Why Purchase and Remodel a Home in Beacon Hill, Boston?
Looking to purchase or remodel a home in Beacon Hill?
Here’s our take:
Beacon Hill is one of the most elegant and affluent areas of Boston and one of the truly unique, classy, and historical neighborhoods in all of the United State. Beacon Hill is quintessential Boston–elegant, upscale, sophisticated, and fully seeped in Federal Style and Colonial Revival architectural history reminiscent of the era of this country’s founding.
Beacon Hill is a small, geographically finite, affluent, and sophisticated part of Boston home to the Massachusetts State House–the seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Envision narrow streets, brick sidewalks, and actual gas street lamps evoking London and Sherlock Holmes. There are also beautiful brick town homes and federal-style row houses with strong colonial vibes–some of the homes dating back to the late 1700s. Beacon Hill ranges from Cambridge Street to Beacon Street and is bordered on one side by the lovely Charles River. Charles Street runs North to South, bisecting Beacon Hill and is its main street, running roughly parallel to the Charles River.
‘Beacon Hill’ also refers to the Mass State Government (much as “The Hill” in Washington refers to the Federal Government) and many residing here are State senators, congressmen, and those working in State Government and the Financial District
Louisburg Square is considered among the most desirable sections of residential real estate in Massachusetts with beautiful Greek Revival style townhomes surrounding an enclosed grassy park on all four sides. Quiet, peaceful, and extremely beautiful, this charming section of Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s prized sections of real estate. It’s residents are the only ones who have access to street parking.
Picturesque Acorn Street with its colonial, Paul Revere-like vibe is one of the most photographed streets in all of the United States with 21,400 snaps on Instagram with the #acornstreet.
Beacon Hill as a neighborhood is extremely small at 42 hectares. If you are wondering–a hectare is approximately 2.47 acres, so Beacon Hill stands on about 110 finite acres of land bordered on one side by the Charles River and on another by the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden. Beacon Hill touches corners with high-end Back Bay, which is 340 acres by comparison–over three times the size of Beacon Hill.
Beacon Hill – A Brief History
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A European by the name of Reverend William Blaxton (Blackstone) was the first European to settle on Beacon Hill in 1625, creating a home and estate. Originally born in Lincolnshire, England, Reverend Blaxton had come from England on the ship Katherine as her Chaplain, originally landing in Weymouth. Many of his colleagues returned to England–he remained, establishing a home and estate at Beacon Hill, thus becoming the first Colonist to settle in Boston. He was literally living alone as a population of one–Boston’s first European inhabitant before the Puritans arrived in Charlestown in 1629. A decade after Reverend Blaxton’s arrival to this beautiful area, a beacon was erected upon the hilltop to guide ships at sea entering the Harbor. Thus Beacon Hill earned its name.
A number of standout individuals on the world stage have called Beacon Hill home, including Charles Bullfinch, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Frost, Michael Crichton, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, and Uma Thurman.
Architecture in Beacon Hill
The Architecture in Beacon Hill, Boston is a beautiful combination of Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, and Federal. Beautiful brownstone homes, wrought iron fencing, with a touch of cobbled streets and brick sidewalks.
Boston State House. This impressive structure sits at the top of Beacon Hill and is visible for miles with its elegant design and 23-carat golden-domed top. The Boston State House is the seat of government for the Massachusetts Commonwealth and was designed by Charles Bullfinch in 1798–considered by many to be the first American Architect. From this point forward the Boston State House has served as a model for many State Capitol Buildings throughout the United States.
The Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell. ‘The Hatch Shell”’ is a striking Art Deco outdoor concert venue on the Charles River Esplanade directly next to Beacon Hill and approximately 200 yards from Charles Street. It was built in 1939-1940 as a permanent concert venue for public benefit and houses the Boston Pops on the 4th of July as well as free outdoor concerts throughout the summer months.
Beacon Hill Hotspots
There are many–here are a few of our favorites:
Charles Street is the center of Beacon Hill (and provides shopping for all of your needs) and separates “The Hill” area of Beacon Hill from “The Flats.” Residents of Beacon Hill and visitors to Boston alike will find an array of needs satisfied on Charles Street–from incredible coffee shops to restaurants, eateries, boutique shopping, groceries, wine shops, and more.
Bin 26 Enoteca. 26 Charles Street, Beacon Hill.
This is an elegant Italian restaurant with an extensive array of fine wines and delicious meals to go with them. The focus really is the 75 wines sold by the glass or bottle, but the Italian food is equally exquisite.
75 Chestnut. 75 Chestnut Street Beacon Hill.
Originally established in 1997, 75 Chestnut serves American dishes using regional organic ingredients. The President and Executive Chef is Markus Ripperger and everything about this venue is excellent. Try the Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad served in a margarita glass–amazing. Also exquisite is the Nantucket seafood stew with gold shrimp, scallops, hand cut salmon, swordfish, halibut, and sea bass with garden vegetables and bliss potatoes.
Tatte Bakery & Cafe. 70 Charles Street, Beacon Hill.
This Boston creation is the creative brainchild of Israel-born film producer Tzurit Or. She started in her home in 2007 and has since expanded to 15 locations across Boston including Charles Street in Beacon Hill in 2015. The ethos and experience she is aiming for is that of a hug–we think she utterly nailed it. Tatte offers a homey and delicious all-day menu–the egg in a hole is an absolutely must: 2 fried eggs nestled in a Jerusalem bagel.
Cheers Bar. 84 Beacon Street, Boston.
This is the iconic Cheers Bar of television fame, once home to Kirsty Alley, Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, and the brilliant, talented cast. The show originally premiered on Sept 30, 1982 and ran for 11 seasons with a total of 275 episodes produced. The exterior looks the same and in normal times there’s a queue to get in the door. The food is delicious–highly recommend the Crispy Fried Calamari.
Located directly adjacent to Beacon Hill, the Boston Common is the United States oldest public park which is truly beautiful all year around with ample jogging and walking paths and an ice skating surface in the winter. Boston Common is a great family gathering spot, childrens play venue, and home to outdoor concerts in the warmer months.
The Common, as it is known, is literally steps from Beacon Hill, bordering much of the Hill on its south side. Established in 1634 this green expanse of 50 acres is truly the oldest park in the United States. Boston Common is an essential part of Boston culture with hundreds of thousands of people visiting the Common each year from Massachusetts and around the world. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke here, as did Pope John Paul the 2nd.
Boston Public Garden:
The Boston Public Garden was founded in 1837 and is a green expanse of 24 acres containing walking pathways, statues, lawns and flowerbeds directly adjacent to the Boston Common and Beacon Hill. The Boston Public Garden contains a large artificial lake known as the ‘lagoon’ which is home to the iconic swan boats seen in so many images and films. The beautiful wrought iron fence around the Boston Public Garden dates from 1862.
The Make Way for Ducklings statue is a special testament to children’s author Robert McCloskey and is an international favorite with families and children.
Hotels Near Beacon Hill
Are the in-laws or additional family visiting? These hotels are within a few minute beautiful walk of Beacon Hill.
Within Beacon Hill proper you have:
Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro. 25 Charles Street, Boston.
Originally built in the mid 1800s, this boutique hotel & bistro in the heart of Beacon Hill houses 13 guest rooms in the hotel. Downstairs you will find an inviting Bistro atmosphere with a bar and 70 seats–the food, ambiance, and service are all excellent. Weekend brunches are exceptional and they claim the Beacon Hill Double Burger is the best burger both on the Hill and in Boston.
The Whitney Hotel Boston. 170 Charles Street, Boston, Mass.
Named one of the 13 best hotels in Boston, The Whitney Hotel is exceptional in many aspects–a lovely 4-star boutique hotel located on Charles Street just a few steps from the Longfellow Bridge and Charles River. The Whitney has 65 guest rooms including 4 suites. The Peregrine is the restaurant on site–it’s very good, and I would recommend the Paella Di Alghero and the Truffle Grilled Cheese.
In the area:
Four Seasons Boston.
This is a beautiful five-star hotel located directly on the other side of the Boston Public Garden from Beacon Hill.
Transportation in Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is located a convenient 3.5 miles from Logan International Airport (a 7-10 minute drive). Logan is one of the largest international airports in the United States and home to an array of international carriers providing ready access to Canada, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. For local travel Uber and Lyft ridesharing services both operate in Beacon Hill and throughout Boston. Beacon Hill especially is a walk-friendly neighborhood and some residents combine walking or cycling with conveniently located public transport.
There are several T stops nearby within a short walking distance–the closest is the Charles/MGH station located directly at the northern edge of Beacon Hill by the Longfellow Bridge.
The Weather in Beacon Hill
As I write this it is a beautiful 75 degrees in Beacon HIll. This neighborhood is near the water of the Charles River and in close proximity to the Boston Harbor, and you can feel this in the air. Spring is beautiful with flowering trees throughout Beacon Hill bursting into various expressions of pink. The summer is properly hot, but is cooled by both the Charles River and the Harbor. Autumn is spectacular with an array of Fall colors, a crisp New England tang in the air, and a hint of woodsmoke–there is truly nothing like it. Boston sees a proper winter with snowfall.
Schools in Beacon Hill
There are a number of schools located directly within Beacon Hill:
Beacon Hill Nursery School.
Established 64 years ago, BHNS handles students age 2-6, with a 6 to 1 teacher to student ratio and a 5,000 title library.
“BHNS’ Mission is ‘’to create a nurturing community that instills a lifelong love of learning in its students. Guided by exceptional educators, we value play as purposeful and cherish children’s innate curiosity.”
Park Street School.
Park Street accommodates children aged two through grade 6, with a staff and faculty of 60 and an aspect of Christian character formation. In testament to the family orientation of both the school and the Beacon HIl community, 75% of families enrolling their children with Park Street live within 1.5 miles of the school.
The Advent School.
The Advent School is an Elementary School originally founded in 1961 by members of the Church of Advent as Boston was dealing with interracial tensions. The Advent School is currently lad by Ms. Nicole Dufauchard and attracts students from throughout the GBA, including the local Beacon Hill community as well as Back Bay, Cambridge, Charleston, East Boston, Dorchester, Somerville, and the North and South End.
Beacon Hill Real Estate
The home median listing and sales price in Beacon Hill is currently 1.3 million usd, with 78 homes currently on the market for sale in a price range from $350,000 to 22 million. Seven of these were newly listed last week.
This includes a tiny but lovely 375-foot single bed and bath mini condo for $469k and ranges to a grandiose 5-bed, 7.5-bath, 9,768 square foot, Victorian-style single family brick home built in 1899. This gem of a family home is located 8 Mt. Vernon Place several blocks from the iconic State House and is on the market for $22,500,000.
This is some of the most affluent real estate in Boston.
By review, these properties provide elegant living space with high-ceilings, hardwood floors, beautiful views of the City of Boston. They also provide easy walking access to the Financial District, Faneuil Hall and its marketplace, Boston Common, and the Public Garden, upscale hotels, Whole Foods, Mass General Hospital, and the Government Center T Stop.
These are real estate offices I suggest one contact when seeking to purchase a home in Beacon Hill.
Gibson Sothebys is Boston’s largest independent real estate company, established in 1962 in the South End of Boston by Betty Gibson. It’s family run to this day and the people, professionalism, and service are exceptional.
Tracy Campion, the principal and owner of Campion & Company is one of the top real estate professionals in the country and does extensive work specifically throughout Beacon Hill and Back Bay. She is dynamic, intelligent, professional, and extremely experienced. If you are dealing with property in Back Bay or Beacon Hill Campion is world-class.
- • Keller Williams Realty. www.kw.com
- • Compass. www.compass.com
- • Berkshire Hathaway. www.berthshirehathaway.com
- • Coldwell Banker Residential. www.coldwellbanker.com/for-sale-homes/Boston-MA-1296c
- • Hammond Residential Real Estate. www.hammondre.com/
- • Redfin Corporation. www.redfin.com/
- • Bowes. www.bowesre.com
- • Advisors Living. www.advisorsliving.com/
Home Design & Remodeling Trends in Beacon Hill
Sustainable Design-Build is currently the approach to home creation that has garnered the attention and support of top real estate agents, designers, and builders throughout Beacon Hill and Boston. Sustainable Design-Build is highly recommended to clients due to its ability to minimize cost, reduce change orders, and deliver a higher-quality project on a faster timeline while reducing environmental impact and the carbon footprint.
Design-Bid-Build is the process which has been introduced over the past 150 years or so whereby you hire an architect to draft plans and design your project to then have it bid out to contractors seeking to perform the project. This approach has many liabilities for the client due in no small part to the fragmented spheres of responsibilities which exist. There is no single person or entity fully accountable to the client for the entire project’s success. Thus you can have impractical and expensive design work, impractical planning, numerous change orders, shoddy craftsmanship, and projects which are off timeline and over budget. In the end the client can be left damaged. You may have experienced this in the past.
Sustainable Design-Build is clearly the way to go if you want to save on time and money, reduce stress, and eliminate a fragmented sense of project responsibility in the people working for you–while caring for the environment. Sustainable Design-Build is a planning and execution model which stresses single-source accountability with the creative design, planning, and remodel executed start to finish by one firm.
The word “Architect” in fact comes from Greek Arkhi – Master and Tekton – Builder. Architect = Master Builder and throughout history has traditionally been so up until the mid-19th century.
Design-Build is turned to by professionals, families, and individuals as the cutting edge of efficiency, aesthetics, practicality, and accountability when it comes to designing and remodeling a home. This approach packages architectural design and interior design services with highly-skilled and artisan-level building and remodeling services. This natural synthesis makes for a simple, efficient, and accountable creative process followed by a streamlined and responsible execution process–reducing cost, time of execution, and client stress throughout. In the Design-Build modality, the client is dealing solely with one fully accountable firm.
New England Design and Construction does Sustainable Architectural Design-Build with a focus on high-end and luxury homes. Here are examples of beautiful Design-Build remodels we have done in the proximity of Beacon Hill and throughout the Greater Boston Area:
This is our process:
Beacon Hill is brimming with character and is one of the most elegant, sought-after, and beautiful neighborhoods in all of New England. Beacon Hill is highly desirable, ideally located, and a truly special place to live, work, and raise a family.