Penthouse perfection in Ashmont Hill condo

In his book Built in Boston, Dorchester-born historian Douglass Shand-Tucci called the three-decker “a fascinating building type, too long overlooked and unsung.” Too beautiful to overlook with its Italianate brackets, columned two-level portico, crowning pediment and colorful paint scheme, the 1899 double three-decker at 18-20 Mellen St. in Dorchester’s historic Ashmont Hill will fascinate you further once you check out No. 20’s penthouse Unit 3 and sing praises for its incredible value.

For a mere $319,000, this 1,242-square-foot, 3-bed floor-through unit gives you all single-family home essentials on one floor. Open floor plans, bow and bay windows, corner exposures, nooks and crannies, granite counters, natural woodwork, built-in cabinets, stained glass and other architectural details come together to create a top-value living experience as relevant today as it was in 1899.

The three-decker’s multiple bay windows create large, livable spaces, including the living room above. Stained glass accents the bay window, a built-in cabinet charmingly encases your books and entertainment center, a tiled fireplace with gas insert warms the space, and doorways connect to the family room and the kitchen, making this space suitable as a dining room.

The family room combines with the living room as one expansive entertaining arena. A handy closet alcove is built into the diagonal wall.

The eat-in kitchen contains a full windowed dining space that is larger than the average kitchen’s breakfast area, suiting it for formal dining as well. The open-walled coat closet alcove beside the window is handy for your dinner party guests to hang up their coats and sit right down to dinner.

Classic custom laminate cabinetry, granite counters, and state-of-the-art appliances are lined up in a galley format, but one that is also elbow-roomier than average.

Another plus is the long, deep pantry with wall-length built-in shelves, a built-in chest of drawers, and an end window — a rarity even in single-family homes.

The unit’s bow windows create spacious bedrooms with generous morning exposure and lots of hardwood floor area for king-size beds, full workstations, bookcases and much more.

The master bedroom boasts its own carved decorative mantel and detailed plaster ceiling medallion. Its front-facing corner exposure lets you wake up to a picturesque view of the historic neighborhood.

A broad doorway connects the master bedroom with the nursery, allowing parents complete vigilance over their newborn while also allowing the baby a cozy but sunny space. The solid wall can be creatively painted with a mural.

Once the baby graduates from the nursery to the second bedroom, the nursery can become a handy home office.

And what a neighborhood to wake up to! Unit 3 is just steps away from Peabody Square, where shopping, restaurants including Ashmont Grill, cafes including Flat Black Coffee, farmer’s markets of fresh flowers and fruits and vegetables, and subway/bus service from the new Ashmont Station are all together in one classic urban square, centered with its original public clock.

For more information on Unit 3 at 20 Mellen St., or to arrange a private showing, call one of CondoDomain’s Boston agents at 617-314-7704. To meet our agents, visit

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A Real Estate Blog by CondoDomain