Henrietta Street house needs a hero
Only a hero would undertake the restoration of No.7 Henrietta Street. The once-grand Georgian house, built in 1738 by Nathaniel Clements, is in such a decrepit state that even after spending €1.85 million to buy it, you would need another €3 million or so to put it right. It was first put on the market by Hassett and Fitzsimons two years ago, with an asking price of €3.25 million. But although numerous people have viewed the property, it has yet to find a buyer – probably because the amount of work needing to be done is so intimidating.
Like almost every house on the street, number 7 became a tenement and even as late as 1950 there were more than 70 people living in it, with whole families being reared in single rooms and only one toilet per floor – located in a narrow block added in the late 19th century. The house was rescued in 1967 by the late Uinseann Mac Eoin, architect, conservationist and crusader for Georgian Dublin. It has since provided affordable studios for 12 artists, one of whom actually lives there, as well as providing an authentically distressed setting for films.
From the outside, it is clear that the entire façade needs to be restored. The windows look as if they haven’t been painted for decades and some are loose, while the fanlight and sidelights of the entrance door have been replaced by plywood with painted tracery.