26 Marlborough was built in 1863-1864, one of five contiguous houses (22-24-26-28-30 Marlborough) built as a single block, with a rusticated stone base at the first story with arched entryways and windows, and a heavy cornice at the roof line.
24-26 Marlborough were built for Edward Ingersoll Browne, and 28-30 Marlborough were built for the estate of Augustus Thorndike, of which Edward Ingersoll Browne and Samuel Turner Dana were the trustees. All four were built for investment. Edward I. Browne was an attorney. He was unmarried and lived at 5 Allston and later would live at 52 Commonwealth. Samuel T. Dana was a commission merchant dealing in tea and other commodities, and also was agent for George Peabody & Co., London bankers. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Crockett) Dana, lived at 3 Arlington.
The land for 24-26 Marlborough and 26-28 Marlborough was purchased on March 25, 1863, from Caleb William Loring and Charles F. Choate, trustees for a real estate investment trust formed by them with Francis B. Hayes and Franklin Evans. The parcel was part of a larger tract of land with a 287 foot frontage extending east from Berkeley Street that the trust had purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on May 2, 1860.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 26 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 422, from Arlington to Berkeley.
In mid-1864, Edward I. Browne advertised 24-26 Marlborough for sale. In a June 30, 1864, Boston Evening Transcript advertisement, he indicated that the houses were “just completed” and that each contained “two drawing rooms, dining room with pantry attached, small sitting room, eight chambers, with two bath rooms, large kitchen, laundry with set stone tubs, sheds, and every modern convenience.”
On January 20, 1865, 26 Marlborough was purchased from the estate of Augustus Thorndike by Mrs. Louisa (Putnam) Peabody, the widow of Salem merchant Joseph Augustus Peabody. She previously had lived at 1 Walnut. Her brother, Dr. Charles Gideon Putnam, lived next door at 24 Marlborough.
Louisa Peabody continued to live at 26 Marlborough until her death in October of 1876.
On August 1, 1877, 26 Marlborough purchased from Louisa Peabody’s estate by Rev. John Hopkins Morison. He and his wife, Emily Hurd (Rogers) Morison, made it their Boston home. They previously had lived in Milton. They also maintained a home in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
John Morison was a Unitarian Minister. He served as pastor of the First Parish Church in Milton from 1845 until his retirement in 1885.
John Morison died in April of 1896. Emily Hopkins continued to live at 26 Marlborough until her death in 1899.
On June 8, 1900, 26 Marlborough was purchased from the Morison family by real estate broker and trust company officer Frederick Josiah Bradlee. He and his wife, Eliza Whitwell (Thomas) Bradlee, made it their home. They previously had lived at 59 Chestnut. They continued to live at 26 Marlborough in 1906, but had moved to New York City hy 1907.
On August 28, 1906, 26 Marlborough was purchased from Frederick Bradlee by Henry Melville Whitney.
Henry Whitney purchased 26 Marlborough as the home of his son-in-law and daughter, cotton mill treasurer Herbert Lyman and Ruth Bowman (Whitney) Lyman, who had married in June of 1906. On February 19, 1907, he transferred the property to Ruth Lyman.
26 Marlborough was not listed in the 1915 Blue Book.
During the 1915-1916 winter season, it was the home of Paul Drummond Rust and his wife, Florence R. (Stuart) Rust. They previously had lived in Marblehead, and, before that, at 339 Commonwealth . Paul Rust was an investor in timber lands, wholesale lumber dealer, and investment banker and broker. By the 1916-1917 winter season, they were living at 338 Beacon.
During 1916-1917 winter season, 26 Marlborough was the home of banker and broker Francis Stanton Blake, and his wife, Eugenie (White) Blake, a former actress who, at the time of their marriage in 1902, was described by the Boston Globe as “one of the most beautiful women in the United States.” Their usual winter residence was in Cap Martin in France. By the fall of 1917, they had returned to France where he served with the American Red Cross in Paris.
During the 1917-1918 winter season, 26 Marlborough was the home of wool manufacturer George Edward Kunhardt and his wife, Martha E. (Knapp) Kunhardt. By the next season, they had moved to 100 Mt. Vernon. Their primary residence was in North Andover.
26 Marlborough was not listed in the 1919 Blue Book.
By 1920, Herbert and Ruth Lyman were living at 26 Marlborough once again. They continued to live there during the 1921-1922 winter season, but by 1923 had moved to 229 Commonwealth.
On January 13, 1923, 26 Marlborough was acquired from Ruth Lyman by Mrs. Grace Belle (Pearce) White, the widow of architect Robert Horace White, and their son, Charles Pearce White, a securities broker. They previously had lived in St. Louis.
Grace White continued to live at 26 Marlborough and also maintained a home at Bass Rocks in Gloucester. On January 22, 1937, Charles White transferred his interest in 26 Marlborough to his mother.
She continued to live there until her death in 1952.
On July 16, 1953, 26 Marlborough was purchased from the estate of Grace White by Dr. Elias Stavropoulos Stevens, a dentist, and his wife, Stavroula (Sideris) Stevens. They previously had lived in an apartment at 13 Commonwealth.
In August of 1953, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the house from a single-family dwelling into three apartments and a dentist’s office. They lived in one of the apartments and he maintained his dental practice there.
In February of 1957, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remove a rear ell.
On October 14, 1959, they transferred the property into Stavroula Stevens’s name.
In September of 1962, they filed for (and subsequently received) approval to remodel the house into six apartments and a dentist’s office. It appears that, in doing the work, eight apartments were actually created, but an amended permit was not filed to reflect the change.
In about 1962, Elias and Stavroula Stevens moved to Newton, where he also maintained a dental office.
Elias Stevens died in January of 1989.
On March 30, 1992, Stavroula Stevens transferred 26 Marlborough to their two children, both dentists, Dr. George Stavropoulos Stevens and Dr. Athena Stavropoulos (Stevens) Papas, the wife of Dr. Arthur N. Papas, as trustees of the Stavroula Stevens Irrevocable Trust.
In February of 1997, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as 8 apartments and a dentist’s office, noting that this was an existing condition and that the two additional apartments “were completed in the 1960’s.”
On July 16, 2001, George Stevens and Athena Papas transferred the property to themselves as trustees of The 26 Marlborough Street Trust. They subsequently formed The 26 Marlborough Street Property Management Company, LLC, to which they transferred the property on August 5, 2011.
26 Marlborough remained apartments and dental offices in 2015.