Everyone's favorite period piece returns to PBS on Sunday; and a major cliffhanger from the previous season of Downton Abbey was whether chauffeur-turned-son-in-law Tom Branson, played by actor Allen Leech, would permanently relocate from England's aristocratic veld to the bustle of Boston circa 1925. Gareth Neame, an executive producer on the show, has said that Downton Abbey would never film in the U.S., including Boston (too expensive—we hear you, mate). But what if it did? What if it tracked Branson/Leech's new life in the Hub? What might be suitable backdrops? Perhaps the 26-room, 11-fireplace, nearly 15,000-square-foot mansion at 315 Dartmouth Street in Back Bay. It could use the exposure—it's been on sale for $20,000,000 since late April.
Or how about the 6,550-square-foot 77 Chestnut Street? It features a six-car motor court. Maybe Branson becomes a chauffeur again in the crucible of the Depression and realizes he doesn't even have to move ... Just thinking out loud here. The eight-room townhouse in Beacon Hill has been asking $10,500,000 since mid-June.
There's also the refined elegance of 407 Beacon Street, a 5,391-square-foot townhouse in Back Bay that's among the most amazing to hit the Boston market this year (it's currently asking $4,995,000). It right now includes a picture of Queen Elizabeth II, something that would surely have to go during filming. Branson was an Irish nationalist at one point, and, besides, it wouldn't fit the period.
Finally, if all else fails, go with something that, like Downton Abbey itself, positively reeks of the Victorian Era: the 4,025-square-foot Venetian Gothic at 13 Rutland Square in the South End. The price on the 10-room spread dating from 1860 has tumbled repeatedly (to $4,200,000); but the audience doesn't need to know that.
· Our First Clues About Downton Abbey's Sixth Season [Vanity Fair]
· Boston's Priciest House for Sale Has 26 Rooms, 11 Fireplaces [Curbed Boston]
· Chestnut Street TH Comes with 'Motor Court' for Six Cars [Curbed Boston]
· Boston's Most Spectacular Townhouses of 2015: a Gallery [Curbed Boston]
· Price Slides Another Six Figures at South End's 13 Rutland [Curbed Boston]