A Tiffany-designed home is for sale in Boston’s Back Bay.
The Ayer Mansion is the only known surviving example of a house designed from its inception by Louis Comfort Tiffany — an artist best known for this work in stained glass and Art Deco lamps — and it comes at a price: LandVest/Christie’s International Real Estate has it listed at $17,000,000.
And it also comes with a caveat: That price turns the key in the door to this 1902 bow-front Beaux Arts-inspired five-story (plus basement level) mansion built for Boston merchant Frederick Ayer, a wealthy mill owner who headed American Woolen Co. But turning this gem into a home will require much more, because although it is on the National Register of Historic Places, the building was used as a girl’s dormitory until 2020.
Still, the home has an elegant façade with bright mosaic detail, and the ground floor and some areas on the second remain in tact, with glasswork, wood paneling, and fire surrounds of intricate detail. The property is located on Commonwealth Avenue, with a second entrance backing onto Marlborough Street.
“There’s nothing like it in the world,” said Ruth Kennedy Sudduth, vice chair at LandVest/Christie’s International Real Estate.
To help potential buyers reimagine the building, LandVest/Christie offers renderings created by Hacin + Associates and Neoscape, a Seaport-based creative agency, to reimagine the Ayer Mansion with six bedrooms, 12 baths, and multiple living areas — from a dining room to a fitness room and from home offices to a guest suite. There are also renderings for a terrace, a roof deck, and an underground two-car garage.
The new owner would have the best of both worlds: historic preservation of Tiffany’s original design and the fixtures and the freedom to create a bespoke modern home in the heart of Boston.
“When you think of a Tiffany lamp selling for millions of dollars and this is a Tiffany house,” said Sudduth. “It will take deep pockets and imagination, but it’s a great canvas for someone to make a fantastic life here.”
The Ayer Mansion is located at 395 Commonwealth Ave.
Listing agents Ruth Kennedy Sudduth and Greta Gustafson