The Royal Residences
Located in Boston’s South End Historic District, The Royal residences included the adaptation and restoration of two historic structures- the original 19th century headquarters of Royal Arcanum – a fraternal life insurance society, and the adjacent, ca. 1855, five-story brick row house. Both buildings more recently housed the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center shelter. The proceeds from the sale of the buildings enabled the Salvation Army to expand and improve their overnight shelter services. The combined buildings now provide 12 gracious residential units, ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, and a six-car parking garage. The complete gut rehabilitation of the building included historically appropriate energy efficient windows, blown in insulation, high efficiency high velocity HVAC systems and contemporary open floor plans.
(Photo credit: Jane Messinger Photography)
Modern, sustainable systems and luxury kitchens and baths are major features of the renovation. Infill at an existing stair led to whimsical moments where new floors intersected with existing windows.
A large piece of the puzzle was combining 407 Shawmut Avenue, an early 20th century structure designed in the simplified Romanesque revival style, with its neighbor 409 Shawmut Avenue, a large scale South End Row House of the 1840’s and 1850’s. The design approach resolved the multiple levels with a new accessible entry lobby and multi-stop elevator between the two adjacent structures providing private access to each unit.
As a part of the renovation, Finegold Alexander restored the red brick and limestone exteriors. The project also involved stormwater detention below the interior parking area, complete basement waterproofing and renovation for living areas and roof decks with dramatic urban views of Boston’s skyline.