Back Bay Residence

Boston, MA

Isabella Stewart (Mrs. Jack) Gardner’s father built her a house here in 1861. In 1880 the Gardners bought the adjacent house and connected it with their own house to make space for a music room. It was here that John Singer Sargent painted Mrs. Gardner’s famous portrait and she assembled the greatest private art collection in Boston. In 1902 she moved to her newly completed “palace” in the Fenway.

Architect Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow designed the current Beaux Arts townhouse in 1904. It is now divided into four condominiums. E.S. Draper demolished both houses and built the double-width Italian Renaissance revival house that became the residence of Alvan T. Fuller, governor, congressman, founder of Fuller Cadillac Company, and art collector. Its rusticated ground floor and two-story fluted Ionic pilasters embrace the second and third floors. A handsome high wrought-iron fence with stone gateposts adds to the monumental effect.

Ben Olson reconfigured this two-level, 5000 sq ft condominium located in this historic building. Original millwork was undisturbed, but carefully lit to accentuate the millwork detail. The lower level was gutted to accept a new family room, guest bedroom and a wood paneled library in the style of the original millwork.