Back Bay home with timeless elegance sold

BY WAYNE BRAVERMAN/STAFF WRITER
The living room radiates refined beauty and comfort.

With a great Back Bay location, plenty of space and amenities galore, Unit 6 at 73 Marlborough St. is a timely treasure, now with a new owner. Originally listed by Neda Vander Stoep of Coldwell Banker Residential, it recently sold for $2,310,000 through Nicholas Mattia of the Luxury Residential Group.

Perhaps the best way to describe this south-facing, 2,078-square-foot penthouse duplex is “classically elegant.” Lofty architectural ceilings, beautifully-detailed millwork and gleaming hardwood floors depict a traditional feel while skylights, sconces and soffit lighting add contemporary flair.

The favorable floor plan - grand and gorgeous - is ideal for entertaining.

The spacious dining-living room has a large wood-burning fireplace surrounded by marble and trimmed with wood, anchored by six tall built-in bookcases with low cabinets on either side. This is a perfect and pretty place to stay warm and cozy during the cold winter months.

The custom bump-out windows have unique side and overhead mirrors that can reflect a colorful array of décor and the quiet beauty of Marlborough Street.

There is also a space carved out for a formal dining table. An inset for a dry bar features mirrors on three sides. Placing a plant or decorative vase on the shelf not only adds color and texture, but intensifies the reflections from the mirror, adding another aura.

The spacious kitchen, well laid-out and easy to move around in, is simple, yet chic.

The area centers around a long island with a built-in six-burner JennAir glass cooktop - ready for culinary capers. The Thermador oven and dishwasher flank the centered sink in the elongated L-shaped counter lining the back wall. A refrigerator that has the capacity to hold plenty of fresh and frozen food sits at the shorter end.

The island countertop coordinates with the large custom built-in beverage rack, adding a splash of color. The plantation shutters on the large windows and the glass-fronted upper cabinetry are additional admired architectural details.

There is plenty of room for an informal dinette set on the opposite side of the island that has seating for three people.

The foyer between the kitchen and the dining-living room has a coat closet and a large half bath. The nearby stairway elegantly winds its way to the next level with a well-built, 18-pane welcoming skylight showering the area with natural light during the day and starry skies at night.

The master suite is grand and well-appointed. A giant closet with four doors line one wall of the master bedroom, while two wall lamps sit on either side of the bed. The master bath has a smaller skylight that bathes the room in sunlight and stars. A walk-in shower features dual shower heads and the vanity holds two sinks. For added convenience, there is a stackable washer and dryer.

On the opposite side of this story are two identically-sized, yet uniquely designed bedrooms and a shared bathroom. One of the bedrooms showcases wood wainscoting in an eye-catching hue of auburn-chestnut and shares the space with a large built-in desk and a queen-sized Murphy bed. This versatile room creates a multi-functional space that can be used as a home office and/or for guests. The bathroom also has a smaller skylight plus a vanity with one sink and a tub/shower.

A spiral staircase leads to the large and private roof deck. This is a great place to enjoy al fresco dining and the prominent panorama of the Back Bay brownstones and the city’s iconic buildings.

This delightful home sits in a professionally-managed, 100 percent owner-occupied, pet-friendly five-unit building with one direct access tandem parking space. It is centrally located and within easy walking to lots of attractions.

This abode comes with a long and fascinating history, as well.

According to Back Bay Houses (backbayhouses.org), the dwelling at 73 Marlborough St. was originally built around 1864 for shipping merchant and real estate investor John Lowell Gardner as one of nine contiguous houses.

Professor William Watson and his wife, Margaret (Fiske) Watson, bought the home in 1875 just after their wedding. William Watson had been an instructor of mathematics at Harvard University from the time of his graduation in 1857 until 1860, when he traveled to Europe to continue his studies.

According to Back Bay Houses, “While in Europe, he gathered information on the European polytechnic university model which subsequently formed the basis on which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was organized. From 1865 through 1873, he was a professor of mechanical engineering and descriptive geometry at MIT. He later became Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.”

By the winter of 1879-1880, this became the home of another newly-wed couple – Abbott Lawrence Lowell and his wife, Anna Parker (Lowell) Lowell. A. Lawrence Lowell was an attorney and later would become President of Harvard University.

On June 3, 1982, 73 Marlborough was purchased from Jack Fay by Sam Y. Kim. A little less than a year later, Kim converted the house into six condominium units, transforming this property into a new era of living.

Numerous architecturally noteworthy buildings and cultural institutions, for which Back Bay is famous for, line the streets - many offering a variety of programs and services.

Opening in 1895 as the first large, free municipal library in the US, the Boston Public Library is considered a Renaissance Revival masterpiece, nicknamed “palace for the people.” This warm and welcoming building showcases high ceilings and arched windows, marble floors, statues of notable individuals and beautifully painted artwork. The library offers a plethora of events and activities throughout the year, including an art and architecture tour.

Titled one the most significant buildings in the country, Trinity Church is celebrated for its elaborately carved walls of rough-faced stone, large towers and rounded arches – the hallmark of the Richardsonian Romanesque design – and stained-glass windows, colorful mosaics, wall murals and needle-worked kneelers. This welcoming church offers tours of the building, concerts, lectures, prayer groups and worship services.

The Arlington Street Church is noted for their 16 Tiffany stained glass windows and a 190-foot bell tower with 16 bells, each with a Biblical inscription, which is still rung by hand. This church also has a full calendar and is very active in social action for justice and peace.

To find out more about homes available in the Back Bay, contact Neda Vander Stoep of Coldwell Banker Residential at 617-413-0888 or email Neda.VanderStoep@NEMoves.com. Nicholas Mattia is available at nick@lrgboston.com.