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Back to Press Releases 05 July 2023

ESB announces plans for new museum in Georgian Dublin setting

  • Museum at 12 Fitzwilliam Street Lower to connect the history of Georgian Dublin and Fitzwilliam Street Lower to the history of ESB and the development of science and technology in the home over 200 years
  • ESB intends to carry out a refurbishment of two Georgian houses – No. 12 and also No. 29 Fitzwilliam Street Lower
5 July 2023

ESB has today announced plans to partner with the Irish Heritage Trust to develop No. 12 Fitzwilliam Street Lower as a museum. 

Subject to the appropriate consents, No. 12 will be developed into a compelling heritage visitor attraction in Dublin’s South Georgian Core, within an authentic Georgian residential house setting. It is envisaged that the new attraction will connect the history of Georgian Dublin and Fitzwilliam Street Lower and the development of science and technology in the home over 200 years.
The refurbishment of Nos. 12 and 29 will be designed by a Grade 1 Conservation Architect and will showcase how energy efficiency can be improved in similar historic buildings while respecting the protected status of the houses. 

Commenting on the development, Paul Smith, ESB’s Executive Director of Engineering and Major Projects, says: “ESB has a longstanding presence on Fitzwilliam Street Lower which we very much value.  Our new award-winning head office has been designed by Grafton Architects/OMP Architects to be respectful of its Georgian surroundings and one of the most energy efficient office buildings in the country. The Irish Heritage Trust has a strong track record in preserving, celebrating and animating Irish heritage and culture. ESB is pleased to partner with the Trust in the development of an exciting new museum at No. 12 Fitzwilliam Street that will showcase Georgian Dublin and technological development in domestic life over 200 years.” 


“Since its formation in 2006 the Irish Heritage Trust has successfully collaborated with a wide variety of partners – public and private sector, to ensure that the special heritage properties in our care are conserved, nurtured, developed and shared for future generations. We are delighted to be the partner of choice for ESB on bringing to life this historically significant Georgian building, using best conservation practice,” said Anne O’Donoghue, CEO of the Irish Heritage Trust. “We look forward to developing an immersive visitor experience for this building, and we welcome the opportunity to connect people to its history through innovative and imaginative interpretation as well as education, events and volunteering whilst ensuring all works are completed in a sustainable manner.”

Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan TD added: “I welcome this fantastic partnership and the restoration  of a treasure of our past city living in the heart of Dublin’s Georgian Quarter. “

Having regard for the many original Georgian features at No. 12 Fitzwilliam Street, including staircases, door cases and associated joinery, window boxes and shutters, ceiling centrepieces and marble fireplaces, the Trust and ESB will progress with a conservation-led refurbishment of this authentic building.  The Irish Heritage Trust will develop and share the history of No. 12, by revealing layers of history and people’s stories that will serve to unlock the tremendous potential of this original Georgian townhouse and bring it to the widest possible audience.

Meanwhile, No. 29 Fitzwilliam Street Lower will be converted into three family sized homes, supporting the restoration of residential living in the South Georgian Core. These units will join the eleven homes that were completed in 2022 as part of the restoration and adaptation of former ESB Georgian houses on Mount Street Upper and Fitzwilliam Street Lower. 
About ESB:
ESB was established in 1927 as a statutory body under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1927. With a holding of 96.9%, ESB is majority owned by the Irish Government. The remaining 3.1% is held by the trustees of an Employee Share Ownership Plan. As a strong, diversified utility, ESB operates across the electricity market, from generation through transmission and distribution, to supply of customers in addition to using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications. ESB is a leading Irish utility  with a 30% share of generation in the all-island market and supply businesses supplying electricity and gas to over 2 million customer accounts throughout the island of Ireland and Great Britain. During the year ended 31 December 2022, ESB Group employed an average of over 8,000 people.

About the Irish Heritage Trust: 
The Irish Heritage Trust is an independent registered charity that operates on a not-for-profit basis.  It cares for and brings to life some of Ireland’s most precious historic houses, museums, gardens and parklands, while also developing innovative and compelling visitor experiences at these beautiful places.
The Irish Heritage Trust cares for and manages:
• Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens, Co. Wexford.
• Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, Co. Cork.
• Strokestown Park House, Gardens & National Famine Museum, Co. Roscommon.
• 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin.
The Irish Heritage Trust’s guiding motto is People, Place, Participation.  It engages with and connects people to its properties through innovative and imaginative education, events, and volunteering programmes by taking a forward-looking, sustainable approach to preserving and sharing the past.  The Irish Heritage Trust provides for their conservation and maintenance and works to ensure that some of Ireland’s most striking landmarks and important cultural resources remain available for everyone to enjoy in perpetuity.  They do this with the valued support of their members, visitors, and volunteers.
As well as preserving properties and their past, the work of the Irish Heritage Trust also helps to:
• Generate tourism and local employment opportunities.
• Strengthen curiosity about and knowledge of the past.
• Foster pride, engagement, and partnership through its award-winning volunteer programme.
• Champion and showcase local food and craft producers.
• Protect and foster biodiversity.