Patents 322,177 and 1,007,596 may help explain why this condo on the second floor of a Back Bay town house works.
Two white cabinets separated by a decorative fireplace run along the right-hand wall in the carpeted main living area. The first cabinet has three wide doors, some mirrored. The second, nearly identical, is where the patents come into play. In 1885, Sarah E. Goode was awarded a patent for her “cabinet bed,” which transforms into a desk with storage compartments when the bed is put away (she was the first African-American woman awarded a US patent), and William L. Murphy received one in 1911 for his “disappearing bed.’’ Together they influence the current iteration – a Murphy bed that when pulled down offers a bed, of course, plus built-in shelves and recessed lighting.
Just a few feet away, windows in a bump-out overlook an alley but offer a skyline view from this home, first owned by a wealthy iron merchant and his family when Rutherford B. Hayes was in the White House.
The ceilings are about 10 feet high, and the walls are topped with broad crown molding, making the main room seem much larger than the square footage would suggest. The space has a good-sized closet.
To the left is the kitchen, which is not full-sized but offers everything you need to prepare a meal and space for a table with two seats on which to eat it. Sunlight pours through the greenhouse window of the kitchen, which has antique-white cabinets, a granite counter, and compact stainless-steel appliances.
The updated full bath is also off the main living space. It features a marble floor and backsplash, a pedestal sink, a multi-head walk-in shower with a built-in seat, and two closets.
The unit, one of six, must be owner-occupied, and pets are not allowed. Laundry and deeded storage are in the basement.
Year built: 1879/converted 1978
Square feet: 475
Baths: 1 full
Fees: $192 per month
Taxes: $3,318 (2017), includes residential exemption because property must be owner-occupied
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