245 Marlborough was designed by Cabot and Chandler, architects, and built in 1883 by Woodbury & Leighton, builders, as the home of dry goods merchant (and former East India merchant) George Richards Minot and his wife, Harriet (Jackson) Minot. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated June 4, 1883. They lived at 36 Commonwealth and also maintained a home in the Woodbourne section of Jamaica Plain.
George Minot purchased the land for 245 Marlborough on April 28, 1883, from Francis P. Sprague, who had purchased it from real estate dealer Samuel Horatio Whitwell on November 2, 1881. The lot was the western 30 feet of a 45 foot wide lot that Samuel H. Whitwell had purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on August 24, 1881.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 245 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the north side of Marlborough and Alley 417, from Exeter to Fairfield.
George Minot died in December of 1883, probably before 245 Marlborough was completed. Harriet Minot lived there and in Jamaica Plain until her death in December of 1886. The house continued to be owned by a trust established under the terms of George Minot’s will.
After her death, 245 Marlborough remained the home of the Minots’ son, George Richards Minot, Jr., and their five unmarried daughters: Elizabeth Sedgwick Minot, Harriet Jackson Minot, Sarah Cabot Minot, Mary Minot, and Elizabeth C. Minot.
George Minot, Jr., married in October of 1890 to Agnes Olney of 241 Marlborough, daughter of Richard and Agnes (Thomas) Olney. After their marriage they lived at 16 Hereford. He was a dry goods merchant in his father’s firm. His sisters continued to live at 245 Marlborough during the 1895-1896 winter season, but were living elsewhere during the next two seasons.
During the 1896-1897 winter season, 245 Marlborough was the home of merchant George Dudley Howe and his wife, Alice Lloyd (Greenwood) Howe. They had lived at the Hotel Agassiz at 191 Commonwealth during the 1893-1894 season, after which they had traveled abroad. They also maintained a home, The Cliffs, in Manchester, Massachusetts. By the 1897-1898 season, they had moved to 179 Commonwealth.
During the 1897-1898 winter season, 245 Marlborough was the home of iron and steel merchant Barthold Schlesinger and his wife, Mary (McBurney) Schlesinger. Their principal residence was Southwood on Warren Street in Brookline.
By the 1898-1899 winter season, 245 Marlborough had once again become the home of the five unmarried Minot sisters. They also maintained a home in Bar Harbor.
Sarah Minot died in January of 1903. Mary Minot died in August of 1919. Harriet Minot died in February of 1925. And Elizabeth Minot died in December of 1926.
Louisa Sedgwick Minot continued to live at 245 Marlborough until her death in March of 1932.
On September 2, 1932, real estate dealer Elliott Henderson – probably in anticipation of acquiring the property – applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house and convert it from a single-family dwelling into six apartments. Although the application was granted on appeal, he abandoned the permit.
On September 9, 1932, 245 Marlborough was purchased from the trust established under George Richards Minot’s will by real estate dealer Henry C. Brookings.
The house was not listed in the 1933-1935 Blue Books, and was shown as vacant in the 1933-1935 City Directories.
The application was made by Henry Brookings in anticipation of the property’s sale to the Marlborough School. The school was affiliated with Northeastern University and described in a December 10, 1934, letter to the Building Department from Frank P. Speare, president of Northeastern, as “attended by young ladies from eighteen to twenty-five studying secretarial science.” He assured the Building Department that there would be “no laboratories or machinery other than simple office appliances.” He also noted that the “building has never been wired for electricity” and the school “would be putting in a complete installation in a first-class manner as approved by the Edison Company.” It probably was as part of this remodeling that the fifth floor was modified and expanded.
Marlborough School acquired 245 Marlborough from Henry Brookings on January 9, 1935. It subsequently acquired 227 Commonwealth in October of 1935, 261 Marlborough in December of 1937, and 247 Marlborough in June of 1939.
On December 30, 1939, 245 Marlborough was acquired from Marlborough Schools, Inc., by the Chandler School for Women. It acquired 247 Marlborough, 261 Marlborough, and 227 Commonwealth on the same day. In October of 1944, it purchased 252 Marlborough.
Chandler School sold 247 Marlborough in January of 1945, 261 Marlborough in June of 1945, and 227 Commonwealth in October of 1946. It remained at 245 Marlborough until the spring of 1949, when it moved to 448 Beacon.
On May 13, 1949, 245 Marlborough was purchased from Chandler School by the Newman Preparatory School. At the same time, it also purchased 252 Marlborough.
In August of 1959, Newman Preparatory School acquired 247 Marlborough, and in October of 1960, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel 247 Marlborough and combine the two properties into one school building. In 1966, Newman School acquired 251 Marlborough and 253 Marlborough (it sold both buildings in 1988).
In 1974, the fourth and fifth floors of 245 Marlborough were damaged by fire.
245-247 Marlborough remained Newman Preparatory School in 2016.