Boston Homes
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Lewis Wharf condo stays true to area’s nautical heritage

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the water while remaining tied to the land.

 

The three end bedrooms, two full baths and central great room merge up-on-the-deck brightness with down-in-the-cabin intimacy, offering both ample entertaining space and peaceful privacy when each is desired. The oversized windows have paneled maple folding shutters.

 

Furthermore, the layout is as clear as the path of a well-ruddered ship following its true north. The twin-door entrance introduces a central square column placed on the diagonal to suggest the cardinal compass points, establish the unit’s axial symmetry, and provide bench and granite floor space for boot and shoe removal.

 

The diagonals navigate the entrant directly to the living room on the left and the dining room and kitchenette on the right. The living room features a built-in entertainment-center table continuing the diagonal theme with a trapezoidal shape; the dining room has a green glass saucer chandelier. A two-level granite counter-bar connects the dining room to the galley kitchenette for food service and chat-with- the-cook convenience. See-through glass shelves are over the counter and a five-burner electric range and a stainless-steel sink are set in the granite counter across the kitchen, where a granite backsplash adds to the effect. Rounding out the appliances are a stainless-steel dishwasher and Sub-Zero refrigerator.

 

Around the column is a splash of light from twin French doors to a 30-foot longitudinal terrace balcony, where guests can whiff the salt-sea air and watch their ship or plane come in over cocktails and conversation.

 

In keeping with the seafaring theme, the doors flank a maple column inset with a compass- style thermometer, anemometer and barometer.

 

For more private moments, left of the entrance is an angular office that really feels like a cabin when the angled door and the paneled slider upper wall are closed off. An L-shaped maple workstation and built-in shelves are handy here.

 

At left is the master suite. A walk-in closet at left and a granite master bath with bidet and windowed standup shower at right continue the “galley” theme. Beyond is the master bedroom, where the ceiling is plastered and painted in-between the beams to give the feel of a medieval baronial hall. This formality is casually contrasted with exposed-brick walls (one preserves the cast-iron frame and hinge of an old industrial door), wall-to-wall carpeting, four-window corner exposure, and a trapezoidal dresser and cabinet continuing the “angled end” theme. Above the latter is a slider curio cabinet.

 

Right of the entrance is a laundry room with oak sorting counter, a parallelogram cabinet/ counter, a second granite bath with tub/shower and two more carpeted bedrooms.

 

The larger bedroom’s angle-ended dry-bar, overhead glass-slider cabinet, trapezoidal entertainment unit and alcoved “home central” desk make it suitable as a family room. The smaller bedroom is an intimate guest space. For a deluxe entertaining space, these rooms can be combined by opening the paneled double folding door that separates them.

 

Once owned by John Hancock, who inherited it from his uncle Thomas in 1764, Lewis Wharf was central to the shipping trade of Boston and the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It not only sent and received mercantile ships to and from the world over, but also served as a marketplace for cargoes unloaded from the ships and as a source of income for wharfingers who collected fees from the ships and leased warehouse space on the wharves.

 

Thomas Lewis owned the wharf beginning in 1783; his son John and nephew Samuel established the Lewis Wharf Company there in 1834 and built the present structure in 1836-1840 from a commercial Greek Revival design by Richard Bond. In 1971, noted Modernist architect Carl Koch renovated and expanded the building for residential condos on the upper floors and commercial units on the lower two floors.

 

Boston’s maritime trade may be a thing of the past, but waves of activity still animate the Waterfront in the present: breathtaking Harbor and Harbor Islands trips from Long Wharf and the Boston Sailing Center, exotic sea creatures and tantalizing IMAX movies at the New England Aquarium, exciting events in Christopher Columbus Park, rapid transit to Logan Airport and Revere Beach via the Blue Line, seafood restaurants galore, an abbondanza of Italian restaurants and cafés in the nearby North End, and copious choices of cuisines, confections, clowns, jugglers and musicians at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.