Monday 17 November 2008

Rare Gandon drawings of Four Courts to go on view

THE KING'S Inns collection of valuable Gandon architectural drawings, including some of the Four Courts and the King's Inns itself, is to be transferred to the Irish Architectural Archive.

Access by the public to this collection will be launched by the Chief Justice, Mr Justice John L Murray, at a ceremony in the architectural archive on Wednesday.

This follows a decision by the benchers of King's Inns to make available its important collection of drawings to the archive, so that architects, historians and members of the public could have access to it.

Commenting on this initiative by the benchers, the chairman of the council of King's Inns, Conor Maguire SC, said that the King's Inns had for many years debated the best way to display its collection of drawings.

"The Inns was aware that it was almost impossible to satisfy every request made by members of the public to see the drawings," he said.

Mr Maguire is also chairman of the property sub-committee of the King's Inns, which looks after the organisation's buildings.

These include the main King's Inns building on Constitution Hill, the library on Henrietta Street, and number 11 Henrietta Street, where most of the tutorials take place for students taking the BL degree course.

The King's Inns is strongly supportive of the preservation of Henrietta Street, according to Mr Maguire.

"By making this loan to the architectural archive, researchers, students and members of the public will have access to a number of rare and important items which result from the intimate involvement of King's Inns with four of the greatest buildings of Georgian Dublin by the great architect James Gandon - King's Inns itself, the Four Courts, the Custom House and the Parliament House at College Green."

All these Gandon designs are represented in the exhibition, he pointed out.

Mr Maguire added that "there are also a number of curiosities, including an early proposal for the development of Dún Laoghaire harbour".

The Irish Times

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