For Sale/Rent

A Room Is Available in the West End’s Famed “Last Tenement”

You can live inside a beloved piece of Boston history.


Photo by Gabrielle DiBenedetto

Boston is overflowing with historic buildings, sure. But few stick out like the West End’s famed “Last Tenement,” an improbable remnant of what was once a vibrant immigrant neighborhood. It’s a beloved, frequently Instagrammed landmark, whose backstory and from-another-era appearance invite comparisons to the redevelopment-threatened house from the Pixar movie Up. Last year it placed 39th on our list of The 100 Best Buildings in Boston.

And now a rare opportunity has presented itself: a chance to call it home.

A one-bedroom basement apartment in the storied Lomasney Way walk-up has just hit the rental market, and is available immediately. Its interior—with drop ceilings, mismatched tile flooring, a modest kitchen, and limited natural light—is not all that notable on its own. But the building that houses it certainly is.

Built in the 1870s, the four-story landmark had been one of 30 tenements lining what was then called Lowell Street. Its neighbors were either razed during the controversial Urban Renewal efforts of the 1950s, or were demolished decades later when the city moved the elevated railway underground. The Boston Globe chronicled its colorful history—including ties to a Boston mobster—in exhaustive detail a few years ago.

Today, the Last Tenement is all alone—oddly narrow and out of place among modern luxury high-rises, with gigantic billboards for tech products slung on each of its sides.

Historic or not, at $1,850 a month, the apartment is a steal for the neighborhood, where one-bedrooms at the nearby Avalon North Station start at $2,935. It also has a newly renovated bathroom and stainless steel appliances, and is a short walk away from the MBTA, a Blue Bikes docking station, and a tiny public garden. Not willing to make the move? Another unit in the building is listed on Airbnb.

You can see the full listing here.