283 Commonwealth

283 Commonwealth (2015)

Lot 28' x 124.5' (3,486 sf)

Lot 28′ x 124.5′ (3,486 sf)

283 Commonwealth is located on the north side of Commonwealth, between Gloucester and Hereford, with 20 Gloucester to the east and 285 Commonwealth to the west.

283 Commonwealth was built in 1879-1880 by Weston & Shepard, masons, and Creesy & Noyes, carpenters, for real estate dealer Henry Whitwell, for speculative sale.  He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated October 29, 1879, and on the final building inspection report, dated August 5, 1880. No architect is identified on the permit and inspection documents.

By the 1881-1882 winter season, it was the home of liquor dealer Frank O. Dame and his wife, Mary Wallingford (Herrick) Dame.  In 1880, they had lived at 142 West Chester Park.  Mary Dame is shown as the owner of 283 Commonwealth on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps.

Frank Dame died in February of 1886.  Mary Dame moved to the Hotel Vendome for the 1886-1887 winter season, and then to 333 Beacon.

By the 1886-1887 winter season, 283 Commonwealth  was the home of brick manufacturer John Henry Hubbell and his wife, Sarah Marietta (Dana) Hubbell. They had lived at 250 Commonwealth during the previous season.  They continued to live at 283 Commonwealth in 1889, but had moved to 383 Commonwealth by 1890.

During the 1889-1890 winter season, 283 Commonwealth was the home of Mary (Vinton) Clark, the widow of Randolph Marshall Clark, who had been treasurer of the Boston Elastic Fabric Company. She also maintained a home in Pomfret, Connecticut. She had lived at 148 Commonwealth during the 1886-1887 winter season. By the 1891-1892 season, she had moved to 27 Commonwealth.

During the 1890-1891 winter season, Mary Dame was living at 283 Commonwealth once again.  She moved soon thereafter to Brookline.

By the 1891-1892 winter season, 283 Commonwealth was the home of Thomas Reed Wheelock and his wife, Edith Haswell (Clarke) Wheelock.  They previously had lived at 196 Commonwealth.  He is shown as the owner of 283 Commonwealth on the1895, 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps.

Thomas Wheelock was a ship broker doing business in Shanghai.

During the 1897-1898 winter season, the Wheelocks were living elsewhere and 283 Commonwealth was the home of Mrs. Eliza Jones (Hersey) Andrew, the widow of John Albion Andrew, who had served as Governor of Massachusetts during the Civil War.  She had lived at the Hotel Agassiz at 191 Commonwealth earlier in 1897.  She continued to live at 283 Commonwealth until her death in June of 1898.

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

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

By the 1898-1899 winter season, the Wheelocks were once again living at 283 Commonwealth.

They continued to live there in 1905, but during the 1905-1906 winter season, they were elsewhere and it was the home of Morris Gray and his wife, Flora (Grant) Gray.  He was an attorney and trustee of estates.  By the 1906-1907 season, they had moved to 149 Beacon, and 283 Commonwealth was the Wheelocks’ home once again.

In the spring of 1910, at the time of the 1910 US Census, the Wheelocks were living elsewhere and 283 Commonwealth was the home of dry goods merchant Henry Coffin Everett and his wife Ellen Crocker (Tufts) Everett.  The had lived at the Hotel Somerset during the 1909-1910 winter season.

By 1911, the Everetts had moved to 353 Commonwealth and the Wheelocks were once again living at 283 Commonwealth.

During the 1912-1913 winter season, the Wheelocks were joined at 283 Commonwealth by Mrs. Clarise Sears (Risley) Ramsay, wife of William McCreery Ramsay.

Edith Wheelock died in May of 1913.  Thomas Wheelock continued to live at 283 Commonwealth.  By the 1913-1914 winter season, he was joined there by Philip Leffingwell Spalding and his wife, Katherine Hobart (Ames) Spalding.  They previously had lived at 265 Commonwealth.  He was president of the New England Telephone & Telegraph Company.

Thomas Wheelock continued to live at 283 Commonwealth during the 1914-1915 winter season, but moved thereafter, probably to Shanghai (where he died in 1920). The Spaldings continued to live at 283 Commonwealth during the 1917-1918 season, but moved thereafter to Cambridge.

By the 1918-1919 winter season, 283 Commonwealth was the home of Jesse S. Koshland and his wife, Edith (Guggenheim) Koshland. They previously had lived at 479 Commonwealth.  At first, the Koshlands leased the house, but in the fall of 1923 they purchased it from the Wheelock family.  The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on September 23, 1923.  Jesse Koshland is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map.  They also maintained a home in Manchester.

Jesse Koshland was a wholesale wool merchant from San Francisco.

The Koshlands continued to live at 283 Commonwealth until about 1931, when he closed his business and returned to California.

The house was not listed in the 1932-1937 Blue Books and was shown as vacant in the 1931-1937 City Directories.

In May of 1937, the Boston Guild for the Hard of Hearing acquired 283 Commonwealth.  It previously had been located at 339 Commonwealth.   In July of 1937, the Guild filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into offices and a dwelling.  The permit subsequently was abandoned, but the Guild nevertheless occupied the property as offices, meeting rooms, and a school for the hearing-impaired.

In June of 1954, and again in October of 1954, the Guild filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as a “philanthropic institution for social and guidance work of hard of hearing persons.”

In June of 1999, the Third Stone from the Sun LLC purchased 283 Commonwealth from the Boston Guild for the Hard of Hearing.  That same month, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into four apartments.

In August of 2000, it converted the property into four condominium units: The Guild House Condominium.