Lovely South End home offers plenty of space to enjoy life
If just one look at 1 Lawrence St.’s diminutive brick façade makes you think it’s too small for a growing family compared to other South End rowhouses, just look inside and see how big it’s grown.
Big, that is, in efficiency and modernity as well as size and space.
This 2,170-square-foot, three-bedroom townhouse offers a mansion-full of amenities behind its outdoor mask. These include four full levels of living space between the patio garden and roof deck; three exposures from the garden, side path and street front; and creative configurations of cabinets and closets for generous storage. There are also updated baths, kitchen, utilities and technologies – kudos to the TLC that owners Matthew and Rebecca Coll and Wayland builder Skip Miller of American Dreamwrights lavished upon this single-family home while preserving its 1861 character.
This seamless blend of old and new is readily apparent upon entering the parlor directly from the street.
Catching your eye immediately are the vintage spiral stairway and pumpkin-pine floor that work together to create contemporary space despite their antiquity. The central stairway gives elbow-room for the wide floor planks and a running bank of steel-reinforced bookshelves to lead you straight back to the living room, unifying this level for floor-through, open-concept living.
Floor-to-ceiling windows on the side path illuminate the parlor and living room while flanking a triple coat-closet for dinner-party guests’ convenience.
The living room is warmed by an angled gas fireplace and brightened by a full-height bay window with crank-out panes and a view of the garden’s signature tree.
“When this tree is green and in bloom, it’s like you’re in the garden,” said Rebecca. “This is a great hangout spot for entertaining on this level.”
The level below is another front-to-back entertaining arena. A new chef’s kitchen segues beyond the stairs into a dining/family room – all sandwiched in well-preserved pumpkin-pine flooring and knotty-pine ceiling beams. Deep storage is handy below the spiral stairway, to which the Colls gave yellow pops of color for added interest.
The kitchen is formed by a C-shaped Calacatta quartz counter with a peninsular bar wide enough for two visitor stools for chatting with the cook. Complementing this are a beveled light gray subway-tile backsplash and paneled white cabinetry that conceals a Fisher & Paykel refrigerator with a freezer drawer.
Stainless steel appliances include a KitchenAid dishwasher, a Perlick wine cooler and a JennAir four-burner gas range with WiFi connectivity that lets you remotely control and check the oven from a JennAir app on your smartphone.
The sink with a gooseneck faucet and filtered-water spigot is by a side window that overlooks the house’s garden-lined brick path from the street, “which is fab when you’re washing your dishes,” said Rebecca, who also mentioned the toe-kick heater under the sink “so you can keep your toes warm” while accomplishing the task.
Speaking of keeping warm, the dining/family room contains its own angular fireplace, historically retrofit with a Valor Portrait Windsor Arch gas fireplace of ornamental pressed brass to recall the house’s Victorian era.
“The design is very similar to what we had in one of our rowhouses in London,” said Matthew. “We redid it as gas to make it cozy in the wintertime.”
For summertime coziness, the adjacent room-brightening bay window opens out to the brick patio garden, lovingly landscaped by South End designer Ed MacLean of Potted UP and sequestered by brick and wood walls. The latter have eye-level openings to the plantings along the common back-alley walkway.
“We designed the wall so that when you’re seated, you get a better view of the gardens, but it still allows you privacy,” said Rebecca.
The patio accesses Lawrence Street via the side path through a scrolled cast-iron gate. The common walkway that leads to the Clarendon Street connection to the Back Bay contains a vestige of an old cast-iron lamppost.
Off the kitchen is an attractive interior walkway of hand-painted Italian Carrara marble floor tiles. It leads to a powder room with a pedestal sink and the new energy-efficient heating system, followed by a utility closet with a floor-level niche where the Colls station their dog Bruno’s food and water dishes.
Up the spiral stairway past the parlor and living room are two sizable guest bedrooms. The front one boasts three windows, a double-door closet with metal mesh drawers and shelves and a wall of home-office built-ins: a running credenza with drawers and counter topped by twin bookcases.
The rear guestroom has niched floor-to-ceiling shelf units. Serving both spaces is a newly-renovated Jack-and-Jill bath with a pedestal sink, subway-tiled shower with marble threshold and a Blomberg stacked washer/dryer.
One flight up is the full-floor primary bedroom suite with rare luxury features: a living room-sized dressing space containing an open walk-in closet with built-ins and the annually-inspected air conditioning system, stacks of open mesh shelves and drawers, a double-door closet and a double-window alcove for a workstation.
The bedroom has a pair of double-door closets topped by a running bookshelf niche, as well as a trio of garden-view casement windows offering a stretch of southeastern exposure to wake up to.
“Again, the tree is just stunning in the summer,” said Rebecca.
The bedroom and dressing room access the primary bath with a subway-tiled tub/shower and pedestal sink.
The stairway summits at the roof deck where a sweeping city panorama encompassing many Back Bay skyscrapers from the Christian Science Center tower to the Prudential and John Hancock towers gives this low-scale townhouse a momentary high-rise feeling.
Offered at $2,799,000, 1 Lawrence St. is home in every sense – intimate as a cottage yet spacious as a country estate.
For more information, contact Jack O’Leary of Keller Williams Realty Boston at 617-388-1339 or email@example.com.
Address: 1 Lawrence St., South End
BR/BA: Three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, one half bath
Size: 2,170 square feet
Housing type: Single-family townhouse
Taxes: $20,217 (Tax Year2020)
Parking: Resident permit parking
Year built: 1861, renovated 2019-2020
Number of stories: Four plus roof deck
Features: High ceilings; recessed lighting; two-zone central air conditioning and hot-water baseboard heating; original pumpkin-pine floors; curved central stairway; full wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves; two gas fireplaces; gourmet kitchen with quartz countertops and stainless appliances including gas cooking with WiFi connectivity; rear-hall powder room; backyard patio garden with gas-grill plumbing, underground conduits for a sprinkler system, and street access via private brick path and common back-alley walkway; full-level primary bedroom suite with large open dressing room; roof deck with city views; new boiler; generous closet and cabinet storage throughout.
Close by: Houses of worship; schools; shopping and dining; hardware store; medical facilities; Boston Public Library; parks and recreation areas; dog run; community garden; public transit on Green and Orange lines, buses, commuter rail and Amtrak; highway access.
Contact: Jack O’Leary of Keller Williams Realty Boston
- “Connecting WiFi to Your Range,” JennAir, https://www.jennair.com/content/jennair/en_us/connectivity/how-to-connect-range.html
- “Valor Portrait Windsor Arch Gas Fireplace,” Bob’s Woodburners and Fireplaces Ltd., https://bobswoodburners.com/product/valor-portrait-windsor-arch-gas-fireplace