Beautiful historic condo in the heart of Beacon Hill sold

Wayne Braverman
Link Boston Homes
Oversized arched windows and an intricate brass chandelier emphasize the 11-foot ceiling height.

Attractive architectural elements, dark hardwood flooring and exceptionally high ceilings are only a few of the pleasing characteristics that catches the eye in the parlor-level condo at 41-43 Phillips St. on Beacon Hill. Historical significance is another.

This striking corner unit was once part of the prestigious 19th century Wendell Phillips School, recognized not only for being one of the first racially integrated schools in Boston (1855), but also for appointing the first African-American schoolteacher (1869-1874), Elizabeth Smith (the daughter of Black abolitionist John J. Smith).

In 2000, the school was converted into a condominium, where a sense of antiquity dawdles in the graceful mix of period details and modern design.

Unit 1, originally listed by Mary Conner and Julie Harrison of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, recently sold for $2,350,000. It was purchased with Beth Dickerson, also of Gibson Sotheby’s.

The gourmet kitchen features high-end appliances by Sub-Zero and Gaggenau, including a gas cooktop and a sculptural vent/fan. The mosaic backsplash pops against the white cabinets and the dark granite counters that wrap around the U-Shape design.

The open kitchen's white cabinetry, sparkling backsplash and top-of-the-line appliances will bring delight to a gourmet chef.

The breakfast bar opens to the elegant dining room with gorgeous built-ins accented by a library ladder. The dining area flows into the spacious living room. A double-sided gas fireplace – encircled by a warmly-colored polished stone and topped with a while mantel – is shared by a versatile bonus room. This delightful area has been built out, featuring a long desktop and workstations for two people. Cabinetry offers generous space for supplies.

Two brass pendant lights and an intricate brass chandelier that hang from the ceiling emphasize the height of the rooms and call attention to attractive crown moldings while contemporary bronze sconces adorn the walls of these living spaces.

The dining area's wall of built-ins includes a library ladder, adding charm and alluding to the building's former life as a schoolhouse.

Eight oversized arched mullioned windows flood the home with natural light from three exposures. The windows in the living area have plantation shutters while the bedrooms windows are topped with pediments.

The private portion of the home is as well-designed as the public part. Wine storage, a built-in desk and bookshelves line the hallway on the way to the sizeable bedrooms.

The owner's suite is suffused with light from two exposures. A spa-like bathroom and beautifully organized walk-in closet create additional luxury.

The luxurious corner primary bedroom features a stunning en-suite spa-like marble bathroom, a custom walk-in closet and French doors that open to a private balcony overlooking a beautifully manicured courtyard.

The common roof deck is the place to socialize while taking in the view.

The second bedroom suite is also bright and comfortable. The wall opposite the bed is lined with built-in bookshelves and cabinets on either side of the centered desk. Corbels decorate the area above the desk, reminiscent of the historic architecture of the original schoolhouse. There is also a good-sized closet.

Accessible from the hall and the guest bedroom, the second full bathroom has a tub/shower combination and a single vanity.  A stacked Whirlpool washer and dryer sits in a nearby closet.

This idyllic home is in a professionally-managed boutique building that boasts a common roof deck with stunning views of the Charles River, a beautifully landscaped private courtyard, visitor parking, resident garage parking and a superlative location.

The new owners are living in a very nice location. It’s not a long walk to reach the Frances Appleton Bridge, where pedestrians can cross over Storrow Drive and enjoy all the beautiful of the Charles River Esplanade, which includes the Hatch Shell for summer movies and concerts. It’s also easy to rent a boat at Community Boating on the banks of the Charles. Also within walking distance are the Museum of African American History on Joy Street and the Vilna Shul – Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture on Phillips Street.

Massachusetts General Hospital is also within walking distance. If not going for medical purposes, the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation is an interesting place to visit. It focuses on the 200-year evolution of health care and medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. It has been closed during the pandemic, but will open again when it is safe to do so.

Head to the other side of Beacon Hill and come across the State House and Boston Common.

The Boston Athenaeum is also nearby. Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States.

Private outdoor space off the main bedroom offers the homeowner a place to relax in good weather.

There’s also the Nichol’s House Museum on Mt. Vernon Street. This is a grand 1804 Beacon Hill residence turned into a museum, replete with antique furnishings, heirlooms and art.

For those up for a longer walk, Government Center and the Faneuil Hall Marketplace aren’t that far away.

There’s no shortage of interesting restaurants and shops in the area. Reaching the MBTA is easy with the Charles Street/MGH Red Line Station a few streets away.

To find out about more homes in the area, contact Mary Conner, Julie Harrison or Beth Dickerson at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. Learn more at

The historic brick edifice on Beacon Hill was the former Wendell Phillips School. It was converted to a condominium in 2000.


Address: 41-43 Phillips St., #1, Beacon Hill

BR/BA: Two bedrooms, two full bathrooms

Year built: 1863, converted to condominium in 2000, updated in 2017

Date sold: Dec. 1, 2020

Selling price: $2,350,000

Size: 1,739 square feet

Taxes: $20,906 (Tax Year 2020)

Association fee: $1,930/month (including parking, water, sewer, master insurance, elevator, exterior maintenance, snow removal, reserve funds, professional management and concierge)

Features of building: Handsome historic brick schoolhouse converted into 17 condominiums. Professionally managed concierge building. Elevator and common roof deck. Landscaped courtyard with first-come, first-serve visitor parking. Garage parking for residents.

Features of home: Elegant parlor-level corner condominium with high ceilings, modern style, double-sided fireplace, hardwood floors, multiple built-ins and light that pours in through numerous oversized arched windows. Open floor plan living and dining area with fabulous built-ins. Updated kitchen with high-end appliances and breakfast bar. Airy owner’s suite with en suite bath, walk-in closet and private outdoor space.  One garage parking spot conveyed with unit.

Close to: Shops and restaurants of Cambridge Street; Longfellow Bridge; Charles River; Massachusetts General Hospital; Government Center; MBTA Red Line, Blue Line and Green Line. Easy access to Storrow Drive, Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 93.

Contact: Mary Conner, Julie Harrison or Beth Dickerson, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Phone: Julie Harrison - 617-413-6332; Mary Conner - 617-861-7434; Beth Dickerson (617-510-8565)

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