Spring House Hunt

Listed: In this Newton mansion once owned by a gold medalist, even the shoes get special attention

The Chestnut Hill home was once owned by Dr. Tenley Albright, the first US woman to win Olympic Gold in figure skating. See inside at realestate.boston.com.

The 13-room, five-bedroom home sits on nearly 3.5 acres. Luxe Life Productions

Many of us have lived in an apartment the size of a closet, but a mansion with a fireplace in the shoe closet? That’s a step in the right direction.

Located in Chestnut Hill, 70 Suffolk Road was known as the Samuel Eliot House when it was built in 1928. Throughout the years, the property has had notable owners, including former Cabot, Cabot & Forbes Co. CEO Gerald Blakeley and his wife, Dr. Tenley Albright, an Olympic gold medalist in figure skating who later became a surgeon. Two years ago, the current owners overhauled the estate.

Albright took a practice leap before competing in the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina, Italy. – UPI/file 1956

“Money was not a factor,” said Micéal Chamberlain of Historic Homes Boston, who has the listing. “They wanted to do it right, and they brought the property into the 21st century.”


The current owners are relocating due to a job change, and the 8,815-square-foot Georgian Revival is on the market for $14,000,000.

Boasting tremendous privacy thanks to its roughly 3½-acre lot that backs up to conservation land, the home welcomes guests via a semi-circle drive. Inside, an enormous kitchen with a big island leads into the live-in pantry, which serves as one of the casual gathering places in the home. Continue outside to the spacious deck, which has a greenhouse, or move into the sunroom, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows.

. – Luxe Life Productions
. – Luxe Life Productions

As for how the primary suite ended up with a fireplaced walk-in shoe closet, the owners took down a number of walls to open up the space. What’s now a luxe walk-in shoe closet was once a bedroom. The home has five bedrooms in all, as well as five full bathrooms, two half bathrooms, and six fireplaces.

“That explains the fireplace,” Chamberlain said of the walk-in closet. “Now that it’s all filled in with storage and so forth, it looks like it might be too small to be a bedroom, but envision it after taking out all of those built-ins.”

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On the garden level, there’s an indoor squash court and gym. On the third floor, a spacious playroom offers extra space for a busy family, as well as an extra bedroom. There is also an elevator and a three-car garage.


See more photos of the home below:

70 Suffolk Road, Newton


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