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As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Cambridge Condos – Bell and Fandetti Townhouses in Cambridge MA

What’s a Bell & Fandetti Townhouse?

Cambridge Bell and Fandetti Townhouse If you’re searching for a home in Cambridge it’s quite likely that you’ll come across a Bell and Fandetti townhouse. There are at least 16 clusters of townhouses around Cambridge designed by architects Douglas Bell and Gerald Fandetti.  The townhouses were built between 1973 and 1981. Their open layout and construction methods lowered building costs at a time when high energy costs were an issue for developers.  While some are deeded as condominiums, most are deeded as fee simple townhouses.  The developments typically consisted of three to eight townhouses with the largest group the 24 townhouses at Lilac Court in East Cambridge.

Most of the townhouses were of  balloon frame construction and sided with wooden clapboards, though several of the buildings have brick exteriors.  Most are built on slabs without basements.

Features of Bell & Fandetti Townhouses

The defining feature of Bell and Fandetti’s buildings was that in most cases the townhouse’s rooms were set apart by level rather than by walls. Rooms were often loft style and open to a main area that soars several stories. Often there is a wood burning fireplace or stove in the living room with a metal chimney that rises through the open area. There is typically a great deal of wood with wood ceilings, railings, and trim unpainted.  The feel of the original style often reminds buyers of a Vermont lodge.  A few of the Bell and Fandetti developments have somewhat more traditional room enclosures and in other cases owners have enclosed rooms over the years.  Many units were designed with a room and bath on the first level that could be used as an office or au paire suite.  Other features often found in these townhouses include:

  • Sliders to a private garden
  • Skylights
  • Decks
  • Some units had garages on the first level

Where Can I Find a Bell & Fandetti Townhouse in Cambridge?

Bell and Fandetti built all over Cambridge.  There are more than a dozen Bell and Fandetti townhouse developments around the city.  Their townhouses can be found in the Agassiz, Cambridgeport, Harvard Square, Riverside, North Cambridge and East Cambridge neighborhoods.

Recent Sales of Bell and Fandetti Townhouses

Many of the Bell and Fandetti townhouse clusters haven’t had a unit turn over in years. When one comes on the market it usually sells quickly.  Recent rents for Bell Fandetti range from $2200 to $4800 depending on size and location. There have been some sales in the last couple of years:

  • A 1527 sq. ft. townhouse at 36 Irving Street with two bedrooms and two baths sold for $779,000 in 2013.
  • A 1356 two-bedroom, two-bath townhouse at 126 Oxford Street that was in need of a total rehab sold for $600,000 in 2013.
  • An 1846 sq. ft. townhouse at 105 Trowbridge Street with three bedrooms and three baths sold for $931,000 in 2013.
  • A Bell Fandetti townhouse with 1+ bedrooms at 47 Cogswell Ave sold for $504,350 in 2013.
  • 42 Valentine Street, a 966 sq. ft. two-bedroom, 1.5 bath townhouse, sold for $5500,000 in 2013.
  • 46 Valentine Street, a 1084 sq. ft. two-bedroom, one-bath townhouse with a renovated kitchen and bath, sold for $632,000 in 2013.
  • An 1191 sq. ft. two-bedroom, 1.5 bath townhouse at 9 Bellis Circle sold for $526,000 in 2014.
  • In 2014 a 17522 sq. ft. two-bedroom, 1.5 bath in the Lilac Court enclave sold for $803,000.

If you would like more information about townhouses in Cambridge I’m just a phone call or email away!

Sales information about Bell & Fandetti townhouses comes from MLSpin.

Categories: Property Info

  1. brian miller

    Hi — Just wanted to say I enjoyed this page and appreciate your work documenting these neighborhoods. And nice website, by the way.

    My wife and I have lived in a Bell and Fandetti since 1992 and thought we knew most of the B&F constructions in Cambridge, but apparently not really. We do love our house, which is tucked away (of course) on Mt Auburn between Athens and Banks.


    Thanks again,
    Brian Miller

  2. Elizabeth Bolton

    Thanks Brian! I was surprised too to find out how many Bell and Fandetti buildings are scattered around Cambridge. They really have a wonderful feel – we toured one at Lilac Court this week and I was reminded again how appealing they are. Your photos are great.

    Liz Bolton

  3. Karen Rockow

    Liz — A friend of mine bought an end unit on Oxford St. in the early ’70’s — for $65K, if I remember correctly. I helped him finish the basement and it became a rental unit. I recall staining the rough ceiling boards, then helping to put them up. I duplicated that in my own livingroom in Vt. many years ago. Now, I can’t recall how we thinned the stain and whether it was a semi-transparent stain or a solid one, and I’d like to contact Doug Bell, since I think we just followed his directions at the time. Do you have an email address for him?

    And is that the Brian Miller of Channel 1 fame?

    — Karen

  4. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Karen ~ $65K – those were the days!

  5. Susan Lake

    Does anyone have any information on how well these townhouses are constructed or if there have been any problems with them through the years? How about heating and cooling? Is it more expensive because of the cathedral ceilings? Thanks!

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