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Appleton House

Beacon Hill

The Appleton House is one of a set of twin, red brick, bowfront townhouses located in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood overlooking Boston Common. This stately townhouse was designed by architect Alexander Parris in 1817 & built for prominent Bostonian Nathan Appleton in 1821. In 1977, the townhouse was designated a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

In 2019, new owners purchased the property and embarked on extensive improvements to the street, courtyard and rooftop gardens. The owners desired a strengthened connection between indoor and outdoor space and an updated program for the historic property. Drawing inspiration from the historic, architectural and neighborhood context, the design incorporates an ornamental lattice structure, a classic plant palette, and granite paving and walls to create an urban oasis, humanistic in scale and proportion. 

The transformation begins at the front entry, where the main façade is a feature of prominent Beacon Street. The refined plant selection of boxwood and hydrangea complements the stonework and metalwork to emphasize the historic architecture. Moving to the interior of the home, the front entry begins an enfilade that terminates in the courtyard. The courtyard, framed with decorative lattice panels, features a seating group set beneath the dappled shade of canopy trees. On the roof top, boxwood hedges, zinc planters, and a custom fire table create a series of outdoor living spaces, culminating with sweeping views of the Boston skyline.

Collaborators: Grassi Design Group, Metric Construction, Michael S. Coffin; Photographer: Neil Landino

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