167 Marlborough was originally one of a pair of symmetrical houses (167-169 Marlborough) built in 1878, each three stories high (plus the basement level), with mansard roofs at the third floor, one story shorter than 171 Marlborough to the west. The two houses were designed by different architects and built by different builders, and over the years have been significantly altered. 169 Marlborough was remodeled first, in 1916, to remove the mansard roof on the third story, add a full fourth story, and add a partial fifth story at the rear. 167 Marlborough was remodeled in 1929 to expand the third story by eliminating the mansard roof and expand an existing partial fourth story at the rear. It was further remodeled in 1980 to add a fourth story in the front and center of the house (connecting with the existing partial fourth story in the rear), with a new mansard roof in the front.
167 Marlborough was designed by architect J. Pickering Putnam and built in 1878 by Hezekiah McLaughlin, builder, as the home of Mrs. Mary A. (Upham) Gordon, the widow of Dr. Charles Gordon, a physician. Prior to her husband’s death in March of 1872, they had lived at 109 Beacon. She subsequently lived at 71 Beacon and then 77 Beacon. She is shown as the owner of 167 Marlborough on the original building permit application, dated August 5, 1878, and as the owner on the 1883, 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps.
She continued to live there in 1894, but was living elsewhere during the 1894-1895 and 1895-1896 winter seasons, when it was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry A. Rhodes.
By the 1896-1897 season, Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes had moved and 167 Marlborough once again was Mary Gordon’s home.
BY 1910, Mary Gordon had been joined by her granddaughter, Jessie Gordon Sherman, the daughter of Gardiner Sherman and Jessie (Gordon) Sherman. Her mother had died in July of 1884, a few days after Jessie Sherman’s birth, and her father had died in January of 1907. Also living with Mary Gordon from about 1910 was Mabel Josephine (Tilton) Wilson, the widow of Ward Farrar Wilson. He had been a reporter with the Boston Globe; they had married in October of 1900 and he had died in December of 1904 in Redlands, California, a victim of tuberculosis. Mabel Wilson was a friend of Jessie Sherman.
Mary Gordon died in August of 1911. The Heirs of Mary A. Gordon are shown as the owners of 167 Marlborough on the 1912 Bromley map, and Robert H. Gardiner, trustee, is shown as the owner of 167 Marlborough on the 1917 and 1928 maps.
Jessie Sherman and Mabel Wilson continued to live at 167 Marlborough during the 1911-1912 winter season, but moved thereafter, probably abroad traveling together.
During the 1912-1913 winter season, 167 Marlborough was the home of Mrs. Sarah Moody (Cushing) Toppan, the widow of attorney Robert Noxon Toppan, and her sister, Fannie E. Cushing. They previously had lived in Cambridge. By the 1913-1914 season, they had moved to 170 Marlborough.
By the 1913-1914 winter season, 167 Marlborough was the home of William Bennett Munro and his wife, Caroline S. (Gorton) Munro. He was a political scientist and historian, author, and professor of municipal government at Harvard. They continued to live there during the 1916-1917 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to the Hotel Somerset. By 1920, they were living at 229 Marlborough.
By the 1917-1918 winter season, Jessie Sherman and Mabel Wilson were living at 167 Marlborough once again. They continued to live there until about 1920. In January of 1920, at the time of the US Census, they were living in Redlands, California (where Mabel Wilson’s husband had died in 1904).
During the 1920-1921 winter season, 167 Marlborough was the home of Miss Florence R. McLean.
During the 1921-1922 winter season, it was the Boston home of Herbert Frederick French and his wife, Edith (MacGregor) French. In 1920, they had lived at 353 Beacon. Their primary residence was in Randolph. They moved to 110 Marlborough for the 1922-1923 season.
By 1923, 167 Marlborough was the home of leather and wool merchant Eugene Rosenthal and his wife, Sadie (Rosenbaum) Rosenthal. They also maintained a summer home in Beverly.
In September of 1927, the Rosenthals purchased 148 Commonwealth, where they moved in late 1928 (the house had been under a lease to George and Lucile Swift which expired on August 31, 1928).
By 1929, 167 Marlborough was owned by real estate investor and broker George Edward Cabot and his wife Eliza (Hemenway) Cabot. They had owned and lived at 169 Marlborough since about 1899.
In January of 1929, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to expand the third floor by replacing the mansard roof in the front and to build out a small existing structure on the roof towards the rear to provide servants’ rooms, resulting in a partial fourth floor in the rear 40 percent of the house. The remodeling was designed by architects Bigelow, Wadsworth, Hubbard and Smith.
Plans for the remodeling are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN P-58).
By 1930, 167 Marlborough was leased by George Swinnerton Parker and his wife, Grace Eliza (Mann) Parker. They continued to live there in 1932.
George Parker was an inventor and manufacturer of games, the founder of George S. Parker & Co. (in 1883) which had become Parker Brothers in 1888.
By the 1933-1934 winter season, 167 Marlborough was the home of Gordon Abbott, Jr., and his wife, Esther Lowell (Cunningham) Abbott. Earlier in 1933, they had lived in Brookline, and durmg the 1929-1930 winter season, they had lived at 13 Gloucester. They also maintained a summer home in West Manchester.
Gordon Abbott was a banker and, after serving in the Navy during World War II, owned the Manchester Marine Boatyard.
Eliza H. Cabot is shown as the owner of both 167 and 169 Marlborough on the 1938 Bromley map.
The Abbotts continued to live at 167 Marlborough until 1939, when they made their home in West Manchester their year-round residence.
By 1941, it was the home of Mrs. Amelia (Amy) Chapman (Thorp) Knowles, the widow of banker Robert Winthrop Knowles and the granddaughter of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. She previously had lived at 189 Marlborough. She also maintained a home in Beverly Farms.
By 1953, 167 Marlborough was the home of Samuel Wasserman and his wife, Ella Frances (Brennan) Wasserman. They previously had lived at 321 Marlborough. In February of 1952, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 167 Marlborough from a single-family dwelling into seven apartments. They continued to live in one of the apartments at 167 Marlborough until about 1961.
The property subsequently changed hands, and in January of 1980 was purchased by Joseph P. Segar, trustee of the Tiberon Realty Trust. In April of 1980, the Tiburon Realty Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from seven apartments to four apartments. In May of 1980, it converted the property into five condominiums, and in August of 1980, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as five units. Also in August of 1980, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a fourth story in the front and center of the house, connecting with the existing partial story in the rear, with a new mansard roof in the front.
In February of 1981, the Tiberon Realty Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a 12 foot by 12 foot addition at the rear for a dining room and construct several decks.