11 Hereford was designed by Alfred S. Bither, architect, and built in 1879-1880 by Edward E. Chapin, builder, for real estate dealer Henry Whitwell. It was one of four contiguous houses (435 Beacon and 7-9-11 Hereford). All four houses originally were planned as two-story buildings; however, an additional story was added to 7 and 11 Hereford before they were completed. Henry Whitwell is shown as the owner on the original building permit for 7-9-11 Hereford, dated December 13, 1879.
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting attributes 435 Beacon, 7-9-11 Hereford, 364 Marlborough, 27-29-31 Hereford, and 216-218 Commonwealth – all built in 1879 – to R. S. Bither. This is a misreading of the handwriting on the permit applications. It is clearly written as “A. S. Bither” on several of the permit applications, and is less legible on several others. There was no R. S. Bither listed in the Boston City Directories at any time in the 1870s or 1880s, whereas Alfred S. Bither was a practicing architect there from 1870 to 1880.
By the 1881-1882 winter season, 11 Hereford was the home of Miss Elizabeth Upton. She previously had lived at 79 Beacon. She is shown as the owner of 11 Hereford on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps. Her sister, Ellen Upton, lived with her through the 1885-1886 winter season, but moved thereafter and by the 1887-1888 season was living at 171 Marlborough with their widowed brother, George Bruce Upton, Jr.
During the 1892-1893 and 1893-1894 winter seasons, Elizabeth Upton was joined at 11 Hereford by her brother, George, and his new wife, Alice (Henderson) Huntington Upton. They had married in 1890, after which they lived in Milton.
Elizabeth Upton continued to live at 11 Hereford until her death in November of 1894.
By the 1895-1896 winter season, 11 Hereford was the home of the Misses Hurd — Helen, Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Catharine — the daughters of William Hurd. Helen Hurd et al are shown as the owners on the 1895, 1898, 1908, and 1912 Bromley maps.
Catharine Hurd died in April of 1904, Helen Hurd died in May of 1911, and Rebecca G. Hurd died in June of 1912.
Elizabeth Hurd continued to live at 11 Hereford until her death in October of 1922. Elizabeth Hurd et al are shown as the owners on the 1917 Bromley map.
The house was not listed in the 1923 Blue Book.
By the 1923-1924 winter season, 11 Hereford was the home of Charles Ashley Hardy and his wife, Alice Eliza (Adams) Hardy. They previously had lived in an apartment at 295 Commonwealth. He is shown as the owner of 11 Hereford on the 1928 Bromley map.
Charles Hardy was a mining engineer. The Hardys also maintained a home in Chatham, where he invested in real estate and, with several colleagues (known as the Chatham Associates), built and owned the Chatham Bars Inn, which opened in 1914.
The Hardys continued to live at 11 Hereford until about 1928, when they made Chatham their year-round home. He died in December of 1929 as a result of an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot wound.
By the 1928-1929 winter season, 11 Hereford was the home of attorney William Frye White and his wife, Charlotte (Wilson) White. They previously had lived in Medford. They also maintained a home at Squirrel Island, Maine.
In December of 1928, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house.
Charlotte White died in 1931. William White continued to live at 11 Hereford.
By 1933, William White had been joined at 11 Hereford by his son-in-law and daughter, Lawrence Clayton Warren and Elizabeth Frye (White) Warren. Lawrence Warren was a leather salesman.
They also were joined by William White’s brother-in-law, Claggett Wilson. He was a noted modernist artist and stage designer.
William White, Claggett Wilson, and the Warrens continued to live at 11 Hereford, joined in about 1937 by William White’s son-in-law and daughter, Robert White Frost and Charlotte Wilson (White) Frost. They all moved by 1938.
In June of 1938, William White, as trustee for the estate of Charlotte White, filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house.
By 1938, 11 Hereford was the home of Miss Lucretia Blanche Hackett, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived at 219 Beacon, where she also had operated a lodging house. She continued to live at 11 Hereford until about 1941.
In February of 1941, 11 Hereford was acquired by Miss Tena MacRae, who continued to operate it as a lodging house. She previously had lived in Brookline.
Tena MacRae continued to live and operate a lodging house at 11 Hereford until her death in September of 1975.
In April of 1976, Annie Kate O’Hara acquired 11 Hereford from the estate of Tena MacRae. She continued to operate the property as a lodging house.
In September of 2004, the 11 Hereford LLC acquired 11 Hereford from the estate of Annie Kate O’Hara. In September of 2006, Marie Cooney filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of lodgers from six to eight.
In April of 2008, the Hereford Street RE LLC purchased 11 Hereford from the 11 Hereford LLC.
11 Hereford remained a lodging house in 2014.