Hidden history of Trinity’s Museum Building uncovered
The quarrymen, stonemasons and craftspeople who cut, carved and constructed Ireland’s splendid Victorian buildings have been long lost to history, overshadowed by the architects and patrons who designed and commissioned them. Today however, Trinity College Dublin is launching a ground-breaking research project which will illuminate the hidden history of one of Dublin’s most iconic Victorian buildings.
For the last two years the ‘Making Victorian Dublin’ project, funded by the Irish Research Council, has dissected and analysed Trinity’s Museum Building — regarded as one of the finest and most influential examples of Victorian architecture. Built in the 1850s, the building has been home to the college’s Departments of Engineering, Geology and Geography for almost 160 years. The building was pioneering in its patriotic use of Irish marble and decorative stone and established a taste for Connemara marble and Cork Red limestone which spread across Ireland to Britain, the United States and even as far as Cape Town in South Africa.
To mark the launch of the project today, a new interactive website (www.makingvictoriandublin.com) allows the public to explore and navigate a 3-D digital scan of the splendid building. Users worldwide will be able to admire the splendid double-domed main hallway, the richly decorated interior carvings and 32 spectacular columns of coloured Irish stone.
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