19 Exeter is located on the NW corner of Exeter and Commonwealth, with 17 Exeter to the north, 25 Exeter (196 Commonwealth) to the south, across Commonwealth, 191 Commonwealth to the east, across Exeter, and 197 Commonwealth to the west.
19 Exeter (195 Commonwealth) was designed by architect J. Pickering Putnam and built ca. 1881 for Dr. Henry Cecil Haven, a physician.
The house was built on land Henry Haven purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on May 9, 1881. The original lot had a frontage of 56 feet on Commonwealth, and on May 19, 1881, he sold the western half to Thomas M. Rotch, who subsequently built his home at 197 Commonwealth.
Before it was purchased by Dr. Haven, the land at the northwest corner of Commonwealth and Exeter, along with the land further north extending to Marlborough, had been leased by the Commonwealth to P. T. Barnum, who built a large amphitheatre on it for his “Great Roman Hippodrome” extravaganza, held from May 17 through May 27, 1875.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 19 Exeter, and click here for further information about the land between the north side of Commonwealth and Alley 426, from Exeter to Fairfield.
Henry Haven built a large stable and carriage house behind 19 Exeter, extending the width of his lot and across 23 feet of the rear of 197 Commonwealth. On February 7, 1883, he entered into an agreement with Thomas Rotch providing for the shared use of the stables and for the eventual construction of a party wall on the boundary line, dividing them into separate structures. This division appears to have occurred soon thereafter and the stables are shown as separate structures on the 1887 Sanborn map. The stable behind 19 Exeter subsequently became a separate residence with the address of 17 Exeter.
By the 1882-1883 winter season, Henry Haven had made 19 Exeter his home. He also maintained his medical practice at the house. He previously had lived (and maintained his medical practice) at 233 Marlborough. He was unmarried.
Living with him at 19 Exeter were Rev. Henry Freeman Allen, Rector of the Church of the Messiah (Episcopalian) on Florence Street in the South End, and his wife, Georgianna May (Stowe) Allen, the daughter of Calvin Ellis Stowe and his wife, author Harriet Beecher Stowe. They previously had lived at 106 Boylston. Mrs. Allen was addicted to the use of morphine and may have been under Dr. Haven’s care.
Henry Haven also accepted lodgers and by the 1885-1886 winter season he and the Allens had been joined by Thornton Howard Simmons, a retail clothing merchant. He previously had lived at 299 Beacon with his mother, Frances Adelaide (Gay) Simmons, the widow of George Washington Simmons.
Dr. Haven, the Allens, and Thornton Simmons continued to live at 19 Exeter during the 1886-1887 winter season. In May of 1887, Rev. Allen purchased 200 Beacon, and he and his wife made it their home. Dr. Haven and Thornton Simmons moved there with them.
In June of 1887, Henry Haven petitioned the Board of Aldermen for (and subsequently received) approval to add a bay window projecting 2½ feet over the street from the second story of the stable. It was identified in the petition as 17 Exeter, implying his intention to convert it into a dwelling.
On July 13, 1887, 19 Exeter was purchased from Henry Haven by Charlotte Pyncheon (Wales) Chamberlain, the wife of Dr. Myron Levi Chamberlain. He was a physician and also maintained his medical office at the house. They previously had lived at 237 Boylston.
The Chamberlains completed the remodeling of 17 Exeter initiated by Dr. Havens, including adding a third story. It was first listed in the 1888 Blue Book and remained a residence thereafter. As part of the conversion, the Chamberlains created windows in the party wall overlooking the stable at 197 Commonwealth, and on July 18, 1899, they entered into an agreement with Thomas Rotch that the windows could be maintained under a “revocable license” from the owner of 197 Commonwealth.
In December of 1898, the Chamberlains purchased a home in Beverly, Cherry Hill Farm.
The Chamberlains continued to live at 19 Exeter during the 1898-1899 winter season, but moved thereafter to the Hotel Vendome. They converted 19 Exeter into a multiple dwelling (with residential units and medical offices) called The Wales (named after Charlotte Chamberlain’s family) which, at least initially, rented only to men. Dr. Chamberlain continued to maintain his offices there. 17 Exeter remained part of the property as a separate dwelling.
By 1902, they had moved back to 19 Exeter, living in one of the apartments.
On July 27, 1908, 17-19 Exeter were purchased from Charlotte Chamberlain by Lillior (Lillie) Taylor (Dowling) Nutting, the widow of William B. Nutting. She was the sister of Mark Temple Dowling, a real estate dealer in partnership with James Sumner Draper. She transferred the property to J. Sumner Draper on July 30, 1908. In a August 2, 1908, Boston Globe article on the transaction, the new owners were said to “propose to make extensive improvements and convert it into one of the most up-to-date apartment hotels in the Back Bay.”
On February 15, 1909, 17-19 Exeter were purchased from J. Sumner Draper by Mary (McBurney) Schlesinger, the widow of iron and steel merchant Barthold Schlesinger. She lived in Brookline. A trust established under the will of her husband owned 220-224 Marlborough, across the alley.
The Chamberlains continued to live (and he to maintain his medical office) at 19 Exeter in 1915, but had moved to 482 Commonwealth by 1916.
In November of 1916, the 195 Commonwealth Avenue Trust filed an application to build a five unit “tenement house” at 19 Exeter designed by Parker, Thomas and Rice, architects, and constructed of steel, concrete, brick, and terra cotta, presumably replacing the existing building. The application was abandoned. The contact named on the application was James Alfred Parker, a stockbroker with Charles Head & Co. He was the husband of Barthold and Mary Schlesinger’s daughter, Helen.
On May 2, 1923, 17-19 Exeter were purchased from Mary Schlesinger by coal merchant Smith Payne Burton, Jr. On the same day, he also purchased 220-222-224 Marlborough from the Schlesinger trust. The May 6, 1923, Boston Globe article on the transaction described the properties as follows: “one building contains 18 modern suites, another six suites, and there is also a single brick dwelling.”
On February 28, 1940, 17-19 Exeter were purchased from Smith Burton, Jr., by the Berkeley Realty Corporation, of which Louis Heller was treasurer. It purchased 220-222-224 Marlborough on the same day. On April 26, 1940, it transferred the properties to real estate dealer Walter H. Scott.
On May 9, 1940, real estate dealer Henry C. Brookings foreclosed on a mortgage given by Mary Schlesinger and assumed by subsequent buyers and sold 17-19 Exeter to Elina M. Johnson of Woburn. She was a stenographer with the First National Bank and probably was acting for Henry C. Brookings or a subsequent owner.
Under her ownership, the property was subdivided into two parcels, 17 Exeter with a frontage of 36 feet six inches on Exeter, and 19 Exeter with a frontage of 88 feet on Exeter.
In June of 1940, Joseph Casico, presumably acting for the future owner, filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 19 Exeter from five apartments into nine apartments and two doctors’ offices.
Both properties were acquired by real estate dealer Julius Kalman. On July 3, 1940, Elina Johnson transferred 19 Exeter to Nathanlie Rosenberg, who conveyed it on the same day to Julius Kalman, and on December 19, 1940, Elina Johnson transferred 17 Exeter to Edith Antin, who conveyed it on the same day to Julius Kalman.
On October 31, 1942, Julius Kalman transferred 19 Exeter to Haven Realty, Inc., one of several real estate firms he owned. He transferred 17 Exeter to Haven Realty on the same day.
In March of 1954, Julius Kalman’s real estate firms were identified as among the victims of George L. Maitland, who had been indicted for obtaining loans based on fraudulent representations. On February 6, 1956, Julius Kalman committed suicide at his home in Allston. The Boston Globe reported that the suicide was “on the eve of one of the trials growing out of the so-called Maitland loan fraud case” in which he “was to have been a star witness” for the prosecution.
On March 29, 1957, Haven Realty transferred 19 Exeter to Jennie Loitman Barron, Mark R. Werman, and Jacob Grossman, executors of the will of Julius Kalman.
On September 17, 1958, 19 Exeter was acquired from Julius Kalman’s estate by the Joseph Vincent Realty Corporation. On the same day, it conveyed the property to Frank R. Simoni.
The property subsequently changed hands and on June 30, 1961, was acquired Paul L. Amon, Robert Zipf, and Bencion Moskow, trustees of the Commonwealth Realty Investment Trust. In May of 1963, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as twelve units. In their application, they indicated that, when they took title to the building, it “was used wholly as an apartment house, containing twelve apartments” and had been used as such since then. They noted that, “in 1940, it appears from the current records, the then owner was granted occupancy of nine apartments and two doctors’ offices and it is thought by your applicant that the two first floor apartments were used as doctors’ offices for a brief period of time.”
On June 13, 1963, 19 Exeter was acquired from the Commonwealth Realty Investment Trust by Nick Haddad, trustee of the Haddad Realty Trust. He and his wife, Elizabeth J. (Lynch) Haddad, divorced in 2000 and on November 9, 2004, 9 Exeter was transferred into Elizabeth Haddad’s name pursuant to the Probate and Family Court decision in the case.
Elizabeth Haddad died in December of 2006.
On August 3, 2007, 19 Exeter was purchased from Elizabeth Haddad’s estate by the 195 Comm. Ave. LLC (Copley Management & Development Corp., manager of record).
19 Exeter remained an apartment house in 2020.