Family legacy on Paritai

By Penny Lewis

48 Paritai Drive, Orakei.
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4.5
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SIZE: Land 1275sq m, house 471sq m (approx).
PRICE INDICATION: CV $8.2 million. Tender closes November 20.
INSPECT: Phone for appointment.
ON THE WEB: barfoot.co.nz/483872
SCHOOL ZONES: Orakei School, Selwyn College and central to independent schools.
CONTACT: Leila MacDonald, Barfoot & Thompson, ph 021 928 926.
FEATURES: Brick family home designed by architect Roy Lippincott in the mid-1930s. Panoramic views, sumptuous decor and Poggenpohl kitchen. Multiple living areas, self- contained apartment. Pool and spa.
48 Paritai Drive, Orakei. Photo / Ted Baghurst
48 Paritai Drive, Orakei. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Eighteen-year-old Georgette Pollock-Johnston has wonderful memories of her grandmother, Renee, who died three years ago. "Whenever you came over, you could always hear Dean Martin as you walked in the house," she says.

"And she would often pull you in to dance with her," recalls Meegan Pollock, Georgette's mother and one of Renee and the late Gordon Pollock's three daughters.

The Pollock name will be familiar to many Aucklanders, thanks to the chain of Barker & Pollock fabric stores. Although the company is no longer trading, Meegan has continued the family tradition with her well-known Newmarket business, Centrepoint Fabrics.

The Pollock home in Paritai Drive was purchased by Gordon Pollock 38 years ago. The family had a home in Titirangi but when Gordon heard 48 Paritai Drive was for sale, he went to the auction with youngest daughter Cara, 11, and bought it without Renee or his other daughters, Meegan and Sharman, seeing it.

Despite the risk of his family being displeased, Gordon knew he was on to a winner. "Dad had lived at next door [at 46] and at 52 Paritai Drive when he was younger, and said he'd always had his eye on No48 because it was the most elevated house in the street," Meegan recalls.

The elevation made views from the house even more panoramic than those enjoyed by its neighbours. Known as "the Scott house" and built in 1935, the brick home was the work of architect Roy Lippincott, who also designed the Smith & Caughey building.

Modelled on the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, the house has a low-slung profile with brick-work that is laid to enhance the home's horizontal lines.

Apart from the wrought-iron entrance gates Renee had made in 1994, and the garden she tended so carefully, from the front the house largely looks like it always has done.

To the rear is a rumpus room and garage extension designed by Adams Dodd Paterson Architects for the Pollocks. The cladding is dark-stained horizontal cedar because the age of the original bricks meant they could not be matched.

Inside, there has been a lot of change over the years. "My mother loved all the glitz and glamour," says Meegan. Renee loved to change things around and redecorated frequently. "And she loved pink," adds Georgette.

The kitchen was redone a couple of times; the current version is a spacious Poggenpohl with a Corian benchtop.

Renee's favourite spot was the sunroom, where she could enjoy a gin and tonic and watch the world go by. Family Christmases were enjoyed in the sitting room alongside, with Renee's pale-pink Italian lounge suite providing many places to sit.

The rumpus room extension, with timeless parquet flooring, opens out to a Ted Smyth-designed pool, spa and garden.

Another addition by the Pollocks was a self-contained apartment upstairs at the rear of the house, well used by family and friends who came to stay. The carpeted garage has plenty of cupboards but they haven't stored tools over the years.

Despite the home's abundant wardrobes and other storage space, with stylish Renee and her three daughters, fabric and fashion are part of the family DNA. The copious cupboards in the Pollock garage were dedicated to storing fabulous frocks.

Meegan, Georgette and the family love this house and the memories of Renee it contains, but it's now time to sell.

- NZ Herald

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