263 Clarendon is located on the east side of Clarendon, between Marlborough and Commonwealth, with 265 Clarendon to the north and 65 Commonwealth to the south, across Alley 423.
263 Clarendon was built ca. 1870 for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale, one of four contiguous houses (92 Marlborough and 263-265-267 Clarendon) that form a single unit between Marlborough and Public Alley 423.
George Wheatland, Jr., purchased the land for the four houses in two transactions. On October 1, 1869, he bought the lot at the corner of Clarendon and Marlborough, with a frontage of 54 feet on Marlborough, from John Revere, and on March 23, 1870, he bought the lot to the east, with a frontage of 12 feet, from architect John H. Sturgis. Both lots had originally been part of a parcel purchased from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 30, 1862, by David Snow.
The original deeds for the four houses provided a four foot wide easement at the eastern edge of the lots, running from the southeast corner of 92 Marlborough through the rear yards of 263-265-267 Clarendon, to provide for drainage and access to the alley.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 263 Clarendon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 423, from Berkeley to Clarendon.
On April 23, 1870, 263 Clarendon was purchased by banker and stockbroker Thomas Handasyde Perkins and his wife, Elizabeth Jones (Chadwick) Perkins. The purchase was made by a trust they had established on July 9, 1855, with Elizabeth Perkins as the beneficiary. The Perkinses previously had lived at the Parker House hotel and, before that, at 285 Clarendon (201 Beacon).
The Perkinses’ two daughters, Jessie Grant Perkins and Mary Perkins, lived with them.
Jessie Perkins married in January of 1877 to Charles Whitney, a merchant. After their marriage, they lived at 225 Beacon.
During the 1878-1879 winter season, the Perkinses were living elsewhere and 263 Clarendon was the home of dry goods commission merchant David Nevins, Jr., and his wife, Harriet Francoeur (Blackburn) Nevins. In 1876, they had lived at 48 Commonwealth. They also maintained a home in South Framingham, which was their primary residence. They had moved from 263 Clarendon by the 1879-1880 season, and it was the Perkinses’ home once again.
Mary Perkins married in June of 1886 to Dr. Francis Sedgwick Watson, a physician and surgeon. After their marriage, they lived at 127 Boylston, where he also maintained his medical office.
Elizabeth Perkins died in January of 1888, and in about 1889 Thomas Perkins was joined at 263 Clarendon by Francis and Mary Watson. After moving to 263 Clarendon, Francis Watson maintained his medical offices at 80 Marlborough (in about 1894) and then, by 1895, at 92 Marlborough.
Thomas Perkins died in June of 1900.
Francis and Mary Watson continued to live at 263 Clarendon. He continued to maintain his medical offices at 92 Marlborough until about 1917.
Mary Watson died in September of 1917 as a result of injuries from falling from a third story window at 263 Clarendon (the Boston Globe article on her death notes that the family had recently returned from the country and “the city house was being opened and Mrs. Watson was assisting the maid and a nurse at the time she lost her balance and fell from the window”).
Francis Watson moved soon thereafter. He remarried in October of 1918 to Genevieve (born Sarah Jane) Walker; by the early 1920s, they lived in Sturbridge.
263 Clarendon had continued to be owned by the trust established for Elizabeth Perkins’s benefit and, on November 10, 1917, it sold the house to Marion Steedman (Mason) Wilson, the wife of Richard Thornton Wilson, Jr., a banker and thoroughbred horse breeder. They lived in New York City and Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, and also maintained two homes in Rhode Island: Shady Lawn in Newport and Indian House in Middletown.
Marion Wilson also owned 265 Clarendon, where she had lived with her parents, Dr. Amos Lawrence Mason and Louisa (Steedman) Mason, before her marriage to Richard Wilson in 1902. Her father had transferred the house to her in June of 1914, shortly before his death.
On November 25, 1917, the Boston Herald’s “Social Life” column noted Marion Wilson’s purchase of the house and commented that she also owned 265 Clarendon and “it is understood that both houses are to be remodelled into one residence.” The Wilsons were listed as late entries in the 1918 Blue Book living at 263 Clarendon for the 1917-1918 winter season, but on February 3, 1918, the Boston Herald reported that they would not occupy the house but rather would spend the season at their Palmetto Bluff home.
263 Clarendon was not listed in the 1919 Blue Book.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, 263 Clarendon was the home of architect William Truman Aldrich and his wife, Dorothea (Davenport) Aldrich. They previously had lived at 31 Hereford. They also maintained a home, White Gables, on Peaches Point in Marblehead, which he designed.
On May 17, 1921, Dorothea Aldrich purchased 263 Clarendon from Marion Wilson.
In July of 1921, William Aldrich applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house, adding a bay window off the pantry and three windows in a brick wall (probably on the alley). The remodeling was designed by his firm, Bellows and Aldrich.
The Aldriches continued to live at 263 Clarendon during the 1927-1928 winter season, but moved thereafter to Brookline.
On May 6, 1929, 263 Clarendon was purchased from Dorothea Aldrich by Richard Cutts Storey and his wife, Anna (Ladd) Storey. Anna Storey was the niece of Francis Sedgwick Watson (the daughter of his sister, Anna Russell Watson, and William Jones Ladd). The Storeys also maintained a home in Lincoln.
Richard Storey died in June of 1931. Anna Storey continued to live at 263 Clarendon until 1934. Their three younger unmarried sons – Moorfield Storey II, William Ladd Storey, and John Cutts Storey – lived with her.
In 1934, 263 Clarendon was leased from Anna Storey by the Katharine Gibbs School. In September of 1934, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a lodging house (dormitory). It remained a Katharine Gibbs School dormitory until about 1944.
On June 29, 1944, 263 Clarendon was purchased from Anna Storey by Alfred Hill Crump and his wife, Alice W. (Northridge) Crump. They lived in Wellesley Hills, where she died in June of 1945.
By 1945, 263 Clarendon 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. In 1944, they had lived and operated a lodging house at 2 Marlborough. The Weavers continued to live at 263 Clarendon in 1946, but had moved by 1947.
On November 1, 1945, 263 Clarendon was acquired from Alfred Crump by Wilbur Harris Payson, a former steamship engineer, who continued to operate it as a lodging house. He previously had been a lodger at 113 Beacon. He continued to live at 263 Clarendon until the early 1960s, after which he moved to Rowley, Massachusetts.
On March 1, 1972, 263 Clarendon was acquired from Wilbur Payson by Anthony Baker. He continued to operate the property as a lodging house.
On August 5, 1976, the Combank Corporation foreclosed on its mortgage to Anthony Baker and sold 263 Clarendon to John J. Hayes, III, and Vernon G. Walen.
On March 16, 1981, John J. Hayes, III, and Vernon Walen transferred the property to John J. Hayes, III, as trustee of the Clarendon Towers Realty Trust, and on December 4, 1984, he transferred it to himself as trustee of the New Clarendon Towers Realty Trust.
On May 1, 2020, 263 Clarendon was purchased from John J. Hayes, III, by Dacokaso LLC (David Greaney, manager).
On April 12, 2023, the property was purchased from Dacokaso LLC by the 263 Clarendon LLC (Justin Hajj, manager).
263 Clarendon was assessed as a four- to six-family dwelling in 2022.