288 Marlborough was designed by Ware and Van Brunt, architects, and built in 1872 for builder and contractor George Martin Gibson, for speculative sale, one of five contiguous houses (284-286-288-290-292 Marlborough) designed as a symmetrical composition: 284 and 292 Marlborough are mirror images of each other, each with a turreted bay; they flank 286-288-290 Marlborough, which have stepped (curvilinear) Dutch-style gables. At the same time, Ware and Van Brunt also designed three additional houses for George Gibson, 282 Marlborough and 7-9 Fairfield. George Gibson received a permit in early June of 1872 to build all eight houses (reported in the Boston Herald on June 8, 1872).
George Gibson acquired the land for 282-292 Marlborough and 7-9 Fairfield on March 22, 1872, from Edward John Hale, who was associated with John M. Forbes & Co., shipping merchants and investors in railroads, mining, and other enterprises. Edward Hale and his wife, Justine Elise (Sewell) Hale, lived at 3 Brimmer. Edward Hale assembled the parcel through three purchases in October and December of 1870. All of the land was part of one of several parcels originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on January 29, 1866, by a real estate investment trust formed by John Templeman Coolidge, Franklin Evans, and Charles Henry Parker. The trust had subdivided the property into lots, which it sold to investors and builders, who then frequently resold the lots to others.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 288 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 427, from Fairfield to Gloucester.
George Gibson is shown as the owner on the original building permit application for 284-292 Marlborough, dated April 16, 1872, and on the final inspection report, dated October 17, 1872.
On October 7, 1872, 288 Marlborough was purchased from George Gibson by insurance broker Henry Rogers Dalton. He and his wife, Florence (Chapman) Dalton, made it their home. They had married in January of 1872. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 189 Beacon with his brother, Dr. Edward Barry Dalton.
The Daltons continued to live at 288 Marlborough during the 1884-1885 winter season, but moved thereafter to a new home they had built at 357 Beacon by 1886.
On May 15, 1885, 288 Marlborough was purchased from Henry Dalton by Susan Billings (Gore) Warren, the widow of attorney Richard Warren. She lived there with their children: Dr. Edward Winslow Warren, a physician specializing in diseases of the throat and nose, and Susan Billings Warren. Dr. Warren also maintained his medical office there. Susan Warren’s unmarried sister, Sarah Dana Gore, also lived with them. They all previously had lived at the Hotel Berkeley (southeast corner of Berkeley and Boylston), and before that at 74 Marlborough.
Susan Billings Warren married in September of 1888 to John Richard Cowen Wrenshall of Baltimore. They separated soon after the wedding and she lived at 288 Marlborough with her mother and brother. John and Susan Wrenshall’s daughter, Marion Warren Wrenshall, was born in June of 1889 at 288 Marlborough; the Wrenshall divorced in May of 1893.
Edward Warren continued to live and maintain his medical office at 288 Marlborough in 1891, but had moved by 1892, probably to Ansonia, Connecticut.
Susan Dana Gore died in October of 1896.
By 1897, Edward Warren had resumed living at 288 Marlborough with his mother and sister.
Susan Warren died in November of 1905. Edward Warren, Susan (Warren) Wrenshall, and Marion Wrenshall continued to live at 288 Marlborough during the 1908-1909 winter season, after which they traveled abroad and, by late 1910, moved to an apartment at 411 Marlborough.
288 Marlborough was not listed in the 1910 Blue Book.
On March 28, 1910, 288 Marlborough was purchased from Susan Warren’s estate by Marian Glyde (Bigelow) Horton Ely, the wife of investment banker and stock broker Philip Van Rensselaer Ely. They previously had lived at The Chesterfield at 371 Commonwealth.
Marian Ely died in 1920 Philip Ely moved soon thereafter to 48 Beacon.
On October 7, 1920, 288 Marlborough was acquired from Marian Ely’s estate by Annette Stuart (Shaw) Hill, the widow of Ernest Lawrence Hill, a cotton mill executive. She previously had lived in Newton. She continued to live at 288 Marlborough during the 1921-1922 season, but moved thereafter to Cambridge. In April of 1924, she purchased and moved to 208 Commonwealth.
On September 20, 1922, 288 Marlborough was purchased from Annette Hill by Cordelia Brooks (Fenno) Browne Stevens, the wife of David Kilburn Stevens. They had married in 1921 and were lodgers at 237 Beacon before moving to 288 Marlborough.
A former lawyer, David Stevens was a playwright, librettist, and editor with C. C. Birchard and Company, publishers. Cordelia Brooks (Fenno) Stevens also was a poet and librettist. They had married in 1921.
Cordelia Stevens had been married previously to William Maynadier Browne, a wool merchant who also wrote plays and humorous stories. One of their daughters, Margaret Fitzhugh Browne, lived with the Stevenses at 288 Marlborough. She was an artist.
The Stevenses and Miss Browne had moved to The Grosvenor at 259 Beacon by 1924.
By the 1923-1924 winter season, 288 Marlborough was the home of Howard Chubbuck Turner and his wife, Helen (Jackson) Turner. They previously had lived at 31 Gloucester. He was an executive of a lamp company and later would become trustee of his father’s estate. They also maintained a home in Biddeford Pool, Maine.
The Turners initially leased 288 Marlborough from Cordelia Stevens, and then purchased the house from her on May 1, 1925. They continued to live there until about 1941, when they moved to an apartment at 20 Fairfield.
288 Marlborough was shown as vacant in the 1942 City Directory.
In 1943, 288 Marlborough was the home of Emory Edward Peterson and his wife, Mae Alice (Bruton) Peterson. In 1941, they had lived in Arlington.
The house was shown as vacant in the 1944 and 1945 City Directories.
On March 1, 1946, 288 Marlborough was purchased from Howard Turner by Thomas Nickerson Rogers and his wife, Jane (Zimmerman) Rogers, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived in an apartment at 459 Beacon. He was treasurer of the Hastings Sales Engineering Company, dealers in television and sound equipment. Jane Rogers died in November of 1951.
In November of 1952, Thomas Rogers married again, to Jane (Anthony) Rogers, the former wife of Edward Eliot Rogers. After their marriage, they lived at 288 Marlborough, and on February 27, 1953, he transferred the property into both of their names. They moved soon thereafter and by 1956 were living in Winchester.
On August 31, 1953, 288 Marlborough was acquired from Thomas and Jane Rogers by the National Realty Company, and on November 16, 1953, it was acquired from National Realty by Nicholas De Palma and his wife, Ruth A. De Palma, of Cambridge.
In February of 1954, they applied for permission to convert the property from a lodging house into four apartments and two medical offices. Their application was denied and their appeal was dismissed by the Board of Appeal.
The property changed hands, continuing to be a multiple dwelling, either a lodging house or apartments. From about 1954 to about 1957, it also was the location of the Boston Psychological Center.
On January 28, 1957, 288 Marlborough was acquired by Sydney Reuben Barrow, a former shoe dealer, and his wife, Josephine (Hanratty) Barrow. They lived in an apartment at 291 Marlborough. In June of 1961, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as five apartments, which he stated was the occupancy when he took title to the property.
On August 16, 1961, 288 Marlborough was acquired from the Barrows by attorney Daniel J. Finn. He and his wife, Mary (Ross) Finn, lived at 294 Marlborough.
On November 15, 1979, 288 Marlborough was purchased from Daniel Finn by Thomas W. Philbin and his wife, M. Kathleen Philbin.
In May of 1980, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from five apartments into a two-family dwelling. In September of 1983, the applied for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of units from two to three.
On February 23, 1984, the Philbins converted the property into three condominium units, the Two Eighty Eight Marlborough Street Condominium.