Boston Homes
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Distinctive home for sale in iconic neighborhood
wide pine flooring throughout are accented with foot-high detailed bump boards. In between is a builtin niche with a mirrored back and six glass shelves - an inviting place to display mementos or books.

While the spacious foyer is certainly impressive, the adjoining double parlors depict this 19th century design in all its glory. The perfect proportions of these two rooms are accentuated by the towering 12- foot-plus ceilings with extravagantly ornate ceiling medallions, sparkling chandeliers and more exceptional crown moldings.

Both rooms feature a marble fireplace complete with carved crest. While one hearth has a gas insert, the other one (which can accommodate an insert) is flanked by two seven-shelf built-ins that tower more than six feet high, waiting for personal accessories.

The original oversized window jambs and shutters (about five feet in height) in the parlors are another example of the rich architectural details of yesteryear. The window jambs were built with a deep/wide pocket (embrasure) to receive the shutters when they are open, appearing almost undetectable, yet when closed control the amount and direction of light while maintaining privacy, security and protection.

One of the rooms has single-hung shutters; the other room showcases double-hung beauties installed on the upper and lower sashes, offering more versatility.

Complementing folding French doors with etched glass panes separate these two rooms, providing intimate retreats when closed.

Flexibility is the bonus with these two generously-sized formal rooms as they can be interchangeable. Not only does each work well as the primary living or dining room, but also making each a multi-purpose space, i.e., living-dining room and/or denfamily room is an option, too.

A wood-burning fireplace with a stepped brick facade stretches to the ceiling - an instant focal point in the spacious kitchen. Adding the look of the natural woodwork and the embossed radiator creates a “country” kitchen vibe, albeit a sophisticated one.

Wrap-around granite-topped counters and an ample amount of cabinetry including open shelving are practical elements as are the two over-sized windows that allow in an abundance of natural light.

The really good news is that this kitchen is attractive (as is) and more than functional as well.

However, installing a center island affords extra workspace and seating options while adding a table and chairs creates another amenity: an eat-in kitchen. On the other hand, doing a complete remodel/renovation could be an exciting project given the size of this really spacious room.

Amidst the grandeur, a bit of whimsy is also tucked into the floor play. A closet at the end of a long hallway en route to the kitchen “hides” a staircase – at least part of one that now goes nowhere. But it’s hardly wasted space because the stairs double as built-in shelving providing storage or a decorative display area. Additional regulation storage is in the basement.

French doors open to a grandsized master bedroom with the essential (and beautiful) 19th century characteristics, including a high ceiling, two oversized windows and an eye-catching marble fireplace. Colorful decorative tile inserts (with a flower design) in the surround are a nod to Victorian tastes. A built-in wardrobe/closet more than adequately addresses storage needs without taking up floor space.

Currently, the large full bathroom, featuring a tile surround tub/shower combination, shares space with the laundry facilities that include a full size stackable washer and dryer. An exposed brick wall and cast iron baseboard adds visual interest.

What this loo could be, however, is the rest of the story. The space, which is the width of the master bedroom, has myriad potential. The current owners, for example, had plans that included reconfiguring this area into two bathrooms and incorporating a separate laundry room.

A second bedroom/office/guest quarters is on the other side of the kitchen; extra details such as a chair rail and hardwood flooring enhance this large space. An oversized walkin closet (it’s almost large enough to be a separate office) has great bones and lots of character, including a large built-in cupboard about three feet off the floor. With a little ingenuity this area could be transformed into a unique room, created specifically to your likings and desires.

This room also has access (via a large wooden door with an overhead transom) to an incredible private garden and yard that is exclusive to this unit. Running the entire length of the building, this massive outdoor space is part of the building’s legacy.

According to Charlestown history, the house was built for John Doane (best known as in the Wholesale Wine and Spirits industry and creator of the famous 2 Bull Moose Label), sometime between 1848 and 1852. He sold it to Charles Thompson (an iron merchant, the first Democratic candidate for mayor in 1847, the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, a member of the Governor’s Council and a state senator) who lived there until he died in 1871. Dr. Henry Arvin Houghton (a popular Charlestown physician) occupied the house from 1875-1895.

The house was known for several outstanding attributes, including its linked chimney, its deep “bracketed door hood” at the entrance and its enormous garden (85 feet long and 15 feet wide) with a fountain in the middle.

The garden, famous for a “buckthorn hedge along an iron fence on two sides,” stretched to the corner of Cordis and Warren Street. The brick wall at the third side of the garden was “covered with begonias, Chinese wisteria, woodbine and other climbing plants.”

Although only a short run of iron fence (complete with an entrance gate) along Cordis Street and a water feature remain today, this is still a memorable garden.

Thirty-six-inch square (more or less) pavers, meandering down the center, are surrounded by lush and mature plantings. Dedicated patio space also incorporated into the layout makes this quite an unexpected urban oasis.

There will be an open house from noon to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23.