Skip to main content

Waterfront home: An historic home on the Bay State coast

Jay and Bonnie Noonan’s home stands prominently above the harbor in the downtown Old Shipbuilder’s Historic District of Duxbury, Massachusetts.

This 6,600-square-foot home on Duxbury Harbor includes an inground pool.

 “History permeates this property,” says Bonnie, 71, an interior designer who owns an antiques business. “The 1831 section was built on the foundation of a 1700s home, and stones from the 1700s wharf still remain on our waterfront.”

After decades in the house, she and her husband Jay, 73, an executive in a family business, want to downsize. They are offering their 6,600-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bath home, which sits on 2 acres and has 90 feet of harborfront, a two-story garage/barn, a swimming pool and spa, for $5.5 million.

The home epitomizes the town’s elegant charm during the early 1800s Old China Trade era. Extensive expansions, remodeling and updates exposed the original beehive oven, salvaged the wide-pine floorboards and repurposed the 1970s kitchen cabinets. Nine original fireplaces remain, although one now has a gas log and one has a gas-fired stove insert.

Picture windows, sliding doors and window walls maximize the spectacular water views — from sunrises to sunsets — in almost every room, including bathrooms.

The front entry opens into the stately 1830s two-story foyer, flanked by formal living and dining rooms. The living room’s glass wall and the cherry cabinetry-lined office’s French doors access a three-season waterfront porch; the dining room opens to the streetside farmer’s porch. Beyond, in the oldest section of the house, spacious waterfront windows illuminate two cozy sitting rooms.

In the adjacent 1920s section “we combined multiple rooms into an enormous kitchen,” Bonnie says. A white-painted country-kitchen-style pantry, cabinets and a wet bar with marble countertops complement the stainless steel appliances, wine cooler and pine floor. The Bubinga wood-topped central breakfast bar features a six-burner cooktop, griddle and warming oven. The Noonans usually eat in the sky-lit breakfast nook, with its exposed beams and harbor views. Triple French doors open to a spacious cantilevered waterfront deck with a hot tub.

The foyer staircase rises to a second-floor hall accessing the bedrooms, baths and laundry. The master suite’s window wall beneath the cathedral ceiling and sliders to a private deck provide panoramic views of boats. His and hers dressing rooms contain cherry cabinetry, and his has a working fireplace.

Image placeholder title

In the stone, marble and tile master bath, they raised the whirlpool tub “so we can see the harbor,” Bonnie says. “However, the shower on our roof deck has the best water view on [Massachusetts’] South Shore.”

One bedroom has a private bath; two others share a full bath. A fifth bedroom and full bath nestle beneath the exposed beams of the third floor.

In the walk-out lower level are game, media and changing rooms, and a lounge/bar opening to the covered patio, lawn and gunnite in-ground pool. The original stone foundation walls cool the 34-by-26-foot wine cellar.

The clapboard house has five-zone air conditioning and gas-fired forced-air heat, a private septic system, public water and a well for irrigation. Taxes are about $45,800. Jonathan Mark, (781) 733-7717, of Waterfront Realty Group in Duxbury, (781) 934-7030, lists the property.

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue.