Living Large: Put Down Roots

Rachel Slade’s off-kilter take on hub dwellings.

put down rootsPhotographs by Russ Mezikofsky

Poking about Beacon Hill has its rewards, and few are as satisfying as an encounter with 130 Mount Vernon, also known as the Sunflower Castle. The showstopping façade, festooned with carvings of griffins and, yes, sunflowers, was conceived by 19th-century artist and designer Frank Hill Smith. Behind this fantastical exterior is a bright and inviting interior with high ceilings and copious windows. The current owner, who bought the 3,420-square-foot home 12 years ago, spent $2 million overhauling the parts few see but everyone prays are sound, including the foundation, plumbing, and wiring. (She jokes that the house is so firmly anchored that it’ll remain even when the neighboring Back Bay finally slips its moorings.) An avid green thumb and cook, the owner also added a new kitchen overlooking a thoughtfully executed Japanese garden. Finally, using old photos as reference, she reproduced original details such as the fireplace surrounds and staircase bannister. But what we love most is the choice corner location on the flat of the hill, with a view up Mount Vernon to Louisburg Square—the comings and goings of senators and billionaires are always of great interest.


Address: 130 Mount Vernon St., Boston

Listing price: $4,600,000

Listing agent: William Montero, Warren residential Group, 617-312-7232,

Stats: Four bedrooms, three baths, one half bath



Solar Gain

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Ruff City

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