An old townhouse in one of Boston’s most elegant neighborhoods has been restored like the jewel it is. In the South End of the city, Union Park is arranged around an elliptical private park with center fountains. Planned in 1848 and developed through the early 1870s, South End is the largest remaining Victorian urban residential neighborhood in the United States, boasting many restored historic townhouses. This one, with one of the most coveted addresses in the area, is not only the highest single-family home currently available in Boston, but the highest ever asking price in the South End. And the trophy price for this trophy property? $12.5 million, via the Hanneman-Gonzales Team and the Penney + Gould Team, both at Compass.
The current owner of the five-bedroom home, which spans 6,830 square feet and boasts six full bathrooms and two half-baths, spent years painstakingly restoring the building along with renowned design ﬁrm StudioDykas. With a classic brick bow front façade, the 24-foot-wide Italianate townhouse’s unusually broad dimensions, along with its high ceilings, make for elegant proportions.
Custom mahogany front doors bring visitors into the parlor level, where original plaster moldings, period door and window trims, and old Italianate marble mantels are a strong nod to the past. A thirty-foot-long living room and a formal dining room are separated by original pocket doors with etched wheel-cut glass, while a butler’s pantry — a small kitchen, really — offers a cooktop, refrigeration, and dishwasher. There’s also a powder room cleverly hidden behind custom millwork.
The third floor, above the parlor floor, has been re-worked for a contemporary lifestyle as a single, open-plan area with a family room, kitchen and informal dining space. Set against elaborate moldings, the modern kitchen features custom millwork, silver-leaf embossed cabinetry, and a chef-quality suite of appliances. The family dining area is graciously set into the home’s bow front windows while the family room, oriented towards a wood burning ﬁreplace with marble surround, includes a pantry closet with wine refrigeration. A trio of French doors open the family room to a cantilevered deck that overlooks the rear garden.
The primary suite encompasses the entire fourth ﬂoor. Custom-fabricated silk-paneled pocket doors lead into a sitting room with a midnight/morning bar that’s complete with sink and beverage refrigerator. With hand-painted wall decor, the bedroom is bathed in light throughout the day, and offers lovely park and fountain views. The en-suite bathroom is clad in marble, with a custom dual vanity, a walk-in shower with dual shower stations, and a divine soaking tub. Next is a large dressing room with custom millwork.
There are two guest bedrooms on the top floor, each with a private bathroom and dressing area, and two more guest bedrooms at the street level, one with separate sitting and sleeping areas and both with en-suite marble baths. A separate entrance under the stoop means guests can come and go without disturbing their hosts.
A limestone-clad wood-burning fireplace in the garden-level media room sets the mood for winter evenings, and a bank of glass doors fold open to full connect the room to the terraced garden. There’s also a full kitchen, which makes three, plus a wet bar, along with a full bathroom and laundry facilities. Outside, the fastidiously groomed garden is outfitted with mahogany decking, heated pavers, privacy walls clad in fake greenery, and snazzy custom uplighting.
Today, South End is diverse and community-focused with award-winning restaurants and boutiques, a thriving arts community and design district, and nearly thirty parks. As for getting around (and out of) town, one off-site garage space conveys with the townhouse.