This €1.2m dream D4 home is full of original features and salvaged additions
This 1930-built house is full of original features and salvaged additions
There's a gorilla in the back garden of 72 Tritonville Road in Sandymount, Dublin 4. Black and rather menacing-looking, he's sitting on the lawn appearing to guard a bit of territory there against all comers.
This morning there's an open viewing of the property, and doubtless dozens of prospective buyers have trailed through the house not mentioning it. They'll talk about the decorative plasterwork, the shiny wood floors, the vintage radiators, the lovely long back garden - they'll talk about anything but the gorilla.
The good news - or the bad news, depending on how much kinship you feel with Dian Fossey - is that the gorilla is not real. And in any case he's not included in the sale. The owners of the house are fond of him and they're taking him with them to their new home. If you want a gorilla, you'll have to get your own.
Number 72 was reportedly built in 1930 and last changed hands in January 2010, fetching €600,000 at that time, according to the Property Price Register. The new owners had their work cut out for them getting the place off the critically endangered list. They saved its original features and added some authentic new (or rather salvaged) ones, including the cast iron radiators.
There are original fireplaces and wide-plank wooden floors, ornate ceiling cornices and centre roses, vintage light fittings and door furniture, a Belfast sink and a claw-foot bath.
In fact, eight years later, there's not much left to do with this house - unless you're looking for more room, that is.
At present it's 1,378 sq ft - a perfectly typical size for an average family - but you can carve out a good bit more living space from the house if you want to. For one thing there's an adjoining garage that hasn't been converted. And then there's the 120ft back garden: once the gorilla is gone you'll have freedom to expand out there.
Commandeering the garage might be a sensible move because at present the kitchen is rather small, at around 9ft square. It's country-style and cute, with a quarry-tiled floor, wooden countertops and a Belfast sink with a brass tap, but certain buyers - the kind with big, open-plan dreams - are likely to wish it were bigger.
Next to the kitchen is the dining room, and there's what looks like a supporting wall between the two (complete with ornate plasterwork, so you'd mess with it at your peril). The dining room has a glossy wooden floor and an original fireplace, and at one end are half-glazed double doors to the garden.
More double doors at the opposite end lead into the front living room, about 12ft square, where there's a bay window and an identical fireplace. With the communicating doors open, you end up with one dual-aspect reception room over 25ft long, with windows east and west.
The ground floor also has a guest toilet and under-stairs storage, as well as the garage.
Up on the first floor then can be found the four bedrooms. Two are doubles and have original fireplaces. The third, above the garage, is also a double and has a dressing room off it. The fourth bedroom is a single and is used as a study, complete with half-panelled walls. The main bathroom is also on this floor, again with half-panelled walls, a free-standing bath and a separate walk-in shower. Pull-down stairs lead to the attic for more storage.
The back garden faces due east, so it's ideal for outdoor breakfasting. Directly behind the house is a raised deck big enough for both eating and lounging. Beyond that is a long lawn lined with shrubs and passing the gorilla (if you dare) you reach an ornamental tree and a sunny corner surrounded by ivy-clad walls.
There's a front garden as well, consisting of a little lawn, some hedging and a driveway that you can park on.
The northern part of Tritonville Road above Newbridge Avenue - the part travelled by Leopold Bloom and his companions on their way to Paddy Dignam's funeral in Ulysses - is regarded as Irishtown. But Number 72 is decidedly in Sandymount. Sandymount Strand is less than 10 minutes' walk away, and the Green is about the same distance, for post-promenade eating, drinking and shopping.
The tramlines mentioned in Ulysses are gone but still you have your choice of DART stations: Lansdowne Road and Sandymount stations are both about 800 metres away. And if you took a notion to walk to the city centre, you'd reach St Stephen's Green in about 35 minutes.
There are two national schools very close by: St Matthew's at Cranfield Place and the Star of the Sea at Leahy's Terrace are both within five minutes' walk.
Meanwhile there's a breeding group of seven gorillas at Dublin Zoo, which is about half an hour's drive away.
Number 72 Tritonville Road is for sale with Sherry FitzGerald Sandymount (01) 667 2244 and has an asking price of €1,200,000.