Scandinavian-style period home in Rathgar on the market for €2.7m
Period home in Rathgar that has development potential
The village of Rathmines has a certain contrived grandeur to it - the great four-faced town hall clock tower and town hall by Thomas Drew, the grandly sculpted bank building, the old fire station, the pillared college, the fussy looking library building and further down, the pastoral musical society building.
This is because Rathmines was designed and built to make a statement. In the mid 19th Century it became a "fresh start" location for disgruntled Anglo Irish homeowners who were determined to move out of the city centre.
Within 20 years of Catholic Emancipation, the entry of nationalists into politics meant that by the 1840s the City Council had become nationalist dominated. At the same time, poverty burgeoned and the disgruntled Anglo Irish were looking to move out. A plan was hatched to develop a "new Dublin" on estate lands on the outskirts of Dublin. The autonomous Rathmines township was incorporated in 1847 and in the 60 years following, the burghers began developing a town with all the necessary components. Eager to impress outsiders, almost everything was designed in "big" style.
The one time township of Rathmines and Rathgar was finally dissolved in 1930 and its Unionist council incorporated in Dublin City Council.
Around the turn of the last century wealthy middle class nationalists with upwardly mobile aspirations began to fancy a Rathmines or Rathgar address for themselves and gradually they began to acquire homes in the township.
The house at 1 Kenilworth Road, which has just come to market this week, was the flagship home on the road. With its two storey over basement dimensions and three bay frontage - along with a substantial carriage arch entrance to the side - the late Victorian property would have been one of Dublin's big trophy homes in its day.
By the 1911 census we see that it is occupied by Anthony O'Grady, listed as Roman Catholic whose profession was vintner and grocer. With him was his wife Sofia, their five children and two live-in servant girls. Anthony was typical of the wealthy middle class nationalist who aspired to ascending the social ladder by moving into the township and was one of just a handful of Catholic families on the Road in that year.
Today, the house is interesting for two reasons: firstly it is one of the very few on this street to have emerged from the 20th Century with its original site intact. An aerial view shows that almost every single garden plot (which would have had coach houses in situ at the end) has been sold and developed for mews houses accessed via the goods lane. Number 1 still has its coach house site and its own laneway access and therefore it comes with some real development potential.
Indeed planning permission was granted in 2007 for two three bedroom mews houses although this has now lapsed. The vendor has already engaged an architect to carry out a feasibility study on the site and it is envisaged that up to four units may be possible on the site (subject to the necessary consent from Dublin City Council).
The second point of interest about number 1 is that it is unusually presented in a pared back and rather cool "Scandi" style which serves to accentuate the elegance of the original craftsmanship and the period features. The tendency with homes of this period is to deck them out with rich furnishings that sometimes borders on the Baroque. In this case, with stripped back boards and minimal decorative palaver the finer points of the house are always on show and it works.
The end house has all its architraves, cornices and ceiling roses. There are marble and cast iron chimney pieces, sash windows and high floor to ceiling dimensions.
The accommodation extends to 3700 sq ft, which is more than three times the size of an average city semi. At the moment the hall level comprises two studio apartments with separate bathrooms and shower rooms. The first floor level is an extra large apartment with three bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and bathroom.
At garden level we have another large apartment, this time with four bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a shower room, a bathroom and a guest W.C.
The house is located a short distance from both Rathmines and Rathgar villages.
Ranelagh, noted for its selection of restaurants, is also within walking distance. The area is rich in schools which include Rathgar national and junior school, High School, St. Marys College in Rathmines, Alexandra College in Milltown and Terenure College. Bushy Park is two minute's drive away or a twenty minute walk.
DNG of Terenure is seeking €2.7m.
1 Kenilworth Rd
Rathgar, Dublin 6
Asking price: €2.7m
Agent: DNG Terenure (01) 4909000