Achnacarry, 75 Park Avenue, Sandymount
Constructed c 1900, 75 Park Avenue is a unique redbrick residence, which stands out from its neighbours. Park Avenue is dominated primarily by beautiful bay-windowed properties, which are very much standard in design for their era and similar houses can be found across Dublin’s priciest areas. Achnacarry, on the other hand, is almost gothic in design due to its unusual redbrick tiered gables. The house was built by architect John Alexander Cameron Ruthven as his personal residence. The Ruthvens previously lived at 61 Park Avenue for years prior to constructing Achnacarry, but are believed to have lived in the latter house from 1900 until 1922. Other works of Ruthven’s include the Eason building on Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
In the 1920s, the family of Trevor Roper moved into Achnacarry as the Ruthvens departed. It was not until 1938 that the property first came on the open market. The house was put up for auction and achieved a princely £3,000 – which has turned out to be a rather canny investment considering the buyers have yet to leave the house. The then-buyer was William Joseph Byrne, whose family continues to occupy the magnificent house to this day – nearly 8 decades later – meaning the house has only ever been occupied by three families in total.
The house is the finest on Park Avenue simply by virtue of its land. Ruthven constructed the house on an extra-large site, which extends to approximately 1 acre in total. The site wraps around neighbouring 73 Park Avenue and ensures that this house will sell for a mouthwateringly expensive sum if it ever hits the open market again. The gardens are set out in four distinct areas – three separate lawns and an area of woodland. Inside, the house likely remains relatively untouched and as such probably comprises 6 bedrooms, a number of reception rooms, including a mahogany panelled study and other miscellaneous rooms.