One of Boston’s most historic homes is for sale for the first time in over 20 years.
The house at 39 Beacon St., which offers more than 14,000 square feet of living space, is for sale for $17 million, according to the listing.
Architect Alexander Parris built the home, which overlooks Boston Common, in 1819, as part of a pair of homes with the house next door. The owner then, Nathan Appleton, was a prominent Bostonian and textile magnate. (Number 40, next door, was built for Appleton’s former business partner Daniel Parker, and was later owned by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric.)
The significance of the 39 Beacon St. property has been well documented. It even has its own Wikipedia page.
The Federal-Style property was built on land that had been part of painter John Singleton Copley’s estate, according to a Coldwell Banker, which is handling the sale. Appleton developed the New England textile industry and was a United States Congressman. At his home, he hosted literary figures such as Edgar Allen Poe, and his daughter Fanny married Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in the living room of the home in 1843.
Later in its history it became a women’s club, and then a private residence again. According to the listing agent for the home, Lili Banani, the home was gutted and renovated 20 years ago, before the current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, purchased it, though, she said, the owner “has done a lot of cosmetic finishes.” In its current configuration, it is made of three residences: a five-bedroom single-family home plus two two-bedroom duplex rentals with private entrances.
“The single-family mansion is truly spectacular,” Ms. Banani said. “It has very high ceiling heights, about 16-feet high, and the moldings are very different than anything else you see in the city.
More: Why Boston Is Becoming a World-Class Real Estate Market
The home also has lacquered mahogany doors. According to Coldwell Banker, the home’s many curved spaces, vaulted ceilings and classical doorways helped cement Parris’s reputation as a prominent architect.
Notable for an older house, the home’s second floor is designed for entertaining and features an open plan with a formal dining room, formal living room, family room, music room, powder room and kitchen with butler’s pantry.
"It is all on one floor,” said Ms. Banani. “You stand on one side and you can see all the way through.”
Another special feature is a round, sweeping staircase topped by a windowed dome. It is in the Bullfinch style, and typical of the time period, but very few like it are left. “It is a gorgeous, bright round old staircase. It is magnificent and has been featured in several magazine articles,” said Ms. Banani.
There is also an elevator in the home for those who don’t want to go up and down that staircase.
Ms. Banani said that because of the view over Boston Common and the large windows, “you get a lot of light.”
Additional perks include a roof deck, with views over the downtown skyline, Boston Common and Back Bay, as well as a private landscaped garden and parking for four cars.
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