Vendome
The Vendome was one of the first buildings in the Back Bay. Photo by Narin Oun

If you’ve ever dreamed about truly living amongst Boston history, here's your chance, as one of the city’s most interesting and historic buildings just hit the market.

 

Located at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street, the Vendome is a visually striking, 6-story building with a white facade and a fascinating background. The eastern section of the Vendome, with its notable Mansard roof, was designed by Harvard-educated architect William G. Preston and built in 1871. Added on in 1881, the western section was designed by partners J.F. Ober and R. Rand, giving the building two distinctly unique sides. It was one of the earliest buildings erected in the Back Bay area after the marshy land was filled throughout the 1800s

 

Originally a hotel, the Vendome was an early “hot spot” in the city and visited by many notable names in its day. It was even the first commercial building in Boston to feature electric light. Presidents, foreign leaders and authors visiting Boston stayed there throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, until tragedy struck.

 

The Vendome reportedly experienced four small fires in the 1960s, but an entire section of it collapsed in what was the most fatal firefighting tragedy in Boston’s history to date. The 1972 blaze took the lives of nine Boston firefighters and injured eight, caused by building renovations during the Vendome’s transition from a hotel to condominiums. The fire began between the third and fourth floors and caused five stories to collapse. A bronze monument to the firefighters who lost their lives can be found on the Commonwealth Mall across the street from the building.

 

After the fire, the Vendome underwent extensive renovations and repairs to restore it to the glorious Back Bay building we see today. It’s now home to more than 100 residential condominiums, many featuring 11-foot ceilings and decorative fireplaces. Ideally located just steps from Newbury Street, the Esplanade, the Public Garden, Back Bay Station and Copley Square, the Vendome boasts 24/7 doorman service, professional on-site management, plus a newly-renovated lobby.

The current unit for sale, apartment 503, is a one bed, one bath with approximately 1,177 square feet and the potential to be turned into a two bed. Oversized south-facing windows give residents a clear view of the John Hancock Tower and the Old South Church. The marble fireplace and parquet floors pay homage to classic Boston and are perfectly married to today’s desirable amenities, like a walk-in closet and ample office space. Listed for sale at $1,095,000, the condo is an opportunity to live in a building rich with history while still enjoying modern upgrades.