Boston Homes
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Gorgeous townhouse at The Abbott has new owners



The Back Bay is not just a neighborhood within walking distance of some of the city’s premium parks and cultural corners or splendid shops and eclectic eateries.


The Back Bay is also an area steeped in history. All of these charming characteristics help make the Back Bay one of the smartest places to live in Boston.


The Abbott – a luxury condominium building perfectly perched on the northwest corner of sunny Marlborough and Exeter streets – not only features some of the premiere homes in the city, but it also boasts an impressive chronicle (, first introduced as a Peabody and Stearns single family brownstone occupied by Boston Brahmin.


Among the most notable residents of this circa 1872 home, originally owned by Marshall Woods, former Brown University treasurer, was Woods’ son-in-law and daughter, Samuel Appleton Browne Abbott and Abby Francis (Woods) Abbott. The couple was later joined by Abbot’s sister, Sarah Livermore (Abbott) Fay, widow of William Pickering Fay. Abbott served as the President of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees from 1888 to 1895, where he oversaw the construction of the main library building in Copley Square.


After Abby Abbott’s death in the spring of 1895, Sarah Fay moved to Beacon St. while Samuel Abbott moved to Italy and became the first director of the American Academy in Rome.


Just before the turn of the century, Woods sold the home to Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr. where he and his wife, Sarah Williams (Pemberton) Shaw, lived for more than 50 years. The sale of the estate at the end of 1951 ended the era of aristocratic living in a single-family dwelling.


Sixty-seven years after dividing this historical brownstone into nine apartments, these units were transformed into eight luxurious homes in a beautiful boutique building, aptly named The Abbott, thus continuing the chronicles at 11 Exeter St.


A recently renovated two-story townhouse with three bedrooms plus two-and-a-half baths has a new owner. This deluxe 2,475 square foot home, originally listed by Julie Harrison, Mary Conner and Arianna Brown of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, was sold on Nov. 27 for $3,825,000. It was bought with Ashley Perkins, also of Gibson Sotheby’s.


The unit’s front door opens to an attractive atrium welcoming their family and guests home, where ageless architecture marries contemporary comforts, forming an unflawed union for luxurious living.


The open foyer, large enough for a sitting room or a dining table and chairs, sets the tone for the rest of the flow-through space with soaring ceilings and oak hardwood flooring.


Just beyond is an open-concept kitchen – laid out with beauty and ease of cooking in mind. Custom white Metropolitan Shaker cabinetry with glass front doors above as well as closed doors and drawers below the quartz waterfall countertops pops against the stainless steel appliances.


The chef of this family will enjoy using the Wolf six-burner range along with the built-in microwave and large Sub-Zero refrigerator. The large quartz waterfall island, with seating for three, hosts the sink and Asko dishwasher plus plenty of additional cabinetry.


An incredible grand living room with beautiful trey ceilings (matching the ones in the kitchen) sits to the left of the foyer – another impeccable example of how well the 19th and 21st centuries intermingle in this home. When entering this room, one’s attention is immediately drawn to the long rectangular gas fireplace featuring a shining marble surround flanked by gorgeous glass-front cabinets, paying homage to the past.


On the left wall in this stunning room is an alcove with 16 original bay windows – a perfect place for a dining table and chairs.


One can easily sense the historic colonial nature of the neighborhood as one looks out onto Marlborough Street. Imagine sitting down to an evening meal by candlelight, looking out onto the scene below. Perhaps you might envision the sights and sounds of the horse-drawn carriages clippity-clopping by while the neighbors dressed in their evening attire are mixing and mingling with each other.


The upper level boasts an amazing master suite. The bedroom features three spacious custom closets with plenty of rods, shelves and drawers and three bay windows that overlook Marlborough Street. From this position, one can see an amalgamation of the iconic and the contemporary landscape of Boston, as the steadfast Prudential Tower and the novel One Dalton building (currently under construction), for example, come into focus.


The deluxe bathroom offers a double sink vanity with a quartz countertop along with plenty of storage. The jumbo walk-in shower has four shower heads, including a hand-held spray.


The other two generously-sized rooms with large custom closets offer captivating views as well. The new residents can use these rooms as traditional bedrooms. They can also be transformed into an office, library, sitting room, game room or whatever else is desired or needed.


The second bathroom has a glassed-in shower, bathtub and plenty of cabinets.


The new residents will enjoy other amenities found around this home: the efficiency of a custom-detailed laundry area with stacked washer and dryer; additional entertainment pleasure from Sonos – the ultimate home sound system and wireless surround-sound speakers located throughout the home; and the sense of safety and convenience from a BEC security system. Unit Three is the only home in the building with a private entrance on Marlborough Street. The residents also have the convenience of onsite parking.