This Back Bay Mansion Just Reopened as a Guest House
The 23-room building feels like a home away from home—except with Andy Warhol pieces hanging on the walls.
The 1881 brick mansion at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Gloucester Street has many former lives: it was once a lavish single-family home, an illustrious music studio, and a lodging house. As of this month, the property has been reincarnated as No. 284—an ultra luxe, 23-room guest house.
Sandy Edgerley, president of Hexagon Properties, scooped up the building to redesign it as an intimate, top-notch vacation venue that would differ from a typical Boston hotel. Edgerley says No. 284 provides a more personal experience than a hotel because of its homey common spaces and amenities. This effectively gives guests the feeling that they live in a grand dame on Commonwealth Avenue (or temporarily, at least).
“The library, available for guests 24 hours a day, is beautiful, intimate, and cozy—it has a fireplace and a beautiful Damien Hirst piece of artwork above the fireplace, and it’s a place where you can read a book or get a cup of coffee from the kitchen next door,” Edgerley says. “It’s adjacent to our courtyard, which in the warmer months is a place to sit outside and enjoy the outdoors under the trees.”
To maintain the historical integrity of the building, Edgerley sought to preserve its antique nature. A team led by architect Guy Grassi completed an entire restoration of the exterior brick, transporting the architecture back to its former glory of the 1800s. As for the inside, the jaw-dropping grand staircase and the detailed molding remain original to the building.
Along with historical appeal, No. 284’s art collection is extensive, ranging from Childe Hassam prints to works of abstract expressionism to contemporary pieces. The art, curated by Kate Chertavian, is arranged so that as you ascend the stairs, the pieces become progressively more modern on the upper levels.
“For the grand finale, an iconic Marilyn offset lithograph by Andy Warhol hangs atop the staircase landing preceding the penthouse suite,” says Chertavian, owner of Kate Chertavian Fine Art.
Each room is decorated with the work of a certain artist, and comes complete with a book about that particular artist, Edgerley says. Artists include Warhol, Josef Albers, Damien Hirst, and others.
No. 284’s penthouse, which fetches around $500 per night, houses contemporary art and boasts a private roof terrace with views of the Prudential Center and the Boston skyline.
Other guest room amenities include custom linens from Frette, Elemis bathroom products, and a kitchenette with its own refrigerator and microwave. With breathtaking Boston views of the cityscape and Commonwealth Mall, most rooms command around $350 per night, but vary with booking dates. To celebrate its debut on March 14, rates will run around $200 per night for No. 284’s first few weeks of being open.
“We welcome guests who might want to be there for not just a day or a weekend, but even longer term,” Edgerley says. “And whether they’re there for a weekend or a long-term stay, guests will be at home at No. 284.”
No. 284, 284 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, no284.com.