In 1991, in response to the remarkable resurgence in Irish scholarship and creative arts, and at the initiative of New York University President L. Jay Oliva, the university made the commitment to create a center that would focus solely on Irish and Irish American studies and culture. Essential to this enterprise was the vision and philanthropy of Lewis L. Glucksman and Loretta Brennan Glucksman, whose energy and dedication enabled the transformation of two adjoining landmark townhouses at Washington Mews and Fifth Avenue to serve as the elegant home for the center, which was named Glucksman Ireland House in tribute to their pioneering endeavor.
Since its inauguration in the spring of 1993, Glucksman Ireland House at New York University has evolved into a vibrant and prominent center for the presentation and understanding of Irish and Irish-American scholarship and culture. The Irish Studies Program provides formal opportunities for undergraduate students to learn about Irish and Irish-American culture and history.
Irish Studies at NYU has flourished since the first classes were formally offered. From a modest initial enrollment of thirty-four in the first semester, courses in Irish Studies now attract over six hundred students per year, many of whom opt to declare a Minor in Irish Studies, and have the opportunity to study in Dublin during the summer semester. Student evaluations of courses and faculty are tremendously positive, and the House itself serves as a welcoming and lively center of student activity throughout the semester. Students have found Glucksman Ireland House to be a place of innovation and inspiration over the past fifteen years.
Renowned for its charming atmosphere, Glucksman Ireland House includes classroom and meeting rooms, study areas, and faculty and administrative offices.
To house NYU's Irish Studies program, numbers One and Two Washington Mews, previously private residences built in the 1930s, were converted into a single building and fully renovated in 1992.
Glucksman Ireland House opened April 26, 1993 with an academic procession led by New York University President L. Jay Oliva, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Lewis L. Glucksman, and Taoiseach of Ireland Albert Reynolds. Dignitaries in attendance included playwright Brian Friel, actress Maureen O'Hara, filmmaker Noel Pearson, actor Cyril Cusak, and flautist James Galway.