288 Marlborough was designed by Ware and Van Brunt, architects, and built in 1872 for builder and contractor George Martin Gibson, probably 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 bay-windowed tower; they flank 286-288-290 Marlborough, which have stepped (curvilinear) Dutch-style gables.
G. M. 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.
By 1872, 288 Marlborough was the home of insurance broker Henry Rogers Dalton and his wife, Florence (Chapman) Dalton. They had been married in January of 1872, and 288 Marlborough probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 189 Beacon with his brother, Dr. Edward Barry Dalton.
He is shown as the owner of 288 Marlborough on the 1874 Hopkins map and the 1883 Bromley map.
They continued to live there in 1885, but had moved to a new home they had built at 357 Beacon by 1886.
By the 1885-1886 winter season, 288 Marlborough was the home of Mrs. Susan Billings (Gore) Warren, the widow of attorney Richard Warren, and 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. They previously had lived at the Hotel Berkeley (southeast corner of Berkeley and Boylston), and before that at 74 Marlborough.
Susan (Gore) Warren is shown as the owner of 288 Marlborough on the 1888, 1890, 1895, and 1898 Bromley maps.
Her daughter, Susan, married in September of 1888 to John Richard Cowen Wrenshall, and moved elsewhere (probably to Baltimore). Edward Warren continued to live and maintain his medical office at 288 Marlborough in 1891, but had moved by 1892.
Mrs. Warren continued to live there, joined in about 1899 by her daughter, who had separated from her husband, and her granddaughter, Marion Wrenshall. By 1903, Dr. Edward Warren was also once again living with them.
Susan Warren died in November of 1905. The Heirs of Mrs. S. B. Warren are shown as the owners on the 1908 Bromley map. Edward Warren, Susan 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.
By the 1910-1911 winter season, it was the home of investment banker and stock broker Philip Van Rensselaer Ely and his wife, Marian Glyde (Bigelow) Ely. They previously had lived at The Chesterfield at 371 Commonwealth. Marian G. Ely is shown as the owner of 288 Marlborough on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps. Marian Ely died in 1920, and by 1921 Philip Ely was living at 48 Beacon.
By the 1920-1921 winter season, 288 Marlborough was the home of 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.
During the 1922-1923 winter season, 288 Marlborough was the home of David Kilburn Stevens and his wife, Cordelia Brooks (Fenno) Browne 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 Stevens 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. He is shown as the owner of 288 Marlborough on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in Biddeford Pool, Maine.
The Turners continued to live at 288 Marlborough 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 E. Peterson and his wife, Mae A. Peterson.
The house was shown as vacant in the 1944 and 1945 City Directories.
By 1946, 288 Marlborough was the home of Thomas Nickerson Rogers and his wife, Jane (Zimmerman) Rogers. 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. Thomas Rogers continued to live at 288 Marlborough until about 1953. After his wife’s death, he appears to have accepted lodgers.
By 1954, 288 Marlborough was owned by Nicholas De Palma and Ruth A. De Palma. 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.
By 1955, 288 Marlborough was owned by Miss Jacqueline Tighe, who appears to have operated it as an apartment house.
In September of 1956, Sydney Reuben Barrow, a former shoe dealer, and his wife, Josephine (Hanratty) Barrow, acquired 288 Marlborough. They lived 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.
The property changed hands and in November of 1979 was purchased 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. And in February of 1984, they converted the property into three condominium units, the Two Eighty Eight Marlborough Street Condominium.