2 Marlborough was designed and built built in 1870-1871 by Frederick B. Pope as the home of William Bordman Richards and his wife, Cornelia Wells (Walter) Richards. They previously had lived at the Hotel Hamilton at 260 Clarendon.
William Richards purchased the land on which on 2 Marlborough was built on May 2, 1862, from Deming Jarves, who had purchased it from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on December 9, 1858. On July 11, 1870, he entered into an agreement with Frederick Pope to build a house on the lot, to be completed no later than May 1, 1871. On September 23, 1871, he purchased a four-foot wide strip of land at the southeast corner of his lot from Charles Morrill, at the rear of his home at 11 Arlington. The sale stipulated that the owners of both lots would have the right to use the land and that no building would be constructed on it.
William Richards was a metals dealer. Prior to their marriage, Cornelia Walter had served for about five years as the editor of the Boston Transcript (founded by her brother, Lynde Minshull Walter, who served as its first editor; she assumed the role of editor after his death in 1842).
On June 7, 1873, William Richards transferred the property into his wife’s name
William Richards died in June of 1877. Cornelia Richards continued to live at 2 Marlborough with their son, William Reuben Richards, a lawyer, and daughter, Elise Bordman Richards.
Cornelia Richards died in January of 1898. William R. Richards and Elise Richards continued to live at 2 Marlborough until his marriage in June of 1908 to Grace Ellingwood Butler. After their marriage, they moved to the Hotel Buckminster at 645 Beacon, and Elise Richards traveled abroad.
2 Marlborough was not listed in the 1910-1915 Blue Books.
On March 27, 1913, 2 Marlborough was purchased from William and Elise Richards by Eliza (Phelps) Wetherald, the wife of James Taylor Wetherald. They previously had lived at 50 Fenway.
James Wetherald operated an advertising agency and, by 1920, also owned a toiletries company, James T. Wetherald & Son.
The Wetheralds continued to live at 2 Marlborough during the 1919-1920 winter season, but moved thereafter to 130 Chestnut to live with their son and daughter-in-law, Royal Winter Wetherald and Rosamonde (Wyman) Wetherald. They continued to own 2 Marlborough.
By he 1920-1921 winter season, 2 Marlborough was the home of Dr. George Arthur Waterman, a physician and instructor in neurology at Harvard, and his wife, Claire Norton (Fowler) Waterman. They previously had lived at The Charlesgate. They also maintained a home in Brooklin, Maine.
Eliza Wetherald died in February of 1924 and on June 1, 1925, James Wetherald transferred 2 Marlborough to their daughter, Dorothy Phelps Wetherald. On September 13, 1927, she sold the house to The Atlantic Monthly Company, whose offices were located next door, at 8-9 Arlington.
The Watermans continued to live at 2 Marlborough in 1927, but had moved to an apartment at 250 Beacon by 1928.
After acquiring 2 Marlborough, The Atlantic Monthly Company briefly used at least a portion of the house for The Gladys Coffee Shoppe, a use not permitted in the residential district. They were cited in January of 1928 following complaints by several neighbors and presumably discontinued the coffee shop soon thereafter.
By 1928, 2 Marlborough was the home of John Curtis Tenney, a salesman and later a taxi driver, and his wife, Eleanor Margherita (Whiting) Gilford Tenney, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 11 Tetlow. They continued to live at 2 Marlborough until about 1930. They were living in Malden at the time of Eleanor Tenney’s death in April of 1931.
By 1934, 2 Marlborough was the home of Alfred H. Crump, a bank clerk, and his wife, Alice W. (Northridge) Crump, who operated it as a lodging house. They had married in 1933; prior to their marriage, he had lived at 35 Bailey and she had lived in Worcester. They continued to live at 2 Marlborough in 1938, but had moved to Wellesley Hills by 1939.
In November of 1939, The Atlantic Monthly Company was sold by its owner, Ellery Sedgwick, to Richard Ely Danielson of Boston, president and editor of The Sportsman. On November 23, 1939, as part of the transaction, Ellery Sedgwick acquired 2 Marlborough and 8-9 Arlington from the company.
From about 1940, 2 Marlborough was the home of Joseph Warren Smith Weaver, a sheet metal worker and roofer, and his wife, Helen (Lewis) Weaver, a former nurse, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 129 St. Botolph. They continued to live at 2 Marlborough in 1944, but had moved to 263 Clarendon by 1945.
S. Clifford Speed was a real estate dealer who converted many Back Bay houses into lodging houses and apartments. By 1946, he also operated the lodging house at 4 Marlborough and in August of 1946, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to install fire balconies between the two houses.
By 1945, 2 Marlborough was the home of Emeline Washburn (Ewell) Houghton, the widow of Albert H. Houghton. She previously had lived at 131 Beacon, where she had operated a lodging house, and several of her lodgers moved with her to 2 Marlborough (S. Clifford Speed had owned 131 Beacon while Mrs. Houghton lived there, and sold it in August of 1944).
On September 16, 1953, she acquired 2 Marlborough from S. Clifford Speed. She continued to lived there and operate it as a lodging house until her death in 1954. The property was inherited by her son, Donald Leonard Houghton, and on December 20, 1955, he transferred to himself and his wife, Ellen Walton (Packard) Houghton. They lived in Wakefield. 2 Marlborough continued to be operated as a lodging house.
On August 24, 1959, S. Clifford Speed re-acquired 2 Marlborough from Donald and Ellen Houghton, and on September 30, 1959, he sold the house to Miss Caroline P. Bowditch. She lived at 146 Beacon with her sisters, Ruth William (Bowditch) Munro, the widow of Willis Munro, and Marion (Bowditch) Steeves, the former wife of Walter Bingham Steeves.
On September 15, 1960, 2 Marlborough was acquired from Caroline Bowditch by her sister, Marion (Bowditch) Steeves, and Miss Mildred M. Baird. Mildred Baird also owned 4 Marlborough (with Louise Day Hicks). She operated lodging houses at both 2 and 4 Marlborough until about 1975, and possibly somewhat later. In June of 1962, Mildred Baird and Marion Steeves (with Winifred Lawton) acquired 12 Marlborough, which had been converted into apartments in 1959.
On October 4, 1978, Dr. M. Robert Gardner, his wife, Elizabeth (Hering) Gardner, and Lee S. Halprin purchased 2 Marlborough from Miss Baird and Mrs. Steeves.
In January of 1979, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house into five apartments, and on December 29, 1987, they converted the apartments into five condominium units, The Two Marlborough Condominium.