Restoration of the City Assembly House facade
Posted by IGS
Through the support of the Jerome L Greene Foundation and additional sponsorship and grants from The Ireland Funds and Dublin City Council, the Irish Georgian Society has been able to pursue one of the core projects in its revitalisation of the building: the reinstatement of Georgian-type windows and the cleaning and repointing of the historic brick and stone work of the front facade. Completed in early November 2016, the project has brought about a transformational change to one of Dublin’s most significant eighteenth-century buildings and has significantly enhanced the character of the associated streetscape.
Reinstatement of Georgian-type windows
The reinstatement of Georgian-type windows to the City Assembly House in place of late 19th/early 20th century plate glass windows has successfully restored the intended fenestration of the building’s front and side elevations. The Society gave careful consideration to this project judging that the plate glass windows significantly detracted from the visual appeal of the building through failing to sustain the contrasting rhythm between the horizontally proportioned bricks and the original vertical proportions of the fenestration. In resolving to replace them, survey drawings and details of windows from Charlemont House were used that had been prepared by David Griffin of the Irish Architectural Archive. Charlemont House was built in 1763 and so is a contemporary of the City Assembly House, which dates to 1766. The same details were used when replacing the windows in No. 85 St Stephen’s Green and No. 20 Lower Dominick Street. Reference was also made to the 1795 Malton View of Powerscourt House which illustrates a portion of the City Assembly House.
Re-pointing the façade
Following a programme of works that started in June, scaffolding has now been removed from the City Assembly House revealing the building in all its glory. The works programme involved the re-pointing of brickwork using wigging pointing as well as the repointing and repair of damaged stone work. This project was undertaken so as to remove cement pointing that was applied in the 1950s which had caused the spalling of the fabric of the façade and which left a dreary elevation that belies the great interest of the building’s interiors. Failing to address this issue would have resulted in the continued deterioration of brick and stone work and exacerbated future repair needs. Urgent repair works were also carried out to replace lead flashing above the windows, over the doorcase, and on the parapet so as to halt water ingress. The work was undertaken by Nolan Group Stone Brick Restoration which has also been a generous sponsor of this part of the City Assembly House project.
Learn more about the ongoing restoration of the City Assembly House by watching this short video here.
Make a donation to the City Assembly House Capital Campaign by clicking here.