NCAD occupies the former site of Powers Distillery off Thomas Street. John Power first established this distillery on John’s Lane in 1791 at a time when brewing and distilling were big business in the area. The distillery became one of Dublin’s largest and best known brands, and in 1871, the distillery was rebuilt in splendid Victorian style.
As was the case with numerous Irish whiskey producers, production waned in the early 20th century and Powers declined. The decision was made to close John’s Lane and move production to Cork.
During the 1980s the campus was converted to what it is today – National College of Art & Design. The old features of the distillery remain to this day – Red Square is overlooked by the power station where you can still see the old pot stills.
A new trail, with panels, is now proposed to open up interpretation of the campus to its many visitors and will hopefully spur much greater interest in the site and its interesting history.