Real estate


Mayor White’s childhood home hits market

12 Ruskin St., West Roxbury; $1,200,000

John Tlumacki/Globe staff
Kevin White’s family has owned the home for 78 years.

There used to be a stained-glass window in the stairwell of this West Roxbury house, but an errant baseball fired by the late mayor Kevin White when he was about 10 put a crashing end to it. And now 78 years of ownership by White’s family, which began in the mayor’s childhood, is ending, and the home is on the market.

“We’ve had a remarkable life here,’’ said Carole White, the mayor’s sister-in-law and the agent selling the home, “and lots of fun, too.’’ Mayor White died in 2012 at the age of 82.

This home still proudly bears the broad wooden porch, an inviting welcome into this Queen Anne Victorian. Stepping into the entry poses a multiple-choice quandary: Straight leads to the kitchen, a sharp right goes to a sunny library with built-in bookshelves and views of the porch and street, and bearing right takes you to a living room created inside the curving walls and windows of the turret. Solid-oak pocket doors separate the living room from a hallway and the dining room, where a working fireplace, a small built-in china cabinet, doors to the back sitting porch, and the absence of decorative molding create a formal-yet-comfortable atmosphere.


Off the dining room, a short hallway with a working fireplace leads to the kitchen, a large rectangle with cabinetry lining the walls and countertops of green Formica. The appliances are stainless steel, and the sink is positioned beneath a picture window. The kitchen has enough space to put a four-person table before the door leading to the porch and the flat backyard of this 0.29-acre property. A set of morning stairs offers a way to scurry upstairs in your bathrobe if guests arrive unexpectedly.

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An updated bath and an alcove with a laundry setup complete the first floor.

A curving stairwell in the entryway with its original carved newel posts leads to the second floor. There is no master suite, but the largest bedroom is in the turret, which creates a crown of natural light on three sides of a queen-sized bed. Its walk-in closet is a welcome surprise in a Victorian.

There are three other bedrooms on this level; two are more than comfortable in size. The third is perfect for a nursery. All three have great closet space. The full bath they share — new this year — features a marble vanity and ceramic tiles on the floor and in the surround on the frameless shower.

A carpeted stairwell leads to the attic, home to three bedrooms. Two of them are quite sizable, and all get lots of natural light. This level is plumbed for a bathroom.


The flooring throughout the house is a mixture of hardwoods, some original to the home. Ceilings on the first floor are 11 feet and only slightly lower on the two upper levels. The basement is unfinished, but a room there has served as a “clubhouse” for two generations, family members said.

Carole White of Century 21/Carole White Associates in West Roxbury will hold an open house on Sunday, June 26, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.



Style: Victorian

Year built: 1880

Square feet: 3,040

Bedrooms: 7

Baths: 2 full

Sewer/water: Public

Taxes: $8,131 (2016)

John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The front porch
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The foyer and hallway
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The living room
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The window that replaced the stained-glass piece former mayor Kevin White broke playing baseball.
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The kitchen has green Formica counters and stainless-steel appliances.
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The fireplace in the dining room works.
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The main staircase
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The master
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
Updates in the second-floor bath include a frameless shower.
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The back sitting porch
John Tlumacki/Globe staff
The back of the 0.29-acre property

John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Send listings to Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue.