Built c.1835 from a Greek Revival design attributed to Cornelius Coolidge, this 4,158-square-foot, five-bedroom rowhouse typifies the Beacon Hill aesthetic at first glance: low-rise brick fašade, brownstone sills and lintels, multi-paned sash windows with black louver shutters, granite foundation, recessed stoop entrance with paneling.
The outside appearance of 34 West Cedar St. hardly prepares the entrant for the explosion of light and space inside that goes through the roof – literally.
Built c.1835 from a Greek Revival design attributed to Cornelius Coolidge, this 4,158-square-foot, five-bedroom rowhouse typifies the Beacon Hill aesthetic at first glance: low-rise brick façade, brownstone sills and lintels, multi-paned sash windows with black louver shutters, granite foundation, recessed stoop entrance with paneling.
But a thorough, yet tasteful refurbishment by F.H. Perry has transformed it into a towering townhouse comprising five floor-through levels of living with characteristics of new construction: open floor plans, front-to-back sunlight, state-of-the-art kitchens and baths, private roof deck, and eastern, western and southern exposures. Yet this renovation was done in a way that still says “Beacon Hill” through and through.
The paneled mahogany front door, restored to the home’s original parlor-level entry, opens to an archetypal Beacon Hill welcome – a curving stair and immediate parlor access – but with a plus: a direct passage to the windowed wet-bar in the rear ell, letting in more light and space and telling guests the party’s on.
The double living room has plenty of space for that, courtesy of its open-concept flow from two street windows to two garden windows, encompassing two veined black marble fireplaces handy for a real “housewarming.”
Paneled pocket shutters, anthemion window-corner reliefs, crown molding, baseboard and oak floor trim the festivities with Beacon Hill propriety.
French doors introduce the living room and the back hall to ensure continuity of light throughout the space.
Past a row of built-in shelves, cabinets and bookcases is a sequence of two contiguous sitting rooms. The first features a classic fireplace and a built-in entertainment center; the second ends with a black granite wet-bar with cabinet-concealed Bosch dishwasher and a U-Line two-tier pull-out refrigerator for drinks. Both spaces have generous light and views on the “hidden gardens of Beacon Hill” and the historic brick rowhouses of Cedar Lane Way for a sunny, yet intimate party setting.
The entertainment continues downstairs on the garden level. Past a Carrara marble-floored powder room with a porcelain farmer’s sink (where the earlier street-level entrance used to be) is yet another floor-through living-dining space with two fireplaces - one retaining its original wood storage compartment, the other flanked by bookcases.
A window-surrounded French door opens to the slate-paved hidden garden that reprises the first floor double-space theme. A trellis arbor steps down to a cozy, quiet space surrounded by brick walls that, in turn, descends to a rear exit to Cedar Lane Way.
The oak floors transition to tile upon entering the chef’s kitchen - another floor-through double-space wonder conveniently lining up all stainless-steel appliances along two parallel black granite counters with paneled cabinetry, including a six-burner Thermador gas range with grill and two Sub-Zero wine refrigerators.
Elegantly contrasting the granite are Carrara marble backsplashes tiled Paris-Métro style and a window bank affording a sunny view of the brick-and-mortar of the garden. In the rear is a breakfast room, lit by a scrolled, rope-wrapped chandelier and garden-view windows. Further down is a full-storage basement with a 1,200-bottle cedar wine cellar.
The master suite with his and her bathrooms occupies the entire third floor. An all-marble bath with full tub/shower and towel-warmer opens to a spacious dressing room with a walk-in closet followed by the master bedroom, which affords a tranquil view of the garden and the traffic-free Cedar Lane Way for a good night’s sleep.
Vertical cabinet-columns flank the king-size bed area in a regal but functional way. The room also features a Siena marble fireplace with built-in over-mantel speakers and another walk-in closet. A short set of stairs goes down to a full laundry, which leads into the all-marble master bath with another double-space flourish.
The bath boasts a deluxe Roma standup shower with handheld showerhead and heat-adjustment mechanism, a mirror-walled commode alcove and a towel-warming rack.
Two more bed/full bath suites, both with atypically spacious additional bedrooms for Beacon Hill, occupy the fourth and fifth floors.
The fourth floor features a large pink bedroom with built-in bookcases. The other sizeable bedroom showcases a decorative pressed-metal fireplace mantel of Greco-Roman-themed reliefs. A smaller room can be used as a home office or a nursery for eye-on-the-baby convenience.
The bathroom has a standup shower bath with a mirror wall that gives the illusion of a larger space.
Thanks to the unusually high-pitched roof that is hardly visible from the street, the fifth floor has generous headroom and ample triple-window light for the front and rear bedrooms. Even its bath has rare luxuries for the top floor: a Carrara marble shower ledge and a semi-frosted glass swing-screen to give the shower more privacy. Wide closets are handy in the rear bedroom and the storage/office space.
The private roof deck climaxes the space odyssey with a breathtaking panoramic vista ranging from Beacon Hill’s quaint slate rooftops, brick chimneys and stately steeples to the Back Bay’s soaring skyscrapers.
“This is higher than the other houses, so it has a lot of privacy,” said Lili Banani of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, who is co-listing 34 West Cedar St. with Tracy Campion of Campion and Company for $5.5 million.
For a private showing, contact Lili at 617-407-0402 or Lili.Banani@NEMoves.com, or Tracy at 617-236-0711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.