This house was built as a pair with No. 11, possibly to the designs of Edward Lovett Pearce. It was initially leased to Henry Boyle, Speaker of the House of Commons. Later, the house was leased to the 2nd Earl of Shannon in 1780, and subsequently gutted with the removal of a floor to provide a truly grand piano nobile.
The building retains most of the interior detailing from that remodelling including stucco decoration by Charles Thorp, with remnants from the earlier scheme. The house has been undergoing a painstaking programme of conservation works and forms an important part of what has been described as 'Dublin's Street of Palaces' while the ongoing conservation work will contribute to the improving fortunes of this remarkable streetscape.
Laid out by Luke Gardiner in the 1720s, Henrietta Street is a short cul-de-sac containing the finest early Georgian houses in the city. It was named after Henrietta Crofts, the third wife of Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton and Lord Lieutenant in 1717-21, the street developed in a piecemeal fashion and set the trends of scale and design in domestic architecture.
I LEARNED THE FOLLOWING TODAY:
The piano nobile (Italian, "noble floor" or "noble level", also sometimes referred to by the corresponding French term, bel étage) is the principal floor of a large house, usually built in one of the styles of Classical Renaissance architecture. This floor contains the principal reception and bedrooms of the house.
The piano nobile is often the first (European terminology, second floor in US terms) or sometimes the second storey, located above a ground floor (often rusticated) containing minor rooms and service rooms. The reasons for this were so the rooms would have finer views, and more practically to avoid the dampness and odours of the street level. This is especially true in Venice where the piano nobile of the many palazzi is especially obvious from the exterior by virtue of its larger windows and balconies and open loggias.