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The French School Condominiums – 69 Harvey Street, Cambridge MA 02140

French School Condominums in Cambridge MAThe French School Condos at 69 Harvey Street, Cambridge MA occupy a handsome brick building constructed in 1900.  The building was converted to condominiums in 1989. There are sixteen condos in the association – four units on each of the four floors. A wide staircase with shallow steps rises through the building – there is no elevator. Condos at the French School range in size from 989 sq.ft. to 1390 sq.ft.

Condo layouts vary but are open and loft-like. Most have exposed brick walls. The windows are large and ceilings high – appealing features often found in schoolhouse conversions. The condominiums have in-unit laundry and off street parking.

History of the French School

69 Harvey Street Cambridge MA was built by the French Canadian community in North Cambridge in 1900. Built to house the Notre Dame de Pitie School, the building became a convent in 1916 when the school moved to a new facility at Rindge and Sargent Streets. The building was once again converted in 1961 when it became a manufacturing facility.

The French School Neighborhood and Location

French School - Facade Detail

French School – Facade Detail

Harvey Street is a one-way street running west off Mass Ave in North Cambridge. Harvey Street intersects Massachusetts Avenue at the point where the bike path to Davis Square crosses the Avenue. Davis Square is just a short walk away via the bike path. There you’ll find the Davis Square T stop, the Somerville Theatre, and a variety of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.  More shops and restaurants line Mass Ave all the way into Arlington or towards Porter Square and Harvard Square.

In the other direction, the Alewife T station – the first (or last!) stop on the Red Line T is not far since Harvey Street ends at Russell Field across from the T station. One of several cohousing communities in Cambridge, Cornerstone Cohousing, built in 2000-2001, is at 175 Harvey Street. In spring you can meet your neighbors at the North Cambridge open studios tour.

Recent Real Estate Sales at the French School Condominiums

There haven’t been many sales at 69 Harvey Street.  A top floor condo with two bedrooms and two baths sold for $519,000 in 2012.  A unit with an atypical layout for the French School – over 2300 square feet on the first floor and lower level – sold for $500,000 in 2013.

If any condos are available at the French School they’ll show below.  Or you can see all the condos on the market in Cambridge right now. And if you dream of living in a converted school give me a call – I can help.  Liz Bolton – 617-504-1737


Sales information for 69 Harvey St Cambridge MA from MLSpin.  Post written by Elizabeth Bolton, ReMax Destiny, Cambridge MA.

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Carr Schoolhouse Condos in Somerville MA – Atherton Street Condominiums

The condominiums in the Carr School at 25 Atherton Street in the Spring Hill neighborhood of Somerville are my favorite schoolhouse condos.  The interior hallways and stairwells are the best preserved I’ve seen with golden oak wainscoting and wide oak stairwells.  The huge windows, high ceilings (maybe 12 feet), transom windows over the doors, and blackboards nad cubbies in many units add to the schoolhouse vibe.  I went to elementary school in a similar building – the Dale Street School in Medfield, MA – and when I walk through the Carr Schoolhouse I can just imagine the schoolkids filling the halls between classes.

Carr School Condos in Somerville Massachusetts The History of the Carr School

The Martin S. Carr School was built in 1898 as an elementary school with fourteen classrooms. The school was named in honor of Martin S. Carr, a successful Somerville manufacturer who was active in City government serving over the years as Alderman, City Councilor, and member of the School Committee. Carr’s factory, in buildings now converted to lofts in Davis Square, manufactured jewelry, novelties, and metal ware.  The handsome school building was built of red brick in the Renaissance Revival style.  The Carr School was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

The Carr School sits across the street from one of Somerville’s historic landmarks – Robinson’s Round House.

Condominiums at the Carr Schoolhouse

Interior at the Carr Schoolhouse Condos in Somerville MAThe City of Somerville closed the Carr School in 1980.  The building was sold to a developer who converted it to residential use.  It was initially a rental building and subsequently converted to condos.

Today there are 20 condominiums in the Carr School.  There are studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedroom condos on three floors plus a lower level.  Condos on the top floor have the attic space above the units deeded to their units and at least one owner has expanded into that space. Residents enjoy off street parking in the lot to the side of the building.

Real Estate Sales at the Carr School

There have only been a couple of sales at the Carr School in the last five years.  Most recently, a beautiful unit on the first floor with two bedrooms and one bath (and an original blackboard!) sold for $521,000 in 2014.

The Carr Schoolhouse Condos are located at 25 Atherton Street, Somerville MA 02143 

If there is a condo available at 25 Atherton Street it will show below.  Or you can search for Somerville condos for sale to see what’s on the market right now.  Want to live in a schoolhouse condo? Call me – I can help! Liz Bolton 617-504-1737. 


Vintage View of the Carr School in Spring Hill

Vintage View of the Carr School in Spring Hill









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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.

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Condos, Condos Everywhere – Arlington Condominiums

Arlington, MA Condominium Buildings and Styles

New residents of Arlington, MA are drawn to the town for its restaurants and shops, the parks, the Minuteman Bike Path, the proximity to Boston and more. Not quite the suburbs – not quite the city – just right for many. And if you’re in the market for a condo, Arlington has a wide variety of choices.  Here’s an idea of some of the condominiums you’ll find in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Classic Brick Buildings

The Irvington Condos in Arlington

The Irvington Condominiums

The Irvington on Pleasant Street and the condos at 230 Massachusetts Avenue are two examples of classic early 1900s buildings that were converted to condominiums.  The units are charming with high ceilings, hardwood floors, period detail and even, at the Irvington, fireplaces.  A one-bedroom unit was recently listed at 230 Mass Ave for $229,900.  The most recent sale at the Irvington was five-room, two-bedroom condo that sold for $400,900 in 2006.

Arlington also has two old brick school buildings that have been converted to condominiums – the Cutter School on School Street and the Locke School on Park Avenue.  The Cutter School was converted to condos in the 1980s and many of the units have interesting layouts. A two-bedroom at the Cutter School closed for $380,000 in Fall 2008. Many of the units at the Locke School have super high ceilings and those amazing, large schoolhouse windows. A one-bedroom condo with renovated kitchen sold for $315,000 in 2008.

Arlington Condo Buildings from the 1960s to the 1980s

Arlington has a number of good-sized condominium complexes in buildings that date from the 1960s to the 1990s.  Many of the buildings have elevators, most have parking. Some can seem a bit dated but are still on the modern end of the spectrum of Massachusetts housing.  In Massachusetts “modern” can often mean the 1970s when compared to much of the housing stock.  Some of the choices include:

Colonial Village was built as apartments in the early 1960s and is close to Arlington’s swimming hole -the Arlington Reservoir or “Res”.  There are 144 one and two-bedroom condos spread out in a dozen buildings (12 x 12 – a gross!).  A two-bedroom with the original kitchen and bath sold quickly – it closed 20 days after it was listed – for $158,000 in 2009. Looks like that was a bargain – other units on the second or third floor have sold for more.  The complex has an outdoor pool and parking.

The Brentwood in Arlington Center was built in the 1970s and has more than 100 units.  A 4th floor one-bedroom condo at the Brentwood is currently listed for $199,000.  The lobby has a retro feel and there’s an elevator in the building.

The Millbrook Condominiums were built in 1971 and are on Mass Ave not far from the Blue Ribbon Diner. The association consists of two buildings – one in front with traditional layouts and balconies and another set back from the street with loft-style units. These condos have a two-story living room and stairs to a balcony bedroom with adjacent bath. I’ll never forget my first visit to the Millbrook Condominiums.  It was spring and though the sliders were all closed the sound of the rushing water from the brook was mesmerizing.  It reminded me of one of my favorite stream-side camping sites from childhood and I was sold – someday I’ll sell all my stuff and retire to a one-bedroom at the Millbrook.  A brook-side unit sold for $235,000 in 2008.

Spy Pond Condos

Spy Pond Condos

The Spy Pond Condominiums on Hamilton Road were built in the 1980s.  The condo buildings are flanked by the bike path on one side and Spy Pond on the other. Pond-side units have beautiful views of the lake and picnic tables for residents sit by the shore. The most recent sale was a one-bedroom on the bike-path side that sold for $207,000 in 2008.  The last pond-side penthouse two-bedroom to come on the market sold for $535,000 in 2005.

Watermill Place was built in 1988 and has over 100 units.   These condos have central air conditioning, in-unit laundry, garage parking for many units, and a fitness room with exercise equipment.  Two Watermill Place condominiums are currently on the market – a one-bedroom for $259,000 and a two-bedroom for $319,900.

Condominiums in Multi-Family Buildings

Many of Arlington’s condominiums have been created by converting multi-families into condos.  Condo buyers will find varying levels of quality in these units – some will be close to rental quality, some have undergone modest renovations, and others have been gutted and renovated with quality finishes.  These buildings were usually constructed between the mid to late 1800s through the 1930s but renovations can transform them into units that will meet the standards of buyers who prefer more modern condos styles and amenities.   Condos in two and three unit wood frame buildings typically have between two and four bedrooms, with the larger units usually found on the second and third floors of two-families.   The diversity of quality and size is reflected in the sales prices which ranged in 2008 from $193,500 to $725,000.

New Construction – Arlington Adds to the Condo Inventory

The real estate boom of the last few years meant that a number of new condo developments were built in Arlington.  New condo complexes include:

Russell Place is a forty-unit development built in 2002 in Arlington Center near the bike path.  There’s a variety of styles among the units – townhouses, flats and lofts. A two-bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse sold in 2008 for $530,000.

Avenue 264, a 27-unit condo building, was built on Massachusetts Avenue near the Capitol Theatre in 2005. The building has an elevator and the condos have central a/c, hardwood floors, in-unit washer/dryer, and garage parking.  A two-bedroom, two-bath condo sold in 2008 for $415,000.

A few blocks further down Mass Ave at the corner of Mill Street a development of 19 free standing townhouse condos, Heritage Square, was built in 2004. A three-bedroom townhouse on Mass Ave sold for $610,000 in 2008 and earlier in the year a larger unit on Mill Street sold for $675,000.

There’s something for every condo buyer in Arlington, including many more buildings than you see here.  If you would like more information about Arlington condominiums remember – I’m just a phone call or email away!

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