Home of the Week: At house of late potato baron, all eyes are on marble tiles, floors with mahogany inlays

Home of the Week
The master bedroom features a decorative fireplace, hardwood flooring with inlays, and stained glass -- some of it original to the house.
The master bedroom features a decorative fireplace, hardwood flooring with inlays, and stained glass -- some of it original to the house. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

295 Washington Ave., Unit 2, Chelsea


Style: Condo

Year built: 1888/converted 1989

Square feet: 1,883

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 2 full

Sewer/water: Public

Condo fee: $442.25 a month

Taxes: $3,983 (2017)

The original owner of this property, C. Henry Kimball, invented a heated railcar for hauling his potatoes and championed the rights of small stockholders, and now his 19th-century Queen Anne Victorian is home to four condos.

The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but there are no restrictions on its renovation, according to the listing broker, Jamie Cholette of East Boston-based Boston Harbor Real Estate.

The private entry to Unit 2 is from a richly detailed, broad porch, where the wooden posts are carved to look like flowers at their bases and the double doors were restored to their natural mahogany finish. The doors open into a foyer that immediately says two things about this home: It was built to last, and it has been restored with great care. The original woodwork has been retained in the entryway — including turned finials atop the banisters that look like carved beehives. Off the foyer is a small room with original cabinetry, former butler’s quarters that could serve as a study. The flooring in these spaces is fireclay.

Two flights of stairs lead to the unit itself and the main hall, from which all the major living spaces radiate. Here is the first glimpse of the home’s amazing original wood floors, oak with mahogany inlays. In the hallway, oak squares in a light finish are nestled amid mahogany inlays, evoking the look of clasped hands.

In the living room, the walls have three-quarter-height raised-panel wainscot. This detail and the room’s coffered ceiling (once hidden under paint) are mahogany, richly bathed in the light from a bay window. The ceilings throughout most of the unit are 10 feet, 3 inches high. The flooring is oak with a foot-wide mahogany inlay in a geometric design that is possibly Celtic inspired.

The largest of the three bedrooms is in the front corner of the unit and features a sitting area in the home’s turret, where three large, curved windows are topped by rectangles of stained glass believed to be original to the home. Above the bed sits a stained-glass medallion, a replacement chosen to match the originals. A decorative fireplace with a wooden mantel and what may be Chelsea tile around the firebox sits across the room from double closets, one of which is cedar. The flooring is multi-hued squares of oak with mahogany inlays.

The second bedroom, which is slightly smaller, has a decorative fireplace with the original wooden mantel and a fireclay tile surround in a floral pattern. The third bedroom, the smallest of the three, is crowned by a bow window and currently staged as an office. The flooring matches the pattern in the hallway.

Not every room underwent restorative preservation. The kitchen and the two full baths are 21st century — and, honestly, who would want those rooms untouched by time?

In contrast to the dark mahogany rippling through most of the unit, the two baths are light in color. The floors are white Carrara marble, as are the tub and shower surrounds. The cabinetry, however, is topped with a contrasting black and gray granite. The first bath, which has only a shower, is off the main hall, while the second is adjacent to the kitchen at the rear of the house and houses a stacked laundry setup.

The kitchen is a bit of a hybrid — solid-wood cabinets stained a dark cherry mixed with white quartz counters. The space has a two-tier breakfast bar, and the appliances are stainless steel, as is the hood vent above the five-burner gas range.

An assigned off-street parking space comes with the unit.

The broker’s website is There will be an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1.

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. Subscribe to our newsletter at