During the early 18th century, Dublin, Ireland rose to become one of the British Empire's
most prominent and prosperous cities. Dubliners began to build elegant new Georgian
homes beyond the walls of the original medieval town. One of the first developments
was called Merrion Square. At the time of construction, all of the exterior doors were the
same color. How and when did the famous vibrant-colored doors, now a city landmark,
come into being?
For every historical happening, there's always a good story to explain it. The Georgian
doors of Dublin are no exception. It's said (usually by tour guides) that the writer George
Moore lived next door to another well-known writer, Oliver St. John Gogarty. Both were
a bit eccentric and, so the story goes, Moore painted his door green so that the drunken
Gogarty wouldn't mistakenly come knocking on it late at night. Gogarty then retaliated by
painting his door a bright red. And that's supposedly what started the ball rolling.
But, the truth isn't quite as colorful (no pun intended). The fact is that the Georgian
style exteriors of these townhouses, by virtue of strict rules laid down by the developer,
had to adhere to very specific architectural guidelines - they were all, to the smallest
detail, uniformly built. So, in order to set themselves apart, the residents of Georgian
Dublin started painting their front doors whatever color struck their fancy (red was more
durable and became a favorite). They, also, added ornate door-knockers, elegant
fanlights above the door and wrought iron boot scrapers near the entrance.
Beginning in the 1950's - in a well-intentioned, but sadly misguided attempt by Irish
government to wipe away physical reminders of Ireland's colonial past - scores of these
beautiful Georgian town homes were destroyed. Thanks to diligent efforts by historians,
architects and preservationists, the carnage finally came to a halt. There was one other
group responsible for saving what was left of the row houses: the Irish Tourist Board
had taken note that tourists and cameras were drawn like magnets to the Georgian
squares because of "the famous doors of Dublin."
The doors on this page are not all located in the Georgian squares of Dublin. Early on,
Dubliners in other areas of the city started following suit and, now, you'll find colorful
doors, here and there, in many of the neighborhoods of the city. But, most of these
photos are of the Georgian townhouses constructed in the 1700's.
|A man's worth is measured by how he parents his children.
What he gives them, what he keeps away from them, the lessons he teaches
and the lessons he allows them to learn on their own. -- Lisa Rogers
|My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would
come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass,"
Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." -- Harmon Killebrew
|I talk and talk and talk, and I haven't taught people in 50 years
what my father taught by example in one week. -- Mario Cuomo
|By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right,
he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. -- Charles Wadsworth
|My father didn't tell me how to live, he lived,
and let me watch him do it. -- Clarence Kelland
|Sometimes the poorest man leaves his
children the richest inheritance. -- Ruth Renkel
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|The photos on this page are courtesy of Flickr and:
GerardEviston, Gorriti, MacFilko,
CnmeohlsAnimDom, jafsegal, laFeba, Mikelo,
bachmont, thorieif.wiik, velacis, AlunJCarr,