Categories of Special Interest
In Use As
1775 - 1795
Attached three-bay four-storey former house over basement, built c. 1785, having two-storey return to rear. Now in use as offices. Pitched slate roof to front, hipped at west end, concealed behind brick parapet with granite coping, and with two pitched and hipped roofs to rear perpendicular to street, larger over eastern bays. Brick chimneystacks to east end with clay pots. Flemish bond red brick walls to front on granite plinth course over painted rendered walls to basement, and yellow brick to rear. Square-headed window openings, diminishing in height to upper floors, with painted granite sills, and carved granite block-and-start surrounds to basement openings. Timber sliding sash windows, front and rear elevations having three-over-three pane windows to top floor, front having replacement one-over one pane windows to ground floor and six-over-six pane elsewhere, and rear elevation having eight-over-eight pane windows to ground floor and six-over-six pane elsewhere. Decorative cast-iron balconettes to first floor and wrought-iron grilles to basement. Round-headed principal doorway with rendered linings, fluted frieze with paterae, moulded cornice, engaged Ionic columns with respond pilasters having acanthus leaf decoration to capitals, framing decorative leaded sidelights, elaborate cobweb fanlight and eleven-panel timber door with brass furniture. Granite platform with cast-iron boot-scrape, remains of second, and five granite steps. Wrought-iron railings enclosing basement area with decorative cast-iron posts on moulded granite plinth. Cast-iron coal-hole covers set in granite flags to footpath. Rear of plot has carpark spread over rear of Nos. 55-57 Merrion Square and Nos. 1-3 Fitzwilliam Street Lower; concrete block boundary wall to lane.
No. 57 Merrion Square forms part of the eighteenth-century square developed by the Fitzwilliam Estate. The restrained façade of this building is enlivened by its Ionic doorcase, complete with decorative fanlight and sidelights, and by the good metalwork to its balconettes and railings, all of which provide visual and craft interest. The building and its intact setting details contribute significantly to the intact appearance of this important architectural set-piece. The square is one of the best-preserved Georgian streetscapes in Ireland. The north, east and south sides are lined with terraced houses of eighteenth and early nineteenth-century date, while the west side is terminated by the garden front of Leinster House. The houses maintain a relatively uniform building height and design, attributed to standards promoted in Fitzwilliam's leases. Individuality was introduced through the design of doorcases, window ironwork and interior decorative schemes. The south side of Merrion Square was initially set in large plots of twelve leases; plots were leased consecutively from east to west until the row was complete in 1791.