City Assembly House Capital Campaign
Posted by Zoe Coleman
The Irish Georgian Society has launched a capital campaign to raise €600,000 to complete the restoration of the City Assembly House. €900,000 has been pledged so far through the support of Dublin City Council, and the US based Jerome L. Greene Foundation and Gilbert & Ildiko Butler Family Foundation.
We are appealing directly to our friends and membership in Ireland, the UK and the USA to raise the €600,000 required to reach our overall target of €1.5m which will allow us to commence the final phase of works on the building. All donors will be recognised on our Donors board displayed in the City Assembly House.
Works are scheduled to commence in early 2017 which will see the restoration of the great octagonal Exhibition Room, the provision of services to ensure the building will be accessible to everyone, and the preparation of a lettable space to generate sustainable income for the building.
17th February 2017: We are delighted to announce that the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs have awarded the City Assembly House €90,000 in funding under the Arts and Culture Capital Scheme 2016-2018. This money will be used to fund the installation of a wheelchair accessible lift and a secondary staircase to serve as fire escape route, which will make the building accessible to all! With €1.15million raised so far, we are 77% of the way toward reaching our goal of €1.5million!
Thank you to all our supporters who have donated over €21,000 in Ireland and $150,000 in the US toward our campaign since October 2016.
Vision for the City Assembly House
The Society’s ambition in restoring the City Assembly House is to revitalise a building of national architectural, cultural, and historical importance and to reach a wider audience in fulfilling our mission to promote and protect Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. The most exciting part of this final phase of works will see the refurbishment of the Knight of Glin Exhibition Room so that it can accommodate an Annual Exhibition, as well as an annual cultural programme of art and photographic exhibitions, musical performances, and lectures.
Progress to date
In 2013, the Irish Georgian Society completed the first phase of its restoration of the City Assembly House and moved into the building which now serves as our headquarters. The first phase of works focused on the rooms to the front of the building. On the ground floor the entrance hall has been refurbished and to either side a public office and small gallery have opened. The stairhall has been transformed through the cleaning and repair of rococo plasterwork by skilled stuccodores, and the repair of the balustrades and banisters of the staircase. On the first floor, in the Daniel O’Connell Room, works included the cleaning of decorative plasterwork, the installation of a dove grey Carrara marble chimneypiece, and the provision of brass picture rails. The top floor has been refurbished as working offices for the Society.
City Assembly House – Phase 2
In completing the restoration of the City Assembly house, the Society will undertake the following works:
- The full restoration of the Knight of Glin Exhibition Room as an exhibition and performance space.
- The provision of universal access to include a new lift that will service the basement, ground floor and Exhibition Room.
- The provision of a secondary fire escape route to allow an increase in visitor capacity.
- The restoration of the front and side elevations of the building and repair works to its roof.
- The creation of a lettable space to provide a sustainable source of income.
History of the City Assembly House
The City Assembly House was built by the Society of Artists in Ireland between 1766 and 1771 with the aim of promoting the work of Irish artists and providing an academy for the arts. At that time it was the first purpose-built public art gallery in either Britain or Ireland and possibly in Europe. The Society of Artists of Ireland ceased activity before the end of the 18th century but its former home continued to occupy a pivotal place in Dublin’s civic life. During the 19th century it was first home to Dublin Corporation whose members met in the octagonal room, and was later used as a courthouse. In 1952 a new Civic Museum was opened in the building and continued until its closure in 2003. For the next ten years it remained empty until it became the focus of the Irish Georgian Society’s restoration programme.
How you can help us achieve our €600,000 target
There are for easy ways to make a donation!
- Download and return this donation form
- Make a donation online
- Write a cheque or postal order and return to Irish Georgian Society, City Assembly House, 58 South William Street, Dublin 2
- Call +353 (0)1 679 8675
In the USA, please contact
Michael Kerrigan, Executive Director, IGS Inc.
Irish Georgian Society
1953 N. Clybourn Avenue,
Suite R286, Chicago, IL 60614
Telephone: (001) 312 961 3860