Luxury, convenience and history in Back Bay brownstone

Attention to detail is easy to see throughout this home, including in the kitchen with a fine selection of appliances.

For convenience, living most anywhere in the Back Bay is really a dream come true. Throw in history and a fabulously renovated and decorated residence and you have Unit 4 at 241 Beacon St. in the Back Bay.

New to the market, this 930-square-foot home has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty has listed this home for $1,195,000.

This single-family home was originally built in 1868. From 1881-1910, the noted poet and author Julia Ward Howe, best known for writing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," owned the home. The building was converted into five condominium units in 1989.

In 2017, the current owners totally renovated Unit 4, giving a facelift to the space that is both gorgeous and functional.

According to the current homeowner, the residence went through a complete “gut renovation down to the studs” before being customized with many unique facets.

The windows were refurbished rather than replaced to keep some of the brownstone’s original charm. The three living room bay windows overlook the lovely tree-lined Beacon Street, revealing the vibrant changing seasons.

Since the original narrow hardwood boards are no longer available, contractor Paul Donelan of Donelan Contracting painstakingly handcrafted individual planks, repairing and replacing as needed, masterfully restoring the authenticity of the original floors.

Soaring 10-foot ceilings are one of the uncommon characteristics with detailed moldings and casings seen throughout the home. As an additional flourish, crisp triple-layered corner crown molding and a herringbone floor pattern can be found in the living room. Other living room touches include a wood-burning fireplace with marble surround and recessed lighting.

Attention to detail is carried into the kitchen as well. The paneled Sub-Zero refrigerator with two freezer drawers matches the cabinetry facade. Other appliances include a Sub-Zero beverage center, a Wolf Induction stovetop, a Bosch side-opening built-in wall oven and Miele dishwasher.

The countertops are Macaubas Quartzite, a natural stone with some marble properties allowing for a much whiter color than most quartzite, according to the homeowner. Hand-blown Simon Pierce glass pendant lights hang above the kitchen island with seating for three while pots and pans dangle from a peg board.

Built-in cabinets, according to the homeowner, include unique features “such as toe kick drawers for sheet pans and an appliance pantry with retractable doors and sliding shelves for easy access.”

The higher level of the two-tiered above-counter cabinets are lighted and have glass fronts. The contents can be accessed via a library ladder that slides easily among the cupboards.

A full bathroom off the hallway is also eye catching with brass satin finished fixtures, Carrara marble tile including the chair molding and custom designed mirrors that make the space look larger.

“There’s something that catches your eye no matter where you look,” Frank Celeste of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty said. Every space has “an extraordinary piece of trim or detail.”

A king-sized bed will fit nicely in the master bedroom. Using traditional dressers or bureaus may be optional with the custom-built his and her mirrored wardrobes. Another library ladder can be used to access storage above each of these closets.

An en suite bathroom has a beautifully tiled shower with a seat. Even the bathroom door was planned carefully with a transom window to allow more light inside.

The second bedroom sits adjacent to the alcove, separated by a sliding door for privacy. The bedroom can also be used as a nursery with a built in changing table or if preferred a folding station. The alcove has a stackable washer and dryer. Either area could be used as an office.

“You do have a designated (office) space if you need it,” Celeste said. “You can close off the room if you need to make a private call or work call. It’s perfect for a nursery or guest room.”

Architect Timothy Burke is credited with designing the best layout for the kitchen/living room and designing in-wall storage everywhere, including above the bathtub, the master bedroom door and the laundry area, according to the current homeowner.

“There’s storage everywhere, but you don’t feel it,” Celeste said. “It’s amazing the level of renovation they did.”

The home is ideal for a professional, young couple or empty nester and is close to a lot of amenities, Newbury Street, Copley Square, the Financial District, Back Bay, Mass General Hospital, Longwood Medical Center, public transportation and more.

It’s a “very easy location to get to a lot of different points in the city or to jump on the highways to get out of the city,” said Celeste.

Permitted on street parking is available.

The property is new to the market and its first open house will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 17 and Sunday, Mar. 18.

For more information on the property contact, Frank Celeste at 617-872-3227.

Address: 241 Beacon St., Unit 4, Back Bay

BR/BA: Two bedrooms, two bathrooms

Size: 930 square feet

Price: $1,195,000

Association fee: $330 per month

Taxes: $8,530 without residential exemption

Total number of units: Five

Year built: 1868 as a single family home, converted to condos in 1989, completely renovated in 2017

Features: Custom finishes and elegant touches throughout, Sub-Zero refrigerator and beverage center, toe kick drawers for sheet pans, pantry with sliding shelves, hand blown Simon Pierce glass pendant lights above island, wall storage everywhere in the residence, built in changing table or folding station in second bedroom.

Close by: Copley Square, Newbury Street shops, Boston Common, Public Garden, Theater District, Longwood Medical Center and major hospitals, easy highway access, public transportation, bike path.

Contact: Frank Celeste, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, 20 City Square, Charlestown

Phone: 617-872-3227


Website: or

Open house: Saturday, Mar. 17 and Sunday, Mar. 18 from noon to 1 p.m.