Brookline home full of personality


When Neil Leonard, a Berklee College of Music professor, first discovered the home at 76 Clark Road in Brookline with his wife and son a decade ago, it was an easy sell.

“They were walking around on Mother’s Day,” said real estate agent Lynette Glover, “saw the sign, and fell in love.”

The location was the No. 1 reason: The place is close to the town’s high school, the MBTA’s Green C and D lines, Route 9 and plenty of restaurants and shops.

And, yet, set on a hill surrounded by trees, the home feels private.

“It has the illusion that you’re out in the suburbs,” said Leonard. “When you look in front of the house, you just see green, when you look in the back … you feel like you’re not really looking into anyone’s house.”

Now, the family is looking to sell the four-bedroom, nearly 2,000-square-foot house for just under $1.4 million.

Built in 1927, the two-story home has a quaint, but quirky look from the outside, with its three dormers that appear a bit too big for the side-gabled roof, and with a top-floor window that nearly touches the decorative half-circle pediment topping the front door below. But its wood shingles and slate roof hint at the charm inside.

“All the rooms have tremendous personality,” said Leonard of the first-floor living room, dining room, kitchen and sun porch.

While the bright kitchen’s island bar and ceiling above have geometric curves and lines that feel as if they could have been inspired by the Memphis Group, the rest of the place appears antique.

“The dining room has a different feel, it’s more formal and more like old New England,” said Leonard of the room with the tall dark wood paneling, crown moldings, window bay and built-in china cabinet.

The living room — Leonard’s favorite place in the house — has a coffered ceiling and 8-pane, double casement windows.

The room’s rust-red colored marble fireplace surround was added after he saw a similar one in a hotel in Italy several years ago.

Then there’s the sun porch that Leonard uses as his library — he has about 1,000 records in there — and a getaway.

“When my wife was on the phone or my son was making his noise, that was a place I could just go to.”

Upstairs are the four bedrooms, each modest but efficient and with pleasant views of the trees and yard outside.

“We’ve been very happy there,” said Leonard.



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