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Leafy Retreat Sure To Please In Brookline


From nearly every window in this handsome Arts and Crafts home, branches and leaves are visible, some from overgrown willows, some from other trees and shrubs.

“We get a lot of birds here,” said Rita Towsner, sitting next to her husband, Bob, in their living room at 8 Griggs Terrace. “You could be a million miles from Boston.”

Yet, the place is just a few minutes on foot from busy Coolidge Corner. In fact, the home is nоt even a standalone house — the single-family is part of a row of attached homes that surround Griggs Park, a leafy retreat in downtown Brookline.

On the market for $2.2 million, the 10-room house has an impressive history that explains its location and its distinctive architecture.

Built by Hubert J. Ripley and A. J. Russell in 1908 as part of the park’s development, the row of houses is built in the English Arts and Crafts style, but in a unique form, slightly reminiscent of the Tudor style. The facade is creamy stucco and is punctuated with steeply pitched cross gables covered in slate and decorated with green vergeboard. The place is peppered with narrow multi-pane windows grouped in threes and twos. A big portico with wide concrete columns is at the main entrance.

Inside, the home is adorned with classic interiors complemented by contemporary and Japanese fixtures that were added when the Towsners renovated several rooms in 2005. Covering more than 3,680 square feet, the home is spacious throughout, with hardwood floors, exposed brick in several rooms, fireplaces in the living room and foyer, and a lovely white and wood staircase.

The kitchen, sprawling second-floor bathroom and massive third-floor master bedroom are all spectacular.

In the kitchen, one wall is exposed brick and two others have windows that, when open, let in the water sounds of a pond-like fountain outside. Every luxury was considered: radiant-heated bamboo floors, built-in five-burner stove, two wall ovens, crisper drawer, steamer, wine chiller, and the hot and cold filtered pot filler. There are also four sinks.

The Japanese-style bathroom upstairs has a soaking tub and windows with Shoji-style sliding doors.

Upstairs, the master bedroom is expansive and artful, with high ceilings and windows that overlook the park. The Towsners outfitted the room with custom-made cherry and pear wood furniture.

Rounding out the place are the first-floor living and dining rooms, four second-floor bedrooms and two third-floor offices.

The sale of the home, which also has a deeded garage space and patios, is being handled by Lea Cohen, 617-947-9713.