Home of the Week

Home of the Week: In Swampscott, a new commission for a historic firehouse

The home, on the market for $1.39 million, has four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and a firepole in the living room. See inside at realestate.boston.com.

The kitchen has a windows seat that could be used as a banquette, a coffered ceiling, and hardwood flooring, as well as granite, soapstone, and butcher-block counters. Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative

2 Phillips Ave., Swampscott

Style Firehouse
Year built 1903; renovated 2010
Square feet 4,312
Bedrooms 4
Baths 3 full, 1 half
Sewer/water Public
Taxes $11,976 (2021)

Robin Sharma, a Canadian motivational speaker, once wrote “change is hard at first, messy in the middle and so gorgeous at the end.’’ And while Sharma was not focused on real estate, his thoughts apply to this former fire station converted into a regal single-family home in Governor Charlie Baker’s hometown of Swampscott.

Built in 1903 to serve the Phillips Beach neighborhood, the firehouse closed in the 1990s and was the base for an ambulance company before general contractor Steve Hayes and his wife, Lisa, bought it in 2010 and transformed it into a home.

. – Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative

Among the surviving hallmarks visible from the street is the Rockport granite covering portions of the ground level and the curved stone archway leading to the left side of the home. Also extant is the wide driveway of red brick, imported from England a century ago, that flows to fixed garage doors that form part of a first-floor wall. On the upper level, the bay window at the center is a pretty holdover.


Passing through that stone archway leads to an impressive entry with a wooden barrel ceiling some 12 feet above the hardwood floor. The foyer opens into a formal living area bisected in the center with a half wall. The formal living area is pure elegance, with a dual cove ceiling pinned with drum shade lights, those windowed garage doors, and hardwood flooring.

A door off the living area leads to a half bath with hardwood flooring, a dresser-turned-vanity topped with a vessel sink, and a stone wall that used to be part of the lookout tower.

An opening in the dining area leads to a butler’s pantry with a hammered-copper sink, a walk-in pantry with saloon-like doors, and then to a white kitchen with black accents and a breakfast nook. The white Shaker cabinetry denotes a kitchen that is elegant yet welcoming, with soapstone chosen for the counters and backsplash, a granite-topped island with butcher block, stainless-steel appliances (including the gas stove), three sinks, a pot-filler, a coffered ceiling, recessed lighting, a chandelier, and an L-shaped window seat that could be used as a banquette.

Back out in the living room, a winding staircase clad in shiplap leads to the upper level, which holds all four bedrooms, including the owner suite, two full baths, an office with windows on two walls, a laundry room, and a family room with a firepole to the living room.

. – Jon Almas/Aeropex Media Creative

Three bedrooms line the front of the home. The largest boasts two closets and a bay window. The other two have a double-door closet and two to three windows. Steps away is the main bath, which features a vanity/dressing table, a shower with glass tile inlays, and a gray tile floor.


The owner’s suite occupies the rear of the home and sits four steps down from the family room. There are five windows in the bedroom area, built-ins, hardwood flooring, and a walk-in closet with custom cabinetry. The en-suite bath features a claw-foot tub under a half-moon window, a separate shower with seating, a two-sink vanity topped with granite, and marble flooring in a basket-weave pattern.

The lower level, which tacks an additional 688 square feet onto the living space total, contains storage, a shower-only bath, two walk-in closets, and utility and media rooms. The home has three zones for heating and cooling.

Highlights of the roughly quarter-acre property include a six-zone sprinkler system, new fencing, a patio, professional landscaping, and off-street parking for eight.

Linda Hayes of William Raveis Real Estate in Marblehead has the listing.

See more photos of the property below:

2 phillips ave., swampscott


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