Home of the week: Newtonville condo in a former sanctuary of a Colonial Revival-style church

Buying Open Houses Newton
Newton, MA - 09/13/2016  - The exterior of 391 Walnut Street in Newton, MA, September 13, 2016.  (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)
The Oxford House, a former church, was converted into 11 condos in 2007. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

This story originally appeared in The Boston Globe on September 20, 2016.

Formed from the sanctuary of a Colonial Revival-style church, this condo has neck-craning panache. The ceilings in some rooms soar, and the solid-wood bookcase, stained a rich mahogany, is fit to hold an antiquarian’s most prized collection.

But the most stunning feature preserved during this transition from a gathering place for Christian Scientists into a residence are the tall arched windows. Inset and framed by white trim, they are stunning sources of sunlight and immediately remind you that you are surrounded by history.

This is not a dusty storage space, however; it’s a 21st-century home created when the Oxford House was converted into 11 condos in 2007, a transformation Builder magazine named its top choice for adaptive reuse that year.

See inside 391 Walnut St., Unit 8 in Newtonville:

From the carpeted hallway, the front door opens into an entrance that connects to the kitchen on the right and, straight ahead, the living room, with its lofty ceiling (it has a skylight), recently refinished Brazilian-cherry floor, and three of those brilliant windows. The living room shares a three-sided fireplace with the dining room.

The kitchen, a nicely sized galley style, is off the dining room, but has a pass-through to the living room with a breakfast bar that seats four. The kitchen features dark granite counters, solid-cherry cabinets, and stainless-steel appliances, including a gas stove.

Back out in the living room, a set of French doors on the right leads to a large bedroom used as an office. The focal point is the tall church window, but the room also offers a half bath and a walk-in closet.

A more private section of the condo, found to the left of the entrance, holds the unit’s other two bedrooms and a laundry room. The master, a space of regal dimensions, has its own arched window and high ceiling. Two closets line the walls leading to the en-suite bath, with its limestone shower, soaking tub, and double vanity. The other bedroom has a big closet and an arched window. The home’s second full bath is out in the hall.

In the living room, stairs lead to the second-floor family room, which has that stunning bookcase, a skylight, and a soffit lined with rows of elegant molding.

The everyday entry is on the side of the building near the entrance to the underground garage (one space comes with this condo) and the rear parking lot (a second space). The main entry is an experience: A cast-iron gate opens to a stone courtyard, and four columns lead to a foyer with a black-and-white marble floor.

The co-brokers, Holly Wyner and Marissa Jazmin of Hammond Residential Real Estate in Chestnut Hill, will hold an open house from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Follow John R. Ellement on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Send listings to [email protected]. Please note: We do not feature unfurnished homes and will not respond to submissions we won’t pursue.