Prospective buyers of an ordinary-looking house in London's East End have found that inside it is a fantastically and richly decorated marble palace.
Prospective buyers of an ordinary-looking house in London's East End have found that inside it is a fantastically and richly decorated marble palace. The previous occupant, Italian-born Edmund Lusignea, had spent forty years converting it to bring some cheer to his deaf and crippled wife, Emily.
From the outside the house is the same as all the others in Byron Avenue. But inside 16 gilded columns support a richly decorated ceiling. The walls are made of marble and glass, and there are numerous painted alcoves. At the top of the ornate staircase there are two equally splendid bedrooms and a marble bathroom that would have pleased an Italian prince. Mr. Lusignea used to rise at 4.30 every morning and intently moulded his plaster decorations without making a sound to disturb his wife.
Now both Mr. Lusignea and his wife are dead. The house, which is being offered for sale at GBP 20,000 sterling (44,000 dollars) - GBP 5,000 more than other properties in the road - will remain empty until a new occupant is found. The delicate ornamentation is beginning to deteriorate. One young couple said on Thursday (January 11) that they liked it but were looking for 'something a little more modern'.
SYNOPSIS: Byron Avenue is typical of hundreds of streets in London's industrial East End. And number one-hundred-and-eight-four looks like the other houses in the road. It is now up for sale.
When prospective buyers came to see it on Friday, they discovered that the house may have an uninteresting exterior but that inside it is a luxurious marble palace in the Italian style.
The previous owner, Italian born Mr. Edmund Lusignea, had worked for forty years to turn his house into a beautifully adorned home to cheer his wife Emily. She was deaf and forced through ill-health to spend her life in a wheel-chair.
He used to rise at four-thirty every morning and fashion plaster into intricate ornamentation for the walls and ceilings.
He worked silently so as not to disturb his wife.
Gradually he turned his ordinary home into an extraordinary palace of marble and glass - a gilded monument to his undying love. But now Mr. and Mrs. Lusignea are dead and the magnificent decorations are beginning to deteriorate in the empty house.
The house is being offered for sale at twenty-thousand-pounds - five thousand pounds more than the going price for the other houses in Byron Avenue.
One young couple from Hendon, Peter Gethen and his fiances Sandee Conway, said they thought it was beautiful but were afraid they would find it 'a bit creepy'. They said they were after something 'more modern'.