Tag Archives: real estate transactions in Boston

Real Estate Transactions and Reviews from January and February

Over the last couple of months, Matthew and Alisa have had clients close on the following three properties. They represented the buyer in one transaction, represented the seller in another transaction, and represented both the buyer and the seller in the third transaction.

The first property to close was 121 Beach Street #703 in the Leather District. This closing was actually on December 28th, which is practically January, right? Matthew and Alisa represented both the buyer and the seller in the sale of 121 Beach Street #703. This 2 bedroom loft was under agreement in 16 days and sold for 96% of the list price after 23 days on the market. During 2012, the average days on market for the Leather District neighborhood was 99, compared to the 16 days on market for this loft condo.

The following is a video review provided by the buyer of 121 Beach Street #703. Apologizes for the audio on this video.

The second condo to close was 141 Arlington Street #4, a closing which took place on January 15th. Matthew and Alisa represented the seller of the pied-à-terre in Bay Village. This one bedroom was under agreement in 14 days and sold for 96% of the list price after 18 days on the market, while the average days on market for Bay Village condos was 67.

In fact, 141 Arlington Street #6 recently sold. Unit #6 is a unit identical to the unit sold by Matthew and Alisa, but it also offers a roof deck. You would think it would sell faster than unit #4 and for more money, right? Wrong. This penthouse unit with a private roof deck sold for $3000 less than the unit sold by Matthew and Alisa and it took 135 days on market to do so. This is the difference marketing makes.

The following is a video review provided by the seller of 141 Arlington Street #4.

The last transaction was a condo at 87-89 Bourne Street #2 in Jamaica Plain, which closed on February 22nd. Matthew and Alisa brought the buyer to this condo and their buyer went under agreement after winning a multiple bid situation. Despite multiple offers, the buyers were able to purchase the condo for 97% of the asking price.

The following is a video review provided by the buyers of 87-89 Bourne Street #2.

If you would like to know what sets us apart from the average real estate agent, contact Realtors from the Matthew and Alisa Group.

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What Does $500K Buy in Back Bay?

I have given examples about what you can buy for $1 million in Back Bay and for $2.5 million in Back Bay in the current real estate sales market, but what about $500,000? In an neighborhood with grand mansions, renovated condos, and luxury high rises, can $500,000 go very far? Let’s find out.

According to MLS, over the last 6 months 30 condos have sold between $450K – $550K. The average sold price per square foot was $728, the average days on market was 59, and the average sold price was $499,728. The condos range from renovated one beds in traditional brownstones to luxury studios in high-rise full-service buildings. All of which make for an ideal pied-à-terre or investment property.

351 Beacon Street #6

This bright 680 square foot 1 bed 1 bath condo featured a renovated kitchen and bath. Located on the corner of Fairfield Street at Beacon Street, this condo was listed for $493,000 and had an accepted offer after 8 days on the market for the full asking price.

351 Beacon Street #6 - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

351 Beacon Street #6 – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

326 Dartmouth Street #2

Located on Dartmouth Street near Marlborough Street, this renovated 741 square foot lofted 1 bed condo is something special. Featuring high ceilings and classic details but with a modern kitchen and bath. The condo was listed for $524,000 and sold for $517,000 after 143 days on the market.

326 Dartmouth Street #2 - Paragon Properties

326 Dartmouth Street #2 – Paragon Properties

 

110 Stuart Street #26I

The Residences at the W feature high-end finishes in every unit and luxury services. Located on Stuart Street, this 512 square foot new-construction studio features incredible views from the 26th floor. Listed for $550,000, it sold in 2 days for $525,000.

110 Stuart Street - Otis & Ahearn

110 Stuart Street – Otis & Ahearn

 

113 Marlborough Street #7

Located on one of the most desired locations in Back Bay, this 779 square foot 1 bed 1bath condo features incredible light and plenty of storage. Listed for $525,000, it had an accepted offer after 5 days on the market, and sold for $550,000.

133 Marlborough Street #7 - Gibson Sotheby's International Realty

133 Marlborough Street #7 – Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

 

Search here to see what is for sale between $450-$550K in Back Bay, but with the way the market is behaving, what you see now, may not be available tomorrow.

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What Does $700K Buy in South Boston?

The real estate sales market in South Boston is hot. In the last 6 months 306 properties have sold in South Boston, beating Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and South End. This could be due to a combination of facts:

According to MLS, over the last 6 months in South Boston, 2 single family homes and 9 condos have sold between $650-$750K. The average sold price per square foot was $260 for single family homes and $403 per square foot for condos.

52 P Street

This single family home listed for $679,000 could be converted into a two family home making it into an income generating property. At 2,880 square feet and with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 2 kitchens, this home sold in 8 days for $665,000.

52 P Street - Bode Well

52 P Street – Bode Well


106 G Street

This charming 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom is located in one of the most desired and famous locations in South Boston, Dorchester Heights. This renovated townhouse has 2,250 square feet of living space, was listed $649,000, had an accepted offer after being on the market for two weeks, and sold for $650,000.

106 G Street - Keller Williams

106 G Street – Keller Williams

 

404 E 3rd Street #2

Originally listed for $679K , this 2,478 square foot 3 level renovated condo has everything. With 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, parking, 3 decks, and a spacious open layout, it is no wonder it sold after 10 days on the market for $668,500.

404 E 3rd Street #2 - RE:MAX Realty Plus

404 E 3rd Street #2 – RE:MAX Realty Plus

 

392 W 2nd Street #392

Over on the West Side of Southie, this newly constructed condo has 2,000 square feet of living area with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a full 3 car garage underneath. Originally listed for $699,900, this condo sold for $670,000 after 136 days on the market.

392 W 2nd St #392 - Boston Realty Sales and Services

392 W 2nd St #392 – Boston Realty Sales and Services

 

Search here to see homes for sale in South Boston for $700,000. Or you can see what you can buy $500,000 in South Boston on a previous blog post.

If you are interested in discussing your search in more detail to find out if South Boston is the right neighborhood for you, contact the Realtors of the Matthew and Alisa Group.

Schedule a consultation with a Realtor

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What Can You Buy For $2.5 Million in Boston's Beacon Hill?

Depending on where you live in the world, $2.5 million can buy something special and in Boston”s Beacon Hill neighborhood this is no exception. Over the last 3 months, according to MLS, 6 condos sold between $2 million and $3 million with an average of 2,666 square feet and the condos sold at an average of $875 per square foot.

107 Chestnut Street #5

This unique 3145 square foot 4th floor duplex features 3 beds, 3 baths, 2 fireplaces, and a parking space. Built in 1913 to resemble an Italian Villa, this condo was a beautiful contrast to the traditional brick town homes in the neighborhood. Originally listed for $3,050,000, it sold for $2,250,000 after 45 days on the market.

107 Chestnut Street #5

107 Chestnut Street #5 – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

34.5 Beacon Street #7N

Located on the 7th floor, this 3 bed, 2.5 bath condo is in one of the online casino very few concierge buildings in Beacon Hill. At 2,355 square feet, this condo was listed for $2,375,000 and sold for $2,325,000 after 87 days on the market.

34.5 Beacon Street #7N

34.5 Beacon Street #7N – First Boston Realty Group

 

37 Brimmer Street #1

This lower triplex located on the corner of Mount Vernon features 2 beds, 2 baths, 3 fireplaces, and a private patio. This 3133 square foot condo was listed for $2,495,000 and sold for $2,400,000 after 208 days on the market.

37 Brimmer Street #1

37 Brimmer Street #1 – Gibson Sotheby”s International Realty

 

33 Chestnut Street #3&4

Located on the sunny side of Chestnut street, this recently renovated 2 level condo features 3 beds plus an office, 2.5 baths, and a large private deck. Listed for $2,695,000, it sold for $2,500,000 after 113 days on the market.

33 Chestnut Street #3&4

33 Chestnut Street #3&4 – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

The higher the price point the smaller the pool of buyers becomes, which accounts for why the days on market for a couple of these listings are higher than the Beacon Hill average of 91 days on market during the last three months. With that being said, buyers who appreciate unique homes in Beacon Hill are never too far away.

For a lower price point, see what you can buy for $1 million in Beacon Hill.

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What Does $2.5 Million Buy in Back Bay?

We already know what you can buy with $1 million in Back Bay but how much does the inventory change at $2.5 million?

According to MLS for the last 6 months, 22 condos and 1 single family home sold between $2 million and $3 million in the Back Bay neighborhood. The average sale price was $2,379,136 with the average sale price per foot was $1042.

Commonwealth Avenue

Listed for $2,395,000, this incredible 3 bedroom duplex on historic Commonwealth Avenue sold in 25 days for $2,323,000. The 2275 sq ft condo featured 2.5 bathrooms, a beautiful terrace, a garage parking space, and central heat/ air conditioning.

247 Commonwealth Avenue - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

247 Commonwealth Avenue #A – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

Boylston Street

The Mandarin Oriental Boston offers the highest level of luxury which shows in every detail of their condos. This 1,953 square foot 2 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom on the 11th floor was listed for $2,895,000 sold for $2,550,000 and included parking. As is common in the Mandarin Oriental, the condo sold for a premium price per square foot, $1305 per square foot in the case of this 11th floor condo.

776 Boylston Street - Hammond Residential

776 Boylston Street E11E – Hammond Residential

 

Beacon Street

This 3,100 square foot 4 bedroom 4 bathroom was listed for $2,699,000 and sold in 20 days for $2,550,000. This property featured single level living, direct elevator access, 2 parking spaces and much more square footage that one would normally find in this price range in Back Bay because it was a co-op building instead of a condo building. This buyer bought shares in the building, not the actually space, which is more common in New York City than it is in Boston.

282 Beacon Street - Campion and Company

282 Beacon Street #2 – Campion and Company

 

Newbury Street

When most people think of Newbury Street, they conjure up images of high end shopping, funky boutiques, relaxing salons, and the much deserved frozen yogurt break. Not many would think that hidden behind one of the many brownstones, there was a stylish modern penthouse that featured 2124 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 3 parkings spaces. Listed at $2,859,000 this condo with private deck with grill and hot tub, sold for $2,800,000.

294 Newbury Street - Warren Residential Group

294 Newbury Street PH – Warren Residential Group

 

Marlborough Street

Even though the single family home was an anomaly in this price range in Back Bay, it is worth mentioning. On the market for a total of 1502 days! Originally listed in April of 2007 for $3,899,000 this 4,440 square foot 5 bedroom plus study with 3.5 bathrooms sold this past June for $2,774,500 after finally being reduced to $2,895,000. It may have taken awhile but it just shows that the economy is coming back up and people are investing in high end real estate.

434 Marlborough Street - Boston Realty Advisors

434 Marlborough Street – Boston Realty Advisors

 

The market for luxury real estate in Boston’s premier locations continues to produce sales. If you are in the market to buy property in Back Bay, please contact us for more information.

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What Can You Buy for $500,000 in South Boston?

South Boston had a bad reputation at one point. If you watched Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone, or the forgettable (or unforgettable depending on your love of bad movies and Donnie Wahlburg) Southie, you may have an impression that South Boston has a reputation of being the wrong side of the tracks. It’s this stigma that has kept property values reasonable compared to other neighborhoods in Metro Boston. However, perception is changing and prices are climbing. The East Side, close to City Point, Thomas Park, and the beach, has been attracting young professionals and families in recent years. The West Side, close to Seaport, Broadway T station, and the South End, has been a little slower but with new development projects and popular restaurants opening, this are has also been undergoing change. The biggest factor that lets you know that the Southie of old has been transformed is the fact that Starbucks is opening on the corner of Dorchester Ave and West Broadway because you know Starbucks did not decide on this location before spending millions of dollars researching the area and its potential.

So what does your money get you in South Boston? Let’s start at $500,000.

Over the last 6 months, between $450,000 and $550,000 in South Boston has bought single family homes or new construction/renovated condos. According to MLS, 5 single family homes have sold at an average sale price of $504,680 and the average price per square foot was $312. However, in the same time-frame and price range, there were 74 condos sold at an average sale price of $498,281 or $380 per square foot.

And now for some properties!

East 4th Street

Located 2 blocks from the beach and listed at $519,000, this renovated 1,700 square foot 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom single family house sold over the list price in 21 days for $519,500.

860 East 4th - RE:MAX Realty Plus

860 East 4th – RE:MAX Realty Plus

 

East 7th Street

Located in the highly-desired East Side of South Boston, this single family home featured 1812 square feet of living space, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a beautifully patio. Listed at $524,900, this home sold above asking price in 8 days for $529,900.

691 East 7th St - RE:MAX Select Realty

691 East 7th St – RE:MAX Select Realty

 

West 7th Street

On the West Side of South Boston, this renovated penthouse condo featured 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a private roof deck. At 1,244 square feet, this condo was listed for $499,000 and sold in 17 days for asking price.

163 West 7th Street - RE:MAX Realty Plus

163 West 7th St – RE:MAX Realty Plus

 

West 3rd Street

This renovated 1,218 square foot penthouse condo is located near the Seaport and the South End. This condo featured 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and private deck with incredible city views. Listed for $539,900, this condo sold in 6 days for $535,000.

159 West 3rd Street- Vogt Realty Group

159 West 3rd St – Vogt Realty Group

 

If you are interested in learning more about South Boston, check out our blog posts about the history of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and a Victorian mansion for sale.

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What Can You Buy for $1 Million in Beacon Hill?

One of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Boston is Beacon Hill and the property there can be some of the most sought after in the city. Matthew Gaskill wrote about the Mt Vernon Proprietors and how they shaped Beacon Hill into the neighborhood as we still know it today. Properties in Beacon Hill tend to have a smaller footprint, making living area more vertical and narrow. Properties in Beacon Hill also have strict guidelines to follow when doing renovations, restrictions that sometimes prevent the owners from making improvements to the property.

Let’s break down the data!

Over the last 6 months there have been 26 condos and 2 single-family homes sold in Beacon Hill between $800,000 and $1,200,000. The average sale price for the condos was $972,156 while the average sale price per square foot was $695. If you remember from when I wrote about what $1 million buys you in Back Bay, the average sale price for condos was $953,039 and the average sale price per square foot was $758. The reason for the difference in price per square foot is parking! Getting a condo that comes with parking in Beacon Hill is like finding a unicorn wearing a four-leafed clover garland with a golden ticket to Wonka-Land in it’s mouth. Maybe not THAT unlikely but not too far off.

Mount Vernon Street

Originally built in 1804, this 2 bed 2.5 bath duplex on Mount Vernon Street was listed at $899,00o and sold in just over a month for $875,000. This 1625 square foot condo featured 2 fireplaces, a private patio, and is located just behind the state house on the top of the hill. However, the property does not have central air conditioning, so in the balmy summers window units will have to suffice.

Sold Condo on Mt Vernon Street

51 Mount Vernon Street – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

Chestnut Street

Since Boston is a old town with historic properties, many buildings have been converted from their original intended use. In the South End, warehouses have turned into large open lofts. In both Back Bay and Beacon Hill, single family mansions have been broken into condos. This particular 2 bed 2 bath on Chestnut Street was once a Gothic church built in 1880. Converted to condos in 1965, this 1220 square foot was listed at $950,000 and sold for $920,000 in under one month.

Sold Condo on Chestnut Street

27 Chestnut St – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

 

Revere Street

This sunny penthouse duplex on Revere Street featured 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and 2 fireplaces. Originally built in 1900, this 1500 square foot corner condo has 3 exposures and a roof deck with gorgeous views from Back Bay to Cambridge. It was listed at $1,199,000 and sold for $1,190,000 in 13 days.

Sold Condo on Revere Street

93 Revere Street – Hammond Residential

 

Beacon Street

Located across from the Boston Common, this Beacon Street penthouse condo featured 2 private decks, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1 fireplace. Originally built in 1860, this 1750 square foot condo also had an elevator with direct access to the unit and vaulted ceilings. It first came onto the sales market for $1,250,000 and sold in 7 days for $1,200,000.

Sold Condo on Beacon Street

36 Beacon Street – CL Waterfront Properties

To learn more about Beacon Hill and other Boston neighborhoods, visit our where to live page.

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What Can You Buy for $1 Million in the South End?

Last time I wrote about what can you buy for $1 million in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. This time I will show you what you can buy for $1 million in the South End.

According to the MLS data, over the last 6 months there have been 60 condos and 1 single family home sold in the South End. You get a little more for your money in Boston’s South End compared to Back Bay. The average sale price for South End condos were $952,378 and the average price per square foot was $647.

What I love about the South End is that it is a real neighborhood. People enjoy wine or coffee (depending on the time of day) on their stoop with their neighbors. Residents stop to say hi to one another while they are out walking their dogs or babies. Wonderful restaurants on nearly every street serve every type of meal a person could want from top-grade sushi and french cuisine to classic hamburgers and bar snacks. Even though it seems the South End consists of nothing but beautiful brownstones, modern construction can also be found if you know where to look.

Appleton Street

This penthouse duplex is on one of the most desired streets in the South End, and it is no surprise it went on and off the market in the blink of an eye. Listed at $750,000, this 2 bed 1.5 bath 1,010 sq ft condo sold for $830,000 all cash in 20 days but had an accepted offer after 4 days. This was one of two condos in this brownstone and featured a roof deck with beautiful views of Boston’s skyline, an open layout perfect for entertaining, and a private entrance.

Sold South End Condo at 17 Appleton Street

17 Appleton Street – Meridian Realty Group

 

Harrison Avenue

The South End offers condos converted from unique places. This 2 bed 2 bath 1723 sq ft corner loft was converted from a warehouse. The unit offered incredibly high ceiling and enormous windows displaying the Boston skyline from the 4th floor. It is in a professionally-managed elevator building just a few blocks from the SOWA open market and the dog run in Peter’s Park. This loft-like condo sold for asking at $959,000 in 21 days.

485-495 Harrison Avenue – Ballast Realty Group

 

Union Park Street

Not only can you find converted warehouses in the South End, but also a bank converted to condos. The former Penny Savings Bank on the corner of Union Park Street and Washington Street now offers renovated contemporary condos. This 1 bed plus office offered a private terrace, renovated kitchen with open layout, floor-to-ceiling windows, garage parking, and a common roof deck. Asking $879,000, this condo sold in 13 days for $856,000.

Sold Condo at 30 Union Park Street

30 Union Park Street – Keller Williams Realty International

 

Greenwich Park

For modern living in a classic brownstone, this penthouse duplex offer the best of both worlds. This 1621 sq ft  listing offered 2 spacious bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a working fireplace, and a private roof deck. Situated along the Southwest Corridor, you are steps from the best of Back Bay and the South End. Listed at $1,225,000, this listing sold for $1,200,000 in 16 days.

Sold Condo at 22 Greenwich Park

22 Greenwich Park – South End Realty Group

 

Search condos in the South End between $800,000 and $1,200,000. To see condos in the South End in person, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate.

Schedule a consultation with a Realtor

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What Can You Buy for $1 Million in Back Bay?

News outlets have been promoting how the housing crisis is in recovery and that the low mortgage rates make now a great time to buy! This may be true but what do you get for your money in today’s sales market in Boston?

Depending on the type of lifestyle you want, one of the downtown neighborhood in Boston can accommodate. This blog will focus on the Back Bay neighborhood and Back Bay condos.

What does $1 million buy you in Back Bay?

If we go by the data, $1 million can get a beautiful condo in Back Bay. I did a search of sold listings between $800,000 and $1.2 million in Back Bay. Over the last 6 months there have be 56 sold condos in Back Bay with an average sale price of $953,039 and the average price per square foot is $758.

One of the best things about buying a condo in Back Bay is that you don’t have to choose between lifestyle and location. Whether you want a luxury high rise or a historic brownstone, there are available condos in Back Bay.

Marlborough St

Penthouse living on Sunny Marlborough Street, this 1050 square foot 2 bed 2 bath renovated condo with parking and roof rights sold at the beginning of summer for the asking price of $999,000 after being listed for only 1 day. This condo in Back Bay offered high ceilings, an open layout, and top of the line kitchen with Viking Stove and granite countertops. The fireplace warms this condo into a home on the quietest residential street in Back Bay.

Condo in Back Bay on 299 Marlborough Street

299 Marlborough Street – Thread Real Estate

 

Commonwealth Ave

Located on one of the most historic streets in Boston, this 1300 square foot 2bed 1.5bath renovated condo in a brownstone with parking sold this summer for $1,000,000. Built in 1890, this sunny third floor condo offered high ceilings with classic crown molding, a bay window, and 2 fireplaces. Renovated to modern tastes, this condo in Back Bay also has central air conditioning, a chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and laundry in unit. This condo sold in 6 days!

Condo in Back Bay on 286 Commonwealth Avenue

286 Commonwealth Avenue – Warren Residential Group, LLC

 

Beacon St

Just a block from the Charles River, this 1797 square foot 2 bed 2.5 bath renovated duplex with parking and private patio sold for $1,080,000. This condo has a everything to call it home. From the classic features of hardwood floors, bay windows, 2 fireplaces to modern conveniences of laundry in-unit, central heating and air conditioning, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and walk-in closets. This condo in Back Bay was sold in just over 2 weeks for 98% of asking price.

Condo in Back Bay on 369 Beacon Street

369 Beacon Street – Realty Development Services

 

Newbury St

If you are not interested in a traditional brownstone, Back Bay also offers incredible options for modern luxury living. On Newbury Street, this 1330 square foot 2 bed 2 bath corner unit with garage parking and a concierge sold this spring for $1,130,000. Enjoy the 6th floor views of Back Bay from the floor-to-ceiling windows and want for nothing with Back Bay at your fingertips.

Condo in Back Bay on 360 Newbury Street

360 Newbury Street – Otis & Ahearn

 

Search condos in Back Bay for $800,000 to $1,200,000. To see Back Bay condos in person, contact the Realtors of Matthew and Alisa Group.

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How Real Estate Developers Shaped Beacon Hill and America

The Mt. Vernon Proprietors developed Boston’s Beacon Hill into the neighborhood we know today and in the process they shaped the way real estate development would function during the formative years of the United States as a nation. Although we can see their legacy in the development of Beacon hill, their contributions to real estate development in the United States is even greater. As what was probably the first real estate syndicate in America, their model shaped the way America was built.

A real estate syndicate is a group of investors pooling money and using the funds as a whole to fund real estate projects. The funds could be used to acquire property in its entirety or as an equity contribution to the project along with a mortgage, which would fund some portion of the project.

The Mt. Vernon Proprietors were founded in 1795 by Harrison Gray Otis, Jonathan Mason, Charles Ward Apthorp, and Joseph Woodward. Members of the group changed frequently, but partners included the famed architect Charles Bulfinch, Hepzibah Swan, William Scollay, Dr. Benjamin Joy, and Henry Jackson. In the same year they founded, the Mt. Vernon Proprietors bought an 18.5 acre cow pasture from an agent working on behalf of the painter John Singleton Copley, who had been living in England for the previous 20 years. When it took place, it was the largest land transaction that had taken place in Boston and included the land bordered today by Mt Vernon Street, Louisburg Square, down Pinckney Street to the Charles River, along the shoreline to Beacon Street, and up Beacon Street to Walnut Street, which connects with Mt. Vernon Street. This was such a large plot of land that it would be 30 years before Louisburg Square and the land west of it was laid out.

Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in BostonThe majority of the tract was hilly pasture, not valuable until the Massachusetts State House was built at the top of Beacon Hill in 1798. The plot of land where the State House was to be built was bought from the heirs of John Hancock, the first Governor of Massachusetts and the man with the world’s most famous signature.

Harrison Gray Otis had been appointed to a town committee to select the new site of the Massachusetts State House and a scandal ensued when it was discovered he was involved in the purchase of the newly valuable land. John Singleton Copley protested the sale, but after a decade of legal arguments the sale was upheld.

The Mt. Vernon Proprietors planned to use their land as a new residential area for those whose fortunes had grown due to Boston’s merchant trade. The group’s surveyor, Mather Withington, and Charles Bulfinch created separate development plans, but both proposed large lots ranging from 60 by 160 to 100 by 200. Bulfinch’s plan focused on freestanding mansions with lots large enough for stables and gardens, as was common practice in the South End and West End at the time, and a few homes were built following Bulfinch’s specifications. Withington’s development plan was eventually chosen, a plan which proposed the laying of Mt. Vernon Street, Chestnut Street, Pinckney Street, and Walnut Street as they are today.

The work of laying the streets began in 1799, with the streets aligned in an east-west orientation with limited access from the less desirable North Slope, which was referred to as “Mt. Whoredom” at the time. During this early stage of development, Mount Vernon, the Western peak of Boston’s three hills cut by 50-60 feet. The country’s first gravity railroad was used to transport the dirt downhill and into the water, increasing the developer’s land by filling in the area now occupied by Charles Street and part of the Flat of the Hill.

Beacon Hill map as planned by the Mt. Vernon ProprietorsThe early homes built on the Mt. Vernon Proprietor land were of great dimensions, following the vision of Charles Bulfinch. Harrison Gray Otis commissioned Bulfinch to build a home at 85 Mt. Vernon Street. Bulfinch bought the parcel west of Otis in 1805 and divided it into the two lots at 87 and 89 Mt. Vernon Street on which he built large freestanding mansions with a shared driveway.

Along with these homes, the Massachusetts State House at the top of Beacon Hill was also designed by Charles Bulfinch. At the time architecture was more of a hobby than an occupation and Bulfinch was employed as a member of the city’s Board of Selectman and Boston’s Chief of Police. Although, Bulfinch would go on to become the first American to practice architecture as an occupation and he would design many more buildings around Boston before heading to Washington D.C. to work on the Capitol.

After the initial estate sized lots were sold and developed on Mt. Vernon Street, the Mt. Vernon Proprietors decided these homes were not in the best interest of their investment. Because of this the rest of the land was laid out in more dense blocks of row houses and even the gardens of the original estates were developed, thus the mansions at 89, 87, and 85 Mt. Vernon Street appear to be incorporated within a developed block.

Among the houses associated with the Mt. Vernon Proprietors surviving today are:

  • 29A Chestnut Street, built on a speculative basis in 1799
  • 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, and 74 Beacon Street were built in on a speculative basis in 1828 after being designed by architect Asher Benjamin.

Other homes in the Beacon Hill neighborhood are associated with individual members, but these represent efforts of the group.

For more information on property for sale in Beacon Hill or to own your own piece of history, contact a Realtor from our team.

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