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How Ireland Inspired the White House

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The Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland
The Leinster House in Ireland may have inspired the design of the White House in Washington, DC

The Leinster House in Ireland may have inspired the design of the White House in Washington, DC

Photo (cc) Thpohl/Wikepedia
Built: 1745-47
Architect: Richard Cassels
Original Name: The Kildare House
Current Use: Seat of the Irish Parliament

About the Leinster House:
Originally named the Kildare House, the Leinster House began as a home for James Fitzgerald, the Earl of Kildare. Fitzgerald wanted a mansion that would reflect his prominence in Irish society. The neighborhood, on the south side of Dublin, was considered unfashionable. But after Fitzgerald and his German-born architect, Richard Cassels, built the Georgian manor, prominent people were drawn to the area.

In 1776, the same year America declared its independence from Britain, Fitzgerald became the Duke of Leinster. Fitzgerald's home was renamed the Leinster House. Leinster House was greatly admired and became a model for many other important buildings. It's likely that James Hoban, who studied in Dublin, saw designs for the Leinster House before he created his prize-winning plans for America's White House in Washington, DC.

Today, the Leinster House is the seat of the Irish Parliament and also an architectural twin to America's presidential home.

Neoclassical in Northern Ireland
A hundred and fifty years later, the newly established government of Northern Ireland followed similar design for their parliament building in Belfast.

More on the Web
A Guide to the Leinster House

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