The grand 1862 house at 101 Beacon in the Back Bay met a sad fate when, in 1952, a remodel converted the home into apartments, removed the elegant front staircase, painted the brownstone white, flattened the Mansard roof and added an incongruous floor to the top. For years, this property improperly welcomed every vehicle entering Back Bay from Storrow Drive with a design dissonant with its place as a gateway to Beacon Street. Now, after a careful and sympathetic renovation, the home once again contributes to the character of the historic Back Bay. Working with the Boston Landmarks Commission, the owner recreated the Mansard roof and redesigned the rooftop addition, repaired and repainted the exterior more appropriately, restored existing fabric such as elements of the original front door, and extensively renovated the interior into luxury apartment units. Though the site had many challenges, this renovation and restoration project returns 101 Beacon to its rightful role greeting visitors and residents to the iconic Back Bay neighborhood.
“Some buildings sit at key entry points to neighborhoods, and it can be jarring when those key views are disrupted by poor design choices of the past—when eyes are drawn to the singular anomaly rather than the larger visual context,” said Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “The work at 101 Beacon Street has superbly met the challenge of reversing bad design decisions of the past by returning to the neighborhood a gateway vista of which the city can be proud.”
Owner/Developer: One-O-One Beacon LLC. Andrew Constantine
Architect: The Office of Michael J. Scanlon Choo & Company
Project Team: Zade Associates LLC; The Law Offices of Jeffery R. Drago; The Law Offices of Russo & Scolnick; Katz, Rudnick & Sullivan PC; Brookline Bank; William Young, former director of Boston Landmarks Commission; Boston Ornament Company, Inc.; Mott Iron Work