199 Marlborough Dartmouth is located on the NE corner of Marlborough and Exeter, with 197 Marlborough to the east, 11 Exeter to the west, across Exeter. 295-297 Beacon to the north, across Alley 418, and 16 Exeter (196 Marlborough) to the south, across Marlborough.
199 Marlborough, a six-unit apartment building, was designed by architect Ernest N. Boyden and built in 1890 by David Rand, builder, for real estate developer Seth R. Baker. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated June 11, 1890, and on the final building inspection report, dated December 20, 1890 (bound with the building inspection report, located in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department, is a floor plan for the second floor).
In early 1924, 199 Marlborough was acquired from Arthur M. Little and Mary A. Neale by Abbott Lawrence Lowell. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on January 20, 1924. He continued to own the building in 1942. At the time, it was composed of seven apartments.
The property changed hands and, by 1951, was owned by John Mescla. In June of 1954, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as eight apartments and a doctor’s office.
By 1958, 199 Marlborough was owned by Amelung Realty Company, Inc. In July of 1958, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a dormitory and one apartment, apparently for use by students of Sargent College.
On September 22, 1958, the Building Department received a complaint from the parent of one of the students occupying the dormitory, expressing his concern about over-crowding and the lack of adequate egress. On September 29, 1958, the Building Department held a conference with the owner, Mrs. Elisabeth Amelung-Sweet, at which time it became clear that the dormitory did not meet code requirements.
By 1959, 199 Marlborough was owned by Boston University, which continued to operate it as a women’s dormitory, having made all the necessary fire safety and egress improvements required by the Building Department.
In the mid-1970s, Chamberlayne went bankrupt and on June 25, 1975, it transferred 199 Marlborough to Bernard P. Rome, trustee in bankruptcy.
On December 15, 1976, 199 Marlborough was purchased from Bernard Rome by the Back Bay Restorations Company, Limited Partnership (Zena Nemetz, president, treasurer, and general partner). At the same time, it also purchased Chamberlayne’s properties at 238 Marlborough, 148 Commonwealth, 278–280–282 Commonwealth, and 298 Commonwealth). In November of 1976, it had acquired 274 Commonwealth and 276 Commonwealth, which also previously had been owned by Chamberlayne.
In conjunction with the purchase, Back Bay Restorations entered into an agreement with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to operate the buildings as rental properties in exchange for being allowed to make yearly payments to the city in lieu of paying property tax on the properties.
In October of 1979, Back Bay Restorations applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 199 Marlborough from a dormitory and one apartment into eighteen apartments.
On February 3, 1984, Back Bay Restorations converted 274-276-278-280-282 Commonwealth into condominiums, and on September 24, 1984, it converted 148 Commonwealth, 298 Commonwealth, 199 Marlborough, and 238 Marlborough into condominiums.
199 Marlborough was converted into eighteen condominium units, the 199 Marlborough Condominium.
In March of 1985, the BRA brought legal action for violation of the 1976 agreement, and in July of 1985, Back Bay Restorations signed a consent decree agreeing to keep most of the units as rental apartments for three years and to provide relocation costs to tenants previously forced to move out.
On February 24, 1992, the St. Paul Federal Bank for Savings foreclosed on its mortgage to Back Bay Restorations and sold all of the condominium units at 199 Marlborough, 238 Marlborough, 148 Commonwealth, and 298 Commonwealth to Managed Properties, Inc., of Chicago.
On June 29, 1992, Patricia M. Bailey, trustee of the PBH Realty Trust, purchased the condominium units at 199 Marlborough and the other three properties from Managed Properties, Inc. She subsequently sold the units to individual buyers.