This inspiring condominium, boasting three-to-four bedrooms complemented by three bathrooms, a powder room and ample closets, affords a spacious 2,817 square feet of luxurious living.

68 Commonwealth Ave. has a prestigious picturesque location in a historic Back Bay brownstone. It also now has a new owner. Unit 1 sold for $3,075,000 on March 9.

This inspiring condominium, boasting three-to-four bedrooms complemented by three bathrooms, a powder room and ample closets, affords a spacious 2,817 square feet of luxurious living.

Like many of the dwellings in the area, this one has a by-gone tale.

According to Back Bay Houses (, this building was originally designed by architects Snell and Gregerson around 1869 – just four short years after the end of the Civil War when Back Bay was growing.

The first residents were David Rice Whitney and his wife, Sophia Paine (Dunn) Whitney. He was a merchant dealing in dyestuffs and later a banker.

Around 1886, the Whitney’s elder daughter, Frances Elinor, and her husband, Walter Burgess, moved in. Walter Burgess was a sugar merchant and real estate dealer. The Burgesses divorced by 1892, and Frances Elinor remained with her father until his death in Dec. 1914.

During the next five years, the building was in a state of flux with bankruptcies, foreclosures and bank repossessions.

On July 21, 1921, 68 Commonwealth was acquired by John Valentine Dittemore, who lived in the home with his wife, Edith Louise (Bingham) Dittemore.

According to Wikipedia, Dittemore was a director of The First Church of Christ, Scientist (the Christian Science church), from 1909 to 1919 and a trustee for 10 years of the estate of Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), the founder of Christian Science. Dittemore is best known as the co-author of “Mary Baker Eddy, the Truth and the Tradition” (1932).

Dittemore filed for and received permission to convert the building from a single-family dwelling into apartments. Although plans for the remodeling, designed by architect Frank Chouteau Brown, called for four apartments, only three were produced.

The original residents of the other two apartments at 68 Commonwealth were music teacher and composer Frederick Shepherd Converse and his wife, Emma Cecile (Tudor) Converse, and Marie Ramseyer, who lived there until 1925 and 1926, respectively.

The building had a series of owners after the Dittemores and was converted into four apartments.

One of the most colorful owners was Paul Bromley (nee Paul Bloomberg) and his wife, Eleanor Ayres (Magrane) Smith Bromley around 1942. Paul was a travel and airline agent, restaurant operator, and theatrical promoter and was said to have “operated a number of entertainment bars and restaurants” and to have “established the nation’s first discotheque in the Old Vendome Hotel in the 1930s… He had telephones installed on every table and customers could dial a number to order drinks and request songs.” He later became a sales representative for the Designer Knitting Mills.

For the next 25 years, Mary O’Meara Timmons, the widow of Dr. Edward Timmins, and her son, Paul (1946-1957) and the Fitzgerald-Stearns families occupied the building: Peter Joseph Fitzgerald and his wife, Evelyn (McDonnell) Fitzgerald (1958-1969) and Peter and his daughter, Jane D. (Fitzgerald) Stearns, wife of Edward D. Stearns (1969-1972).

In the fall of 1972, George Hastings Swift, Jr., grandson of Gustavus Franklin Swift, founder of the Swift meat packing company, purchased and lived in the home with his wife, Byrd Worthington (Littlefield) Swift. Their unmarried daughter, Byrd Goodrich Swift, lived in one of the apartments. Upon the couples’ deaths, the property was transferred to the Swifts’ surviving children – George Hastings Swift, III, Byrd Goodrich Swift, and Ann Swift Robinson – each having one-third interest.

On July 10, 1997, the 68 Commonwealth Associates, LLC., gut-renovated the five-story brownstone, creating four deluxe condominium units – the 68 Commonwealth Condominium – maintaining all the gracious charm of yesteryear with the sumptuous amenities of today.

Upon entering this grand and exceptionally maintained residence, you are immediately greeted by the stunning original details of this capacious home.

Balancing its stately proportions, which include 12-plus-foot ceilings with impressive moldings, detailed with gold leaf, the sophisticated living room provides inviting seating areas around the exquisite marble fireplace adorned with gold-leaf motifs and the floor-to-ceiling three-bay window overlooking the tree-lined promenade.

Arched pocket doors open to the chic formal dining room. The colorful backdrop within the white wooden arched custom cabinets stylishly pops, showcasing fine china and other treasures on open shelves. For entertaining convenience, an adjacent kitchenette has been tastefully tucked away.

A contemporary chef’s kitchen comes well-equipped with Stainless Steel Thermador and Sub-Zero appliances, sleek granite counters and lots of white cabinets.

The inviting family room has a fireplace and media/storage built-ins and opens to a private walled garden terrace - an ideal outdoor oasis for entertaining and quiet enjoyment.

In a private wing, the large master bedroom features a marble fireplace and is equipped with an oversized walk-in closet. The en suite bathroom has a relaxing soaking tub and glass walk-in shower. The large windows enhance the natural sunlight.

This home has a den, office, gym and direct access to a deeded parking space.

Back Bay is chic, chummy and convenient, loaded with plenty of interesting shops, cafes and restaurants on Newbury, Arlington and Boylston streets as well as at Copley Place. With the warmer weather finally on the way, it will be a pleasure to walk to and socialize on the Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, the Esplanade, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, and the Charles River. Walk the Freedom Trail to learn more about the city’s fascinating history.

Downtown Crossing, the Theatre District, the Boston Public Library and Chinatown are also close by with lots of interesting activities.

The MBTA’s Green Line stations at Arlington Street, Park Street, Boylston Street and Copley Square and the close proximity to Storrow Drive offers easy access to Boston and beyond.

This home was originally listed by George Ballantyne of Gibson Sotheby's International Realty. To learn more about what is available in Boston, contact him at 617-899-7045 or 617-375-6900.

The home was sold by Benjamin Haywood of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential. He can be reached at 617-733-6684.