Belvedere House was built for George Augustus Rochfort, the Second Earl of Belvedere in 1775. The house was built for £24,000 on what would have been rural green fields with a view of the Custom House, the bay and the distant mountains. North Great Georges Street itself was originally laid out in 1774 as a driveway leading to Belvedere House. In 1841 the house was bought by the Society of Jesus to accommodate their growing boys school which had started life ten years previously around the corner on Hardwicke Street. This building still remains as part of the College today. One of the more outstanding features of the house is the stucco-work of the Adamesque style popularised by Robert and James Adam. This can be seen in the ornamented surrounds, wherein pictures are framed in plaster rather than oil. Dublin born Stuccodor and designer Michael Stapleton (1740-1801) was responsible for this work and further examples of his craftsmanship include the ceiling of the exam hall in Trinity College as well as some of the plasterwork in Powerscourt House, South William Street and Aras an Uachtarain.
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Open House Dublin is presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF): a non-profit arts organisation dedicated to the promotion of architecture as culture. Open House Dublin is just one part of a dynamic programme of activity through which we encourage people to engage with their built environment, to encourage new ways of thinking about architecture.
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