Soar into a beautifully renovated home on Eagle Hill
East Boston’s Eagle Hill district was envisioned by its original developers as a suburb of Boston and you can still see some Victorian mansions from that era.
Later, the area became a hub for shipbuilding and a great deal of housing was built for the flood of artisans who arrived between 1850 and 1890. Many other groups of immigrants have landed in East Boston throughout the 20th century as well.
Fast forwarding to today, the area is experiencing a new burst of development and renovation. Professional people and young families are flocking to this part of the city, attracted to the neighborhood by the comparatively reasonable prices for homes and the proximity to downtown Boston.
A beautifully realized single family home is now on the market, located on a block of 13 Italianate brick bowfront townhouses that would fit perfectly on a street in the Back Bay or the South End. The four-story residence at 131 Saratoga St. has three bedrooms, two-and-one-half bathrooms and a finished walk-out basement.
Jennifer Taves of Coldwell Banker Realty is listing this house for $975,000.
“It’s in a beautiful niche part of East Boston,” she says, “and it’s a single family for the price of a condo.”
Originally built around 1880, a Boston architect demolished the home’s entire interior in the early 2000s and built it out from there, lovingly restoring it for his own use. He did a beautiful job balancing livability and pride of craftmanship while creating a design that still looks current today.
With details that include high ceilings, exposed brick, quarter sawn cherry hardwood floors, a private mahogany roof deck with uninterrupted skyline views, a private patio and a fenced-in backyard, this home has a straightforward modern aesthetic that discerning buyers are seeking.
The formal dining room in the bow and the adjacent kitchen comprise the home’s first level. The brick wall as you enter adds a stylish, funky accent that reflects the home’s original history. The home’s hardwood floors and custom millwork give it a distinctive appearance.
Outfitted with stainless steel JennAir appliances, the kitchen is well designed for the home chef with a side-by-side refrigerator, wall oven, built-in microwave and a six-burner gas cooktop with hood.
The stone on the counters and peninsula is a dramatic dark Basalt, contrasting with the shining white backsplash. The peninsula has a double stainless steel sink and room for three chairs illuminated by two contemporary pendant lights. In addition to a custom pantry cabinet, the kitchen showcases warm cherry cabinetry. A pair of upper cabinets with glass doors flank the range.
Rounding out the first floor are a large closet and a handsome powder room with a floating vanity.
The living room is up a flight of stairs. Light enters the room through a trio of windows, two in the bow, and the millwork provides a subtle frame around the room. This space would look great furnished in contemporary or transitional style.
At the back of this level is a quiet bedroom. Its closet has ample space for clothing storage. The full bathroom features an attractive vanity and a tub/shower combination surrounded by tile in a neutral color.
On the third floor is the main bedroom suite. Unlike some bedrooms that are mostly used at night, this one has a window seat in a captain’s bay window, providing enjoyment all day long. The bathroom is understated and elegant. The wood vanity and glass-tiled shower offer modern flair.
The other bedroom on this level could be used as a generous dressing room for the main bedroom - a custom closet and a built-in dresser add a bespoke element. The space would also make an excellent nursery or office, depending on how a new owner wants to use it.
Entertaining space is plentiful in this home.
For example, the walk-out basement on the garden level is designed to work as a family room or it could function as a home gym, man cave, she shack or any other kind of hangout. This large, flexible open space has a door that leads out to a stone patio and a grassy fenced yard - a fine spot for a private picnic or lawn games.
For some serious entertaining, the roof deck is the best place. When the house’s interior was redesigned, a double wide hatch was installed for easy access to the roof, which also allows light to stream through to the floors below.
The mahogany deck that was built around the skylight offers phenomenal unobstructed views of downtown Boston, making it feel like an urban retreat.
In addition to all of the fabulous design choices that the architect made, he also incorporated excellent practical elements. The walls were acoustically soundproofed, making it even more pleasant to live in the house. Two heating and AC systems were installed, so the home maximizes comfort all year. Copper gutters were installed to enhance the home.
Rental garage parking is available nearby for $125 per month on Saratoga Street.
East Boston is hot in the real estate market right now. Even though new construction is everywhere, green space is plentiful. East Boston Memorial Park near the Airport stop of the Blue Line is a standout. The Belle Isle Marsh Reservation is the largest remaining salt marsh in Boston. Constitution Beach, known as Shay’s Beach by longtime East Boston residents, is another place to enjoy. The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) has a satellite location called The Watershed, a museum that highlights East Boston’s history.
You’ll never go hungry in East Boston. There are fun restaurants serving food from a variety of cultures. And for those who can’t wait to travel, Logan Airport is nearby.
Address: 131 Saratoga St., East Boston
Year built: c. 1880; Completely renovated in the early 2000s
BR/BA: Three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms
Size: 2,115 square feet
Taxes: $6,065 for FY 2021, including residential exemption
Features of home: Brick bowfront 1880 single family townhouse fully renovated by a skilled architect in the early 2000s; home features four living levels, flexible floorplan, open staircase, quarter sawn cherry hardwood floors, custom millwork, three bedrooms, chef’s kitchen with high-end appliances and dark stone countertops, private roof deck built around a skylight, copper gutters, a private stone patio, and a fenced backyard. Rental garage parking is available at 41 Saratoga St.
Close by: A variety of restaurants including Reelhouse, The Cunard Tavern, DownEast Cider House and Santarpio’s; East Boston branch of the Boston Public Library, East Boston Memorial Park, Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, Constitution (Shay’s) Beach, The Watershed (ICA satellite museum); easy access to MBTA Blue Line and Silver Line, Ted Williams Tunnel, Logan International Airport, Routes 1A and the Massachusetts Turnpike
Contact: Jennifer Taves, Coldwell Banker Realty
Phone: 617-877-9520 (direct line)