Plenty of pizzazz in this South End penthouse beauty
Character, pizzazz and a dash of drama (the city skyline views are fabulous) reflect the essence of this memorable penthouse residence. As this home is tucked away on Columbus Avenue in the South End only three blocks to Massachusetts Avenue, the familiar real estate maxim - location, location, location - is also part of the package.
Practicality certainly wasn’t overlooked. All this includes the convenience of an elevator in this Back Bay brownstone. One more perk - pets are welcome at 529 Columbus Ave.
That’s only the beginning for this two-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex with 1,060 square feet of living space. Unit 24 is listed by Roberta Orlandino of Coldwell Banker Realty for $1,165,000.
The rest of the story continues in the huge main level entry, which is just around the corner from the elevator. Size is certainly one attribute (there’s a long list) of this huge space that encompasses the entire area. For example, rooftop views that include the distinctive dome of the Christian Science Church are front and center via a curved two-window bay. Exposed brick walls and bamboo flooring that glistens in the sunlight are inside treats.
Flexibility may be its best feature. Using this as a study or dedicated office space is one option. It is strategically sited completely away from the main living area. Of course, keeping it as a foyer will impress visitors - one and all. Regardless of use, the built-in bookcase is an eye-catching detail.
The main ceiling on this level is at least nine-and-a-half feet high, but cutouts reveal exposed brick wall sections that are more than two stories high. In addition, the floor doesn’t go to the outer wall, but has a section rimmed by a black metal railing that overlooks the living level below.
A gracefully curved staircase, which is original to the 1890 building and has not one, but two coffin turns, lead to the main living level below. Other unique features are scattered throughout the open concept floor plan.
The rest of the exposed brick wall, for example, anchors the dining area where seating for six people is doable. Another brownstone distinction - a curved bay with two windows is a highlight in the living room space.
Still, the highlight of the entire space is the original fireplace with its coal insert and a hand-carved marble mantel silky to the touch. Even the hearth with one-inch black marble tiles framed by marble subway tiles has a rich patina.
A substantial amount of counter space is one surprise in the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances that include a GE Profile refrigerator and a black-and-white tumbled tile backsplash behind the electric stove are glittering accents to the mellow-hued wood cupboards. A large passthrough doubles as a breakfast bar.
Admittedly practical, a china closet with a five-pane glass door can also be a decorative focal point by creating colorful displays on the shelves. A second even larger pantry closet is in the corridor directly across from the kitchen.
Hardwood flooring is the norm in this home, albeit just a tad on the eclectic. In addition to bamboo on the entry level, cherry flooring rules in the open living-dining-kitchen area and oak floors boards are in the bedrooms. While the woods are different, their overall excellent condition is consistent so they all blend together to create a “blank” canvas that is in itself a cohesive backdrop.
In a nod to the building’s past, a neatly trimmed chair rail over paneled wainscoting lines the hallway to two spacious bedrooms. A full shared bathroom that has a space-saving pocket door and travertine tile flooring is sited conveniently equidistant between these private spaces and the living area.
In this loo, classic four-foot-high bead board wainscoting topped with a chair rail coexists happily with a contemporary glass-enclosed, fully tiled step-in shower. A full-size stackable Bosch washer and dryer is another 21st century must-have.
Tucked away at the back of the unit, the bedrooms offer more than privacy, however. Size, as in lots of it, is only one hallmark of these spacious chambers.
In the secondary bedroom, for example, paneled wainscoting and double crown molding ring the room, but the deep-set window falls into the charming category. The double closet topped with a large enclosed storage space wins the “practical” award.
The primary suite, which is around the corner, is gigantic. A second marble fireplace with a coal insert is in proportion to the size of the room - grand - and it has a richly decorated mantel. The wide two-window bay area gives the king-bed size sleeping chamber presence.
Storage, in the form of two double closets with overhead cupboards, are on the way to the en suite bathroom. Here, the tub/shower ensemble has a tile surround.
One outside amenity for this home - which is, in addition to its proximity to the Southwest Corridor (practically around the corner), dog parks and everything that Back Bay and the South End offer - one flight up: a common roof deck with almost 360-degree views. Encompassing the entire roof, this outdoor space has lots of comfortable seating and fantastic city views.
Address: 529 Columbus Ave., Unit 24, South End
BR/BA: Two bedrooms; two full bathrooms
Size: 1,060 square feet
Taxes: $10,326 (Tax Year 2021)
Year built: 1890/1995
Number of units: 25
Assn. fee: $592.72 (monthly water, sewer, master insurance, elevator, exterior maintenance, landscaping, snow removal, refuse removal, reserve funds, management fee).
Features: Two-level penthouse duplex in South End brownstone with an elevator showcases a completed renovation. City skyline views, high ceilings, large curved window bays and hardwood (bamboo, cherry and oak) flooring throughout. Separate “formal” entry on one level can be used as an office or sitting room. Modern floor plan on floor below anchored by several traditional features such as a two-story exposed brick wall and two marble fireplaces with coal inserts. Open floor plan includes galley-like kitchen with pass through to living area. In-unit Bosch washer and dryer. Two spacious bedrooms overlook Columbus Avenue. Common roof deck with almost 360-degree views one flight up. Pet friendly.
Nearby: Barely three blocks to Massachusetts Avenue and the Southwest Corridor plus easy access to Back Bay and the heart of the South End with dog parks, playgrounds and countless restaurants, boutiques and services. Fifteen minutes (or less) to Copley Place and Boston Public Library. Convenient access to Storrow Drive and Route 93.
Contact: Roberta Orlandino of Coldwell Banker Realty, 399 Boylston Street, Suite, 200, Boston, MA 02116;