These brick bowfront Beacon Hill rowhouses, along with 1 and 2 Joy, were built as townhouse residences in 1832-34 in a Federal design attributed to Cornelius Coolidge, later lodging numerous businesses, organizations and charities.

After more than a century of housing clubs and hosting celebs, 3, 4 and 5 Joy St. are taking a new lease on life – their original residential one.

These brick bowfront Beacon Hill rowhouses, along with 1 and 2 Joy, were built as townhouse residences in 1832-34 in a Federal design attributed to Cornelius Coolidge, later lodging numerous businesses, organizations and charities.

No. 3’s tenants included the intellectual Twentieth Century Club, which hosted Mark Twain in 1905 and Helen Keller in 1928 as speakers, and the environmental Sierra Club. No. 4 was home to Japanese educator Joseph Hardy Neesima, founder of Japan’s Doshisha University in 1875 and the first Japanese ordained as a Protestant minister and awarded an honorary doctorate in the United States.

No. 5 once housed the office of famed Cape house architect Royal Barry Wills. From 1923 to 2017 it headquartered the Appalachian Mountain Club, which expanded into Nos. 3 and 4, breaking through firewalls for passages between the buildings.

Fixing those holes was but a smidgeon of 3-5 Joy’s redevelopment as the nine-unit Joy Beacon Hill condominium by the South End-based Holland Companies and Grassi Design Group.

Original curved windowpanes and cast-iron rails were preserved. Interiors were expanded and refreshed with crown and wall moldings and oak floors to reflect their historical era.

The Restoration Hardware quartz kitchens, marble baths, granite butler’s pantries with wet bars and refrigerator drawers, and oaken cabinets, bookcases and mantels cater to millennial tastes. The backyards were transformed into two-level patio gardens, offering more country-estate expanse than the tight clustering of Beacon Hill homes suggests from the street.

Each rowhouse now offers a garden duplex, a one-story terrace residence and a penthouse triplex.

With high ceilings, floor-through layouts, immense common areas with gas fireplaces, bowfront views, private triplex elevators and the biggest “hidden gardens of Beacon Hill” you’ve ever seen – every unit flaunts the feel of a Beacon Hill townhouse.

In the 2,992-square-foot, $4,999,000 garden residence at 5 Joy, the parlor-level living-dining room’s crown moldings, picture-frame wall moldings, paneled beams and pilasters, black marble gas fireplace with classic mantel, and original bowfront windows reinvigorate Beacon Hill history.

A black granite butler’s pantry with a glass subway-tile backsplash links the dining room to the library/study with an oak bookcase and triple-window garden view. The bar also accesses a powder room with a Carrara marble-block vanity.

The kitchen’s white quartz counter/bar, self-closing oak cabinetry and stainless appliances, including a Wolf five-burner gas cooktop, set the scene for haute cuisine.

The double-height bar overlooks a spacious family room with breakfast area, black marble gas fireplace with TV-ready oak mantel, and generous southwestern garden exposure.

A double-slider French door with sidelights opens to the upper garden where a synthetic lawn with granite steppingstones, a granite patio inlaid in herringbone brick and picturesque plantings receive all-day sun with no skyscraper intrusions.

A monumental granite stairway with a central herringbone-brick tree-planted plateau descends to the lower garden where brick-bordered granite patios and synthetic grass create a hard-soft surface contrast and master-bedroom access is handy.

The garden-level master suite’s dressing closet with oak built-ins and all-marble master bath with diamond-patterned tile floor precede the master bedroom that receives southern exposure from the lower garden.

The second bedroom also accesses that garden. A closeted hall connects to its marble en suite bath with basket weave-patterned tile floor. A sizable storage unit precedes the third bedroom, which the bowfront expands to include a built-in corner-window desk. The en suite bath has a black marble floor and vanity and a subway-tiled shower.

The 1,488-square-foot, $2,975,000 terrace residence at 3 Joy has the master bedroom in the bowfront. The building’s tallest windows, their cast-iron balconies and classic moldings complement a king-size bed for truly regal rest. Augmenting the regality are the roomy dressing closet of built-ins and the marble master bath with diamond-patterned floor.

The full common bath has a basket weave-tiled floor.

The second bedroom boasts a terrace over the garden.

The kitchen lines all oak/laminate cabinets and stainless appliances along a U-shaped quartz counter terminating at a two-level bar. This overlooks the vast living-dining room – light-filled from northwestern corner exposure onto the garden and warmed by an oak-encased black granite fireplace. (This residence’s storage unit is downstairs.)

In the 3,843-square-foot, $6,999,000 penthouse residence at 5 Joy, the living-dining room and library/study are unified as one fluid, sunny space for optimum entertaining, enriched by a stunning bowfront view of the State House’s gold dome, crown and picture-frame moldings, a classic gas fireplace, and oak paneling, bookcases and a window bench. This palatial expanse recurs in the rear: the oak/quartz kitchen’s two-level bar interconnects with the oak-fireplaced family room.

The banquet-sized terrace boasts a majestic skyview from the gardens to Beacon Hill rooftops to Back Bay towers, extending across the Charles River to Cambridge and the Blue Hills.

An oak/granite butler’s pantry links the entertaining arenas and accesses a powder room with marble vanity.

Bedroom luxury abounds on the floor above. The vast master bedroom reprises the terrace view and has separate oak-shelved dressing closets for each partner. The deluxe marble master bath has it all: a diamond-patterned floor, twin-sink vanity, trapezoidal soaking tub, benched walk-in shower and a private water-closet. A common marble shower bath serves the bowfront second bedroom and the abutting bedroom/study.

The paneled elevator opens to a humongous top-floor game room with a granite/oak wet bar and mini-fridge and a six-window Boston-Cambridge panorama of high-rise altitude, kudos to the nearby crest of Beacon Hill. Off the room are a black marble shower bath and a bedroom with a breathtaking State House dome view and two storage/expansion spaces.

For more information about the home-again history and high-end habitation in store at Joy Beacon Hill, contact Mark Doherty of Campion and Company at 617-645-5888 or

As of press time, offers have been accepted on 4-5 Joy’s terrace residences.


- Dole, Charles F. “The Twentieth Century Club of Boston.” National Municipal Review, Vol. 3, Issue 3, July 1914, p. 572.

- Hurley, Laura. “Appalachian Mountain Club Announces Sale of Beacon Hill Headquarters.” Be Outdoors / Appalachian Mountain Club, September 26, 2016.

- McIntyre, A. McVoy. Beacon Hill: A Walking Tour. Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1975.