Boston Herald

South End condo has it all with mix of old, new


The condo at 98 Appleton St., No. 3, in the South End has it all: History, fine Victorian architectu­re and sweeping rooftop views of the Back Bay and downtown.

So, where to start? That's a tough one, but the inside of the $2.475-million home — which spans three floors — probably wins out. Here we have a striking mix of old and new inside what feels like a single family home but is actually a nearly 2,000-square-foot condo in an iconic South End rowhouse.

It's a crisp, snow white house that has all the bends and edges of late 19th century dwellings and all the contempora­ry fixtures that high-end buyers want today. There's the elegant crown moldings, the windowed front wall that curves outward over Appleton Street, the pocket doors and the milky marble fireplaces — but there's also the new Caesarston­e countertop­s in the kitchen, marble work in the top-floor bathroom and new wet bar in the living area. Despite the post-Civil War constructi­on of the place, the layout is now mostly open, especially in the first and second levels, where the dining and living rooms and kitchen are located. The three bedrooms all feel private.

The current owners can be thanked for much of the updates: They remodeled the bathrooms and kitchen, refinished and stained the wood floors throughout and upgraded the lighting fixtures since moving in about three years ago.

“What we've tried to do ... is appreciate and respect the history and those wonderful features that you don't see today, like the moldings and the fireplaces,” said the current owner, who preferred not to be identified by name, but is the CEO of a Boston-based educationa­l company.

Built around 1868, the home appears to be the work of Alden Avery, a builder whose architect son, George, designed several Back Bay townhouses, according to city records and backbayhou­ The condo opens up to a street entrance atop a steep set of steps with ornate, curly wrought iron rails. With the markings of a Second Empire Victorian, the brick building has a mansard roof that hangs over the top floor like a waterfall, with dormers peeking out. One of its first owners was Enoch Rolfe, a prominent dentist.

No doubt the views became more stunning as new buildings went up throughout the city. With Dartmouth Place at the rear of the condo and Appleton at the front, there's plenty to see here.

“Appleton is a beautiful, picturesqu­e street,” the owner said. “When we look out the front side, we see front sides of buildings, and when we look out the back, we see the front side of buildings.”

And from the roof deck that gives skyline scenes of the Prudential and the State Street building, “we have these fantastic views of the city.”

For informatio­n about the home, which has an open house Sunday, contact Barrie Stavis at 617-8613636.

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