On the Market: Beacon Hill’s Famed Optical Illusion

This home is one half of the "Scarlett O'Hara House," a fake Greek Revival abode at the end of a private alleyway.


Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

3 Rollins Place, Beacon Hill
Price: $1,475,000
Size: 1,795 square feet
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2

With its white wood siding and Ionic columns, this sliver of a Greek Revival house looks oddly out of place at the end of a brick alleyway. It’d be more at home among the grand mansions of the South—rather than in stately Beacon Hill—hence its Gone With the Wind-inspired nickname: the Scarlett O’Hara House.

Yet Boston’s iconic Scarlett O’Hara House is not actually a house. It’s an optical illusion. A few decades ago, the faux facade was built to cover up a brick and concrete wall at the end of Rollins Place, fake shutters and all. Today, the facade’s small porch doesn’t lead into the non-existent white house, but into two separate homes on either side of it. One of those homes, the townhouse at 3 Rollins Place, hit the market this week.

The three-bedroom abode dates back to 1843, offering four levels of living space and several wood-burning fireplaces. The kitchen and dining areas are accented by exposed beams, built-in shelving, and a chandelier, and they open to a private patio. The place is in need of a few upgrades, however. The main staircase could stand to be refinished, while the kitchen and bathrooms might benefit from updated fixtures.

The landmark home asks $1.475 million. It just needs the right owners to complete a careful restoration.

For information, contact the Biega + Kilgore Team • Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, coldwellbankerhomes.com.

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Photo via Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage