11 Exeter is located on the NW corner of Exeter and Marlborough, with 9 Exeter to the north, 220-224 Marlborough to the south, across Marlborough, 199 Marlborough to the east, across Exeter, and 225 Marlborough to the west.
11 Exeter was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built ca. 1872 for building contractor George Wheatland Jr., for speculative sale, one of three contiguous houses (7-9-11 Exeter).
By 1874, it was the home of Samuel Appleton Browne Abbott and his wife, Abby Francis (Woods) Abbott. They had been married in October of 1873 and 11 Exeter probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived briefly at 6 Arlington with his parents, Josiah Gardner Abbott and Caroline (Livermore) Abbott, and before that at 379 Beacon with his first wife, Mary (Goddard) Abbott, and her mother, Mary (Goddard) Goddard, widow of David Goddard. Mary Abbott died there in January of 1871.
11 Exeter was owned by Abby (Woods) Abbott’s father, Marshall Woods of Providence, who had purchased it from George Wheatland in May of 1873. He continued to be shown as the owner on the 1883, 1888,and 1895 Bromley maps.
Samuel Abbott was a lawyer and served as president of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees from 1888 to 1895, overseeing the construction of the library building in Copley Square.
By 1892, they had been joined at 11 Exeter by Samuel Abbott’s sister, Sarah Livermore (Abbott) Fay, the widow of William Pickering Fay. She continued to live with them in 1895.
Abby Abbott died in March of 1895. Sarah Fay moved to 262 Beacon and Samuel Abbott went abroad. In April of 1896, he married again, in Rome, to Maria Elizabeth Dexter. After their marriage they lived in Italy, where he was the first director of the American Academy in Rome.
By 1899, it was the home of Quincy Adams Shaw, Jr., and his wife, Sarah Williams (Pemberton) Shaw. They had lived at 125 Beacon in 1898. They also maintained homes in Prides Crossing (Pompey’s Garden) and in Eastham (Cedar Bank), He is shown as the owner of 11 Exeter on the 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps, and Sarah P. Shaw is shown as the owner on the 1928 and 1938 maps.
Sarah Shaw’s half-sister, Miss Annie Hollingsworth Pemberton, lived with them.
In December of 1922, Sarah Shaw applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house, adding a story to the main building, modifying the bay windows, and adding a two-story ell at the rear, in the former yard area between 11 Exeter and 225 Marlborough. She moved the entrance from Exeter to Marlborough, creating a first floor entrance and two basement level entrances. After this remodeling, there was no entrance on Exeter.
The remodeling was designed by Richardson, Barott, and Richardson. Architectural plans for the remodeling — including elevations, floor plans, and framing plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (refderence BIN D-39).
Sarah Shaw died in January of 1945, and her half-sister, Annie Pemberton, died in 1946.
Quincy Adams Shaw married again in mid-1948 to Lydia Emmet (Eliot) Codman Turner, the former wife of Alfred Codman and the widow of Oliver Turner. She lived at 3 Arlington, where she also maintained a dressmaking shop, Lydia Codman Gowns. After their marriage, they lived at 11 Exeter until about 1951, when they moved to 31 Lime.
11 Exeter was shown as vacant in the 1952 City Directory.
By 1952, 11 Exeter was owned by the Mimaur Realty Company. In January of 1952, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into ten apartments. It appears likely that it was as part of this remodeling that the street level entrance was added at 11 Exeter and an additional story was added to the ell on Marlborough. The remodeling was designed by David J. Abrahams & Associates.
By 1964, 11 Exeter was owned by the Wesco Realty Trust. In August of 1964, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remove and replace the existing entrance steps. The replacement steps apparently were of metal.
The property subsequently changed hands and on January 23, 1978, was purchased by Joseph O. Melikian and his wife, Anne B. Melikian. On October 15, 1982, they transferred the property into Anne Melikian’s name. On 31,August 1999, Anne Melikian transferred the property to the Malik-Exeter LP. In September of 1999, Kilem Management Corporation (the Melikians’ property management firm and sole general partner of the Malik-Exeter LP) applied for (and subsequently received) permission to replace the metal front entrance steps with masonry steps.
On January 28, 2016, 11 Exeter was purchased from the Malik-Exeter LP by the Marlboro Exeter LLC (managed by the MG2 Group, LLC, Joseph Donovan, manager).
11 Exeter remained a 10 unit apartment building in 2016.
Below are architectural renderings of 11 Exeter prepared by Richardson, Barott, and Richardson in 1922, remodeling and expanding the house for Sarah (Pemberton) Shaw, showing the Marlborough Street elevation, and the front (Exeter) and rear (western) elevations; provided courtesy of the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department, City of Boston Blueprints Collection.