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14 Sherman and 19 + 21 Winslow: Contemporary Condos in West Cambridge

Recently, I checked out the three new free-standing condominiums at 14 Sherman Street and 19 & 21 Winslow, listed with Wayne M. Dziedzic. Campbell Ellsworth, the project's architect and developer, served as my tour guide.

14 Sherman, $790,00. (Now SOLD.) This 1869 home has been newly restored. It features 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, parking for one car, a deck off the dining area as well as a balcony off the master bedroom suite. The open plan main living level is breathtaking. Large-scale windows allow for lots of natural light, as do French sliding doors opening onto the deck. The kitchen is nicely tucked to one side, granting the main living space an even more open feeling. Upstairs are three bedrooms and two full baths. The flexible lower level space includes a laundry room, a full bath, and a large open room.

19 Winslow Street, $724,900 & 21 Winslow Street, $769,900 (both now under accepted offer) These newly built free-standing contemporary condos are a lot like the two attached residences Campbell Ellsworth built outside of Inman Square at 263-265 Norfolk in 2008 (one of which I sold). Those generated a lot of interest and sold quickly. 19 & 21 Winslow each offer four levels of living, including two bedrooms plus a study, 2.5 bathrooms. Distinguishing features of each residence include the following: - Many windows in a variety of shapes and sizes more in keeping with modern European sensibilities. - Colorful bathrooms: red and orange are the defining colors here for most of the tile work. - Top floor master suite featuring a private balcony. - Private outdoor area. - Parking for one car.

In the April 11, 2010 Spring House Hunt section of the Boston Globe, Globe correspondent Aubin Tyler has an article entitled "It may not be easy, but being 'green' sells." This article features the residences at 14 Sherman and 19 & 21 Winslow. Tyler writes the following:

"When architect Campbell Ellsworth and his wife, Natalia Bard, an art historian, set out to restore an 1869 Colonial and build two new town homes at Sherman and Winslow streets in Cambridge, they were committed to making them energy efficient and attractive. Ellsworth estimated he spent between 10 and 20 percent more over standard construction.

Now with all three properties for sale, Ellsworth isn't sure he'll recoup all his additional costs. But money wasn't the prime motivation.

'We did it because it's the right thing to do. It's irresponsible to create houses that are consuming energy like the old days,' Ellsworth said. 'It's a risk, but I think there's a clientele in Cambridge that appreciates that.'

The tightly constructed three-story town homes are highly insulated, but also well-vented for fresh air circulation. The double-insulated, gas-filled, low-emitance windows let in light but keep out drafts. A 95 percent efficient boiler from Buderus supplies both heat and hot water. Ellsworth said his energy consultant, Mike Duclos, predicted the town homes will score about one-third higher than the average American residence on the Home Energy Rating System, or HERS, index, a sophisticated measure of home energy efficiency.

Design-wise, the town homes are ultra-modern, narrow and vertical, with blond wood finishes, cedar shingles in a whimsical two-tone pattern, sculptural aluminum deck railings, and unusually spaced windows, some meeting at corners."

If you are interested buying or selling in Cambridge, I am here to help.

I can be reached at ccherney@hammondre.com or 617-733-8937. I am a Harvard graduate, a Cambridge resident and a top broker in the city since 1999.

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