A year after The Brynx apartments in Jamaica Plain began leasing, the rehabilitation of this 1920s Shepley Bulfinch building became a recipient of the Mayor Thomas M. Menino Legacy Award at the 2020 Preservation Achievement Awards in October.
Shepley Bulfinch is one of the nation’s oldest architectural firms and has been in business in Boston since the mid 1800s. Inman Square-based PCA was the architect behind the rehabilitation of the original building, the additions, and the new apartment building on the site. The project has been awarded the LEED Gold standard for sustainability.
Preservation Massachusetts presents its awards annually, and the Menino Legacy Award, to quote the organization, “celebrates projects that are transformative, catalytic, embrace the community, create partnerships, and revitalize the best of the past to make something good for the future.”
That’s a pretty fair description of the three-year renovation of this building on South Huntington Avenue, brought back to life by developers Eden Properties and Samuels & Associates, in partnership with Northwestern Mutual Real Estate.
Formerly known as The Goddard House — and originally a nursing rehabilitation home, according to PCA — its future became unsure due to safety concerns because of its extremely narrow footprint at the edge of a 37-foot grade change.
“Originally, the plan was to tear it down, but the Preservation Society and the local community were against it,” said Paige Steinberg, The Brynx’s general manager. “It is the oldest building standing in this neighborhood. The rest have all been torn down,” Steinberg added. “The effort was to try and keep the history of the building.”
To stabilize the property, two buildings were built on either side, neither of which is a match in style.
“It’s a mix of new and old; it’s nostalgic with modern,” said Steinberg. “The finishes are different, but the whole thing has so much old-school charm.”
The Brynx includes 149 apartments with 80 floor plans, ranging from studios to three bedrooms. Some apartments have private outdoor space.
Currently, 33 homes are available, including studios (496 square feet to 757 square feet; $2,000 to $3,050 per month); one-bedrooms (594 square feet to 746 square feet; $2,690 to $3,160 per month); one-bedroom, plus den, (740 square feet to 980 square feet; $3,050 to $3,600 per month); and two-bedrooms (907 square feet to 980 square feet; $3,190 to $4,000 per month).
Parking is extra: Covered is $300 per month; uncovered is $250.
Interiors include stainless-steel appliances and vinyl flooring juxtaposed with the original wrought-iron beams from the 1920s.
Shared amenities include a roof deck looking over the woodland, ponds, and trails of Olmsted Park, part of the Emerald Necklace. Each building has its own Wi-Fi-enabled lounges with TVs, kitchens, and collaborative workspaces.
The Brynx is pet friendly and has an on-site dog run and dog wash; the fitness center includes a climbing wall; and there’s bike storage with a repair area.
The main demographic of residents are Longwood Medical Area workers, Steinberg said.
“They can hop on the path right behind the building and walk to work,” she said. “Generally, our residents want proximity to the city and public transit, but at nights and weekends, they like to unwind without the hustle.”
As for the neighbors, they think The Brynx is a hit, Steinberg said.
“When it was finished, local people would come and see what we did,” she recalled. “They weren’t interested in becoming residents, they just wanted to look at a cool building.”
The Brynx is located at 201 S. Huntington Ave. For more information, call 844-679-5909 or go to TheBrynx.com. The complex is offering two months free on select apartments.
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Correction: Due to reporting errors, a previous version of this story did not mention that PCA was the architect behind the renovation and that Goddard House had previously served as a nursing rehabilitation center. It also cited the wrong organization for the preservation award. Boston.com regrets the errors.