Monday, July 4, 2022
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The Butler’s Pantry Like You’ve got By no means Seen It!



Hello Everybody,

Ahhh… this was imagined to be one publish. Nonetheless, I obtained so into the primary half that the second half must wait till mid-week.

However, what a splendid week it’s been in Boston. The climate’s been improbable, and my pretty son was right here for a short go to as he had a trombone gig.


Cale Israel trombone gigging in Boston June 2022

Gosh, he’s going to be 32 in a couple of days.

Consider it or not, I’m nonetheless engaged on my kitchen design. I’ve usually mentioned that I need it to look extra like a Victorian butler’s pantry.


What’s humorous is that I’m presently sitting in what was this residence’s butler’s pantry when the home was accomplished in 1880.


Again within the day, when these had been all single-family houses, the well-heeled household who owned the complete home did have a employees, together with a butler. In 1880, aside from the few house buildings, the kitchens the place the heavy cooking was completed was within the basement. Sure, the place my bed room is.

Someplace, there was a dumbwaiter that introduced the meals up, after which last preparations had been made within the butler’s pantry.

Since this room was partially seen from the eating room, it will’ve been enticing, albeit nonetheless utilitarian. Nonetheless, the butler’s pantry was additionally the place the household’s fantastic china, silver, and different valuables had been saved. It was the butler’s job to make sure that it was taken care of.


Within the final yr and a half, I’ve made a half-hearted try at discovering the ORIGINAL floorplan of my residence’s first ground (parlor degree).


I need to confirm what I consider to be true about this home earlier than it was minimize up into 5 separate houses.

The homes within the Again Bay commenced round 1860; nevertheless, I’ve found that it wasn’t till 1880 that anybody thought to maintain information of the unique architectural drawings. However, not the entire houses in-built 1880 and past have the paperwork. These are held on the Boston Public Library, I consider.

My home was constructed by a well-liked architect, Samuel D. Kelley.

I learn that Mr. Kelley designed over 150 homes in Again Bay. Nonetheless, whereas prolific, he wasn’t identified for doing something notably revolutionary or jaw-dropping. In different phrases, he was an early forerunner of the custom-home-builder-developer.


Right now, I had a lightbulb second.


Since we all know that Mr. Kelley was just about “phoning it in” (with a type of newfangled devices), I figured that there are most likely a number of houses in Boston’s Again Bay which might be just like my home. And, perhaps one among these has a ground plan.

Properly, as you’ve most likely found out, I hit paydirt very early whereas looking the record of homes in Again Bay Homes designed by Samuel Dudley Kelley.

Dudley??? Actually???


Samuel-d.-Kelley-architect-comm-252-basement-and-first-floor-plans-1880 - butler
I’m presuming these aren’t building drawings. Nonetheless, if they’re, it will clarify why a number of the unique options in my residence are disconcertingly off-center.

Within the above instance, this home has a bonus basement (backyard) plan. It’s almost equivalent to my home, besides it’s the reverse. As anticipated, that awkward door to my bed room, which must get moved, was an unique entrance into what was initially the kitchen.

Samuel d. Kelley architect comm-252-basement-and-first-floor-plans-1880 reverse floor plan
No drawback. I can flip the picture.


The one distinction here’s a minor one with the location of the again staircase and the configuration of the primary staircase. Nonetheless, I discovered one other residence, additionally in reverse, that’s even nearer to mine, besides there isn’t a bay window within the eating room.


Kelley architect - marl-230-first-floor-plan-1880 reverse

The one different distinction is that the again staircase really runs below the primary staircase. The place the steps are in these two houses is the place my 2nd rest room is situated. Nonetheless, it is sensible to place the steps the place these are for direct entry to the butler’s pantry.

However, the place the reception space is, my kitchen is situated.

And, there’s the massive doorway, previously resulting in the eating room, however is now my front room. The home windows are the identical, too.


For comparability, beneath are a few different ground plans by architects who are usually not phoning it in and are identified for his or her good work.


305 Commonwealth Ave-first-and-second-peabody-and-stearns-188 - butler

Above is 305 Commonwealth Ave., accomplished in 1887. The architectural agency was Peabody and Stearns. Please word that on this case, the butler’s pantry was known as the “china closet.” And sure, it additionally included a vault.

Yet one more.


306 Dartmouth St-peabody-stearns-first-floor

Peabody and Stearns additionally designed 306 Dartmouth Avenue. It’s a nook mansion that has not too long ago been going by way of a large renovation. I took some photographs of it final spring and the beautiful greenhouse. You possibly can see the whole set of architectural plans right here.

As you may see, they’re fairly fragile and I perceive that they’re obtainable on the Boston Public Library. I consider one must make an appointment to see them, however we aren’t allowed to the touch them.



By the way in which, I simply took a take a look at that publish from final spring, and when you have got an opportunity, please take a look at 169 Commonwealth Ave.


I walked previous it the opposite evening, and my eyeballs almost fell out of my head, as a result of the structure is to not be believed and the kitchen is attractive too!


Maureen O’Hara was additionally my realtor. She’s superior! And so is Wendy Oleksiak!

Let’s zero in on that stunning pantry at 306 Dartmouth Avenue.


306 Dartmouth St. Butler


Once more, it’s known as the china closet.


306 Dartmouth Street Boston, MA Spring 2022

Coincidentally, I took one other image of 306 Dartmouth Avenue two months in the past when the early spring timber bloomed.

When you’re , please examine 306 Dartmouth Avenue which is true across the nook from me. It is a hyperlink to it in Again Bay Homes. They actually have a picture from 1875 displaying the newly constructed residence and vacant tons throughout it!


Talking of intestine renovations, a few weeks in the past, I used to be on my solution to a gathering and strolling down Comm Ave.


haha. You’re not allowed to the touch the outside of our Boston Again Bay Beauties, however apparently, it’s okay to disembowel them.

I needed to do a little bit of sleuthing, however I did work out that these addresses are 260 and 262 Commonwealth Ave.

260 Comm Ave via Back Bay Houses

Above is a picture through Again Bay Homes earlier than their innards had been extracted.


On a hunch, I simply needed to test.


And, sure, Samuel Dudley Kelley was certainly the unique architect. This isn’t the primary time one among his buildings obtained hit with a sledgehammer.


he sisters 128-130 Commonwealth AveBoston Christmas 2021


Quantity 128 and 130 not solely had an exterior facelift, however the inside additionally had a intestine renovation. (There’s a stunning daytime shot on this publish earlier than I moved to Boston.) Nonetheless, I don’t suppose they took down the entire partitions once they redid the “sisters” about 110 years in the past.

Just like the title mentioned, the butler’s pantry such as you’ve by no means seen it. All of them at present are in plan view. However, I promise to share some precise rooms.

Half II with some genuinely spectacular butler’s pantries is coming Wednesday. And, perhaps one other shock or two.


PS: Please take a look at the newly up to date HOT SALES!



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