Glamorous luxury condo ready for you in iconic Back Bay

TODD LARSON
CORRESPONDENT
Parallel tiger-granite counters, black tumbled-tile backsplashes and fine wood cabinetry with stylish floral porcelain knobs give the kitchen practical beauty.

If you think investing in a one-level condo would feel like moving into a walk-in closet, just walk into Unit 3 at 236 Marlborough St. in the Back Bay and watch the aura of a manor house unfold before you.

Built in 1881 by Samuel Tarbell Ames from a design by Samuel D. Kelley as one of a row of nine French Academic brick townhouses with large bay windows, high ceilings and lavish details, 236 Marlborough St. maintained its historical and spatial integrity when converted to a condominium of five one-level floor-through units in 1974.

A 2019 renovation of the 1,428-square-foot Unit 3 preserved its classic details, soaring ceilings and spacious hardwood floor areas for entertaining guests and raising a family while retrofitting it for contemporary living with a new gas heating system plumbed into existing radiators. Other up-to-date amenities include a living-room entertainment center and a granite kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

The unit’s single-floor plan has another advantage: no huffing and puffing upstairs and down to transition from party time to bedtime to breakfast time. All eight rooms, including two bedrooms, two full baths, a chef’s kitchen and ballroom-like living spaces, occupy the building’s entire second floor.

The building’s unusually deep, wide footprint allows most rooms the generous space necessary for large-scale entertaining, working at home and sleeping in splendor. And, yes, closet storage abounds, expanded by the high ceilings.

The recently carpeted lobby with paneled wainscoting, crown molding, scrolled brackets, a turned-baluster stairway and an octagonal newel post gives a first taste of the historical elegance of Unit 3, which is conveniently one flight up.

The recently carpeted lobby with paneled wainscoting, crown molding, scrolled brackets, a turned-baluster stairway and an octagonal newel post gives a first taste of the historical elegance of Unit 3, which is conveniently one flight up.

More convenience follows: The unit entry leads directly to a common full bath with a subway-tiled tub/shower combo, built-in linen shelves, a pedestal sink, beadboard wainscoting, a new dark blue wall treatment and one of several vintage cast-iron radiators throughout the unit.

“A home inspector said they give off the healthiest form of heat because it’s wet heat rather than dry heat, which is better for your lungs,” said listing agent Betsy Herald of The Charles Realty. “They don’t make them anymore because cast-iron is so expensive.”

More of the elegance they don’t make any more follows as well. At right is the vast sun-filled living-dining room, dressed to the nines with wall moldings, a double crown molding, a chair rail, baseboard, a grand bay window with tassel-fringed swag treatments and historic views of the Back Bay and its magnolia trees along with a lavishly scrolled Beaux-Arts white marble mantel with central scallop relief framing one of two woodburning fireplaces.

The living-dining room is dressed to the nines with wall moldings, a double crown molding, a chair rail, baseboard, a grand bay window with tassel-fringed swag treatments and historic views along with a lavishly scrolled Beaux-Arts white marble mantel with central scallop relief framing one of two woodburning fireplaces.

“The fireplaces were inspected and they do go up to the roof,” said Herald. “They were cleaned every couple of years, but I’d recommend putting in liners to make them work again.”

Adjacent to this fireplace is an alcove for a workstation or an entertainment center, which is housed in a wall panel that opens to a closet. The Sylvania flat-screen TV extends outward on a wall-mount swing-arm for viewing. Above this is a Queen Anne-style leaded-glass window.

A pair of fluted columns with volute capitals upholds a segmental arch that gracefully introduces a breakfast dinette, where a curvy chandelier with crystal-glass festoons dangling crystal pendant drops hangs from a scalloped ceiling molding.

Across the space, a pair of fluted columns with volute capitals upholds a segmental arch that gracefully introduces a breakfast dinette, where a curvy chandelier with crystal-glass festoons dangling crystal pendant drops hangs from a scalloped ceiling molding.

Another arch handily connects the dinette to the kitchen, extending to a large window treated with a tassel-fringed floral swag. Parallel tiger-granite counters, black tumbled-tile backsplashes and fine wood cabinetry with stylish floral porcelain knobs give the kitchen practical beauty. The left-hand counter contains a deep stainless sink with a retractable gooseneck faucet and hot-water spigot. Adjacent to this are a Siemens dishwasher and a Sub-Zero stainless refrigerator. The right-hand counter and cabinetry incorporate a Siemens four-burner gas range and a Whirlpool microwave/vent.

The foyer also combines beauty with practicality in ways that are unusual for a condo. Treated with a yellow damask-style wallcovering and a dentil crown molding, this central space offers equidistant access to the common and bedroom areas, contains a pantry and coat closets, and, as mentioned, accesses a full bath as opposed to the typical powder room.

Elegance and efficiency also intertwine in the primary bedroom suite. The spacious light blue bedroom contains the other woodburning fireplace, this time surrounded by black granite in a classic mantel with fluted pilasters, bracketed shelf, egg-and-dart molding and beveled mirror.

Elegance and efficiency also intertwine in the primary bedroom suite. The spacious light blue bedroom contains the other woodburning fireplace, this time surrounded by black granite in a classic mantel with fluted pilasters, bracketed shelf, egg-and-dart molding and beveled mirror.

The en suite bath contains a tub/shower combo, an oval pedestal sink, beadboard wainscoting, and a wall-mounted radiator.

For bathing-and-dressing convenience, a small square hall flanked by closets for both partners, introduces the en suite bath, which contains a tub/shower combo, an oval pedestal sink, beadboard wainscoting and a wall-mounted radiator such as the one in the common bath.

This space across the primary bedroom is perfect as a home office, a nursery or just a pleasant sitting/reading area.

Across the bedroom, a transom-topped double pocket French door introduces a sunny space boasting a rear bay window with classic chainette-fringed blue-and-white swag treatments, a continuation of the bedroom’s double crown molding and a workstation alcove with a vintage tasseled brass light fixture dangling twin textured bell lights. This space is perfect as a home office, a nursery or just a pleasant sitting/reading area. It accesses the single-windowed second bedroom, which is wall-treated in brown grasscloth and can be used as a child’s bedroom, a guestroom or a larger home office.

Offered at $1,895,000, Unit 3 at 236 Marlborough St. combines breadth, depth, height, light, comfort and convenience into a condo fit for a connoisseur of fine homes.

For more information about this and other fine homes in the area, contact Betsy Herald at 617-236-0353 or betsyherald@realtor.com.

Built in 1881 by Samuel Tarbell Ames from a design by Samuel D. Kelley as one of a row of nine French Academic brick townhouses with large bay windows, high ceilings and lavish details, 236 Marlborough St. maintained its historical and spatial integrity when converted to a condominium of five one-level floor-through units in 1974.

DETAILS:

Address: 236 Marlborough St., Unit 3, Back Bay

BR/BA: Two bedrooms, two full bathrooms

Size: 1,428 square feet

Housing type: One-level condominium

Price: $1,895,000

Condo fee: $445.97, including heat and hot water

Taxes: $14,051/year (2021) without residential exemption

Parking: Association owns three rear-alley parking spaces with priority for owner-occupied units at $300/month.

Year built: 1881, renovated 1974 and 2019

Number of units: Five

Features: High ceilings, hardwood floors, new heating system, recessed lighting, crown moldings, two woodburning fireplaces, entertainment center in living room, granite chef’s kitchen with stainless appliances and gas cooking, primary bedroom suite with separate sitting/office area connecting to second bedroom, generous closet storage, addition of washer/dryer to unit allowed.

Building amenities: Common lobby and stairway, recently recarpeted with Landry & Arcari rug and stair-runner; common laundry in the building; pet-friendly; professional management.

Close by: Houses of worship; shopping and dining; Boston Public Library; parks in Copley Square and Esplanade; boating on the Charles River; public transit on Green and Orange lines, buses, commuter rail and Amtrak.

Contact: Betsy Herald of The Charles Realty

Phone: 617-236-0353

Email: betsyherald@realtor.com

Website:https://www.thecharlesrealty.com/listing/72818135/236-marlborough-street-boston-ma-02116

SOURCES:

-          “236 Marlborough,” Back Bay Houses, https://backbayhouses.org/236-marlborough

-          “List of Trim, Tassels & Fringe Types,” InteriorDecorating.com, 2020, https://www.interiordecorating.com/help/glossary-fabric-trim.html