After 40 years of service to Boston’s North End as a public school, followed by service to the U.S. Army as housing for troops and prisoners of war during World War II and 45 years as a Catholic central high school, the old Christopher Columbus High School at 20 Tileston St. was renovated into 34 luxury condominiums in the mid-1990s by ACS Development Corp., Grazado/Velleco Architects and Martini Construction.
Unit PH4, a 1,440-square-foot, 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath duplex penthouse offered at $1,295,000, offers a light-filled loft lifestyle in sharp contrast to the Georgian Revival architecture of the 1903 building. Cathedral ceilings, skylights, oversized windows, two large private decks and an open floor plan let you plan your living space freely, unconstrained by old-school rules and limits.
Especially in the deep sweep of the living-dining room, which extends from a contemporary kitchen at one far end to a classic fireplace at the other, taking in a broad city panorama along the way. Each end accesses a long, deep deck where your dinner-party or cocktail guests can make the most of that vista as they eat, drink and be merry. Skylights further intensify the natural light the wall of windows and glass doors brings in.
The open kitchen has the latest in gourmet design and fashion: Absolute Black granite counters including a central island, custom white cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances, including a Viking dual-range gas stove and a GE dishwasher.
Just look at how far-reaching the family room is, offering plenty of shelf space for books, curios and a state-of-the-art entertainment center, plus alcoves for alternate uses, such as a home office and a play area that let you keep an eye on your family as you and they go about your business. The deck access is another bonus.
The loft office on the upper floor is simultaneously soaring and sequestered, with its alcove of bookcases and a long built-in desk brightened by skylights.
The luxurious master bedroom has a magnificent en suite bath tiled in travertine and appointed with a granite-topped vanity with farmer’s sink.
The well-landscaped and maintained gated courtyard is one among several common building amenities. These include a weekday concierge, on-site garage parking (two deeded spaces for Unit PH4), private basement storage (a 5-by-15-by-9.5-foot room for Unit PH4) and professional management by Mediate Management Company. The building is pet-friendly as well.
Situated in the heart of Boston’s oldest neighborhood, 20 Tileston St. is steps away from historic Freedom Trail sites, including the Paul Revere House museum and Old North Church. Also nearby is a rich array of Italian restaurants and cafes along Hanover Street, fine craftsmanship instruction at North Bennet Street School, and a pleasant stroll along the Rose Kennedy Greenway to shopping and dining aplenty at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.