Beautiful showcase home on Commonwealth Avenue

The drawing room has antique-look mirrors covering the wall over the marble fireplace. Horizontal surfaces in the room have been custom painted to match the stone on the fireplace surround.

257 Commonwealth Ave. is an impressive 1886 edifice, built by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead &White, which went on to design many famous buildings, including the Boston Public Library and Symphony Hall. Originally the home of chemical manufacturer Alexander Cochrane, the house was subdivided into six condominiums in 1985.

The palatial Residence 3 encompasses the parlor floor, which features the Cochrane mansion's original public rooms plus the building’s entire second floor. This expansive home is impressively designed, sumptuously furnished and a showplace for art. It is ready for its next owner and Tim Marsh of Marsh Properties has listed this one-of-a -kind property at $11,250,000.

The house has 49 feet of frontage onto Commonwealth Avenue.

“When you look at the façade, you have no idea of the ornamentation inside,” Marsh notes.

Stepping into the welcoming Great Hall, which is the home’s entry foyer, visitors come face-to-face with an extraordinary elliptical staircase with a graceful balustrade. It adds tremendous drama to a generous space, which has room for a baby grand piano, seating areas near and far, and a marble fireplace.

Niches for statues are arched, the hardwood floor is dark stained and the gold color of the walls adds grandeur. A chandelier drips with crystals of many colors, and the colors are carried into the rooms that radiate from the Great Hall.

The drawing room has antique-look mirrors covering the wall over the marble fireplace. Horizontal surfaces in the room have been custom painted to match the stone on the fireplace surround. Ceiling height here is more than 11 feet with enormous windows.

Pocket doors and draperies separate this room from the living room, which was the mansion’s music room; there is a harp detailed in relief work on the ceiling. Bow windows look out on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

Across the Great Hall is the massive dining room. Draperies are cobalt blue velvet with gold trim, matching the blue crystals hanging from the chandelier and the jeweled golden chairs at the long table. Murals resembling the art of Toulouse-Lautrec are painted on the perimeter walls. The unit’s 900-square-foot private deck is visible through five windows.

Behind the dining room is a service kitchen with terracotta tiles on the floor and decorative hand paintings on the ceiling and cabinets. A band of glass tiles is backlit to cast a glow. Appliances include an Electrolux cooktop, Thermador wall oven, Miele dishwasher and Liebherr refrigerator.

Off the back hallway, a powder room sports tumbled marble wall tile and a stone pedestal sink with brass fixtures. Across the hall is a direct access elevator, running to the garage downstairs, where the unit’s two parking spaces are located.

The home’s upstairs level is grand with an oval-shaped recessed ceiling over the central staircase. A salon is this floor’s entertaining area, and it features a built-in sofa, stained glass and eight tall columns. Art is everywhere, reflecting the homeowners’ world travels.

A dramatic kitchen on this floor, convenient for serving guests, has unique features. The island is made from volcanic stone, the solid surface countertop incorporates many colors, and the backsplash is red glass. Appliances include a Sub-Zero refrigerator drawer and freezer, GE Advantium microwave oven, Miele dishwasher, and a U-Line icemaker. A Miele espresso machine is built in.

Guests use a powder room with a marble vanity. Its ornately patterned wallpaper is red and gold.

Four bedrooms up here are separated for privacy. One is currently used as a gym and it has a fireplace if the next homeowner wants to do something different with the room.

A bedroom suite includes two family bedrooms. The bathroom that serves them is contemporary, with marble hexagon floor tiles, a quartz countertop on the vanity, glass subway tile, and a jetted tub with rain showerhead.

Lavish and romantic, the master suite is rich with architectural detail: a wood burning fireplace, carved crown molding and tall windows facing Commonwealth Avenue. An immense walk-in closet is big enough to be another bedroom.

Marble, with dual sinks, a Jacuzzi and separate shower with frameless doors, the master bathroom is well appointed.

The last room on this level is a library with dentil crown molding, a fireplace with a carved wooden mantel, and marble on the surround and hearth. It has a built in desk and bookcases, and feels like a multi-function space where family and friends gather to watch TV.

Taken as a whole, this home is uniquely designed, perfect for entertaining on a large scale, and highlights both the past and present. As Marsh says, “It’s whimsical, and it incorporates the history.”

Address: 257 Commonwealth Ave., Residence 3, Back Bay

BR/BA: Four bedrooms, two full baths and two half baths

Size: 5,930 square feet

Year built: 1886, 2008 – 2012

Price: $11,250,000

Taxes: $82,994 (FY 2017)

Condo fee: $2,279

Features of building: The original Cochrane mansion was built by McKim, Mead &White in 1886 on the sunny side of Commonwealth Avenue facing the Mall. Converted to Cochrane House Condominiums in 1985 with six residences. Professional offsite management.

Features of unit: Uniquely designed duplex with architectural details and superlative finishes. Parlor level features public rooms of the original home. Soaring ceilings, Corinthian columns, oversized windows, hardwood floors, ornately detailed moldings and seven fireplaces. Made for entertaining. Decorative painting in many rooms. Two kitchens with numerous cabinets. Two full marble bathrooms and two half baths. Large deck. Two garage parking spaces. Four zones of forced air heat. Central air conditioning. Laundry in unit.

Close by: Restaurants, stores, cultural attractions of the Back Bay and downtown Theatre District. Short walks to the Public Garden, Charles River Esplanade, and shopping on Newbury Street, at Copley Place, and at the Prudential Center. Easy access to MBTA Green and Orange Lines and Back Bay Commuter Rail Station. Convenient to Storrow Drive, Route 93, and the Massachusetts. Turnpike.

Contact: Tim Marsh, Marsh Properties, 30 Newbury Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116.

Phone: 617-548-7145


Details for 257 Commonwealth Ave., Residence 3