Portobello came into existence as a small suburb south of the City in the 18th century, centered on Richmond Street (R 114). During the 19th century Portobello was filled in with development transforming an area of private estates and farmland into solid Victorian red-bricked living quarters for the middle classes on the larger streets, and terraced housing generally closer to the canal for the working classes. The vast majority of development came in the latter half of the 19th century. Portobello became the perfect transition neighborhood of the working class poor living in “the Liberties” to the west and the regal well off Georgian district to the east. Many mobile middle class families historically settled here. Portobello also became a major Ashkenazi Jewish community, fleeing widespread violence against Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe. This led to Portobello being known as Dublin’s “Little Jerusalem”.
Portobello is one of my favorite Dublin neighborhoods as it hosts a very comfortable and walkable urban district on the edge of the Center City. The architecture is an attractive mix of more regal upper middle class housing and worker rowhouses with just enough ornamentation to make them attractive. The R137 and Richmond Street commercial districts sandwich the neighborhood on the western and eastern sides providing excelling retail and cultural amenities (i.e. restaurants, bars, and live music). Portobello is also a 10-20 minute walk from most sites in the Center City but removed enough to not be overrun by tourists. Not much to complain about here from an urban perspective. The district has better tree canopy than most inner city Portobello districts and hosts a nice canal front walking path along the Grand Canal. The district could use more park and plazas spaces but not sure where they could squeeze this in as the neighborhood is very compact.
Click here to view my Portobello album on my Flickr page
* Very well preserved historic stock mixing in more ornate with mostly stripped done rowhouses but with some minor ornamentation.
* Served by two vibrant commercial districts on the western and eastern edges ( R 137 and Richmond St),. Richmond Street (R 114) has excellent historic commercial architecture.
* Good tree canopy for Dublin standards and much better than the neighboring Liberties District.
* Excellent retail and solid cultural amenities, especially restaurants, bars, and live music. Very close to all the cultural amenities in Center City as it surrounds Portobello on two sides.
* District isn’t swarming with tourists.
* Urban modern in-fill, while limited is of a good quality.
* Good bike lanes network and close to a street ca line.
* Park space is limited to two small squares and the recreational trail along the Grand Canal.