Despite moving into 8 Ruskin St. in West Roxbury with her family as a child in the 1960s, Carol Brait probably never saw the home as it looks today.The six-bedroom, three-floor home — on the market for just over a million dollars — now has bright white walls accented by handsome mill work and shiny wood floors throughout.That wasn’t the case when Brait’s parents raised their family there.
by David Compa
Despite moving into 8 Ruskin St. in West Roxbury with her family as a child in the 1960s, Carol Brait probably never saw the home as it looks today. The six-bedroom, three-floor home — on the market for just over a million dollars — now has bright white walls accented by handsome mill work and shiny wood floors throughout. That wasn’t the case when Brait’s parents raised their family there. “My father had wall-to-wall carpet put in when we moved in, so I never saw the wood floors,” she said, adding that until recently, the inside was covered in wallpaper. But now that her parents have passed away, Brait and her bothers and sisters are selling the family home. Her father scraped together some $20,000 to buy the place decades ago. The house, built in the late 1880s, still appears an elegant sight: A towering, Victorian-era home with similarities to both a simple Queen Anne and dressed-down Stick style house. The roof is steeply pitched with a smaller cross gable. A two-story window bay is on the side, and there’s a shed dormer on the rear and hipped dormer on the front. No decorative trusses exist in the gables, however, that could give it away as a Stick style home, and the once-expansive porch was rebuilt by Brait’s father long ago into a pleasant three-season enclosed porch with natural wood paneling inside, obscuring some of the original facade. Inside, the first floor dining and living rooms are strikingly open and bright for a home of its age. Throughout is carved period woodwork — some natural, some stained and some painted white — lining the entryways and windows, on the banister and surrounding the old fireplace in the dining room. When showing off the fireplace mantle and surround, with its brackets and two spiral-carved columns on either side and leaf molded tiles inside, Brait reached inside to the iron ash dump lid, showing the date imprinted on it: 1885. “It was a wonderful life here,” she said. “A lot of really warm memories.” Those rooms, she said, are where her family celebrated the holidays. Upstairs are the home’s many bedrooms, three on the second floor — including one with a three-window bay and another with what is essentially a square window