Joyce never lived here, nor did Leopold Bloom, though a minor character in Ulysses - Denis Maginni - held dance classes here (but then in what building in central Dublin did a minor character in Ulysses notdo something in?). How it came to be the Joyce Centre is that Senator David Norris noticed in the mid 1980s that this beautiful house was decaying, so, deciding to combine his passion for Joyce with his passion for Georgian architecture, he created a trust.
The house took 14 years to renovate but, through careful adherence to old photos, it now looks just as it did in 1904, when Maginni would have been holding his dance classes - the ceiling on the first floor is one of the finest in Dublin. After being run haphazardly by Joyce's nephew, the centre is now under new management and has gained greater focus.
The top floor has a recreation of Joyce's room in Zurich and a touch-screen history of the publication of Ulysses, while the terrace holds the door of 7 Eccles Street (Bloom's house), saved from the Mater Hospital's extension in Eccles Street. Highlights from the National Library's recent exhibition on Joyce are also on permanent loan to the Centre, and there are Joycean walking tours every Saturday (at 11am and 2pm).