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  • Northside West

North city museum up for major award

Friday, 10th January, 2020 8:00am
North city museum up for major award
North city museum up for major awardView More Images

A MUSEUM in the north inner city has been nominated for a prestigious award this year.

14 Henrietta Street is in the running for a European Museum of the Year Award, which will be announced in May. It’s the only Irish nomination for the European Museum Forum’s EMYA 2020 awards, and will vie with 60 museums across Europe for the title.

The competition is open to new museums that have opened to the public in the past three years, or an established museum that has completed a substantial programme of modernisation, extension, re-organisation or re-interpretation during the same period.

Opened in September 2018, 14 Henrietta Street is Dublin’s museum of social history. It tells the story of the building’s shifting fortunes through 300 years of city life, from its Georgian beginnings to its tenement times, connecting the history of urban life to the stories of the people who called it their home.

The museum is owned and conserved by Dublin City Council and is operated by the Dublin City Council Culture Company.

Chief executive of Dublin City Council Culture Company, Iseult Byrne, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this European Museum of the Year Award nomination as it really speaks to the ethos of 14 Henrietta Street. At 14 Henrietta Street we protect, share and add to the cultural life of the city by telling stories, making new connections and uncovering further stories and histories of the house.”

14 Henrietta Street is not a museum in the traditional sense. The building is considered the primary artefact - the layers of history are visible on the walls - and tell the story of the lives of the former residents of the house. Access to the house is by intimate guided tour, which allows visitors to ask questions and to share their memories, meaning no two tours are the same. The majority of the visitors to the museum have memories of the house itself, or the historical period covered in the tours, so they can often offer the guides the opportunity to learn through talking and listening, bringing to life the stories of those who passed through the house.

Ms Byrne added: “It’s hard to believe that we only opened to the public 15 months ago. Since then, we have welcomed more than 40,000 visitors from Dublin and further afield. We have built on our tour offering; we have developed our knowledge through our ongoing social and history research and the ‘Your Tenement Memories’ projects, and commissioned further social history and historical research corresponding to the key eras of the history of the house.

“By listening and talking with visitors, historians, local residents and their families - and through the knowledge of others - the museum continues to discover new stories, gathering memories and adding to its collection and visitor experience. We would like to thank all of our team and visitors for making 2019 an outstanding year for the museum and we share this prestigious nomination with them.”

Chief executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, stated: “14 Henrietta Street was in a derelict state when Dublin City Council undertook to save and renovate it. Work was carried out over a 10-year period to stabilise, preserve and restore the building and then our attention turned to the question of how to create a really fantastic experience for visitors. We are so proud of what the team has produced and the interest Dubliners and overseas visitors alike have taken in this museum.”

The European Museum of the Year Award will be announced in Cardiff in May. Other museums vying for the title include Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

14 Henrietta Street is only accessible by guided tours, which take place on the hour, five days a week, from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Saturday, and from 12 noon to 4pm on Sundays. Tickets cost €9 per adult (€6 concession) and are available from www.14henriettastreet.ie. Advance booking is recommended and group bookings are available. 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here