Back Bay Brownstones
The Back Bay brownstone is quintessential Back Bay. They were once single family homes for many of Boston's wealthiest residences in the 1800's. Many of these brownstones have been turned into condos for sale & apartments for rent. There are 100's of beautiful brownstones on Commonwealth Avenue, Marlborough Street, Newbury Street, and Beacon Street. Many of them are modern and have granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel appliances, laundry, hardwood floors, tall ceilings, fireplaces, and great detail. Back Bay brownstones usually start around $1300 for a studio apartment, $1700 for a 1 bedroom apartment, and $2400 for a 2 bedroom apartment. Back Bay brownstones for sale usually start around $350,000 for a 1 bedroom condo. To search Back Bay brownstone rentals & sales, click the links below.
Boston Real Estate: The History of Back Bay Brownstones
One of the Back Bay’s most distinctive characteristics is its three- and four-story brownstone row houses, which are set against a Parisian-inspired backdrop of wide, tree-lined streets. These well-preserved, Victorian-style brownstones are some of the finest examples of period architecture and urban design in the country. The exteriors are clad with Portland brownstone supplied by quarries in Connecticut that also provided the chocolate-colored sandstone for the creation of several national landmarks during the mid-to-late 19th century. One of the first homes raised in the community was the Gibson House in 1860. The last single-family home built on a residential lot was constructed 48 years later. Virtually untouched, the Gibson House is now a museum chronicling domestic life in the neighborhood from the mid-19th to the early-20th centuries. Furnished with period pieces, it provides a glimpse into the history of the neighborhood’s brownstone homes. Exuding European charm, Back Bay townhouses have the look and feel of a bygone era.
Before the arrival of European settlers, Native Americans used the tidal basin on the western side of Shawmut Peninsula as a fishing ground. When a toll road failed, Boston leaders decided to create buildable land by filling the salt marsh. The area now known as the Back Bay neighborhood is situated on the site created by this massive 19th-century land reclamation project. The development began in 1857 and lasted almost three decades. At the height of the nearly 30-year endeavor, more than 850 gravel-filled railcars arrived on the site every 24 hours. The residential community, taking its name from the former water feature, has become renowned as one of the country’s best-preserved models of 19th-century municipal planning.
Originally home to many of the Hub’s wealthy elite, the Back Bay was transformed into a mixed-use neighborhood over the last century to meet economic needs. Most of the famous brownstone homes are located on Commonwealth Avenue as well as Marlborough, Beacon and Newbury streets. Running from the Public Garden to Massachusetts Avenue, Newbury Street is a major Back Bay thoroughfare. Along this approximately one-mile stretch, residents and visitors can see several 19th-century brownstones that have been repurposed to house popular eateries, shops and luxury boutiques. While many of the neighborhood’s historic townhomes serve as rental homes and apartments, some of these brownstones remain within the families that originally built them. The exteriors of these homes have been meticulously preserved, but many houses now feature renovated modern interior designs with the latest amenities. The neighborhood has become one of the most expensive residential enclaves in the city boasting picturesque attractions along Commonwealth Avenue.
Designed by a variety of leading architects, including Edward Clarke Cabot, the charming atmosphere of the neighborhood has been maintained by setback requirements and other deed restrictions. The Back Bay Architectural Commission now has the responsibility of overseeing these covenants. To protect the heritage construction and exterior design, the Massachusetts Legislature created the Back Bay Architectural District in 1966. These iconic Back Bay brownstones were added to the National Historic Register seven years later. The residence at 20 Gloucester Street was the first existing building in the city to be converted into condominiums. Soon other single-family residences were transformed into luxury loft condominiums and brownstone apartments for rent featuring high ceilings, detailed molding and gorgeous hardwood floors. Many of these charming brownstone buildings for sale or rent also boast contemporary kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Located in the heart of Boston’s residential neighborhoods, these quintessential Back Bay properties are some of the most sought-after properties in Boston. Several brownstone masterpieces have commanding views of the water. Because their exteriors are protected by the Back Bay Architectural Commission, these living spaces preserve an impressive collection of urban architecture. Along with the trendy eateries and shops of Newbury Street, these homes are in close proximity to renowned landmarks, such as the Old South Church, the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church. Brownstone condos for sale offer the perfect mix of history, location and exceptional elegance that matches their inimitable surroundings. Their innovative interiors with state-of-the-art amenities and historic design are ideal for those who want a classic look with modern functionality. Contact us to view brownstones for rent or sale in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.