In the old Rice School, Unit 1B, is a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home listed by John Neale and Brad Sprogis of Sprogis & Neale Real Estate. The 995-square-foot unit is listed at $949,000.
Dartmouth Square is an interesting residential complex in the South End on Appleton Street, developed as condominiums in the early 1980s. It comprises two handsome brick buildings, separated by a small Victorian park with a cast iron fountain and colorful plantings. A brick pathway and an iron fence encircle the leafy park.
The building closer to Dartmouth Street is the former Alexander Hamilton Rice Elementary School at 130 Appleton St., built in 1868. (A few years later, Boston Normal School, the teacher training school, occupied its upper floors.)
Designed by Emerson and Fehmer in the French style with a mansard roof, the Rice School was named to honor the prominent businessman, politician and philanthropist who had served on the school committee and Common Council before becoming mayor in 1856 and serving two terms.
He also was a Congressman from 1859 to 1867 before deciding to not seek re-election. He resumes the responsibilities of his paper manufacturing business. He returned to politics in 1876 and served as governor for three terms before retiring from political life.
The city sold the property – 130 Appleton and 150 Appleton (the former Bancroft Primary School) – to developers in 1981 for condo conversion, and the buildings, Dartmouth Square, opened about four years later.
One of those residences in the old Rice School, Unit 1B, is a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home listed by John Neale and Brad Sprogis of Sprogis & Neale Real Estate. The 995-square-foot unit is listed at $949,000.
Granite steps ascend to the huge double mahogany doors and open into a carpeted vestibule and hallway, where vintage photographs are on display.
The wide schoolhouse stairs are still in place, and a short flight descends to Unit 1B. Inside, a coat closet is on the left, and on the right is the gourmet kitchen with wide-plank cherry flooring. It is compact and well organized. Its L-shape faces a trapezoidal Kashmir stone-topped center island that delineates the space. A pendant light above the island, under-cabinet lighting and recessed lighting provide a bright workspace.
Cherry cabinetry line two walls, and stainless steel appliances – a GE Profile refrigerator and a four-burner electric range and a Bosch dishwasher – add contrast to the color scheme. Above the range is a GE Spacemaker microwave; the tiled backsplash above the countertops is cream-colored.
Next to the island, which can seat two and also holds a custom-made wine rack, is a large pantry closet with shelving from floor to ceiling.
The kitchen flows into the living/dining room that boasts two huge windows that look out to the landscaped garden that fronts Dartmouth Street. The windows have mahogany sills and deep window seats. The glass is insulated and, as a result, the home is quiet.
One of the most eye-catching features is the wood-burning fireplace, which has a cherry-stained mahogany mantelpiece and a black slate surround and hearth. The flooring is cherry.
Against a three-quarter wall is the dining area, open to the living room and illuminated by recessed lighting.
This three-quarter wall continues on the other side of a carpeted staircase that leads to the second bedroom or study. Wall-to-wall carpeting covers the mezzanine, which has a double door closet. Inside are a washer/dryer and wide shelves for laundry supplies.
The master bedroom also has cherry flooring and a large window with a deep window seat. A double door closet opens to a good-sized built-out space with several hanging rods, shelves and dresser drawers.
The en suite bath is a bit unusual, as a pocket door separates the toilet and cherry vanity from the combination tub/shower with a subway-tiled surround. The diamond-shaped marble-tiled floor has a matte finish.
A second pocket door opens into another half bath, which practically mirrors the other. This half bath is close to the kitchen, and guests can use the powder room without entering the bathing area. It is ideal when entertaining, said Neale.
The kitchen and baths were updated within the past few years, he added
Dartmouth Square is within one of the most desirable and convenient locations in the South End, and this contemporary home fulfills modern-day needs while at the same time is housed within an historic landmark.
Neale added another bit of history: Famed architect Louis H, Sullivan of Chicago graduated from the Rice School. Called the father of the skyscraper, Sullivan years later recalled the “inspiration he received from the light and joy of the new schoolhouse.”