179 Marlborough was designed by Theodore M. Clark and Edgar C. Curtis, architects, and built in 1881 by Vinal & Dodge, masons, and McNeil Brothers, carpenters. It was built as the home of Horatio Greenough Curtis (Edgar Curtis’s brother) and his wife, Annie Neilson (Winthrop) Curtis. They previously had lived at 140 Marlborough.
Horatio Curtis is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated July 5, 1881, and on the 1883 Bromley map; Annie N. Curtis is shown as the owner on the 1888, 1898, 1908, 1917, 1928, and 1938 Bromley maps.
Horatio Curtis was a shipping merchant in the Calcutta trade and later a sugar refiner. By 1885, he was agent for the Pacific Guano Company, and from 1891 to 1916, he was president of the Old Boston National Bank.
From about 1888, Horatio Curtis’s unmarried twin brothers, Louis and Laurence Curtis, lived with Horatio and Annie Curtis at 179 Marlborough. They previously had lived at 45 Mt. Vernon.
Louis Curtis was the Boston agent and subsequently resident partner of the banking firm of Brown Brothers & Co. (later Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co.). He married in October of 1890 to Fanny Leland Richardson and they moved to 299 Beacon.
Laurence Curtis was a stockbroker and investment banker. An avid golfer, he founded the United States Golf Association in 1894. He continued to live at 179 Marlborough until about 1903, when he purchased and moved to 197 Marlborough.
Horatio Curtis died in November of 1922. Annie Curtis continued to live at 179 Marlborough until her death in August of 1940. She also maintained a summer residence in Nahant.
In late 1943, the church sold the property and Rev. van Etten moved to 26A Chestnut.
By 1944, 179 Marlborough was the home of Mrs. Ione E. (Jones) Whitehead Colburn, the widow of Charles Anderson Colburn. She previously had lived at 185 Beacon. In June of 1944, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house. She continued to live there (and operate it as a lodging house) until about 1955.
The property subsequently changed hands, and by 1974, was owned by real estate broker and investor George P. Demeter, who maintained his real estate office in the building.
In July of 1984, he converted the property into five condominiums. In January of 1986, Gerald J. Kiley filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the property as five units.