‘The Garland’ earns straight A’s for comfort and design

The Penthouse is one of the five new luxurious homes being offered at The Garland at 341 Commonwealth Ave.

From 1872 to 1976, Garland Junior College educated women, first for homemaking and later, with a liberal arts curriculum. Now, the (literally) old school Victorian-era mansion where pupils once lived and studied is making a transformation into an elegant, contemporary five-unit Back Bay condominium treasure.

The down-to-the-studs renovation respects the building’s history. With tremendous attention to details, both inside and out, the thoughtful design seamlessly blends contemporary style with timeless tradition.

341 Commonwealth Ave. was home to Garland Junior College from 1872 to 1976.

The exterior is accented with green copper on its moldings, oriel, balcony and dormers, contrasting beautifully with the brick and distinguishing it from neighboring brownstones. A semi-circular fan light that sits atop the front door and existing stained glass have been meticulously restored.

Inside, each residence is a gem, designed by Claire Gardner, whose projects have included many handsome New England homes.      

Annette Given of The Charles Realty is marketing these residences – each with a unique square-foot floor plan and price (as depicted in the Detail Box). Your options include two one-bedroom units; a one-bedroom plus den parlor/garden level duplex; a three-bedroom parlor/garden residence with three full bathrooms; and a magnificent duplex Penthouse with four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and a private roof deck.

The kitchens at The Garland will delight anyone who has spent the past year honing their cooking and baking skills. Each kitchen has a unique configuration. Most of the units feature Bosch speed ovens along with integrated refrigerators and other appliances by Fisher & Paykel.

Contemporary kitchens showcase Silestone countertops and high-end appliances. The Penthouse has a Sub-Zero/Wolf package and other units come equipped with Bosch and Fisher & Paykel appliances.

The Penthouse kitchen is even more luxurious, furnished with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances. Countertops, islands and backsplashes are created with Silestone quartz and the cabinets are by Arrital.

The open living/dining rooms are delightful, filled with architectural details such as crown molding and tall baseboards. Ceilings are between 11 and 14 feet high with recessed lighting.

Residences 1, 3 and the Penthouse have front bay windows that look out onto the Commonwealth Avenue Mall and provide a glimpse of Back Bay’s iconic skyscrapers.

Residence 2 was once the college’s receiving room and it rocks brilliant millwork. The coffered ceilings remain, adding elegance there.

Each home comes with a gorgeous fireplace with a gas insert. Residence 2’s grand fireplace is especially ornate and has pride of place in the center of the living space.

Floors are high end wide-paneled engineered flooring in White Oak, five inches wide on the lower floors and a full seven inches wide in the Penthouse. These floors are durable and easy to maintain. The warm, white walls make each place feel expansive.

This front-facing living and dining area shows off the magnificent architectural features portrayed in these homes, including bay windows with stained glass transoms, ornate crown moldings and detailed mantels on gas fireplaces. High ceilings and white oak-engineered wide plank flooring emphasize the volume of the space.

Bedrooms are bright and appealing, each with large closets. The den in one of the duplexes would make a great home office as would one of the bedrooms in the Penthouse.

The bathrooms are sleek and elegant with feature walls of gleaming tile. Porcelanosa tubs, showers, toilets and hardware add beauty as well as function. Baden Haus vanities are wall-hung and mirrors have integrated lights.

Half baths have a similar design as well.

In the Penthouse, the main bedroom’s en suite bath is a wet room – an open, modern design. The huge tub is positioned behind a glass wall. The shower is fully equipped with a rain head, a waterfall and body jets.

In the renovation of The Garland, no aspect of comfortable living was ignored. The building has been fitted with all new windows, electrical wiring, soundproofing and more.

Among the building amenities is a Butterfly security system that allows access to the property from a smartphone. Residents receive video calls and can unlock the door from remote locations to admit visitors, package delivery and various service providers such as dog walkers, babysitters and cleaning personnel.

The building’s brand-new elevator makes stops on all floors and offers direct keyed access to the Penthouse.

A private roof deck for the penthouse offers exemplary views of Back Bay landmarks while the landscaped front gardens enhance the attractive exterior and welcomes residents and visitors alike.

Five parking spaces will be deeded to owners: two spots designated to the Penthouse, two spaces allotted to the three-bedroom home (Residence 2); and one parking space allocated to the one bedroom plus den (Residence 1).

With meticulous craftsmanship, amazing finishes and an ideal location on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, this former college building gets straight A’s.

The green copper trim on its moldings, oriel, balcony and dormers accentuates and distinguishes the brownstone building.


Address: The Garland Luxury Residences, 341 Commonwealth Ave., Back Bay


Residence 1: One bedroom, den, and two-and-a-half bathrooms

Residence 2: Three bedrooms, three full bathrooms

Residence 3: One bedroom, one bathroom

Residence 4: One bedroom, one bathroom

Residence 5/PH: Four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths


Residence 1: $1,895,000

Residence 2: $2,695,000

Residence 3: $1,295,000

Residence 4: $1,195,000

Residence 5/PH: $6,500,000

Year built: 1880; total renovation in 2021

Taxes: To be determined

Association fees: To be determined

Building features: Historic 1880 Victorian-era brownstone on the sunny side of Commonwealth Avenue, carefully renovated into a modern five-unit elevator building with stunning details. Brick and limestone exterior with green copper moldings. Five parking spaces available, with two spots deeded to the penthouse, two spaces to the three-bedroom unit, and one space to the one bedroom plus den unit.

Unit features: High ceilings, bay windows, engineered wide plank hardwood flooring, crown moldings, coffered ceilings, wainscotting, and deep baseboards. Many built-ins throughout. Gas fireplaces with decorative mantels. Dazzling kitchens with Silestone quartz counters, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances in the Penthouse, and Fisher & Paykel and Bosch appliances in other residences. Sleek bathrooms with incredible tilework and floating vanities. The main bathroom in the Penthouse is a wet room.

Close by: The Garland Residences are situated along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall between Newbury Street and the Charles River Esplanade. Near restaurants, shopping, public parks and cultural attractions of the Back Bay and downtown Theatre District. Easy access to MBTA Green Line and Orange Line and Back Bay Commuter Rail Station. Convenient to Storrow Drive and the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Contact: Annette Given, The Charles Realty

Address: 257 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116

Phone: 617-435-3540

Email: info@thecharlesrealty.com