WATCH: Ballintemple, Cork, €475,000

The nearby stadium will bring games, and free gigs, to a buyer of this spotless house, writes Tommy Barker.

  • Size: 110sq m (1,180sq ft)
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • BER: D1
  • Best feature: Where we sported and played

There’s a new neighbour in town, just over the back fence from Archdale. It’s the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh GAA stadium, venue and its tall, new covered southern side stand, rapidly rising to a summer 2017 conclusion for its a first match throw-in, at a cost of nearly €80m.

The hulking 45,000 seat new-build could be dubbed ‘the elephant in the room,’ except for the fact this great big structure has been a talking point already around Ballintemple for several years in the run up to its delivery, and as its visibility punctured the skyline and cross-river views to and from Tivoli.

It’s no soaring and glowing Aviva stadium, but it is fresh, purposeful and ready for road, rock and roll. It will do a lot more and in significantly more comfort and safety than its predecessor, yet will not accommodate any more patrons than its first iteration.

It replaces the previous 1976-built, unloved structure but much-loved venue, built at the time for a a reported £1.7m.

The stadium’s proximity (see pic from Atlantic Pond, below) is deemed an absolute asset for the owner of Archdale, aka No 73 Maryville in Ballintemple, who recalls the energy of match build ups, but even more so, the free, tiered seating and free sound checks he gets from his own garden and decking for concerts. Funnily enough, his home is even-more popular with friends and family when there’s a show in town...

The former stadium’s last big ‘free’ gig was Bruce Springsteen, and he says the sound was excellent, the buzz incredible, and the Boss wastop form, as US flags fluttered over the crowds. A gig like that is always good for a house party, adds the man who moved here to Archdale in 1998, and who belatedly (about five or six years ago) added to it, with a rear extension which is now one, long, open-plan kitchen, dining and living area.

Like much of the rest of the house, there’s a vibrancy which is unexpected in a bungalow built in 1950, and much of that is down to being bold with colour choices, and a narrow curating of furniture and decorative pieces, so as to not over-burden its relatively compact dimensions.

The owner, who has travelled quite a bit, describe its interiors as “a cross between a New York loft,D1 a Barcelona apartment, and an Irish country cottage.”

And, all of this within a walk of Cork city centre (Monahan Road will have you there in jig time), with Ballintemple village on the doorstep, Páirc Uí Chaoimh so close you could almost puck a sliotar over to it, and the amenity walks from the Marina and Atlantic Pond 250 metres away, with City Hall soon set to move on adding extra value to the area’s public spaces and parks: it will happen on Archdale’s next owners’ watch.

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The house is in a super-private corner site at the lower section of Maryville, a sort of crescent estate in the ground of the former Maryville House, with two storey (predominantly semis-detacheds) at the upper run and bungalows on the lower tier.

The bungalows were built around 1950 by a Donal Sowersby, and No 73 Archdale was practically alone in its corner across the road from the rest of the single story builds, positioned on an extra large site with incredible Cork city views from the rear, west to the Elysian along the Lee’s wooded Marina section, and spanning the mansions of Montenotte and villas of Tivoli to the north, moving eastwards towards Silversprings to the east.

Archdale’s entrance is under an umbrella-like overhang of trees into its private grounds, full of landscaped shrubs and colour to the south section by the drive. Right alongside, visible over the party wall, is a modern new home, a decent-sized two storey building (glimpsed pic, right) now occupying a good portion of what was Archdale’s original gardens on the Blackrock side.

By way of complete contrast, directly over the other side wall is a large and leafy green space of lawn in a tucked-away corner of the Lindville estate. No 73 Maryville’s owner says when there are gigs — such as the Springsteen one in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, or a good show at the Live at the Marquee — beneath, Lindville residents turn up on the green, with rugs and picnics. By way of upwardly mobile social climbing and comparison with the occasional clusters on Lindville’s green, Archdale can deem itself to be the private or corporate box!

Weighing in a tad shy of 1,200sq ft over one level, Archdale comes to market this week with Trish Stokes and Cian O’Donoghue of Lisney, who guide at €475,000 and who say the location is top-notch, and the house in excellent order, already extended, and on ground that could well yet yield up further add-on potential.

Right now, it’s packed with personality and quirks, and is in a slightly unusual layout also. It has two wood-floored bedrooms to the front, deemed to be doubles but not huge, and they are left and right of a central hall with smooth-worn hardwood oak floor, and the bedroom to the left has a bay window.

There’s a third bedroom to the back/left, with French doors to a west-facing side garden and it has also been opened out into a day/living room via an arch with yet another bay window overlooking the back garden and decking. The owner has used it as a sort of private suite (is it the Barcelona apartment he wanted?) and it will either suit the next occupants as-is, or they may seek to separate them out again once more.

Features of this linked space include wood floors, several small porthole windows for west-facing light, left and right of the chimney breast with central cast iron fireplace in a black stone surround, and a twin-band of plasterwork at picture rail height, picked out in a bronze colour, and picking up a similar touch in the long hall.

Right now, there’s no en suite, but the single bathroom’s a calm space, with cast iron bath, separate double shower, wainscoting and dado in green-painted timbers with wood floor.

Largest room of all is the newest arrival, the 25’ long kitchen, feeding into a dining space and then a seating/living area at the far end with vaulted ceiling and east and west Veluxes in the roof pitch, with a north-facing window (too-small, above a rad: it should be a wall of triple-glazing) showing work in progress at Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s southern stand.

There are double doors out to a raised balcony deck, ideal for evening sundowners, and the garden below is in lawn, with a shed for storage: site size is 0.13 of an acre, or one-sixth of an acre in ‘the old money.’

Who’ll buy? It’s spotless, and in a walk-in conditions, so some may go to the pin of their collars around Lisney’s €475k asking price and buy for the very specific location, plus its charm.

It could be a perfect fit for a down-sizer from a larger and older home, and they’ll appreciate the gentle way this house has kept faith with its ‘50s roots. Buyers could be singles, or couples spanning a wide age cohort, but in its current configuration, it’s likely not going to be a family home for a brood.

Unless. Unless. Unless it is taken firmly in hand and made more of, more generously extended yet again, or perhaps even made into a two-story rebuild? Might it even face a more total and brutal fate and be substantially knocked and replaced with a substantial detached along the lines of the contemporary house now next door?

Verdict

Lovely as it stands, and a bit of a charmer Archdale’s future is wide open. Game on.

Get the look

Some great ideas for you to use in your home and how to get them.

Life in the round

Showing the attention to detail when first built, Archdale’s builder went to the trouble of adding feature porthole windows left and right of a living room’s fireplace.

They feature on the original engineer/ builder blueprint drawings the owner found in the attic and “it was the house’s present to me when I moved in.”

Hall away

No 73 has kept faith with original features, like this hardwood hall floor, picture-rail type plasterwork on high,and stripped, old pine doors.

Handle, with care

Objects you touch and use every day should give you tactile pleasure.

Here, a period-style handle is a mix of cool metal, and crackle-glaze ceramic

Slim picking

Even a quite-narrow kitchen or workspace can accommodate a slender island.

They don’t need to be land-masses to serve a purpose

Retro-grade

Homes dating to the 1950s can as easily accommodate contemporary touches as retro and ‘age-appropriate’ pieces such as this successful ‘mix ‘n’ mingle.

Look out

Embrace your vista.

No 73 Maryville has long, westerly views back to Cork city and the Elysian, as well as to the Port of Cork site where a signature high-rise tower is now proposed.

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