Dr Ellen Rowley, Architectural Historian on 14 Henrietta Street


“So much of our problems with the private rental sector and with public housing we can source and originate in this history, in this house”

Dr Ellen Rowley

Dr Ellen Rowley is a cultural and architectural historian, a Dubliner with an eye and an ear for the stories of the people who lived in the buildings around us. 'If walls could talk' she says they'd tell us a multi-layered story of the lives of the people who passed through and made it a home. 

Ellen is the editor of the book series 'More than Concrete Blocks, Dublin's 20th Century buildings and their stories' (https://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2016/more-than-concrete-blocks/). 

She is a Research Fellow with the School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, UCD and previously worked as an Irish Research Council Fellow on heritage projects with Dublin City Council and that included working as a curator on the new Tenement Museum, 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin which is now run by the Dublin City Council Culture Company. 

Ellen's interest in people as much as buildings ensures 14 Henrietta Street brings to life the rich tapestry of tenement Dublin and in this episode of the podcast This is Where we Live, recorded in Henrietta Street, she talks to producer Helen Shaw about how the past shines light on the present as we once again grapple with the challenge of housing shortages, of high rents and private profiteering landlords and the need for affordable and public housing.

Follow Ellen on Twitter : twitter.com/Elsorowley

Bike tour of Dublin with Ellen (Video) cyclingwith.com/ellen/

And do book a tour of 14 Henrietta Street : 14henriettastreet.ie/ ( Henrietta St is run by Dublin City Council Culture Company)

Watch this little video to see pictures of what Ellen and the team created:  "Set in a Georgian townhouse, 14 Henrietta Street tells the story of the building’s shifting fortunes, from family home and powerbase to courthouse; from barracks to its final incarnation as a tenement hall. The stories of the house and street mirror the story of Dublin and her citizens. https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-tv/watch-inside-14-henrietta-street-dublins-newest-museum-37313710.html

The house features film and audio storytelling and has a powerful bed chamber centred around women and birth that uses poetry by Paula Meehan.

Support us on Patreon www.patreon.com/tiwwl

Music credit: Michael Gallen 'Graceful' michaeljgallen.com

Our thanks to our sponsors Happy Scribe www.happyscribe.co a fast and efficient way to transcribe audio and to the Dublin Housing Observatory.

Dr Rowley's recent book titles are :

2019: Architecture, Housing and the Edge Condition


2019/2016: More than Concrete Blocks, Vol. I and Vol.2


Photo Credit : The Irish Times

John Howard