Fine period details in beautiful Charlestown home

BY BARBARA FORSTER/CORRESPONDENT
In addition to a fireplace with a marble surround and mantel, this dining room room seats six to eight comfortably and has two beautiful windows.

’Tis hard to believe that in 1853 this impressive four-story, brick Italianate Victorian was considered to be a “starter” home with grand-sized rooms on every floor. Today, this beautifully maintained residence just off Monument Square is filled magnificent period details, countless amenities and the latest in 21st century upgrades and, it’s looking for a new owner.

Frank Celeste of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty has listed this 2,900-square-foot single-family home with three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and two half bathrooms for $1,795,000.

Clues that this home is special include the period boot scraper at the bottom of the steps and the double door entry with etched glass panes at the top of the stairs. Once inside, that “feeling” becomes fact, especially after you notice the pumpkin pine floor boards that begin at the threshold and continue throughout the house. It gets better.

A richly detailed curved archway showcases the large dining room. In addition to a fireplace with a marble surround and mantel, this room that seats six to eight comfortably has two beautiful windows with six-over-six vertical panes. Deep bump boards draw attention to wide, pumpkin pine floorboards and a long rectangular wrought iron floor vent. More than decoration, this piece is really a heating vent. By installing heat vents “under” the floor, the bump boards remain intact.

An adjacent “servery” or, if you prefer, butler’s pantry with a flagstone tile floor has cherry cabinets (the uppers have glass fronts) with crystal knobs. A wine cooler, mini fridge and sink are added conveniences.

Even larger than the dining room, the living room at the back of the house has gleaming oak flooring, wide bead board wainscoting and a striking marble fireplace with an ornate wrought iron insert. Built-in bookcases (one has six shelves) flanking the fireplace go floor-to-ceiling providing ample storage and/or display space, but one side also has an unexpected but clever feature: a panel that slides up to reveal a flat-screen television. Pull the panel down and it’s out of sight.

A deep coat closet is near the front entry and a half bathroom with fir floor boards is also on this level.

The suburban-size, eat-in kitchen on the garden level easily handles a center island, if desired. Given the extensive amount of countertop space (white quartz), however, it’s not a necessity. Double doors lead to a walk-in pantry with wrap-around, floor-to-ceiling shelves. A banquette seats at least six comfortably.

An exposed brick wall and stainless steel Thermador appliances including a six-burner gas range topped by a great looking hood accent the white counters and sleek cabinets with under cabinet lighting. The limestone tile floor is heated.

In addition to a view of the brick paver courtyard via two-over-two windows at the sink, the kitchen has access to the classic outdoor space. Even this area received the same careful attention to detail as the house did. Cobblestone edging around the garden, for example, is a rustic, but thoughtful touch.

A gigantic laundry area seamlessly mixes old, new, pretty and practical. The tile floor has radiant heat, the heating system is new and the washer and dryer are full-size machines. All this is accented with exposed brick walls. Another half bathroom is nearby.

All eyes tend to go up on the second floor to the soaring 10-foot ceilings, but eye-level features are attention worthy, too. For example, that the hallway on this level is extra-wide gives the entire level the feeling of grandeur.

So does the wall of custom California closets with overhead storage in the master suite and the oversized windows with six-over-six vertical panes surrounded by detailed millwork. The king-size bed sleeping chamber has another example of under-the-floor-grate heating vents.

A period door with double etched glass panes is the gateway to the beautiful en suite bathroom with bead board wainscoting and mini Carrera marble floor tiles in a herringbone pattern. The jetted tub/shower with a marble surround has a frameless glass door. In addition to a Kohler commode, this room has a double sink vanity.

Period features large and small are found throughout the residence such as mercury doorknobs on the extra-wide four-panel door to the family room. This spacious room has a wonderful “Monument” view via the wide bay window. The wood-burning fireplace with a marble surround and keystone element flanked by open shelving is inside eye candy.

For all things practical, a full wall of open- and closed shelving offers ample display and storage space. The room has a bonus, too: the light fixture, which is original to the house, is staying.

Two grand-size rooms (plus a bathroom) comprise the third floor. Equal in size, the two bedrooms share charming features like two-over-two windows (two in each room, too) nestled within matching angled ceiling/roof lines. These rooms that can accommodate king-size beds also have nine-foot ceilings along with ample storage space. One room for example, has two eave areas.

Cobalt blue tile used as the surround for the tub/shower combination in the shared bathroom is a strikingly contemporary burst of color. A large transom window over the door of this big room is an extra dash of character.

A linen closet is in the hallway and access to the roof is also on this level.

There will be an open house for 12 Cedar St. from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 9.

Address: 12 Cedar St., Charlestown

BR/BA: Three bedrooms; two full bathrooms; two half bathrooms

Size: 2,900 square feet

Price: $1,795,000

Taxes: $14,212

Age: 1853

Features: Chef’s eat-in kitchen with quartz countertops, Thermador stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantry and limestone tile heated floor; dining room with Carrera marble ornamental fireplace; full Butler’s “servery" with wine cooler, refrigerator and wet bar; family room with fireplace and built-in bookcases; pumpkin pine flooring throughout; master suite with California custom closets and en suite marble bath; huge laundry room; brick and cobblestone fenced courtyard; central air conditioning.

Close by: Charlestown Navy Yard; Monument Square; Bunker Hill Mall; Charlestown shops, restaurants, services; Long Wharf and the North End; Storrow Drive and Route 93

Contact: Frank Celeste, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, 529 Main St., Suite 200, Charlestown, MA 02129; 617-872-3227 or 617-242-4222, ext. 104.

Website: www.frankceleste.com

Open House: Sunday, April 9, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Details for 12 Cedar St., Charlestown

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