A rare chance to call this coveted Back Bay triplex home
First built c.1880 from a French Second Empire design by Samuel D. Kelley as one of a pair of spacious brick townhouses, 288 Commonwealth Ave. now contains a triplex penthouse condominium that feels much more like a townhouse - kudos to a 2019 rehab that encompasses more than enough spaces, exposures, moldings and amenities to grow a family and entertain a crowd.
Designed by Pauli & Uribe Architects of Boston, this 3,750-square-foot Back Bay unit renovation capitalizes on the building’s floor-through footprint, mansard roof and multistory height. It offers four full bedroom suites, four open-concept spaces, a private deck, front and rear bay windows, in-unit laundry, a wet bar with a wine cooler and generous closet storage as well as private elevator access from the garage to two of the unit levels. There are also two tandem garage parking spaces and even a radiant-heated driveway.
This single-family effect will feel immediate once you exit the elevator, leave your shoes in the left-hand alcove and step straight into a horizontal common-space continuity, classically adorned with crown moldings, ceiling beams and paneled pilasters.
Bay windows beckon you into the double living room on the right and the eat-in kitchen after the dining room on the left.
The living room treats you to a gas fireplace framed in honed gray marble and a classic mantel, a windowed space extension fit for a workstation or library and a stunning northwestern view up and down the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
Ceiling beams classically set off the living-room extension and the dining room. The latter can fit a long banquet table with room to spare. A buffet table, credenza or highboy can go in the alcove - flanked by a coat closet near the elevator and a pantry near the kitchen.
To the right of the pantry is a powder room, elegantly bedecked with a marble tile floor laid in Greek key patterns, a Carrara marble-block vanity and lamp-shaded torch-like sconces.
A coffered ceiling and a flavorful view of historic Back Bay slate roofs and brick chimneys distinguish the kitchen’s unusually large breakfast room, which can become a family room. Breakfast can also be enjoyed at the quartz waterfall island counter with a stainless steel sink and retractable gooseneck faucet.
Defining the rest of the open kitchen is a L-shaped quartz counter encompassing the custom white paneled cabinetry, a paneled dishwasher, a Wolf stainless microwave and six-burner gas range as well as a paneled vent hood. On the right is a paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator with a deluxe side freezer, followed by a pantry closet and a window shedding good southeastern light on your culinary activities.
Adjacent to the elevator is a turned-baluster stairway with paneled wainscoting, descending to the unit’s stairway entrance and ascending to the bedroom level. Here, the stairway lands at an overlook space where a worktable or sitting area can go. The wainscoting continues into this level’s elevator-access alcove and down the hall.
The primary bedroom suite on the right begins with a roomy walk-in dressing closet, for which the developer can provide a custom built-in/renovation credit.
The bedroom is larger than the living room, so large that two ceiling beams set off the bay-windowed king-size bed area from a single-windowed sitting area across from it and an entry space to its side. As in the living room, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall view ribbons across the space majestically.
The en suite bath is unusually creative in its variety of marble-tile treatments. These include a marble floor, a herringbone-patterned wall by the twin-sink vanity and a honeycomb-tiled floor and subway-tiled walls in the corner glass shower with fixed, rain and hand-held shower heads.
A laundry closet with a stacked Whirlpool washer/dryer introduces the wainscoted hall to the second and third bedroom suites.
The rear bay window gives southeastern light and historic views to the second bedroom, which has a king-size bed alcove, a double-door closet and an en suite bath featuring a subway-tiled tub/shower combo.
The third bedroom compensates for its single-window size (making it suitable as an office, exercise room or nursery) with a walk-in closet that can be customized with built-ins, as well as a bath artistically appointed with a sculptural Toto commode, a subway-tiled shower with industrial-style shower head and a transparent green-glass bowl sink with a tulip-like gooseneck faucet.
The stairway ends up at the light-filled family room loft on the top level where a long wet bar and a Sub-Zero wine cooler are ready for party time.
When summer rolls around, a double French door with sidelights opens to the private deck, where a breathtaking panorama of historic Back Bay rooftops and chimneys and a vista of Cambridge buildings and the MIT dome in the distance provide a sophisticated backdrop to barbecues, cocktails and al fresco dining.
A guest or two can be put up in this level’s hotel-like bedroom suite with a double-window Back Bay view, a private bath featuring a herringbone-floored Carrara marble shower and a long vanity counter, and pocket doors connecting both bed and bath to the family room and the stairway.
Offered at $8,495,000, 288 Commonwealth Ave., PH, is a townhouse-in-a-penthouse that’s the talk of the town in three-level luxury living.
For more information, contact Haley Cutter at 774-240-9174 or Haley.Cutter@elliman.com, or Pamela Cushing at 978-771-3319 or Pamela.Cushing@elliman.com, both of the Live in Luxury Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Address: 288 Commonwealth Ave., PH, Back Bay
BR/BA: Four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, one half bath
Size: 3,750 square feet
Housing type: Triplex penthouse condominium
Number of floors in unit: Three
Condo fee: $1,216/month
Taxes: $8,333 monthly, $99,999 annually
Parking: Two tandem garage spaces
Year built: c.1880, renovated 2019
Number of units: Three
Features: High ceilings, recessed lighting, crown moldings, stained oak floors, central heating and air conditioning, gas fireplace, bay windows, custom built-ins, gourmet eat-in kitchen with gas cooking and waterfall island counter, primary bedroom suite with custom walk-in closet and marble bath, en suite baths for all bedrooms, upper-level family-room loft with wet bar and wine cooler, private deck, in-unit laundry, private elevator access on two lower floors, two deeded tandem garage parking spaces.
Building amenities: Renovated elevator, heated brick driveway to garage, professional management.
Close by: Schools; houses of worship; medical facilities; shopping and dining on Newbury and Boylston streets; Boston Public Library; parks; fitness trails; boating on the Charles River; public transit on Green and Orange lines, buses, commuter rail and Amtrak; highway access.
Contact: Haley Cutter or Pamela Cushing, Live In Luxury Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Phone: 774-240-9174 (Haley), 978-771-3319 (Pamela)
Email: Haley.Cutter@elliman.com, Pamela.Cushing@elliman.com
“288 Commonwealth,” Back Bay Houses, https://backbayhouses.org/288-commonwealth