Historic details shine in condos

Saturday, 11 November 2017, 12:32:46 PM. When fixing up old homes around Boston, some developers make the interiors unrecognizable from the originals by ripping open walls, clearing out the old moldings and stripping away period details. Others keep them pretty much the way they were.William Hearn of Curragh Dobbin Realty took a balanced approach when renovating the two-family home at 48 Sanborn Ave. in West Roxbury.

When fixing up old homes around Boston, some developers make the interiors unrecognizable from the originals by ripping open walls, clearing out the old moldings and stripping away period details. Others keep them pretty much the way they were.

William Hearn of Curragh Dobbin Realty took a balanced approach when renovating the two-family home at 48 Sanborn Ave. in West Roxbury.

The pair of two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos — now on the market for more than a half-million dollars each — look bright and modern, with clean open kitchens, sparkling white baths and spacious master bedrooms.

But they also retain much of their original architectural ornaments, like the elaborately carved crown moldings, the gleaming oak floors, the patterned, leaded glass windows at the entrance and the decorated built-in hutches with fluted pilasters and pedimented tops in the dining rooms.

“That’s the original molding,” said Hearn, pointing to the living room ceiling during a tour earlier this week.

He said his crew sanded, repaired and filled, finished and painted white gumwood molding to make it stand out from the artificial styles on the market.

“If they were new, you would be able to lift them with your finger,” he said. “These are heavy.”

He took the same approach to the floors, which look brand new at first glance.

“The floors were sanded about three times, and we put two coats of finish and one coat of high-gloss finish,” he said.

Scraping down, acid treating and painting white the old brick fireplaces in the living rooms, Hearn again took the antique and made it appear contemporary.

“The old red brick wouldn’t have matched” the new look, Hearn said.

Of course the radiators got cleared out, too, getting replaced with central heating and air conditioning, and there were some dramatic structural renovations.

“This was a wall and chimney,” said Hearn, standing between the now open first-floor condo’s kitchen and dining area, where a granite countertop peninsula juts out between the two rooms — under suspended white cabinetry that matches the rest in the crisp, light kitchen.

Upstairs, in the second condo, the place is similar, but the kitchen has a handsome, dark-stained wood finish.

While the condos are similar in size — No. 1 has 1,075 square feet and unit No. 2 has 1,220 square feet — each offers full back porches, driveway parking spaces, shared access to the small yard and huge storage areas. The upper unit has the unfinished gable attic and the lower unit has a finished three-room basement storage space that measures nearly 480 square feet.

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