Chillingworth & Levie Exhibition

- A Cork City and County Archives Exhibition supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht -

Better Housing

In the aftermath of independence, the first Free-State government (1922- 1932) and the subsequent Fianna Fáil (1932-1948) governments led the drive to improve housing post-independence with the implementation of the 1924 and 1931-32 Housing Acts. Furthermore, compensation allocated for the rebuilding of the City Hall, was diverted to housing as well as the building of the College of Commerce and the creation of the Lee Baths. The first major housing scheme to be built was on Capwell Road in 1926. It provided c.150 houses and

88-93 Capwell Road, Cork, Chillingworth & Levie, 1926, photograph by Louise Harrington

was recorded as a Chillingworth & Levie commission by both The Irish Builder and Architect & Building News. The layout shows the influence of the garden city movement with private lawns and terraces arranged radially and accessed by wide roads. Chillingworth & Levie are also credited with the Evergreen Road and Turner’s Cross housing scheme of approximately 300 houses, built between 1928 and 1930. There is only one layout drawing for this project in the archive collection. Outside the city, The Irish Builder records a commission of 28 terraced houses (probably Sarsfield’s Terrace) for Youghal UDC in 1936, as well a significant project of 82 houses in Mallow (Glenanaar and Fair Street area).

69 Upper Friar’s Road, Turner’s Cross, Cork, Chillingworth & Levie, 1928-30, photograph taken by Louise Harrington

First page of brochure with front elevation of proposed bungalow for Mr Maynard, ink and pencil on tracing paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1913, 23 x 21cm, Cork City and County Archives

Church of the Ascension, Cathedral Road, Cork, with 1930’s Corporation housing in the

Today, this 1930’s house-type is very familiar to us but when it emerged it would have appeared quite different. Uniformity of design and details such as

Second page of brochure with ground floor plan of proposed bungalow for Mr Maynard, ink and pencil on tracing paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1913, 23 x 20cm, Cork City and County Archives

foreground, courtesy the NIAH

projecting gable-ends to terraces often disguised the modest size of houses and humble finishes. Above all else, however, it improved the living

conditions of many families.

The volume of social and subsidised housing undertaken by the firm from its foundation to the 1930’s is significant but Chillingworth & Levie were also prominent private-house architects. Customised brochures were created for private clients with watercolours and attractive landscaping to the elevations. Two early brochures from 1913 are preserved in the collection. One is for a bungalow with veranda and large overhanging eaves while the other illustrates a larger three- storey house on split levels with oriel windows and high chimneys. A later 1930’s brochure created for Mrs Holland shows

subtle changes in style with a move towards more Art Deco motifs. In 1929, the firm also completed a terrace of three-bedroomed private houses with bay windows at Wallace’s Avenue for Meagher & Hayes builders.

First page of brochure with garden elevation of unidentified house, ink and pencil on tracing paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1913, 20 x 23cm, Cork City and County Archives

Approved drawings for ‘Proposed Houses at Wallaces Avenue, Cork for Meagher Hayes & Co. Ltd’, ink on paper copy, Chillingworth & Levie, 1929, 62 x 48cm, Cork City and County Archives

Sketch drawing of front elevation entitled ‘Sketch shewing Trellis Work at Residence of H. Bradfield’, pencil on tracing paper, Chillingworth & Levie, 1933, 26 x 18cm, Cork City and County Archives

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