DUBLIN’S DOORS ARE famously photogenic. Over the past few years, the Instagram account @thedoorsofdublin has been posting photos of Dublin’s most striking, colourful doors, amassing nearly 28,000 followers in the process.
The account is managed and curated by Eleanor Costello, a Dubliner who lives and works in Kettle’s Yard in University of Cambridge.
She was inspired to start the account after stumbling across The Doors of New York, an account dedicated to documenting some of New York’s most unique and interesting doors.
At the time, I was studying the History of Art and Architecture and had a few architecture classes about Georgian buildings. I began to notice all of the doors around Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square in particular but also from all over Dublin and in different styles of architecture too. I took photos of them before setting up the account and then realised that I had enough of a collection to following in @thedoorsofnewyork’s footsteps.
Costello had no idea if the account would resonate with anyone and even held off on telling people about it, fearing everyone would think it was a “strange new hobby”.
A few years later, however, and the account is flourishing.
Costello is not just a photographer, but a curator. In addition to taking her own photos, she trawls through Instagram to find other worthy photos to share – a job often made easier by the fact that Instagram users regularly tag the account in their photos.
“As well as using hashtags #thedoorsofdublin, #doorsofdublin and #dublindoors I like to search through Dublin locations and various other related hashtags to find unique images of people who haven’t actively tried to be featured,” she says.
“When I am home I do try to take a few more so I have some to post at a later date but honestly, finding new doors and places through other people is more exciting for me. I prefer sharing other people’s photos.”
Costello reckons the distinctive colours of Dublin’s Georgian doors are especially unique to Dublin, hence why they lend themselves to being photographed.
I’ve heard so many different stories as to why they’re painted so vividly. My favourite is that because of uniformity of Georgian rows that drunk Dubliners had to paint their door a different colour so when they stumbled home drunk they knew which house was theirs. I’m not entirely sure how true that is.
She’s also a fan of non-Georgian architecture and keen to showcase buildings in the city that might otherwise be overlooked.
I really like when people tag me in doors that aren’t Georgian. There is actually a lot of incredibly interesting architecture in the city that goes ignored.
One of Costello’s favourite doors in the city is this one on Dublin’s Middle Abbey Street.
“I’m obsessed with it,” she says. “I’ve heard so many stories about who painted it and why but I’d really like to find out more.”
An avid follower of other accounts like The Doors of Amsterdam and The Doors of London, Costello reckons that it’s Dublin’s ‘character’ that sets it apart from its European neighbours.
Dublin, me auld flower.