Winchester Telephone Exchange Lofts

The Telephone Exchange Lofts, Winchester, Massachusetts

The Telephone Exchange Lofts

Live inside an architectural masterpiece! Robert Paul Properties is excited to present an exceptional live/work townhouse located in a historic building within Town Hall square, right in Winchester’s charming downtown. Mary McKenna, the architect behind 123 Washington Street’s visionary design, won a prestigious award presented by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for her adaptive reuse of the 1906 Telephone Exchange Commission Building.

The Telephone Exchange Lofts of Winchester Town Hall Square

The stunning main living area boasts 16’ ceiling heights, huge restored windows, a custom fireplace, a balconied gallery and loft enhanced by glass half walls, and a restored beamed wood ceiling. The lower level studio space is bright and open with tall ceilings and inspired design.

123 Washington Street #1 is approved as a live/work space and has separate entrances. All levels of the townhouse are accessible by a private elevator.

The architect Mary McKenna has spent her entire career employing adaptive reuse concepts. She says, “We are working the historic fabric of the building and interpreting it and recreating it into a more contemporary design….I have a great passion for saving historic buildings and keeping them within the community and culture.”

 A Triumph of Green Design

The adaptive reuse approach to the project also encompasses “green” design techniques, such as recycling and restoring original materials, highlighting the integrity of these features: windows, masonry, restored ceiling and beams using a special dry ice technique to bring out the patina of the beams. The cast iron columns and original stairs with cast iron railings have also been lovingly restored. Low VOC paints, high efficiency systems, insulation, and a water run off recharging system are elements of this approach. McKenna also wanted to create dwellings for a range of residents, using universal design, and consideration for aging in place. The elevator, currently with 4 stops (potential 5th stop) is one of the special elements of her vision. There are also on grade entrances and other accessible features.

Mary loves sculpture and created a granite and wrought iron bench/sculpture for the front courtyard from salvaged site materials, including the old iron boot scrapes from the entry stairs. Inside the townhouse she created a catwalk on the 2nd floor made of aluminum grating that creates a washing a pattern on the walls of the main level from the natural light flooding in from above – essentially a functional light sculpture.

The Beautiful Town of Winchester

With its lantern-lit downtown streets full of great restaurants, gorgeous architecture, and small, independently-owned shops, along with its two commuter-rail stops in town, Winchester is a fantastic place to call home. Named the best town for a growing family by Boston Magazine in 2014, Winchester has a top-notch school system, plenty of access to wonderful parks, and is less than ten miles from downtown Boston, and a twenty minute train ride to North Station. The Telephone Exchange Lofts are mere blocks from the bucolic splendor that is the Middlesex Fells Reservation. And if boating is your thing, join the Winchester Boat Club, situated on the shores of Upper Mystic Lake for boating and swimming. Or golf aficionados can join the historic Winchester Country Club, founded in 1902.

What We Love

“This gorgeous property was painstakingly created by a very proud architect and master carpenter team. It’s adaptive reuse is visionary and award-winning. The town of Winchester, understanding the importance of this project, named it the first “outside of the box” property to receive approval for Live/Work use. There are roof rights that could be developed. The location is unbeatable. It’s a 1/4 mile walk to the commuter train and all the wonderful things the village has to offer.” – Louise Olson, listing agent.

To find out more about this exquisite property, contact Louise Olson at 617.470.5077 or Scott Kistenberger at 617.733.3633. For more details, visit