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Modernist Lightning Rod 245 Grove Goes on Sale


The starkly modern house at 245 Grove Street, which caused controversy after it was built in the Cambridge-Belmont borderlands six years ago, has hit the sales market for $2,450,000. The 4,863-square-foot, copper- and cedar-clad spread was designed by Robert Augustine and built by developer Duncan MacArthur, who liked the finished product so much, he decided to buy it. Now, he's selling it.

When MacArthur built the house, it immediately became clear that Augustine's design meant it would stand out amid the more conventional—and much older—homes along the Fresh Pond Golf Course near the Belmont border. These homes were, for the most part, low-slung affairs. Two-forty-five Grove would be a four-level statement with three decks. The Boston Globe described it thus: "With its flat roof, sharp angles and metal protuberances, the building strikes an aggressive, modernist profile that homeowners seem to either love or hate."

Hate, they did. Nineteen neighbors petitioned the city to create a Neighborhood Conservation District to prevent such architecture from breaking out again (one neighbor pronounced herself "frightened" in the face of MacArthur's creation). The district has yet to come to pass, but the exclamation point remains: 245 Grove not only has the distinct angles and exterior; it also has floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Boston skyline, the golf course and the Fresh Pond Reservoir. Finally, there is a so-called living roof covered in sod, and a lot of the building material was made from recycled product, including the bamboo floors. See, the past is never dead.
· Listing: 245 Grove Street [Zillow]
· Modern Home in '50s Enclave Spurs Request for Conservation District [Day]
· Modern Love [Globe]
· Our Million Dollar Babies archive [Curbed Boston]

245 Grove Street

245 Grove Street, Cambridge , MA