THERE are three-bed semis, and three-bed semis – and within that broad spectrum, No 1 Adelaide Place, Cork is in a niche of its own.
Georgian in every feel and respect, but possibly built more solidly in the Victorian era, the period city home, with its private courtyard gardens, and lofted stone mews coachhouse (see p1 thumbprint), is an intact period gem, that just needs a bit warming up.
Its location is at the foot of Gardiner’s Hill at St Luke’s Cross, a sort of hilly half-way base camp for along the upward trajectory out through the old Cork city suburbs, yet a short walk back to town.
Its utter originality is its strong suit, as all period architectural details seem unscathed. It doesn’t require too much imagination to see how it might have looked and felt when new, likely in the mid-1800s. In fact, there’s hardly a kitchen or bathroom here to talk about, plumbing facilities are rudimentary at best, and the first job to tackle.
It has about 2,500 sq ft of space, on three levels – two over a practical and entirely functional basement, and although the mannerly house has been empty for a while, and right through the coldest and wettest months, there’s little sense of worrying damp or mould. Simply turning on the existing gas central heating (a rare but necessary intervention, put in by its late caring owner) will transform the feel of this beguiling prospect.
No 1 is a bit of a quirky buy: back in the boom, a racing certainty would have been its purchase by a serial do-er upper/speculator, or perhaps an architect who realised the perfect proportions and prospects offered here.
Sadly, the architectural profession has been eviscerated by the downturn, but that means there’s no problem finding one to draft plans for its careful renewal.
Whoever buys here, into a bit of dream, might well be a romantic, but No 1 is no folly. All of its rooms are good size, ceiling heights are suitably grand and windows are intact, sashed and shuttered, eminently saveable, and fireplaces just need a match and a firelog put to them.
Agent for this executor sale is Tom Woodward, who guides it at €350,000 and who says a valuation two years ago had it up around €550,000/€660,000.
Options for those on a budget but desperate for the chance to work on it might be to buy it, and perhaps rent out the basement as a self-contained place for a while, as it has both rear external and interior access. Then, the lofted (and recently re-roofed) mews/coach house at the back end of the sheltered courtyard is another possible rentable space, or home office, or music room/studios, and it too has independent access by hooking around the back of the adjoining ‘semi’.
No 1 has parking alongside, or perhaps by its front railings (though as the first house at the entrance, there is passing traffic to the larger period houses beyond, many of them still in rental use).
And, as an added bonus, there’s a bit of a copse of private garden, across that access lane.
Really, this a place that will grow on anyone with a bit of imagination, soul and yes, practicality.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved