The colors in Dublin

Hi lovely,

How are you feeling today? I am feeling so excited that I have time to sit down and write this post.

I started to have a short walk around the office during my lunch break, which made such a difference in how I handle the lockdown. To be honest I felt that I was in a cage as I was just going to work, back home and so on. Being able to see something else besides my neighborhood makes me so happy and charges me with enough patience to go through another day in lockdown.

Always wondered about the meaningless behind the colorful doors from Ireland. Well, I did what everybody will do… went to our old good friend Google. There are 2 stories that need to be told: the history behind the colorful doors, and the story of how they became known worldwide. Probably, if you are Irish, you probably know already both stories.

These colorful doors can be found all over Dublin, but the most known are the ones that let you in Georgian Houses found on the south part of Liffey river. If you find yourself in Merrion Square, or on Fitzwilliam street and Square, Baggot street Lower, Pembroke street and not only, you probably noticed these colorful doors at every step. Some of them are maintained, and for some of them color has faded away along with the years. But, did you know that the colorful doors weren’t always colorful? Nobody knows the real color, but they say that most likely it was a neutral shade. How, when and why were they colored? Apparently the famous writer George Moore lived next to another well known writer, Oliver St John Gogarty, in Ely Place. It’s said that Moore painted his door green so Gogarty would not knock on his door when returning from his wild night. Gogarty then painted his door in red so that Moore will not knock on his door on his return from his wild nights. But apparently in the history books it is written that Moore was only drinking a little wine with his dinner, and didn’t enjoy seeing drunk people on the street. More relevant to the story is that Moore and his neighbors lived in Georgian style buildings that all looked the same. In order to distinguish themselves from the crowd the residents started to paint their doors in colors of their choice. Red was more durable, but they weren’t shy in using black, grey, or even bright colors. Along with coloring their doors they also added ornate knockers, beautiful and elegant fanlights above the door, and iron boot scrapers near the entrance.

These beautiful Georgian Buildings had much too suffer, some of them were even demolished, until Bob Fearon created a well known collage “The Doors of Dublin” in 1970. Bob was the head of an ad agency from NYC that came to Dublin for a commercial shoot. On his way back to his hotel he found himself in Merrion Square and the Fitzwilliam Square where he noticed the Georgian Buildings had the doors painted with different colors. He then took around 40 pictures with the idea of doing a collage with these unusual doors. On his return to NYC he did his collage and showed it to his friend Joe Malone who said that it will be perfect for his Irish Tourism office to be displayed on St Patrick’s Day. Irish Tourist Board was on the same page with Joe, and actually contacted Bob Fearon and bought the rights to the collage. Bob the added the alliterative title of “The Doors of Dublin”, and the end result became a staple for Irish Tourism.

Since then many things changed, some of the buildings probably have different owners, some of them are used as offices, embassy for different countries, or even crèche/Montessori; some of the doors were not repaired/repainted, but the vibe is the same. If you ever find yourself in front of one of these doors, don’t just take a picture of it, or with it, but also look at it and enjoy its unusual color that you wouldn’t probably think of using on your entrance door.

Once this madness is over come in person to check the vibe, but until then I will let you enjoy few of my pictures (more on Instagram @mariaroxanaphotography .

Kisses and don’t forget to love yourself, you deserve it!

This post was inspired from Who Was behind the Doors of Dublin?, by Bridget Haggerty

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