Answer to prayers? The historic Christ the King Church of Cork next to the Blessed City development site

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There will be no way to keep up with the neighbors no matter what is built behind 1 Percyville – it’s right next to an architecturally renowned Art Deco church, the stunning Christ the King.

Just for sale in the southern suburbs of Cork City, a semi-detached house with a rear/side garden extending to approximately half an acre. Standing next door is Christ the King Church, completed in 1931, designed by American architect Barry Byrne, who was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

It created a number of ‘firsts’ in Irish church design, including being the first to be built entirely of concrete and having a modernist designer of international caliber. It is listed in a number of architectural guides/guidebooks as a recommended church to visit, along with St Fin Barre’s Cathedral and Honan Chapel at UCC.

Christ the King Church, Turner’s Cross, designed by American Barry Byrne, student of master architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo: Denis Minihane.

So no pressure on any builder or architect to move onto the half acre at the very heart of Turners Cross.

For sale is 1 Percyville, a 1,600 square foot period five-bedroom semi-detached house with attached garage and mature land to the rear.

‘This is the best infill site you can find in the city,’ says estate agent Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing, acting in conjunction here with Catherine McAuliffe of Savills Cork, and they guide the whole property to 1 Percyvilkle at €750,000.

There is 50 feet of road frontage to the junction of Evergreen Road, South Douglas Road and Curragh Road, with access to the garden/site via what is now the low-rise garage near the traffic lights at the junction , facing Curragh Road. Adjacent to the site is a detached red brick property, formerly a local store called Kiely’s, and a private family home for about 20 years.

The location is perfect, surrounded by homes, schools, local services and more, less than a ten minute walk from downtown.

Most likely to be purchased for residential development, it is sold as is, as a whole, and the house itself can be extended, or new construction can roll behind.

A windfall for an infill residential development
A windfall for an infill residential development

There will be a call for private developers and possibly housing associations/AHB, with density and design judged by city council planners… who are unlikely to take the church steeple next door and the 19-foot-tall Christ status as a height guideline or precedent.

Percyville is likely to predate the Church of Christ the King, commissioned in 1927 by the Bishop of Cork, Dr Daniel Cohalan (coincidentally a relation to the founder of the auction house Cohalan Downing, Maurice Cohalan who jokes “all business is personal”) as South Cork Parish grew and Truner Cross subsequently became an independent parish.

Interior at 1 Percyville
Interior at 1 Percyville

Seating 1,200, it was built by contractor John Buckley, who was given a budget of £20,000, with a further £10,000 earmarked for interior finishes and furnishings. The total construction cost exceeded £27,000 and local architect FR Boyd Barrett supervised the work from 1929 to 1931.

The decision to build the church and its large span of suspended ceilings entirely in concrete and as the base material, as a budgetary measure, drew strong opposition from the Society of Stonecutters and Marble Masons who ruled that the foundation stone “must not be worked, for the building of the said church harms our trade.

1 Interior of Percyville
1 Interior of Percyville

What chance now will new construction next door be off-site and possibly pre-fabricated construction given the current high costs of laying blocks and bricks?

Details: Cohalan Downing 021-4277717 Savills 021-4271371

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