Grafton Street’s ground floor retail units may be some of the most popular in the city, but there are hundreds of other worlds on the upper storeys, back rooms for the retailers as well as many other businesses in offices and studios. Once you start looking, you’ll notice the blank doors and rows of bells between the shopfronts, some with names and some just giving away the number of units inside.

Edmund Ross Studios opened on Grafton Street in 1968, occupying one of these hidden upper floors until they left for a ground floor unit on Harcourt Street in 2011. The sign still remains high above the street level on number 59, and for most people who notice it, it’s as real or imaginary now as it ever was, still conjuring the fantasy of a formal portrait studio with suits, brass plates and handwritten ledgers.

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