SOLD! Samuel Glaser-Designed Renovated Modern in Newton

The Leventhal House 20 Drumlin Road, Newton. Offered at $1,825,000 (sale pending)

Showings begin by appointment Thursday, June 1. Open houses Saturday, June 3, and Sunday June 4, times TBD. Contact for appointments or questions.

Click and photo to enlarge and view as a slide show. Shelly Harrison photography, except as noted.

A truly special house, 20 Drumlin Road is a Modernist classic in Newton. Natural stone and fine woodwork combine with walls of glass and recent updates, resulting in an updated light-filled property.

The home was bought by an interior designer and her family from the original owners, the Leaventhals, who owned Beacon Construction (later acquired by Skanska), who built the house in 1949.  The architect was Newton-based Samuel Glaser, who designed the famous Newtonville Star Market built over the Mass Pike, the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston (in partnership with Walter Gropius and The Architects Collaborative), and the American Airlines hangar at Logan Airport, according to Mark Faverman at this site about another notable Glaser design, the Gibbs House in the Cottage Farm neighborhood of Brookline. Fun fact: Mr. Glaser was also the father of the actor Paul Michael Glaser, TV’s Starsky.

The Leaventhal House, which is adjacent to one designed by Gropius, has been renovated and expanded by Diane Burcz and her husband (see a 2014 feature about it in the Boston Globe here). The new addition — designed with Charles Navratil of Architects 2  — blends seamlessly with the original thanks to the thoughtful design of Navratil, the materials chosen by Burcz, and the care taken by Cambridge’s S&H Construction. An ingenious sliding glass door in the dining area was restored by S&H and other original doors were re-used. Windows have been replaced and original concrete floors have been restored with a thin coat of new concrete or stained and polished. Radiant hot water heater in the concrete floors keep the home warm in winter and feel cool in the summer. Hot water for radiant heat is provided by a high-efficiency Viessmann boiler.

Custom-built ins, distinct woodwork, and other original architectural pieces (Check out the banister! Check out the desk!) throughout the house have been retained and the new lower cabinets in the kitchen are walnut. Having no upper cabinets allows for an unobstructed view of the outdoors and light to enter the kitchen. There is, though, a striking and simple red birch shelf that creates a pleasing architectural line, one that is echoed on the other side of the kitchen, cantilevered from the counter. There is ample storage beneath, as seen in the detailed photos. Large sliding walnut doors open to reveal a pantry. The enviable kitchen includes a six-burner dual-fuel Viking gas range, a Subzero refrigerator, a Meile Speed Oven, and a Miele dishwasher. And more sliding doors open to reveal a cleverly organized laundry alcove.

The house is anchored by a stone fireplace and chimney stack that runs from the lower level fireplace, up through the living room fireplace, and the master bedroom fireplace, creating an interior/exterior stone wall up through the second floor and creates a visual through-line that connects the indoors and the out.

Original light fixtures, like those in the Gropius House in Lincoln, remain, as do solid wood interior doors (which close perfectly flush) and sleek period glass and chrome doorknobs. There are built-ins in each room.

Photo by Bill


Photo by Bill


There are high end Grohe, Duravit and Dornbracht fittings and fixtures throughout the home’s bathrooms. The powder room off of the main floor is fitted with Ann Sacks tile and a red birch floating vanity that Burcz designed. The master bath, updated in 2013, has heated stone floors and a walk-in shower with linear drain. Thoughtfully planned custom red birch cabinetry tie in seamlessly with the built-in hamper and original cabinetry in the bedroom and bath. A second bedroom has its own en-suite bathroom with custom cabinetry designed by Burcz and built by Cambridge’s Half Crown Design. This bathroom and a third on the second floor have heated limestone floors.

The lower level has a guest bedroom with a full bath, and a media room with a fireplace and a bar with a sink and mini-fridge. The polished black-stained concrete floors in the media room (but not the bedroom) also have radiant heat

The roof, as with most of the updates, was new in 2010. The exterior is clad with vertical Western red cedar siding and there is a detached garage. S&H also did some site work, including landscaping and adding drainage to the backyard. A strand of birch trees were added to increase privacy. Urban Horticulture Design designed landscape and has been phasing in plantings and hardscape. The drawings are available for the new homeowner. Sump pump in utility room. Sellers have never had a wet basement.


MLS Property Information

Approx. Living Area: 3,585 Sq. Ft. Approx. Acres: 0.54 (23,324 Sq. Ft.) Garage Spaces: 2 Detached
Living Area Includes: Finished Basement Heat Zones: 3 Radiant, Gas Parking Spaces: 6 Off-Street
Living Area Source: Owner Cool Zones: 5 Wall AC,  No AC in Living Room
Living Area Disclosures: Lower level fully finished and heated with a bedroom and full bath. 
Room Level Features
Living Room:
1 Fireplace, Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built, Window(s) – Picture, Exterior Access, Open Floor Plan
Dining Room: 1 Exterior Access, Open Floor Plan, Slider
Family Room: B Fireplace, Open Floor Plan
Kitchen: 1 Dining Area, Pantry, Countertops – Stone/Granite/Solid, Countertops – Upgraded, Kitchen Island, Breakfast Bar / Nook, Cabinets – Upgraded, Cable Hookup, Exterior Access, Open Floor Plan, Remodeled, Stainless Steel Appliances, Walk-in Storage, Gas Stove
Master Bedroom: 2 Bathroom – Full, Fireplace, Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built, Flooring – Wall to Wall Carpet
Bedroom 2: 2 Bathroom – Full, Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built, Flooring – Wall to Wall Carpet
Bedroom 3: 2 Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built, Flooring – Wall to Wall Carpet
Bedroom 4: 2 Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built, Flooring – Wall to Wall Carpet
Bedroom 5: B Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built
Bath 1: 1 Bathroom – Half, Flooring – Stone/Ceramic Tile, Remodeled
Bath 2: 2 Bathroom – Full, Bathroom – Tiled With Tub & Shower, Flooring – Stone/Ceramic Tile, Remodeled
Bath 3: 2 Bathroom – Full, Bathroom – Double Vanity/Sink, Bathroom – Tiled With Shower Stall, Remodeled
Laundry: 1 Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built
Bathroom: 2 Bathroom – Full, Bathroom – Tiled With Shower Stall, Remodeled
Bathroom: B Bathroom – Full, Bathroom – Tiled With Shower Stall
Mud Room: 1 Closet/Cabinets – Custom Built, Walk-in Storage
Study: 1
Appliances: Range, Wall Oven, Dishwasher, Disposal, Microwave, Refrigerator, Washer, Dryer, Water Treatment
Area Amenities: Public Transportation, Shopping, Highway Access
Basement: Yes Finished
Beach: No
Construction: Frame
Electric: Circuit Breakers, 200 Amps
Energy Features: Insulated Windows, Prog. Thermostat
Exterior: Wood
Exterior Features: Patio, Covered Patio/Deck
Flooring: Tile, Wall to Wall Carpet, Concrete
Foundation Description: Poured Concrete
Hot Water: Natural Gas
Insulation: Mixed
Interior Features: Cable Available
Lot Description: Paved Drive
Road Type: Public
Roof Material: Rubber
Sewer Utilities: City/Town Sewer
Utility Connections: for Gas Range, for Gas Oven, for Electric Oven, for Gas Dryer, Washer Hookup
Water Utilities: City/Town Water
Waterfront: No
Exclusions: Planters and (9) lights that are not hard-wired; shelf in study. Included: all built-in cabinets.
Lead Paint: Unknown
Year Built: 1949 Source: Public Record
Year Built Description: Actual
Tax Information
Pin #: S:82 B:025 L:0036
Assessed: $1,334,000
Tax: $14,834 Tax Year: 2017
Book: 1374 Page: 135
Cert: 01513723
Zoning Code: SR1