Boston’s Back Bay is the crown jewel of real estate and home living in our vibrant and multicultural city. It has a one-of-a-kind elegance, design, ethos and culture as well as a physical proximity to Boston’s respective seats of financial power, medical, and innovation.
As far as real estate goes, Back Bay is a distinctly finite expanse of predominantly Victorian townhomes elegantly erected by the Charles river. This aspect of Boston’s finest was constructed between 1859 and 1900 and sits on 450 acres of land reclaimed from the Boston Harbor. The streets are wide, and there is an aesthetic sense of culture and history with a pervasive and unique beauty—a finite piece of New England perfection.
All four seasons, elegance, history, culture and some of Boston’s finest restaurants and eateries—Back Bay literally has it all. Spring is vibrant, lush and green with beautiful outdoor space nearby in which to enjoy it, while Fall brings layers, designer sweaters and a crisp tang in the air.
In normal times this is some of the most expensive real estate in Boston, New England and the entire nation. Like Bitcoin, the number of homes in circulation and that will ever potentially exist in Back Bay is finite. There simply is nowhere else to build—so what exists is precious and on a macro view simply continues to appreciate.
Residents of Back Bay are a short walking distance from Tufts Medical Center and The Prudential, and Back Bay is situated directly adjacent to the Boston Public garden, and a short walk across the Harvard Bridge to MIT. Boston Public Garden and Boston Common offer a green sanctuary at the east end of this beautiful expanse providing residents a truly unique harmony of urban connection and nature.
The array of Back Bay Victorian townhomes are often remodeled exactly to owners’ taste as regards interior layout, luxury interior design and sustainable aesthetics. Owners want to craft their dreams, especially in these times, and a Brownstone built well over 100 years ago can provide its own set of challenges. The neighborhood is filled with boutique, one-of coffee houses, eateries, upscale bars and shopping venues.
LUXURY HOMES IN BACK BAY:
Luxury Homes in Back Bay come in the form of elegant, Victorian townhomes and condos. This is some of the most expensive and valuable real estate in New England.
Residents of this area are successful movers and shakers in their respective fields. They know what they want and there can be tremendous joy in the creative process of designing and remodeling a Back Bay home to the exact taste of the occupants.
In these times I would assess these four factors as some of the most valuable benefits to a luxury remodel in 2021:
SUSTAINABILITY & HOME SAFETY:
Safety in the home has taken on a new meaning in 2020 and 2021. One key component of such is the quality of air circulating in the home. We have innovated with Passive House retrofit design and remodeling which is an extreme example of converting an existing home into a Passive House with a drastically reduced carbon footprint, filtered air supply and energy efficient home ecosystem.
We design in skylights where possible, increasing sun and natural light exposure and incorporate reclaimed wood design elements into our interior designs. This lends natural beauty and calm to the home interiors. Contactless fixtures are designed into the interiors to avoid touch and the spread of microorganisms.
KITCHEN ELEGANCE & FLOW:
We have all spent a drastically increased amount of time in the kitchen in the last 11 months. It is gratifying to have a kitchen perfectly designed to one’s taste with graceful flowlines, aesthetic finishes and practical and innovative storage solutions. In these times the kitchen can become a central hub of the home and is deeply uplifting when the inherent design and build is seamlessly perfect.
We love to design custom kitchen center islands with reclaimed wood and unique stonework which lend symmetry, space and function to a kitchen.
MASTER SUITE–A HOME SPA SANCTUARY:
Natural stone, reclaimed wood detailing, custom shower and bath designs and an integrated sauna system are a recipe for calm in these often turbulent and trying times. With the recent commercial temporary closures and some concerned with the safety of public spa facilities in these times many are seeking relief and rejuvenation in the comfort of their own homes.
These luxury custom solutions are a joy to custom design and integrate into Back Bay homes.
DEDICATED OFFICE SPACE—FOR BOTH:
These are different times and its looks as if working from home will now be part of the culture for some time to come. With many power couples working from home in some form or another, separate and fully equipped home offices are a necessity.
Once an owner has established the perfect home in Back Bay, what do the surroundings hold?
BACK BAY CULTURE:
There are many wonderful venues in Back Bay for a quality quick bite as well as fine dining. While the selection is legion, these are several of our choice favorites:
Trident Booksellers & Café
338 Newbury Street, Back Bay
Open since 1984, this establishment is indie Boston charm at its very finest.
Trident Booksellers & Café was founded by the Flynn family from Vermont 36 years ago on Buddhist ideals including knowledge, respect and the dignity of others. This lovely enterprise is clearly about people and the vibe is truly unique and old school. Take as long as you like, browse, partake of the delicious menu, study, and work at your leisure. Located in a beautiful former carriage house, Trident is truly a part of Back Bay and Boston culture. Operated as a platform to foster ideas and the simple joy of knowledge and human interaction this lovely place is the antithesis of a franchise or chain and the epitome of an independent bookstore. They were the first such institution to offer free wifi in the 1990s and are all about people. The Trident is currently open 8am to 9pm seven days a week during normal times. What once began as coffee available in a bookshop is now a full-scale restaurant so one can grab a meal while browsing titles, researching or working. They have an all-day breakfast menu (lovely) and a vegetarian selection as well. There is local craft beer on tap as well as a selection of wines. Events are a regular occurrence at Trident and if you stop by you will likely fall in love with the people and ethos and become a customer for life—this is a good thing in these times.
Coffee. Yes please. For a delicious quick bite and exceptional cup of coffee—our go to is The Thinking Cup on Newbury street.
The Thinking Cup
85 Newbury Street, Back Bay
There’s nothing quite like smoked salmon on a bagel and a hand-crafted, single-origin pour over to start the day off on the right foot. The Thinking Cup opened its doors in 2010 and goes the extra mile for your artisanal coffee dreams—they serve a variety of fine coffees including Stumptown as well as an array of fine teas. Bring a book, your family or fly solo and enjoy the ambiance simply steps away from the Boston Common.
And for dinner and fine dining?
Atlantic Fish Company
761 Boylston Street, Back Bay
A fixture in Boston’s Back Bay since1978 and truly one of the best venues in all of Boston for fresh sea food. The menus are printed daily for selection as the catch comes in each morning fresh from the Harbor. The menu array is delicious, and their clam chowder was ranked by USA today one of the 10 best in all of Massachusetts and has also been titled the best in Boston.
LUXURY REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS WE RECOMMEND:
“Back Bay is the Gold Coast of Boston—it has a gorgeous historic fabric and wonderful quality of life.”
Maggie Gold Seelig – Principal MGS Group Real Estate
Elegant, genuine, highly knowledgeable and above all effective–this luxury boutique brokerage handles the A list of both Boston and NY real estate with exceptional understanding and an understated grace. Helmed by Maggie Gold Seelig who transitioned over a decade ago from her career as an attorney, the MGS Group have connections spanning industries and continents to facilitate the white glove purchase or sale of Boston’s finest homes. The MGS group handles some of the most prestigious listings across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and New York. The recent sale of Tom Brady and Giselle’s Brookline mansion that had been on the market for months with another brokerage—that was Maggie who stepped in and quietly facilitated a sale off market with seeming ease. Few in the country are at this level and the MGS group offers the highest level of care, discretion and white glove service as they build and maintain relationships and clients for life.
By appointment only:
187 Mount Auburn Street,
THE EVOLUTION OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN BUILD & ITS USE IN BACK BAY:
Within all great work and methodology there is an inherent element of simplicity. Design Build in today’s nomenclature refers to the approach of having one creative firm fully responsible for all architectural and interior design as well as the full execution of the building and construction process. If this seems simple—it is. It is also the way the natural course of building was done for thousands of years in the creation of many of the beautiful structures of Earth—the Parthenon, the Cathedral at Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, The White House and many many more. In each case a single creative entity would envision, plan and execute—ensuring responsibility, efficiency and foresight. The derivation of the word “Architect” is actually “Master Builder.” Luxury home owners are increasingly turning to Luxury Architectural Design Build firms to realize their dreams—drawn by the efficiency, accountability, prediction and creativity inherent in the process.
In conclusion, Back Bay holds the finest Boston has to offer as regards real estate and luxury homes. After many families sheltered outside the city during Covid, Back Bay is again drawing the most discerning back into the city and is an ideal location to own a home, raise a family and experience the finest life Boston has to offer.