Thursday, May 6, 2021

Flattening a Fountain

Boxy “Town Hall classical style” dictator crib ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening

When we featured a 12,602 square foot house on The Bishops Avenue – a street often nicknamed ‘Billionaire’s Row” and a place where the Greek fashion tycoon Aristos Constantinou was shot dead on New Year’s Day 1985 with six bullets – in May 2015, it was for sale for £15 million.

 

Standing on a 0.65-acre plot, ‘The Fountains’ – originally named ‘Deans Cote’ and more simply known as just ‘39 The Bishops Avenue’ – has simply been left to rot in the time since and has now been placed on the market, but this time listed as just “land for sale.”

 

Gone, here, are the day of deviant dignitaries and dodgy despots entertaining in this house – built in 1926 and mocked more recently as “very boxy” and of a “Town Hall classical style” – and now, though much of the same furniture remains six years later, Knight Frank offer it for £12 million.

 

In spite of the £3 million reduction at a time when prices for houses with land has elsewhere risen, the seller has also spent time and money to gain planning permission to flatten the house and replace it with a larger 23,695 square foot “grand new build residence.”

 

Of the proposals, Knight Frank remark:

 

“The designs elevate the quality of the internal accommodation, offering increased lateral volume and a luxurious sense of space throughout.”

 

“The proposed residence comprises six-bedroom suites and a new lower ground floor with staff quarters and a range of additional amenity and leisure facilities including swimming pool, gym, cinema, catering kitchen and secure car parking.”

 

“The proposed landscaping for the private rear gardens includes a sensitive restoration of the historic water feature and pavilion.”

 

In 2014, whilst the Guardian revealed that of the 66 houses on the street, 16 were derelict and rotting, local estate agent Trevor Abrahmsohn bragged of it in 2006: “Among the wealthiest circles in the world, The Bishops Avenue is better known than Buckingham Palace. It’s a significant demonstration of status. If you live there, you don’t need to explain to people that you’re rich.”

 

Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
When the house was marketed in 2012, Knight Frank made specific reference to the house having “majilis” or “private places where guests, usually male, are received and entertained.” Goodness knows, however, who was received in this airport sized room, but it certainly looks like a place that would have suited Saddam Hussein a treat.

The Numbers – The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom

April 2021 – Offered for sale for £12 million ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank’s Hampstead office.

 

May 2015 – Offered for sale for £15 million ($20.8 million, €17.3 million or درهم76.2 million) through Knight Frank and Glentree on behalf of executors of persons unnamed.

 

Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
Today, instead of lauding its gaudy past, Knight Frank share this mockup of an even larger mansion that could replace the existing 1926-built structure.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
Another mockup shows the proposed replacement from the rear.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The current entrance hall is somewhere the 1980s soap opera ‘Dynasty’s’ Alexis Colby (played by Joan Collins) would certainly feel in ecstasy.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The entrance is dominated by balconies and plenty of gold paint.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
Acres of marble were used throughout the existing structure.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
There’s plenty of filthy shagpile too.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The dining room today retains the very same table that was there in 2015. It’s certainly got enough seats for even the likes of Mohammed bin Salman even to host an interrogation with David Cameron and Lex Greenskill.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
A corridor leading to the main “majali.”
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The “majali” has been cleared of furnishings, but retains a few tacky chandeliers and columns.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The decrepit kitchen is an area that would not exactly appeal to Nigella Lawson or Delia Smith even.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The master bedroom has fallen into decline and features a carpet dotted with brown stains and a filthy looking pair of beds.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
Another bedroom resembles something out of an OAP home.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The master bathroom has retained its frankly hideous murals.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The “majalis” from above with an overgrown ‘patio’ separating them.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The garden is somewhat neglected, but not nearly in as bad a condition as those of some of the neighbouring mansions.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
Supposedly, these fountains are of historic value. At the moment, they’re just a tip.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The existing floor plans.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
The proposed plans for the ground and basement levels include a new swimming pool, gym and cinema room.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
Plans for the first floor and a new second floor.
Flattening a Fountain – £12 million for mansion The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, N2 0BA, United Kingdom ($16.6 million, €13.9 million or درهم61 million) with planning permission to demolish and replace through Knight Frank – Boxy “Town Hall classical style” mansion ‘The Fountains’ on infamous The Bishops Avenue, N2 for sale for £3 million less than it listed for in 2012; this time it is destined for flattening.
Barratt Homes on steroids – The Fountains, 39 The Bishops Avenue, London, N2 as it was in 2015.
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Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much, Matthew, for sharing this frankly ghastly property.
    Much amused by your comments, very apt, I felt nonetheless physically sick and rather depressed with the relentlessly tasteless decor and soulless viewing experience of this property. I worked for a Arab interior design company back in the 1970’s – when this was expected – but am shocked to see the survival of this trademark kitsch so many years later.

  2. Estate agents suck when it comes to writing anything intelligible. “offering increased lateral volume”, “catering kitchen”. So you got more space. It is not an ever expanding Universe.
    I wondered why the fountain is historic. There is no listing to make it anything but a pissoir sitting under a large sycamore tree. The Duck will not be swimming in it.
    I guess a Donald might like it, and cut a hole in the garden boundary for easy access to the golf club.

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