In the pink on the avenue
After four decades, the Rowan family are finally leaving their landmark family home, writes MICHAEL PARSONS
BOOTERSTOWN AND Buenos Aries have little in common. But the south Dublin suburb – and the sultry, tango-dancing South American city share one unlikely feature. Both have landmark pink houses. The Argentinian presidential palace, Casa Rosada, is probably the world’s most famous house of that hue (admittedly there isn’t great competition) while St Mary’s – a private residence – is a strikingly familiar landmark to passers-by on Booterstown Avenue.
Pink may be a ubiquitous colour in warmer climates (“the navy blue of India” and all that) but it’s a daringly brave choice beneath 50 shades of grey Dublin sky.
Informally known to locals as “the Pink House”, St Mary’s is for sale by private treaty though Savills with an asking price of €1.95 million.
The location is about half-way down Booterstown Avenue – a hilly road which links the N11 at Mount Merrion to Rock Road by the sea.
The five-bedroom, two-storey- over-basement Georgian house has 3,785sq ft of accommodation. It is built on the site of a former castle and may well be Booterstown’s oldest residential site.
The detached house, with many original features (including high ceilings, shutters, numerous fireplaces), is in good structural condition – and was re-roofed 10 years ago – but will require modernising by new owners. New bathrooms and kitchen for starters. But such considerations are unlikely to deter prospective buyers as this large family home is within walking distance of some of Ireland’s best schools including St Andrew’s College, Blackrock College and Willow Park School.
Public transport links include a Dart station and proximity to good bus routes – which is handy as the house has off-street parking for just one car.
The garden/basement level is currently arranged as a self-contained apartment which could continue to provide a rental income; be used as a “granny flat”; or, be brought back in to the house.
The 136ft-long rear garden has a large patio, lawn, various seating areas, a log cabin, a vegetable garden and a small orchard of plum, pear and apple trees. Janet Carroll of Savills described St Mary’s as “an exceptional family home in a prime location which has got everything”.
Booterstown, wedged between Sandymount and Blackrock, has long been a desirable address and, as long ago as 1837, English topographer Samuel Lewis described its location “on the southern coast of Dublin bay, the shores of which here assume a most interesting and beautifully picturesque appearance” with “numerous handsome seats and villas”.
The area, he observed was “much frequented during the summer season on account of its facilities for sea-bathing and its fine strand of smooth sand” and “numerous lodging-houses have been prepared for the accommodation of visitors”.