John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
This restored property in Beacon Hill costs as much as renting an average house for a year.
There must be a point when one becomes so rich that something happens neurologically to cause the eyes to stop registering zeros. How else to explain the existence of this townhouse for rent in Beacon Hill, which is on the market for $40,000 a month?
That's by no means the highest rental in the land. In Manhattan, last year, a four-bedroom pad was going for $165,000 a month. But they're crazy over there. What excuse does solid ol' Boston have for harboring this (admittedly swanky) black hole for cash?
Campion & Company, a real-estate broker for the circa-1820s Benjamin Mansion, calls the residence the "most outstanding townhouse restoration in Boston!" The home overlooks America's first public botanical reserve, the Public Garden, where swan boats scoot around on a shimmering lake. Inside the six-level manse, there are six bedrooms, six baths, eight fireplaces, three "powder rooms" (do the superrich do an unusual amount of powdering?), two decks, a library, a gym, an elevator and a heated rooftop pool with an "infinity edge." The floors are hardwood, naturally, and in a downtown must-have there is a deeded parking space.
Wait, there's more: The first floor has a climate-controlled wine cellar, a cigar humidor and a "mud room." Floor Two, which is entirely devoted to formal entertaining, has a butler's pantry, a cloak room, one of those aforementioned powder rooms that is mirrored from top to bottom and a silver safe tucked behind a "hidden panel." (The secret's out, gang! Everyone grab their power drills and head to the Benjamin!) There's even more stuff on the upper levels, but I'm getting fatigued making this list.
All this adds up to 8,450 square feet of what the heck? For the rent you'd pay to live for a year in the Benjamin, you could buy a house. Perhaps the owners of this property are hoping a thrifty-minded plutocrat will take the bait. The Benjamin was initially listed for sale for $14,950,000, reports Curbed, before taking a $1 million price cut this summer and then falling onto the rental market.
Brace for excess: