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Home of the Week: A former Swampscott firehouse complete with firepole

The property, on the market for roughly $1.4 million, has four bedrooms and 3.5 baths.

The dining area of the eat-in kitchen.Aeroplex Media Collective

2 Phillips Ave., Swampscott


Style Firehouse

Year built 1903; renovated 2010

Square feet 4,312

Bedrooms 4

Baths 3 full, 1 half

Water/Sewer Public

Taxes $11,976 (2021)

Robin Sharma, a Canadian motivational speaker, once wrote “change is hard at first, messy in the middle and so gorgeous at the end.” And while Sharma was not focused on real estate, his thoughts apply to this former fire station transformed into a regal single-family home in Governor Charlie Baker’s hometown of Swampscott.

Built in 1903 to serve the Phillips Beach neighborhood, the firehouse closed in the 1990s and was the base for an ambulance company before general contractor Steve Hayes and his wife, Lisa, bought it in 2010 and transformed it into a home.


Back when the home was a firehouse.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative

Among the surviving hallmarks visible from the street is the Rockport granite covering portions of the ground level and the curved stone archway leading to the left side of the home. Also extant is the wide driveway of red brick, imported from England a century ago, that flows to fixed garage doors that form part of a first-floor wall. On the upper level, the bay window at the center is a pretty holdover.

Passing through that stone archway leads to an impressive entry with a wooden barrel ceiling some 12 feet above the hardwood floor. The foyer opens into a formal living area bisected in the center with a half wall. The formal living area is pure elegance, with a dual cove ceiling pinned with drum shade lights, those windowed garage doors, and hardwood flooring.

A door off the living area leads to a half bath with hardwood flooring, a dresser-turned-vanity topped with a vessel sink, and a stone wall that used to be part of the lookout tower.

An opening in the dining area leads to a butler’s pantry with a hammered-copper sink, a walk-in pantry with saloon-like doors, and then to a white kitchen with black accents and a breakfast nook. The white Shaker cabinetry denotes a kitchen that is elegant yet welcoming, with soapstone chosen for the counters and backsplash, a granite-topped island with butcher block, stainless-steel appliances (including the gas stove), three sinks, a pot-filler, a coffered ceiling, recessed lighting, a chandelier, and an L-shaped window seat that could be used as a banquette.


Back out in the living room, a winding staircase clad in shiplap leads to the upper level, which holds all four bedrooms, including the owner suite, two full baths, an office with windows on two walls, a laundry room, and a family room with a firepole to the living room.

Three bedrooms line the front of the home. The largest boasts two closets and a bay window. The other two have a double-door closet and two to three windows. Steps away is the main bath, which features a vanity/dressing table, a shower with glass tile inlays, and a dark gray tile floor.

The owner’s suite occupies the rear of the home and sits four steps down from the family room. There are five windows in the bedroom area, built-ins, hardwood flooring, and a walk-in closet with custom cabinetry. The en-suite bath features a claw-foot tub under a half-moon window, a separate shower with seating, a two-sink vanity topped with granite, and marble flooring in a basket-weave pattern.


The lower level, which tacks an additional 688 square feet onto the living space total, contains storage, a shower-only bath, two walk-in closets, and utility and media rooms. The home has three zones for heating and cooling.

Highlights of the roughly quarter-acre property include a six-zone sprinkler system, new fencing, a patio, professional landscaping, and off-street parking for eight.

Linda Hayes of William Raveis Real Estate in Marblehead has the listing.

See more photos of the home below:

Isn't it appropriate that the patio umbrella is fire engine red?Luis Ribas/North Shore Real Estate Media
The side walkway.Luis Ribas/North Shore Real Estate Media
The owner bath features a double vanity.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The main stairway is clad in shiplap.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The owner bath offers a separate shower.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The owner bath has a claw-foot tub.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The white subway tile in this shower is broken up by inlays.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The home office has windows on two walls.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The flooring in the living room is hardwood. Note the firepole in the background.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The laundry room.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The living room has cove ceilings with drum-shade lights.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The butler's pantry comes with a hammered-copper sink.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
You first.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
In the family room, the other end of the firepole.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The kitchen island provides butcher-block on one end.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The kitchen island also has a pot-filler.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
The mix of black and white cabinetry offers an elegant contrast.Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative
Built-ins in the owner bedroom.Aeroplex Media Collective
A chandelier-like light with a drum shade hangs over this bedroom.Aeroplex Media Collective
The entrance boasts a hardwood floor with a tile inlay.Aeroplex Media Collective
This bedroom features a bay window.Aeroplex Media Collective
The owner bedroom boasts a walk-in closet.Aeroplex Media Collective
The dining area of the eat-in kitchen.Aeroplex Media Collective
The half bath features a stone wall.Aeroplex Media Collective
This vanity has a dressing table.Aeroplex Media Collective
One of the home's four bedrooms.Aeroplex Media Collective
The home has high ceilings.Aeroplex Media Collective
One of the home's 3.5 bathrooms. Note the tall baseboards and the board-and-batten wainscotting.Aeroplex Media Collective
An aerial view of the property.Aeroplex Media Collective

Follow John R. Ellement on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Send listings to homeoftheweek@globe.com. Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue. Subscribe to our newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp.

John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.