282 Commonwealth

282 Commonwealth (2013)

282 Commonwealth (2013)

Lot 30' x 124.5' (3,735 sf)

Lot 30′ x 124.5′ (3,735 sf)

282 Commonwealth is located on the SE corner of Commonwealth and Gloucester, with 280 Commonwealth to the east, 284 Commonwealth to the west, across Gloucester, 17 Gloucester to the north, across Commonwealth, and 29 Gloucester to the south, across Alley 432.

282 Commonwealth was designed by Allen and Kenway, architects, and built in 1883-1884 either by L. P. Soule and John Morrison, who are shown as the builders on the original permit application, or by Thomas J. Whidden & Co., who are shown as the builders on the final building inspection report.

282 Commonwealth was built as the home of leather manufacturer Alexander Moseley. He is shown as the owner of 282 Commonwealth on the original building permit application, dated November 22, 1883, and on the final building inspection report, dated December 15, 1886 (dated significantly after the house had been completed and occupied).

Alexander Moseley purchased the land for 282 Commonwealth on October 2, 1883, from M. Woolsey Borland. The lot had changed hands several times and was part of a parcel previously owned by Nathan Matthews, part of an even larger tract he had purchased on January 2, 1871, from David Sears, Jr., Frederick R. Sears, and Knyvet Sears.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 282 Commonwealth.

By the 1885-1886 winter season, Alexander Moseley and his wife, Frances A. (Richardson) Moseley, had made 282 Commonwealth their home. They previously had lived at the Hotel Cluny at 543 Boylston.

In May of 1890, Alexander Moseley purchased the vacant lot at 280 Commonwealth from Eustace Carey Fitz, presumably with the intention of either keeping it vacant or limiting the nature of any building constructed on it. In December of 1893, he sold the land to John Hogg, including in the deed provisions specifying that only a single-family dwelling could be built at 280 Commonwealth and limiting the height and depth of any such house.

First floor plan of 282 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 15Dec1886 (v. 17, p. 37); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

First floor plan of 282 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 15Dec1886 (v. 17, p. 37); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Frances Moseley died in March of 1897. Alexander Moseley continued to live at 282 Commonwealth with their unmarried daughter, Ellen Frances Moseley. On May 4, 1898, he transferred 282 Commonwealth to her.

Alexander Moseley died in December of 1899 and Ellen Moseley moved soon thereafter to The Kensington at 687 Boylson.

On June 1, 1900, 282 Commonwealth was purchased from Ellen Moseley by Ellen Augusta (Perkins) Proctor, the wife of sole leather merchant Henry Harrison Proctor. They previously had lived at 369 Marlborough, which had become the home of their son, Dr. Francis Ingersoll Proctor, a physician and ophthalmologist, and his wife, Mary (Stevens) Putnam Proctor.

Henry and Ellen Proctor’s unmarried son, Charles Anderson Proctor, a member of his father’s leather firm, lived with them at 282 Commonwealth until his marriage in January of 1907 to Grace Hopkins.  After their marriage, they lived at 42 Gloucester.

Ellen Proctor’s sister, Sarah Elizabeth (Perkins) Stimpson, also lived with them.  She was the widow of Thomas M. Stimpson, a lawyer, and also had lived with the Proctors at 369 Marlborough.

Henry Proctor died in April of 1921.

Ellen Proctor continued to live at 282 Commonwealth with her sister, Sarah Stimpson.  They also maintained a home in Swampscott.

In about 1923, they were joined by the Proctors’ widowed son, Dr. Francis Ingersoll Proctor, whose wife, Mary, had died in 1917. He had lived at 64 Commonwealth the previous year, and in Wellesley in 1921.

282 Commonwealth; The American Architect and Building News, 13Aug1887

282 Commonwealth; The American Architect and Building News, 13Aug1887

Sarah Stimpson died in 1924.  Francis Proctor continued to live at 282 Commonwealth with his mother until about 1926, when he moved to Washington DC.

Ellen Proctor continued to live at 282 Commonwealth until her death in February of 1930.

Sarah Stimpson died in 1924.  Francis Proctor continued to live at 282 Commonwealth with his mother until about 1926, when he moved to Washington DC.

Ellen Proctor continued to live at 282 Commonwealth until her death in February of 1930.

282 Commonwealth was not listed in the 1929-1934 Blue Books and was shown as vacant in the 1930-1934 City Directories.

On November 27, 1934, 282 Commonwealth was purchased from Ellen Proctor’s heirs by real estate dealer Joseph P. Brennan. On December 14, 1934, it was acquired from him by Mary F. Donlon.

The property continued not to be listed in the Blue Books for 1935-1937 and to be shown as vacant in the 1935-1937 City Directories.

On April 3, 1937, 282 Commonwealth was acquired from Mary F. Donlon by Nora Lillian Kennedy. In April of 1937, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a six-family dwelling.

On December 16, 1937, 282 Commonwealth was acquired from Nora Kennedy by Margherita (Ercolani) Grilli, the wife of Silvestro (Silvio) Grilli, a manager and later vice president and manager of Pieroni, Inc. restaurant operators. They previously had lived in an apartment at 440 Newbury and before that at 294 Commonwealth.

The Grillis lived in one of the apartments at 282 Commonwealth until about 1941, when they moved to 334 Beacon, where they lived until about 1948, when they moved back to 282 Commonwealth.

282 Commonwealth (2013)

282 Commonwealth (2013)

In July of 1951, Margherita Grilli applied for (and subsequently received) permission to build a two-car garage at the rear of the property, entered from Gloucester.

In July of 1960, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from six apartments into a lodging house.

Margherita Grilli died in December of 1960 in Rome. Silvio Grilli subsequently moved back to an apartment at 334 Beacon.  He died in May of 1966.

By 1961, 282 Commonwealth was a dormitory for Burdett College.  In April of 1962, the Grilli family applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a dormitory, legalizing the existing occupancy.

From about 1962 to about 1964, 282 Commonwealth was a dormitory for the Franklin Institute of Boston and for Newman Preparatory School.

On October 27, 1965, 282 Commonwealth was purchased from Margherita Grilli’s estate by First Community Investment Co., Inc. It also owned 278280 Commonwealth, 29 Gloucester, 34 Gloucester, and 211 Beacon.

By 1965, 282 Commonwealth was a dormitory for The Osborne Association of the Cambridge School of Business, which also occupied 278280 Commonwealth.

On June 13, 1966, 278280282 Commonwealth were acquired from First Community Investment by Chamberlayne School and Chamberlayne Junior College, located at 128 Commonwealth. Chamberlayne already owned 260262264266270274276 Commonwealth, which it had acquired earlier in the 1960s. Chamberlayne also acquired 29 Gloucester, 34 Gloucester, and 211 Beacon from First Community Investment.

280-282 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

280-282 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

Chamberlayne operated 278-280-282 Commonwealth as dormitories.

Chamberlayne went bankrupt in the mid-1970s, and in June of 1975, it transferred 278-280-282 Commonwealth, 29 Gloucester, and 34 Gloucester to Bernard P. Rome, trustee in bankruptcy.

On December 15, 1976, Back Bay Restorations Company purchased 278280-282 Commonwealth (and four other properties: 199 Marlborough, 238 Marlborough, 148 Commonwealth. and  298 Commonwealth) from Bernard P. Rome.  One month earlier, it had purchased 274 and 276 Commonwealth from Alfonso Vitagliano, who had acquired them from Chamberlayne through mortgage foreclosures.

In October of 1976, prior to finalizing either purchase, Back Bay Restorations had filed for (and subsequently received) permission to combine 280 and 282 Commonwealth into one property, with the address of 280 Commonwealth, and convert the combined property into 18 apartments.

At the same time, it also applied to combine 274-276 Commonwealth and 278 Commonwealth into one property, with the address at 274 Commonwealth, and convert the combined property into 23 apartments.  In February of 1984, it filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of apartments at 274-276-278 Commonwealth from 23 to 25.

On February 3, 1984, Back Bay Restorations converted 274-282 Commonwealth into forty-three condominium units (ten units in 274 Commonwealth,  five units in 276 Commonwealth, ten units in 278 Commonwealth, eleven units in 280 Commonwealth, and seven units in 282 Commonwealth): the 280 Commonwealth Condominium.