The Tiffany Ayer Mansion

Boston, MA

About The Tiffany Ayer Mansion

$17,000,000

The Ayer Mansion is the only completely Tiffany-designed home in the world. Standing five stories and fronting on both Commonwealth Avenue and Marlborough Street, this is a rare opportunity to match a buyer’s own vision with a uniquely modern and disruptive design. Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the sleek, pale façade with bright mosaic detail challenges the Boston streetscape as much now as it did at its unveiling in 1902.

Entering the great hall, the eye is drawn to the tall fireplace, vaulted ceiling and up the imperial stairs under the proscenium arch of glittering glass Tiffany mosaics tiles. At the top of the first landing and seen from the foot of the stairs, a trompe l’oeil Greek temple reflects unusual depth and light.

With designs in place and an award-winning team of developers, builders and architects assembled, this private residence will offer its next occupant the opportunity to reimagine this living (and livable) work of art.

With each floor ranging in size from 2700sf to 3000sf, the conceptual redesign for the property accommodates 6 bedrooms, 13 baths, Living, Dining, Parlors, Salon, Lounge, Study, Two Offices, an In-law Suite, a Terrace and a Roof Deck, Fitness Room with Spa, a Wine Room, Wet Bars and a 3-Car Garage plus exterior off-street space.

395 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, Massachusetts

Property Details

DETAILS
  • The only Tiffany-designed house in the world
  • Stunning, timeless architecture
  • Frontage on both Commonwealth Avenue and Marlborough Street
  • Each floor ranging in size from 2,700sf to 3,000sf
  • Views from the roof deck span the Citgo sign, the full sweep of the Charles River Basin to the glittering towers of downtown and Back Bay
  • Opportunity for institutional or office use

EXISTING CONDITIONS
  • Five Stories
  • Full Basement
  • Five Fireplaces
  • 23 Bedrooms
  • 6 Full Baths
  • 6 Half Baths
  • Elevator
  • 4 Parking Spaces
  • Lot size 4,791 (.11 Acre)
  • Building Square Footage – 15,000+
  • Entrances – Commonwealth Ave and Marlborough Street

CONCEPTUAL REDESIGN FOR PROPERTY ACCOMMODATES:
  • 6 Bedrooms
  • Primary Suite, Walk-in Closet and Private Terrace
  • 13 Baths
  • 10 Fireplaces
  • Living Room
  • Dining Rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Three Pantries
  • First Floor Formal Parlor
  • Fourth Floor Lounge
  • Fifth Floor Sky Parlor
  • Salon
  • Study
  • Wet Bars
  • Two Offices
  • Galleries
  • Wine Cellar
  • Fitness with Spa
  • Bike Storage
  • Full In-law Suite
  • Terrace/Garden
  • Roof Deck
  • 3-Car Garage
  • 2 Outside Parking Spaces
  • Elevator

Floor Plan

History

When the sleek, pale façade of The Ayer Mansion was unveiled in 1902 amid the red brick of Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue, it was a challenge to the old order. However, disruption and innovation are, in fact, a Boston tradition. From the Tea Party to Isabella Stewart Gardner’s idiosyncratic museum, the brutalist City Hall to biotechnology, Massachusetts has always nurtured unconventional thinking, whether in politics, architecture, or technology. “It was an outlier, commissioned by outliers,” reads an article from Harvard Magazine.

A savvy businessman, Frederick Ayer was the owner of the American Woolen Company, owning many mills including the largest textile factory in Lowell, MA. He was also involved in many other ventures including the patent medicine business and co-founding the Arctic Coal Company. He was a self-made success, with only a sixth-grade education. Ayer and his wife Ellen commissioned the design and building of their home at 395 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, hiring Louis Comfort Tiffany to do the design. The mansion was sold following Frederick’s death in 1918 and converted to office space. It was designated on the list of National Historic Landmarks on April 5, 2005.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was the son of Charles Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co.. To his father’s dismay, Louis decided to go his own way, and became a very prominent designer of interiors, as well as decorative objects, lamps, and furniture at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Tiffany was both an architect and a designer who thought about the totality of space and designed everything in it including decorative objects and wallpapers.

Tiffany was highly influenced by what was known at the time as Orientalism. With heavy influences from ancient Greece and Rome, as well as Japan and India as a result of extensive travels as a young man.

The Tiffany Ayer Mansion is an incorporation of these different inspirations. From the ancient Greek, which you see in the jaw-dropping trompe l’œil mosaic through the proscenium arch in the foyer, to the more far Eastern, seen through the Turtleback tiles on the front door and the richness of the glass in the foyer.

For a provincial capital, Boston has always punched above its weight on the world stage.

“Perhaps Tiffany’s most lavish and unusual use of mosaic decoration in a domestic context occurred in the house he designed in 1899 at 395 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts. The house is further testament of Tiffany’s love of Islamic art, and its interpretation in the medium that he made his own,” sites Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen in the book, The Tiffany Chapel at the Morse Museum. “A series of steps with rounded profiles lead up to a stage-like landing before further ascending to the landing from which the stairway splits and turns to the second floor. The steps themselves pay homage to the Chicago world’s fair chapel, made of marble with risers decorated in green, blue, and gold glass mosaic.”

Our Team

LandVest and Christie’s International Real Estate. LandVest, an exclusive Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate, is a leading provider of real estate marketing, sales, and consulting services and specializes in providing buyers, sellers, and fiduciaries with the information and services needed to achieve exceptional results.

Click here for more information on LandVest.
Click here for more information on Christie’s International Real Estate.

Greta Gustafson
LandVest Director,
New Development
ggustafson@landvest.com

Ruth Kennedy Sudduth
LandVest Vice Chair, Fiduciary Real Estate Services
rkennedy@landvest.com

Daniel Peros
Vice President & Business
Development Manager Christie’s dperos@christiesrealestate.com

Jean Abouhamad, P.E.

Sea-Dar Real Estate is an award-winning developer of challenging luxury residential boutique projects in Boston’s historic neighborhoods, while Sea-Dar Construction has established a reputation for excellence across a wide range of residential projects that includes historic brownstone residences, luxury condominiums, fine custom homes, and oceanfront properties in Boston, Cape Cod, New York, The Hamptons, and Greenwich CT.

Click here for more information on Sea-Dar Construction.

Click here for more information on Sea-Dar Real Estate.

David Hacin

Hacin + Associates is an interdisciplinary architecture and design firm dedicated to design excellence and client service. H+A collaborates with clients to create compelling design that resonates with meaning, clarity of intent and a strong sense of place. Working at all scales, the firm’s services include architecture and interior design; graphic design and branding; adaptive reuse and historic preservation; planning, feasibility studies, and urban design. H+A is led by David J. Hacin [FAIA], with support from a team of talented design and management professionals. Click here to learn more about Hacin + Associates.

Charles V. Reed

CNW Capital Partners is a Boston-based real estate development company specializing in luxury residential projects and urban mixed-use properties. Click here for more information on CNW Capital Partners

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