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Livanos residence in Kardamila

Livanos residence in Kardamila

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Livanos residence is located at the lower part of Kardamila village, in a quarter named Rahi. Around it, Georgiou M. Livanou street runs west, Evgenias G. Livanou street runs east, while a no-name side-street extends in north direction. The existing building was erected in 1953 by Nikolaos G. Livanos (1889-1968) on the area occupied by an older house constructed in 1887 –as signified by the main entrance lintel–, which his father Georgios M. Livanos (1854-1926) used to live in.

The ground floor staircase and handrail leading upstairs

As far as the older building is concerned, little is actually known. Built in simplified neoclassical style, it featured two floors and a tile-covered terrace on the east façade. Dwelling in it –until she passed away in 1940– was Evgenia G. Livanos, mother of Mihail, Ioannis, Nikolaos and Stavros Livanos as well as of Maria Stef. Difonis.

Evgenia G. Livanos (private collection)

The 1953 structure consists of ground floor, two floors and a loft. Each floor occupies 75 square feet, while the walls rise to 3.30, 1.80 and 2.35 m. in the floors, the ground floor and the loft respectively. The ground floor incorporates a laundry room as well as storage rooms; the first floor features a spacious reception chamber, kitchen and restroom, while the second floor adds three bedrooms and a bathroom. Depsite the external walls being substantially bulky, the rooms enjoy plenty of natural light, while a broad staircase leads to the floors. While the interior walls and the ceilings lack embellishment, the floors are overlaid with white, brown and yellow-chip mosaic against a grey backdrop. Also worth mentioning are the double shutters covering the openings aiming at shielding the interior against noise and temperature fluctuation.

The exterior walls were decorated employing “pierre artificielle” technique“pierre artificielle” technique. One can’t help but notice the attempt to create a modern construction that would follow contemporary trends while doing away with previous eras’ architectural garnishes.

Remains of the chair which Evgenia G. Livanos was photographed on, tossed in the storage room

After being erected by Nikolaos Livanos, the residence was donated to Kardamila Municipality in order for teachers serving at Livanos Junior High School to be accommodated. Today it is home to a private tutoring center. Despite its decorative simplicity, it still is an elaborate structure, as evidenced by the building’s fine overall condition and the resilience of the interior and exterior coatings, a whole seventy-seven years after it was constructed.

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   Livanos Family  

Since the late 19th century, Livanos family has been zealously operating in shipping business, earning worldwide recognition and coupling it with equally significant charity campaigns. Among the most prominent members was Tina, daughter of Stavros Livanos, who went on to successively become Aristotelis Onassis’ wife, Blandford’s marquise and Stavros Niarhos’ wife.

Special thanks go to Mrs Mary L. Mihalos and Mr Panayiotis Gliptis.

Note: In European terms, ground floor (being at ground level) generally refers to the floor which exits directly onto the street; by extension, first floor is the floor which one has to use a staircase to walk up to. Typically, the equivalent terms in American English are first floor and second floor.

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