Heavenly Abode: How a Centuries Old Cathedral Transformed into a Luxury Home
The Lucas in Boston is set to be one of the most unique homes you will ever come across.
The Holy Trinity Church in Boston’s South End has been a cornerstone of the community for over 150 years. It’s the only German Catholic Church in New England and has helped write the history of the local neighborhood. It has played host to school children, social functions, baptisms, and weddings since 1844. But in the near future, Holy Trinity Church will take on a new role – a place to call home.
Living at church is no longer just for local priests as The Lucas is a transformational project that will convert the Holy Trinity Church into a first-of-its-kind residential development. The concept alone is a mind-bending thought, but the fact that The Lucas will also look to marry contemporary design with cathedral architecture makes this project both monumental and enticing.
A new eight-story building will be inserted into the existing structure of the church. While that may sound destructive, the project will retain many of the exterior design and architecture of the church while adding steel, glass and other modern touches to make it an exceptional living experience.
Scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2017, The Lucas has already sold nearly 70% of the available units in the first 2 months. With price ranges that start at $525,000 and can go up to $4 million, there’s a variety unit sizes and features that can allow for anywhere from one to four bedrooms. In addition to adding contemporary design to a building built in the 1800’s, The Lucas will also boast a host of modern luxuries including a gym, lounge, a pet spa, and concierge services.
I sat down with Ricardo Rodriguez with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Boston, MA who is the official representative for this project to find out some more details about this project.
Where did the idea come from to turn a church into a residential building?
The area of the city where Holy Trinity Church resides is a growing one and there’s been a desire for a new residential building for quite some time. We worked with Finegold Alexander & Associates as the architects for the development and they have a fantastic portfolio of historical restorations in the past. So they came with this amazing concept to turn this church that has been a pillar of the community for over a century and make it a brand new cornerstone of the area for years to come by turning it into a place to call home.
Any concern from the community about turning a place of worship into a residential building?
Actually the response from the very beginning has been positive. The community rallied behind the idea that this landmark was not going away, but was going to be enhanced and preserved at the same time through this new project.
What architectural elements of the original church building will be seen within the living areas? What about the lobby?
The entire envelope of the original building is going to stay in tact. Plus the three arch windows that are above the front entry doors are scheduled to be restored and will set an amazing tone for those entering the building. The new residential areas are basically being inserted within the walls of the church which is a challenge, but also provides a fantastic aesthetic that will make this place truly a remarkable residence.
Beyond the fact that it used to be a church what makes this building project so special for those who will ultimately live there?
It’s a unique project in terms of the design elements. We’re taking a historic building and re-imagining it into the perfect blend of old world charm and contemporary design. Taking a new aesthetic and bringing back the iconic nature of the original building. And the size of the project is a strong contrast with a lot of current buildings that tend to have hundreds of units and lose the unique feel and individual identity of each space. The Lucas is an intimate and more personal experience for the homeowners which is part of the reason why there’s been such a demand to live there even before the project is finished.
Take us inside The Lucas for a moment. What are the details and features of this home that stand out beyond the architecture?
For starters the building has technology at its core making The Lucas one of the smartest homes available. The developers have retained System 7 to establish the home integration elements and each unit will have a mounted iPad on the wall that allows the owner to control everything from lighting to climate and even an integrated sound system. Of course it also offers the flexibility for homeowners to add their own smart home tech into the system as well. The salesroom for The Lucas is actually fully equipped with the home integration technology for prospective buyers to test out for themselves.
Beyond technology, the interior design is completely custom. We have been working with Wolf in Sheep Design to create custom kitchen and bathroom cabinetry as well as other details that you’ll notice throughout. We also created a strategic partnership with Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to create the furniture design and Marc Hall Design to accent the building with floral arrangements to enhance the ambiance. Both of these companies will be involved for the duration of the project and it is who you will find in the salesroom, renderings and ultimately in the building’s common areas.
The Lucas is clearly one of the most unique homes in development, not just in Boston, but anywhere. We can’t wait for next spring when The Lucas is scheduled to be completed and we can step inside what some may call a heavenly abode.