House of the Day: 259 Decatur Street


The limestone at 259 Decatur Street is one of the most spectacular houses we’ve seen in a long time. Designed by distinguished architects Axel Hedman and Magnus Dahlander (a household name in his native Sweden) in the Renaissance Revival style, it was built in 1895 by Eli Bishop. It is landmarked.

An estate sale that by all accounts has been empty for some time, it looks like it needs a lot of work but also has a very high level of finishes and unusual details we’ve never seen before.

For starters, the unusually elaborate panelling in the entrance hall is decorated with neoclassical motifs of wreaths and boughs and inset with stained glass. There is a mirror with hat and coat hooks and two benches.

In the front parlor, there are neoclassical swags on the stained glass windows and more neoclassical detail on the pier mirror. The screen that divides the front and middle parlors has an unusual and elaborate foliated design with a shield.

Most remarkably, the middle parlor contains two stained glass panels flanking a mirror on top of more panelling. We’ve never seen that before; it looks like a church. The gas light hanging there looks original, or at least of the period.

In the rear parlor is a fireplace with an onyx surround and the wall of built-in shelves that is typical in this style of house. The ceiling in the top floor bathroom looks like it may have water damage from the roof; we hope the house doesn’t have extensive water damage. Wall registers show the house had forced-air heat, so it would be easy to retrofit with central air.

We hope whoever buys the property will be able to give it the lavish, high-end restoration it deserves.

Click through to the jump to see a floor plan. An open house is planned for Sunday from 1 to 2 pm. The ask is $1,699,000 with all cash or at least 40 percent down. Think they’ll get it?

Update: The house was an estate sale. Now it’s a flip. It sold for $875,000 in February to an LLC, as a commenter below notes.

259 Decatur Street [Keller Williams] GMAP

259 Decatur Floor Plan

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