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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.

37 Lancaster Street Cambridge MA – An Avon Hill Masterpiece

37 Lancaster Street Cambridge MA – An Avon Hill Masterpiece.   Old and untouched houses are my weakness.  The less done to a house over the years the happier I am with it.

For years, whenever I walked or drove past 37 Lancaster Street on Avon Hill I would think to myself that one of the many reasons I loved being a real estate agent in Cambridge was that someday I would get to see inside that amazing house.

37 Lancaster Street Cambridge Mass

37 Lancaster Street Cambridge Mass

Well, a few weeks ago, someday finally came. John Petrowsky and Christian Jones of Hammond Real Estate listed the Yerxa-Field House for sale and held an open house for brokers.  Cambridge real estate agents turned out en masse to see the house, a number bringing spouses who, like me, had long dreamed of seeing the inside of this landmark house.

The house was every bit as extraordinary as people had imagined, leaving at least one agent in tears, overcome by its beauty (no – it wasn’t me – I’m not the crying type!).

The reading nook off the living room. An exquisite stained glass window is on the left wall

The reading nook off the living room. An exquisite stained glass window is on the left wall

37 Lancaster Street was built in 1888 for Henry Yerxa and is an example of Shingle Style architecture.  When it was sold to the Field family in 1919 many original furnishings remained with the house, giving us a rare glimpse of how people lived 12o years ago.  Walking through the house it seemed that the children’s books of the 1880s and 1890s that I loved as a girl had come to life.

The two families that have owned the house kept extraordinary care of this masterpiece.  Shades were pulled to prevent sun damage and the lavish finishes on walls and ceilings in room after room are in superb condition.  There are nine different types of wood used for the woodwork throughout the house and it is all in impeccable condition.

Everywhere you look there is incredibly rich detail – far too much too describe here. Window seats, built-ins galore, fine paneling, hand carved details – the house is a feast for the eyes.  Here are a few of my favorite things:

37 Lancaster Street, Cambridge – A Few of Many Fine Features

  • There are ten fireplaces in the house, each with a different fire back, each with a different set of andirons that match the light fixtures in the room.
  • The reading nook off the living room is one of my favorite spaces with a large stained glass window and a window seat to curl up on with a book
  • The laundry room has eight soapstone sinks in a row, each with two brass faucets, and at the end of the row of sinks, a brick reservoir that held the hot water is still intact.
  • There are two wonderful pantries. A third is now a bathroom though the original icebox with its marble shelves remains, now used as storage for towels.
  • Even normally mundane features like door hooks and hinges are over the top – “like fine jewelry” one agent exclaimed when she spotted a particularly fine hook that held the pantry door ajar.
  • My heart almost stopped when I first saw the second reading nook off an upstairs bedroom. This sweet space has a built-in bench opposite a lovely bookcase-flanked fireplace. This is happiness.
  • Best yet – the small square stained glass window in the reading nook that opens up and looks out over the fireplace in the landing downstairs.  What fun it must have been for a child to poke her head out the small window to wave at the adults below!
  • A second floor bath has a painted mural of a river above the vintage fixtures.
  • The carriage house has a row of horse stalls, complete with original raffia fringe trim above the stalls. The tack room has racks for saddles and tack, bearing 1880s patents from a Boston company.

At once grand and charming, the house has beautifully proportioned rooms and an elegant flow.  To walk or drive up to this house and call it home – to wake up and walk out to the beautiful golden oak hall – to sit on a bench and gaze out at the neighboring houses on Avon Hill – the new owners of 37 Lancaster Street will be very fortunate.  It’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Click on the small photo below for more information and additional photographs.

Here’s a peek at the fireplaces at 37 Lancaster Street.  I have lots more photographs to share in another post or two.

37 Lancaster Street, on Avon Hill in Cambridge, MA 02140 is listed for $4,495,000.

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  1. Andrea Swiedler

    Liz, this house is just so beautiful, wow! Thank you, I really enjoyed the tour.

  2. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Andrea! Isn’t it gorgeous?! Really extraordinary and beautifully maintained.

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