260 Commonwealth

260 Commonwealth (2013)

Lot 24' x 124.5' (2,988 sf)

Lot 24′ x 124.5′ (2,988 sf)

260 Commonwealth is located on the south side of Commonwealth, between Fairfield and Gloucester, with 258 Commonwealth to the east and 262 Commonwealth to the west.

260 Commonwealth was designed by architect Samuel D. Kelley and built in 1879-1880 by John W. Shapleigh, carpenter builder, one of five contiguous houses (258-260-262-264-266 Commonwealth) designed by Kelley for John and/or Samuel Shapleigh between 1879 and 1883.

John Shapleigh is shown as the owner and builder of 258 and 260 Commonwealth on the original building permit applications, dated September 29, 1879, and October 10, 1879, respectively. John Shapleigh and his brother, Samuel, are shown as the co-owners (and Samuel Shapleigh is shown as the builder and Phineas L. Pearson as the mason) on the application for 262 Commonwealth, dated March 27, 1880, and on the final building inspection report, dated August 5, 1880. And John Shapleigh is shown as the owner and Antoine Xavier as the builder on the applications for 264 and 266 Commonwealth, dated October 30, 1882, and September 15, 1883, respectively.

By the 1880-1881 winter season, 260 Commonwealth was the home of John O. Poor and his wife, Abby C. (Harris) Poor.  In 1880 they had lived at 678 Tremont.  He is shown as the owner of 260 Commonwealth on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps.

John Poor was a hide and sole leather dealer in his father’s firm.  His brother, Charles C. Poor, also a leather dealer in their father’s firm, lived next door, at 258 Commonwealth.

John and Abby Poor continued to live at 260 Commonwealth until about 1894, but had moved to Newton by 1895.

By the 1894-1895 winter season, 260 Commonwealth was the home of Franklin Smith, an iron manufacturer, and his wife, Sarah E. (Brigham) Smith.  They previously had lived at 537 Columbus.  Sarah Smith is shown as the owner of 260 Commonwealth on the 1895 and 1898 Bromley maps.  They continued to live at 260 Commonwealth until his death in October of 1897.

The house was not listed in the 1899-1901 Blue Books.

258-260 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

258-260 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

By the 1901-1902 winter season, 260 Commonwealth was the home of  George Nathaniel Dana and his wife, Caroline Melissa (Dodge) Dana.  They previously had lived at 321 Commonwealth.  Caroline M. Dana is shown as the owner of 260 Commonwealth on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.

George Dana was a merchant and agent for the Eagle Sugar Refinery.

George Dana died in February of 1915 and Caroline Dana died in July of 1916.

The house was not listed in the 1917-1921 Blue Books.

By 1920, 260 Commonwealth had been acquired by the Academy of the Sacred Heart, which already owned 262264266 Commonwealth, where it maintained a school and convent.

In November of 1920, it filed for (and subsequently received) permission to cut doors between 260 and 262 Commonwealth to combine 260 Commonwealth with its existing properties, for use as convent dwellings.

In December of 1925, the Academy exchanged 260-262-264-266 Commonwealth for the Loren D. Towle estate in Newton, where it moved (later becoming the Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart).

Loren Delbert Towle was a real estate dealer who died in September of 1923.  Prior to his death, he and his wife, Helen M. (Leland) Towle, had begun construction of a 35-room home in Newton, designed by Arthur H. Bowditch.  Loren Towle died before its completion and Helen Towle exchanged it for the Commonwealth Avenue property.  She was the assessed owner of 260-262-264-266 Commonwealth in 1926.

By 1927, 260-262-264-266 Commonwealth were owned by David Shikes and Philip Boris Long, real estate dealers, who converted the buildings into a lodging house.  In February of 1927, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to make interior improvements.  The current and proposed use was stated as “lodging house and dormitories.”

David Shikes and Philip Long are shown as the owners on the 1928 Bromley map.  David Shikes died in August of 1937, and the Heirs of David Shikes and Philip Long are shown as the owners on the 1938 map.  They continued to be the assessed owners through 1942.

By 1943, 260-262-264-266 Commonwealth were once again the property of Helen M. Towle, who was the assessed owner from 1943 through 1946.

By 1947, 260-262-264-266 Commonwealth were owned by Morton J. Archer, who was the assessed owner from 1947 through 1949.  The property remained a lodging house.

In May of 1947, Morton Archer applied for (and subsequently received) permission to cut openings in the party wall with 262 Commonwealth to provide additional egress.  In June of 1949, he applied for permission to install a fire balcony connecting with 258 Commonwealth.  In that filing, the name “Goldberg” was crossed-off and replaced by Morton Archer’s name, as treasurer of M & N Hotels, Inc. (at 57 Bernard in Dorchester, Jacob Goldberg’s address).

By mid-1949, 260-262-264-266 Commonwealth were owned by Josephine M. Ward, who was the assessed owner from 1950.  The property remained a lodging house.  In January of 1954, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 260 Commonwealth from a lodging house into a lodging house and one apartment, and to convert 266 Commonwealth from a lodging house into a lodging house and two apartments.  262-264 Commonwealth remained lodging houses.

In March of 1954, she applied for permission to allow automobiles to park for a fee behind 260-262-264-266 Commonwealth.  It appears the application was denied.

In August of 1960, Chamberlayne School and Chamberlayne Junior College purchased 260-262264266 Commonwealth from Josephine M. Ward.  In October of 1960, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 260 Commonwealth from a lodging house into a dormitory.

In May of 1962, Chamberlayne purchased the former Professional Building at 270 Commonwealth and converted it into a dormitory.  By 1964, it also owned 274276 Commonwealth, and in 1966 it acquired 278280282 Commonwealth.

Chamberlayne went bankrupt in the mid-1970s and sold many of its properties.

In February of 1977, George J. Brennan, Jr., Rocco Losano, Louis Francis Musco, Jr., and Frank Carroll (doing business as Commonwealth Management Associates, also known as Garden Halls Dormitories) purchased 260 and 262 Commonwealth from Chamberlayne.  The Stratford Foundation (successors to Chamberlayne) retained 264-266-270 Commonwealth.

In October of 1979, Commonwealth Management Associates transferred both properties to George Brennan, Jr., and Louis Musco, Jr. George Brennan and Louis Musco’s father, Louis, Sr., were co-founders of Bay State College.

Louis Musco, Jr., died in May of 1987. 260-262 Commonwealth continued to be owned by George Brennan and Louis Musco’s estate. In December of 2002, George Brennan transferred his interest in the property to the Brennan Family Realty LLC. He died in March of 2014.

260-262 Commonwealth remained a dormitory for Bay State College in 2016.

In March of 2017, 260-262 Commonwealth were acquired from Musco Properties LLC and the Brennan Family Realty Realty LLC by the Commonwealth Avenue Partners LLC (Marcel Safar and Xavier Giraud, managers of record).