Thatâ€™s an interesting point you make Sinead â€“ indeed there is an attitude today regarding alterations that, ah sure if it was done before 1960 thereâ€™s value in it regardless
I see what you mean about it looking like a hospital Sue â€“ suppose the severe architecture of the mid-18th century doesnâ€™t best lend itself to being rendered considering how important the materials and relief etc is on such buildings.
Still think it looks amazing though, thereâ€™s just something about everything being white, esp when contrasted with the deadpan grey portico on the garden front.
I was looking through the list of projects carried out by the OPW over the years, and the Ãras was â€˜alteredâ€™ and redecorated between circa 1944-1960, naturally with the infamous Raymond McGrath overseeing the project, so presumably it was around this time that the paint and/or render arrived.
I wonder when the garden front was extended in 1802 and again in the 1850s if it was extended in the red brick the house was built of, or if everything was rendered at the time, or clad in stone.
Itâ€™s just the inauguration that raised this issue, which I had the pleasure of partially attending on a lovely morning off last Thursday â€“ I was going along directly opposite the Four Courts listening to the proceedings in the Castle on the radio just as the 21 gun salute to the President went off at Collins Barracks. It was a great moment with the guns resounding around the city & the Four Courts, hearing the applause of the Hall, and watching the white plumes of smoke rising over Arran Quayâ€¦as the golden autumnal canopies of the trees draped over the rustic granite wallsâ€¦
And for once not even the traffic noise drowned it out.
I decided to see if I could get into the Castle - needless to say Castle St was barricaded up, but the Palace St entrance was still open, just swarming with military people. They didnâ€™t bat an eyelid though so I got in. All the Revenue suits were standing around outside smirking at the proceedings, not least at the Lower Castle Yard which was transformed into a Mercedes car plant â€“ never seen anything like it.
There was a great atmosphere in the Upper Yard, the perfect foil for the occasion, but there were only about 10 members of the public watching from the cross-block archway, which was as far as you could get. You could still easily have got a pot shot at her if you wantedâ€¦
The army made a mess of marching in time once they got into the Lower Yard out of sight of the cameras; they struggled to say the least trying to get down the hill in a dignified fashion
Itâ€™s interesting that the inauguration takes place literally on the very spot where the gilded thrones of the Viceroy & consort once stood for balls in St Patrickâ€™s Hall â€“ wonder what they would have thought if you told them that 200 years ago, and oh - the President will be living in your house as well, thank you very much