Modern triplex available at historic Parris Landing
From its establishment in 1800 until its closing in 1974, the Charlestown Navy Yard was the flagship of the U.S. Navy’s strategy to build, maintain and update the most top-of-the-line vessels for the most trying of naval conflicts, from the USS Independence in the War of 1812 to the USS Hartford and USS Merrimack (seized and ironclad as the CSS Virginia) in the Civil War to the USS Whetstone in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Now refurbished as a National Historical Park and residential-retail community, the Yard leads the fleet in top-shelf waterfront living for the most demanding homebuyer.
Unit 1520 at 42 8th St. (Parris Landing) capitalizes on an old machine shop’s cathedral space, oversized windows, steel-beam construction and skylight gables to offer three sunny living levels, roof-deck space and updated stainless steel appliances for under $1 million.
The 367-unit Parris Landing condominium occupies the shells of the Navy Yard’s old Building 42. Built and rebuilt in stages between c.1858 and c.1925, this five-story, five-structure former machine shop and foundry featured a long, unobstructed space with an end-to-end regiment of skylight gables, designed to accommodate and illuminate iron and steel casting for warship assembly lines.
As part of his Parris Landing design, French industrial designer Philippe Starck refashioned this skylit space as a light, airy atrium with multiple levels of long overlook walkways to the units, hotel-quality sitting areas, glass elevators with mirror-walls, a central 24-hour concierge desk, a fitness center, club and conference rooms, card-operated laundry facilities, an outdoor heated pool and an in-house garage.
Along the concrete ground floor are giant sculptures of familiar household objects (rubber duck, light bulb, baby’s pacifier, teacup, detergent bottle) which Starck commissioned to greet residents with playful images of domestic and family life as friendly reminders that their workday is done and they’re welcome home.
“These sculptures are always topics of conversation for everyone,” said listing agent Jennifer Schneider of Century 21 Elite Realty.
The 1,333-square-foot unit itself has plenty to converse about from cabin to deck. A small, but inviting foyer with coathooks, yellow-and-blue accent lighting, and the first of the unit’s bamboo floors introduces the stairway at left and the primary bedroom suite straight ahead – handy for coming home and jumping into bed at the end of a weary workday. A double door with fluted glass panels closes off the suite for privacy.
It conveniently begins with a full bath with granite vanity, semi-globe overhead lights and beige-tiled tub/shower. The bedroom has one of three floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the unit conversation-worthy views of the Yard, Boston Harbor waters, the North End, the Financial District, the Zakim Bridge, the Bunker Hill Monument and the Naval Shipyard Park and playground across the street. This window has a ledge for plants.
Honoring the Navy Yard’s wood and metal shipbuilding traditions, the iron-framed stairway with cable railings contrasts live-edge wood treads with mesh risers. It has deep “cabin” storage underneath.
The stairway ascends to the galley kitchenette, where two tiger-granite counters line up the maple cabinetry and the stainless steel Profile dishwasher, a sink with retractable gooseneck faucet, Samsung five-burner gas range with microwave/vent and the Summit refrigerator in facing rows for “kitchen work triangle” efficiency in food-prep and cleanup.
The sink counter rises to a peninsular bar that overlooks the open living-dining room, which can be freely arranged according to taste. Mirage brand speakers surround the space for dinner music. Open shelving accommodates an entertainment center and conversation pieces, the high ceiling exposes a steel bracket and beams and a floor-to-ceiling window lets in southwestern sun and city views.
Between the living-dining room and the passage to the second bedroom, a peninsular glass counter - supported by live-edge wood planks - accommodates more artwork to spark dinner-party conversations. An open drawer and cubbies are below it and a linen closet is beside it.
Preceding the bedroom is a common full bath, like the primary one except for the addition of a maple medicine cabinet.
The second bedroom’s closet is built in with a bamboo chest of drawers and a Japanese rice-paper sliding screen.
The loft upstairs, brightened by a skylight gable, can be a home office, den, gym, yoga room, greenhouse or third bedroom. Its storage alcove can become a closet.
A French door opens to a private roof-deck space with basket woven furniture for gazing at the gorgeous Boston skyline or the stars. In fitting nautical style, tube-framed sail-like canvases partition this space from those of the neighbors. The rubber-compound floor tiles can be replaced with decking for a real “ship-shape” outdoor space.
Most ship-shape of all is the Navy Yard itself, home to the USS Cassin Young Fletcher-class destroyer that participated in seven campaigns in World War II’s Pacific Theater, as well as the Yard’s great predecessor - the USS Constitution.
Built in 1794-1797 at Edmund Hartt’s Shipyard in the North End, it was one of the first six 44-gun frigates commissioned by the U.S. Navy. It was nicknamed “Old Ironsides” after defeating the British frigate HMS Guerrière during the War of 1812. The Constitution’s solid oak hull withstood the Guerrière’s cannonballs with minimal damage, provoking a cry, “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!”
Offered at $879,000, Unit 1520 at Parris Landing has plenty to huzzah about as an affordable way to live on the water, relive history and feel at home.
For more information, contact Jennifer Schneider of Century 21 Elite Realty at 617-733-8211 or Jennschneider915@gmail.com.
- Boston National Historical Park, “The Boston Navy Yard during World War II,” National Park Service, last updated March 27, 2020, www.nps.gov/articles/the-boston-navy-yard-during-world-war-ii.htm
- “Boston Navy Yard,” Wikipedia, last edited on December 30, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Navy_Yard - History
- Carlson, Stephen P., Ships Built By The Charlestown Navy Yard (Washington, D.C.: Division of Cultural Resources, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 2005), www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/upload/bostship.pdf
- Charlestown Navy Yard: Official National Park Handbook (Washington, D.C.: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1997), pp. 51-54, www.google.com/books/edition/Charlestown_Navy_Yard/LFKqlZsoelUC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=charlestown+navy+yard+42+8th+St.&pg=PA81&printsec=frontcover
- “Efficiency in the Kitchen Begins with Geometry,” The Bold Look of Kohler, updated February 15, 2018, https://ideas.kohler.com/article/efficiency-in-the-kitchen-begins-with-geometry
- Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc., “Boston. Charlestown Navy Yard” (photograph), 1925, Digital Commonwealth, www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:cn69mt52c
- Kolakowski, Chris, “Old Ironsides: A History of America’s Ship of State,” American Battlefield Trust, www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/old-ironsides-history-americas-ship-state
- “List of ships built at the Boston Navy Yard,” Wikipedia, last edited on July 30, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_built_at_the_Boston_Navy_Yard
- “Luxury Living: Parris Landing,” Boston.com, http://archive.boston.com/realestate/luxliv/premium/parrislanding.html
- “Navy and Marine Corps Records at Boston: Boston Naval Shipyard,” National Archives at Boston, last reviewed July 12, 2019, www.archives.gov/boston/finding-aids/navy-records.html - boston
- “Pier 1 — View of Hartt’s Shipyard site,” U.S.S. Constitution Museum, 2019, https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/locations/pier-1-view-of-hartts-shipyard-site
- Southworth, Susan and Michael, AIA Guide to Boston, Third Edition (Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, 2008), pp. 257-258.
- “USS Cassin Young,” National Park Service, last updated November 3, 2020, https://www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/usscassinyoung.htm
- Vigue, Doreen Iudica, “Starck Reality,” The Boston Globe, September 26, 2004, http://archive.boston.com/realestate/luxliv/articles/0926_starck.html
Address: 42 8th St., Unit 1520, Parris Landing, Charlestown Navy Yard
BR/BA: Two bedrooms + loft, two full bathrooms
Configuration: Triplex condominium
Number of units: 367
Size: 1,333 square feet
Condo fee: $1,004.90/month, including all building amenities plus gas cooking
Taxes: $5,936.96 (Tax Year 2021), including $3,153.02 residential exemption
Parking: One in-house garage space included in condo fee
Year built: c.1925, renovated 1981 and 2004
Features: High ceilings, bamboo floors, southwestern exposure, forced-air heating, central air conditioning, granite kitchen with stainless appliances and gas cooking, surround-sound speakers in living-dining room, private roof-deck space, intercom.
Building amenities: 24-hour concierge service, fitness center, clubroom, conference room, common card-operated laundry, elevators, common restrooms, seasonal outdoor heated pool, professional landscaping and management, snow and refuse removal, Amazon drop-off and pick-up hub, pet-friendliness.
Close by: Public transportation, shopping and dining, swimming pool, tennis court, parks, fitness trails, medical facility, bike path, highway access, house of worship, marina, public school, public library, public parks including City Square Park, the Bunker Hill Monument along the Freedom Trail, TD Garden, Amtrak at North Station.
Contact: Jennifer Schneider of Century 21 Elite Realty