Cambridge’s Henry Van Brunt House, known as a prime example of Queen Anne Victorian and Stick-style architecture, has hit the market for $14,950,000.
Located at 167 Brattle St. in one of Cambridge’s most desirable neighborhoods outside Harvard Square, the 8,021-square-foot home is as grand in history as it is in style. Architect Henry Van Brunt designed the five-bedroom, nine-bath home to be his own residence in 1883. Van Brunt was known for his work on several landmarks, including Memorial and Weld halls at Harvard University and First Church of Boston in the Back Bay.
Fully renovated to its authentic historic nature, the home functions as a private sanctuary right in the middle of Cambridge. Step onto the peaceful front porch with a large sitting area and elaborate turned posts and through double doors into the foyer, where rich black walnut wainscoting (that hides the coat closet) sits under coffered ceilings inset with leather panels. Another hidden door reveals a powder room with Moroccan tiles. Back in the foyer, a grand staircase features a geometric, turn-of-the-century window with stained glass salvaged from a building in Chicago.
The vintage kitchen is pristinely restored to blend period style with modern efficiency, all under a Victorian stained-glass lightbox. There’s a teak island with bar seating, a copper farmer’s sink with bronze faucets, granite counters, reclaimed chestnut flooring, and a door to the bluestone patio. The home also offers a separate breakfast room with a bay window and built-in desks made from an antique library table, as well as a formal dining room with a period silver chandelier, black walnut wainscotting, and a swinging door to the butler’s pantry.
“Every single knob, lightswitch, and door handle was specifically picked to stick with the Victorian time period but to make it a 21st-century amenity house,” said Gina Brennan of C. Brendan Noonan & Co, who has the listing. It’s absolutely gorgeous.”
In the spacious primary wing, the owner bedroom has a corner fireplace (one of six) and an expansive bathroom with the original claw-foot tub, a steam shower, and onyx sinks and countertops. There’s also an office with the original mantel and a gas fireplace that offers the perfect space to work from home, and the four remaining bedrooms have en-suite baths.
The home offers a second staircase, as well as a third-floor suite with its own kitchen. A playroom with vaulted ceilings could function as the ultimate hang-out spot for kids. The lower level has a home gym, an additional rumpus room with monkey bars, and a vaulted brick wine cellar with limestone flooring that accommodates 2,500 bottles.
Surrounded by period gardens and lush landscaping, there are several outdoor living areas. A stone patio has a built-in gas grill and leads out to a flat, grassy front yard surrounded by mature trees that offer a sense of privacy right in the heart of Cambridge. The two-car garage was formerly a horse stable.
While Van Brunt designed the mansion for himself, he didn’t get to enjoy it very long. By 1887, he had decamped for Kansas City, where he went on to design several civic landmarks. He did return to Cambridge, however, and is buried at Cambridge Cemetery. But for any buyer looking to live in grandeur right in Cambridge, 167 Brattle St. could be the perfect home.
“It has to be someone who truly appreciates it, from the copper-lined gutters to the water fountain,” said Brennan, noting that the home received a 2006 Preservation Award for its authentic restoration.
See more photos of the home below: