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By Jessica Quirk | Agent in South Boston, Boston,...
  • Back Bay townhouse has luxury on every level

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay  |  January 27, 2011 9:06 AM  |  621 views  |  No comments

    At 7 Exeter St., luxury living is all yours on all floors. Offered at $8.5 million, this four-level, 5,653-square-foot home has five grand bedrooms, four lavish baths, CEO- style office/study space, a sprawling roofdeck, private elevator and parking, and much more, thanks to the high standards that built this brick rowhouse in 1872 from a French Second Empire design by Peabody & Stearns.

    The advantages of 7 Exeter's high ceilings, elaborate details and spacious floor-through floor plan are readily apparent in the formal living room, a palatial entertaining arena that will strike your guests with awe and admiration. The front bay window carves out a sunny sitting area with attractive neighborhood views.

    The dining room's octagonal shape, detailed ceiling, marble fireplace and radiant hardwood floor craft a formal but intimate round-table space conducive to dinner-party conversation. The garden- level kitchen below has all the appointments for such occasions: granite backsplash and counters, central island breakfast bar, high-end appliances, classic custom cabinetry.

    The kitchen opens out to a private garden court spacious enough for outdoor summer dining as well as cocktails and cookouts.

    Also on the garden level is a cozy family room with paneled wainscoting and generous room for a state-of-the-art entertainment center.

    The upstairs library retains its original beamed ceiling and is generously built in with bookcases, benches and cabinets. The bay window creates a sunny reading alcove.

    The house has the added advantage of two home offices: one for your business, the other for your children's studies. Both are built in with wall-length computer-ready workstations and lots of bookcases and cabinets.

    Any of these bedrooms could be the master, for each has one or more special features that raise it above the average: a king-size bed alcove and bay-window sitting area...

    ...a raised ceiling with a fresco of clouds and sky...

    ...a Juliet balcony...

    ...or an overhead row of decorative curio shelves.

    The skylit spiral staircase takes you up to a vast private roofdeck, where city views are all yours all around.

    The Back Bay's back alley system, conceived to conceal the delivery and utility necessities from the picturesque parks and streets, comes in handy today for private garage and covered parking spaces for 7 Exeter.

    Beyond this are neighborhood amenities unprecedented: Kingsley Montessori Elementary School right on Exeter Street, Shops at Prudential Center (including Legal Sea Foods), the Boston Public Library, more shopping and dining at Copley Place and along Boylston Street, Green Line subway service from Copley Square to downtown Boston, Symphony Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts and beyond, and lots more.

    For more information about 7 Exeter St., or to schedule a private showing, contact CondoDomain agent Jeanne Boucher at 510-205-5857 or jeanne@CondoDomain.com.

    Post created and published by: Todd Larson

  • Corner unit in four-corners location

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay  |  January 25, 2011 8:54 AM  |  595 views  |  No comments

    Unit 710 at One Charles, a luxury condo hotel at 1 Charles St. South, offers not only first-class living space with hotel amenities second to none, but also the most central of locations among four Boston neighborhoods: the Back Bay, Bay Village, the South End and the Theatre District.

    Offered at $1.15 million, this 1,294-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 2-bath corner unit features a flexible floor plan and an open flow from space to space, generously illuminated by walls of windows with sweeping views of Boston at its best. Now you can arrange your living quarters according to your wildest wishes and be surrounded by city scenes and city lights day in and day out.

    The living-dining room features a sofa alcove with mirrors, which makes the space feel more expansive by reflecting it and intensifying the light from the large windows. The herringbone-laid hardwood floor adds grace and polish to the whole unit.

    Adjacent to the living-dining room is the kitchen, which is appointed with the latest and greatest of gourmet accents and appointments: Absolute Black granite counters, state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry with stainless steel hardware, and a wall opening at the double sink so you can chat with your dinner-party guests while cleaning up after them.

    The corner location of the kitchen parallels that of the unit in terms of openness to the world around you, not the dark, cramped isolation of most galley kitchens and condo units.

    The master bedroom features a bed alcove flanked by a closet for each partner, as well as recessed space for a larger bed, bookcase or sofa across the floor. These features make the room suitable as a family room or library as well.

    The lavish marble master bath boasts a combination soaking tub and shower, a marble-top vanity, and mahogany-finish wall paneling for a richer bathing experience.

    The second bedroom's mahogany wall paneling offsets the sunlight for a more somber, cozier sleeping and waking experience.

    Living at One Charles is like permanent residence in a hotel. For Unit 710's monthly $1,218 association fee, you get a 24-hour concierge, secured keyed elevator access to your floor, in-house fitness center membership, and access to a common resident library with fireplace, conference room and media room. In addition, coffee and tea are served each morning to desiring residents.

    The condo fee also covers water and sewer, refuse and snow removal, master insurance and exterior maintenance.

    Neighborhood amenities from all four corners of Boston's choicest neighborhoods are at One Charles' doorstep:

    Other units for sale at One Charles are: #307, $495,000; #1107, $619,000; #802, $649,000; #3 a, $825,000; #1112, $1,100,000; #1406, $1,349,000; #704, $1,350,000; #5D, $1,799,000; #9E, $2,150,000.

    For more information on One Charles, or to arrange a private showing, contact CondoDomain City Vice President Jessica Quirk at 339-227-0058 or  jessica@CondoDomain.com

    Post created and published by: Todd Larson

  • Affordable luxury in the Back Bay

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay  |  January 24, 2011 7:05 PM  |  619 views  |  No comments

    Boston's old Somerset Hotel, at 416 Commonwealth Ave. in the Back Bay, was the epitome of elegance in luxury living when it opened in 1897. It's still The Somerset, but it is now a full-service condominium with hotel-quality amenities and appointments and 116 units of various sizes and prices catering to people of various means. On the more affordable end is Unit 511, offered at $499,000.

    This 784-square-foot, 1-bedroom, 1-bath unit features an open floor plan that lets you arrange your living and dining space freely on the elegance of a parquet floor, before the warmth of a fireplace, and beside the convenience of a pass-through to the kitchen. Here a cantilevered granite counter with designer pendant lighting forms a high-end but handy breakfast bar.

    In addition to the breakfast bar, the kitchen has been updated with a granite running counter and stainless steel appliances. Its oversized window sheds generous light on your gastronomic pursuits.

    The bedroom is as free-form in room arrangement possibilities as the living-dining room. It contains a double custom closet. The tiled bath is fully updated, with an unusually large mirror for a unit of this size. A separate office alcove and a laundry closet with stacked washer/dryer are handy as well.

    Unit 511's $493/month association fee not only includes extra storage, laundry facilities, refuse and snow removal, water and sewer, 24/7 concierge, elevator service, master insurance, exterior maintenance and landscaping, but also entitles you to...

    ...a workout in the in-house fitness center...

    ...a swim in the heated pool on the common patio...

    ...relaxation in the community lounge...

    ...entry into a lavish lobby...

    ...and access to two of Boston's finest neighborhoods, the Back Bay and the Fenway. Located on the border between the two, The Somerset is close to Back Bay shopping and dining in one direction and Fenway fine art, music and baseball in the other.

    Stores, restaurants and cafés are aplenty in the Prudential Center and along Newbury and Boylston streets. The Boston Public Library is down that way as well.

    In the Fenway are:

    For more information on Unit 511 at The Somerset, 416 Commonwealth Ave., or to arrange a private showing, contact CondoDomain Real Estate Consultant Jeanne Boucher at 510-205-5857 or jeanne@CondoDomain.com.

    Post created and published by: Todd Larson

  • The prince of penthouses in Boston's Back Bay

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay  |  January 18, 2011 5:41 PM  |  792 views  |  No comments

    With the top two levels all your own, you'll live like a prince in the 4,144-square-foot penthouse duplex in the fine 1880 brick-and-sandstone rowhouse at 171 Commonwealth Ave. For $5,699,000, this 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath unit will give you single-family space and solitude plus condo commodities and convenience.

    The living room combines the formality of fine details with the informality of a relax-before-the-fire atmosphere. Paneled wainscoting and wall-height bookcases mingle with a cool gray wall treatment and floor-to-ceiling views of Commonwealth Avenue and its tree-lined mall.

    The formal dining room also has a fireplace and wainscoting, along with built-in china cabinetry and silverware storage shelves with a serving shelf.

    The gourmet kitchen boasts Absolute Black granite counters, including a central island, as well as frosted-glass custom cabinets, an exotic stone backsplash, state-of-the-art appliances and a tray ceiling. The kitchen opens up into a fabulous family room with a double tray ceiling and sumptuous sun.

    On the top level are the bedrooms, including the wall-to-wall carpeted master bedroom with its own fireplace and bookcases, ample space for a king-size bed and a substantial sitting area by the windows, and luxurious en suite bath.

    Also up here is your very own media/exercise room, where the overmantel space above the fireplace can accommodate a flat-screen TV you can watch while exercising, a skylight lightens the strain of your routine, and the bookcases provide material for a reading break from your workout. And don't forget the fitness trails along Commonwealth Avenue Mall and the Esplanade!

    But wait 'til you get up on the roof, gaze at the pristine skyline views all around you, and gawk at the amenities up here: flower planters, a hot tub, even an outdoor kitchen! Cocktails and cookouts will never be the same again!

    And those views mean proximity to the best of Boston: Shops at Prudential Center (including Legal Sea Foods), the Boston Public Library, more shopping and dining at Copley Place and along Boylston Street, Green Line subway service from Copley Square to downtown Boston, Symphony Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts and beyond, and lots more.

    For more information about 171 Commonwealth Ave.'s penthouse duplex, or to schedule a private showing, contact CondoDomain agent Jeanne Boucher at 510-205-5857 or jeanne@CondoDomain.com.

    Post created and published by: Todd Larson

  • Back Bay single-family has Boston Brahmin elegance, Bed-and-Breakfast potential

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay  |  January 16, 2011 11:30 AM  |  834 views  |  No comments

    Imagine coming home to a stately stoop with cast-iron grille door, entering a profusely paneled hall with leaded-glass windows, and retiring in a baronial living room with a mahogany-framed fireplace. For $2,999,000, this and more will be at your door at 52 Bay State Road. Moreover, this 4,226-square-foot, 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath single-family home will give you three full floors of freedom to design for living according to your liking.

    Built in 1913 from a Georgian Revival design by Murdock Boyle, this Beacon Hill-style brick rowhouse has been diligently restored to its Georgian grace and grandeur. As you go up the front stoop and enter the African mahogany-paneled foyer with its solemn stairwell of leaded-glass windows, you'll feel like not merely a Boston Brahmin — but a Londoner.

    You'll love the luxury living room with fully restored leaded-glass windows built of bygone craftsmanship, a tiled fireplace with columned mahogany mantel and regally framed mirror, a curving wall of mahogany-paneled wainscoting signifying the house's prestigious corner location, grand colonial floor-level windows that drench the gleaming floor in sun, and a beamed, coffered ceiling of banquet-hall dignity.

    The chef's kitchen is fully updated with custom cornice-crowned cabinetry, a Palladian cupboard for your finest china and glassware, recessed ceiling and under-cabinet lighting, granite counters, a Viking range and other state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances. Dinner parties extraordinaire can be prepped in this hall of haute cuisine and served with pride in the fireplaced formal dining room.

    The spacious, versatile family room on the second floor can accommodate a state-of-the-art entertainment center with flat-screen TV, a video projection system, a billiard or Ping-Pong table, a sofa set with coffee table, bookcases, etc. The stairhall is spacious enough to ease your floor-to-floor climb. An in-house laundry is also on this level.

    The master bedroom is both roomy and cozy. The curved corner wall creates an intimate sleeping nook, and the double French door provides convenient passage to the master bath with granite-topped dual vanity, Jacuzzi tub and freestanding glass shower. But there's still plenty of sun at this upper level and plenty of room for a king-size bed.

    The rubber-topped roof has great possibilities. Build a deck up here and enjoy cocktails, cookouts and 4th of July fireworks by the classic charm of a balustrade rail.

    Turn around and gaze at the breathtaking view of the Charles River across to MIT on the Cambridge side.

    And look at what's in store down below — your own private two-car garage with direct access to the house, and generous storage space to boot!

    No. 52 is more than a great home — it's a great investment. Alternative uses for this plum property could include a bed-and-breakfast, an upscale hotel, a private club, or a scholastic organization. (See your agent for details on city zoning and permitted uses. The buyer must exercise due diligence with the BRA for use conversion, since 52 Bay State Road is in an H-4 zone.)

    Located on a beautiful tree-lined English-style street mainly owned and occupied by Boston University, 52 Bay State Road is in the middle of one of Boston's premier curricular and cultural meccas. Down Commonwealth Avenue is the Tsai Performance Center, where faculty recitals, concerts by the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and other exciting performances happen year-round. Also nearby is Fenway Park, where you can root for the Red Sox to win another World Series. At Kenmore Square are three different Green Line trolleys to many other parts of the city and its suburbs, including connections to Amtrak and the Commuter Rail at North Station.

    For more information about 52 Bay State Road, or to arrange a private showing, contact CondoDomain Agent Joseph Barka at 617-784-8760 or Joseph@CondoDomain.com.

    Post created and published by: Todd Larson

  • Back Bay bonanza in Burrage Mansion unit

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay  |  January 12, 2011 6:51 PM  |  920 views  |  1 comment

    The lavishly carved, paneled, gilded, ornamented, tiled and stain-glassed French Château architecture of 314 Commonwealth Ave. elevates Back Bay living to a new level — that of the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers and the Carnegies. Unit 1, offered at $5.7 million, reaps the full benefit of copper/oil magnate Albert Cameron Burrage's luxury lifestyle.

    Built in 1899 from a design by Charles Brigham, the Burrage Mansion has been converted into four floor-through condo units. Renovation architect Guy Grassi carefully preserved as many historical details as possible to make each condo truly feel like a mansion.

    The 4,382-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath first-floor unit features a richly carved mahogany living room with stained-glass windows and a gilded oval-dome ceiling with bear, griffin, lion and unicorn plaster reliefs. The living- and dining-room fireplaces are retrofit for gas.

    The formal dining room boasts a ceiling fresco of clouds surrounded by cherub figurines and other plaster embellishment. Columns grandly introduce the conservatory, now an open kitchen and breakfast room with granite counters, custom paneled cabinetry and state-of-the-art appliances. The breakfast room preserves the coral-rock wall where Burrage embedded his orchids until ready for planting. The glass walls and skylight dome have handsome views of Newbury Street and the Prudential Tower, and are customized with automatic shades and curtains.

    One of the three grand bedrooms retains its bow window with picturesque view of Commonwealth Avenue Mall and stained-glass window images of books, sculpture and astronomy, as well as its domed ceiling cornice inscribed with the names of Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow and other littérateurs, signifying its original use as Burrage’s library. Each bedroom has its own full marble bath.

    The master bedroom retains its original bow window with stained-glass panels and picturesque views of Commonwealth Avenue Mall, as well as its domed ceiling with Elizabethan reliefs. The master suite also includes a corridor of closets and a spiral stair, which descends to a paneled library/media room with running built-in bookcase and office alcove of built-in desks and shelves.

    Unit 1 has a private storage facility and two heated garage parking spaces. Common amenities include daytime concierge and elevator service.

    For more information on Unit 1 at 314 Commonwealth Ave., or to arrange a private showing, contact CondoDomain agent Jeanne Boucher at 510-205-5857.

    Post created and published by: Todd Larson

  • Penthouse perfection in the Back Bay

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Back Bay  |  January 12, 2011 5:11 PM  |  199 views  |  No comments

    Built in Beaux-Arts style in 1907 by master architects Cram & Goodhue, 334 Beacon St. in the Back Bay has been masterfully renovated into a first-class condominium, and the high-pitched chateau roof forms a penthouse that is top in its class in lavish, lofty luxury.

    Offered at $2.05 million, the 2,381-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse unit rises with the roof and widens with the walls. The broad, deep footprint allows for a far-reaching living room that lets you drink in the water and the sun from the breathtaking Charles River views, and take in your favorite programs or movies from the custom-crafted entertainment center.

    The imaginative new renovation interconnects the living room with all of the other common areas to add lofty, flexible flow to your lifestyle.

    The dining room lets in light from the skylights in the adjoining spaces, creating an atmosphere that is formal but not fussy.

    The chef's kitchen is traditionally European in its galley layout yet modernly American in its skylight sunniness and its step-up access to the raised library and roofdeck. Granite counters, custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and a pass-through to the dining room are the kitchen's prize features.

    The library, lined with a bookcase wall and lit with a skylight, is a heavenly place to enjoy a good book, especially in warmer months when the private roofdeck is right at your door.

    The roofdeck boasts unprecedented Back Bay skyline views for a penthouse, as well as one of the most expansive cocktail party gathering spaces available to one unit.

    The chateau's crowning tower forms a studio space that can be used as a comfy-cozy sitting room, children's bedroom, guest bedroom or home office. Climb up the ladder to the perfect hideaway spots under the peak of the tower, with a bridge connecting them across the studio space. A private play area and/or home office can be arranged up here, away from the family.

    The penthouse unit has direct elevator access from the common lobby. The $846 monthly association fee includes elevator maintenance, heat, hot water, water and sewer, and master insurance.

    For more information on or to schedule a private showing of 334 Beacon St.'s penthouse unit, contact CondoDomain Agent Jeanne Boucher at 510-205-5857.

    Post created and published by: Todd Larson

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