Named after the Fitzwilliam family, Earls of Merrion, who developed this land as part of their great estate on the southside of the Liffey. This, the most cohesive estate in Dublin was laid out between 1760 and 1850. The land acquired by the Fitzwilliam family was leased as a block from the City Corporation and as it was a single block, this lent it a cohesiveness that was lacking in the Gardiner Estate, which was developed and bought in small parcels. Their first project was Merrion Street in 1758. Fitzwilliam Street once the longest expanse of intact Georgian architecture anywhere in the world was destroyed in the 1970s when the ESB a supposedly responsible semi-state body wantonly demolished twelve of the houses.