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Justice John Paul Stevens’s Old House in Beverly Is for Sale

It has “the best sleeping porch in the world,” Stevens once wrote of the 125-year-old South Side home.

Photos: Courtesy of Redfin

A couple of years after Dan and Wendy Radakovich completed the massive exterior paint job on their six-bedroom Queen Anne house in Beverly in 2003, Wendy mailed a letter to former justice John Paul Stevens. She thought he might want a photo of his former home.

“The house looks great,” Stevens (who died in July) replied on Supreme Court letterhead. “The picture brings back many fond memories — the house has the best sleeping porch in the world — as well as the reminder of how many gallons of paint must have been used to put it in its present handsome condition.”

Stairway

Stevens isn’t the only noteworthy name associated with 9332 South Damen Avenue, recently listed for $875,000. Architect D. Everett Waid, best known for codesigning the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Complex in New York, had the house built for himself in 1894. In 1906, architect and car manufacturer Henry K. Holsman added a front gable for symmetry.

The Radakoviches are selling the home, where they lived for 25 years and raised four children, because 4,300 square feet is “too much house” now that it’s just the two of them, Dan says. “I’m already grieving,” Wendy says, “because I consider it a privilege to have lived there.”

Sitting room

That second-floor sleeping porch of which Stevens spoke so highly still looks like one from the outside, but the Radakoviches converted it into a heated reading and laundry room. They also added a three-car garage and overhauled the kitchen, adding modern cabinets and quartz countertops.

However, original features abound, including beamed ceilings, stained glass, and built-in drawers underneath the stairs. Inside them, you’ll find a bayonet and what appears to be a samurai sword. In fact, the house holds a trove of antique items. The Radakoviches have come across a Pond’s Extract bottle and a wooden exercise pin in the walls. “Those were kind of presented to us as part of the house,” Dan says, “which of course will remain part of the house when we move.”

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