The living room inside the converted former home of the Fort Apace recording studio at 18 Edmunds St. The owner, Charles Teague, said he reburbished the property into his home for the last four years, while preserving spaces such as sound board booths.
by Erin L. Souza
Charles D. Teague bought a piece of music history when he purchased 18 Edmunds St. in North Cambridge just over four years ago. “I always wanted a really visual place,” Teague said, sitting at his dining table alongside a sleek, stainless steel-filled kitchen in his 6,967 square-foot lot behind a bustling stretch of Massachusetts Avenue.
After about 10 years of searching for his first home, he stumbled upon a newspaper ad toward the end of 2002 and found this “big space for short money.” Teague thought the place had great character, he said, and wanted to just move in and create a serene Japanese garden in its small backyard.
“The place was sort of dank and dark,” Teague said. Renovating it was like sculpture, he remembered taking away ducts and just cutting away.
The warehouse-like feeling has since given way to a dramatic, modern style resembling a spacious yet warm and inviting art gallery complete with square red and yellow stained glass windows, stretches of white cement walls and large-scale photographic art.
Though Teague had no direct connection to 18 Edmunds St. before buying it in spring 2003, the building had a direct connection to rock-n-roll history, as it was home to local legendary landmark Fort Apache recording studio. Fort Apache served as a recording studio and live performance space to local and internationally renowned acts, such as Buffalo Tom, Morphine and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, to name a few.
Since Fort Apache owner Gary Smith moved the studio to a farm in New Hampshire over five years ago, the control room’s original soundboards and speakers have made way for Teague’s bed and accompanying media room, complete with television and computers. The performance area remains what Teague calls his music room, and the stage is still intact, though it now houses wooden chairs and a karaoke machine instead of electric guitars and microphones.
“This place was really quite something in its time,” said Teague. “I knew some people who recorded here, and a lot of people said ‘I still have a key to the place’ once I bought it.”
One of those people intimately familiar with Fort Apache is a man Teague fondly refers to as his rock-n-roll realtor, Bill Janovitz.
Janovitz, a Lexington resident and guitarist in internationally famed band Buffalo Tom and now listing broker for the $1.2 million property at 18 Edmunds St. said the changing nature of the music industry to the changing image of Fort Apache. “It’s not the money-making business it used to be.”