date to the original construction of the house. (No prizes for guessing where the above-mentioned rank of lavatories on the second floor of the house is located...)

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The theatre.

Image

(Why does this part of the building always conjure up images of a private cinema, MTV Cribs style?)

Hearteningly, we have what appear to be the only 18th century windows left in the entire complex to its rear.

Image



Image


The height of the house never fails to impress. The tall proportions work to much more elegant effect to the rear, with the modest, warm brick facades lending a quaint, towerhouse-like quality to the mansion, in contrast to the utterly charmless principal elevation.

Image


The brick would appear to be like that mixture of red and yellow that we see on houses of roughly similar date on the south side of Merrion Square, but with more red.

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The windows are still open.

Image
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby tomtdowling » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:46 pm

Really hope some use is found for this wonderful building. I worked on the set of Jim Sheridan's In America much of the interior shots of the family's New York apartment were shot here including the staircase. I doubt many would think it was Dublin.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:57 pm

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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby thebig C » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:40 pm

Still some vestages of former glory but its obviously been gutted over the years. Also, looks like some of the newer apartments were built a little too close!
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby Lukegardiner » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:46 am

Of course you realise that Aldborough House is nothing like Broadstone Station. Nothing like it whatsoever...
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby urbanisto » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:09 am

I understand that some money has been made available from the Structures at Risk fund to undertake some basic repairs of the house.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby kefu » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:40 pm

With only €650,000 available for the entire country this year - Aldborough House is unlikely to get more than €50,000, if we are lucky. I suppose it's better than nothing but it won't make much of a dent with a building of that size and in such a sorry state of dereliction.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby urbanisto » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:08 pm

It got €80k. It will at least stop water ingress.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Just informed that the Dublin Fire Brigade were at the house today. Don't know how serious yet.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby arachne » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:45 pm

Does anyone have an update on condition of Aldborough House?

I for one am very concerned about it. There are a multitude of buildings at risk as we all know, but I think this is not only criticially at risk, but almost certainly one of the most important buildings at risk. Surely time for a fundraising campaign along the lines of that which saved Tailor's Hall back in the 1960s? First priority: full-time security
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby urbanisto » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:49 pm

Its sad that the concept of a caretaker has fallen by the wayside.
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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu May 09, 2013 10:48 pm

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Re: Aldborough House Portland Row, Dublin

Postby hutton » Fri May 24, 2013 3:03 pm

Paul Clerkin wrote:Item on tonight's news
http://www.rte.ie/news/player/2013/0509 ... -building/


Cheers for posting that.

Absolutely outrageous to see the owner make his demands at the end of the clip.

Action must happen.
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