289 Marlborough was designed and built ca. 1871 by Frederick B. Pope for speculative sale, one of eight contiguous houses (285-287-289-291-293-295-297-299 Marlborough) built at about the same time. 287-289 Marlborough are designed as a symmetrical pair.
By 1872, it was the home of Sophia Harrison (Mifflin) Gardiner, widow of architect Edward Carey Gardiner. She previously lived at 5 Boylston Place. She is shown as the owner of 289 Marlborough on the 1874 Hopkins map and on the 1883 and 1888 Bromley maps.
Sophia Gardiner was living elsewhere during the 1882-1883 winter season and 289 Marlborough was the home of merchant William Simes and his wife Fannie Swett (Newell) Simes. They had married in February of 1882; prior to their marriage, he had lived at the Hotel Albion at 1 Beacon. By the next season, the Simeses had moved to a new home they had built at 257 Marlborough.
By the 1889-1890 winter season, 289 Marlborough was the home of attorney Henry Wheeler and his wife, Ellen (Hayward) Wheeler. They had married in October of 1888 and had lived at The Copley at 19 Huntington during the previous season. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 72 Marlborough with his parents, Alexander Strong Wheeler and Augusta (Hurd) Wheeler. Henry Wheeler is shown as the owner of 289 Marlborough on the 1890, 1895, and 1898 Bromley maps.
They continued to live there during the 1905-1906 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to 183 Marlborough.
By 1906-1907 winter season, 289 Marlborough was the home of architect John Harleston Parker and his wife, Edith (Stackpole) Parker. They previously had lived at 18 Fairfield. Edith Parker is shown as the owner of 289 Marlborough on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.
In 1917, J. Harleston Parker purchased 173 Commonwealth and had it rebuilt to his design. They continued to live at 289 Marlborough until the rebuilding of 173 Commonwealth was completed.
In mid-1918, 289 Marlborough was purchased from the Parkers by attorney Robert Homans and his wife, Abigail (Adams) Homans. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on June 20, 1918. They previously had lived at 33 Brimmer. He is shown as the owner of 289 Marlborough on the 1928 Bromley map. They also maintained a home in Marblehead.
By the 1927-1928 winter season, 289 Marlborough was the home of Robert Homan’s unmarried sisters, Katharine Amory Homans and Marian Jackson Homans. They previously had lived at 11 Lime.
During the 1933-1934 season, Katharine and Marian Homans were living in Ponkapoag (Canton), Massachusetts, and 289 Marlborough was the home of Henry Bryant Bigelow and his wife, Elizabeth Perkins (Shattuck) Bigelow. They had lived at 230 Commonwealth in 1933; their usual residence was in Concord. Henry Bigelow was a professor of zoology at Harvard, where he also was curator of oceanography at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He was a founder of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in in 1930 and served as its first director.
By the 1934-1935 winter season, the Homans sisters were once again living at 289 Marlborough.
Katherine and Marian Homans continued to live there until about 1947.
In 1948, 289 Marlborough was the home of Robert and Abigail Homans’s son-in-law and daughter, attorney Henry Lowell Mason, Jr., and Fanny Crowninshield (Homans) Warren Mason. They previously had lived in an apartment at 7 Exeter. They were joined by Henry Mason’s widowed father, Henry Lowell Mason, Sr., a retired piano manufacturer. He previously had lived at 67 Bay State Road. By 1949, they had all moved to 79 Marlborough.
In the fall of 1948, 289 Marlborough was purchased from Abigail Homans by Dorothy (MacLure) Leonard Wilson, the widow of Wallace Minot Leonard and the former wife of Steven Bayard Wilson. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on October 17, 1948. Her son, Wallace Minot Leonard, lived with her. They previously had lived in Newton. They continued to live at 289 Marlborough until about 1952.
By 1952, 289 Marlborough had been converted into eight apartments and was owned by Sydney Reuben Barrow, a shoe dealer, and his wife, Josephine (Hanratty) Barrow. They lived at 363 Beacon. In December of 1952, they were cited for failure to provide adequate egress and they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to install fire escapes to address the violation.
In 1955, the Barrows acquired 291 Marlborough and moved there from 363 Beacon.
In September of 1962, 289 Marlborough was acquired by Herbert C. Graves. In January of 1963, he filed for permission to legalize the occupancy as nine apartments, noting that an apartment on first floor had been subdivided into two apartments prior to the time he purchased the property. His application was denied and he appears not to have appealed the denial.
In February of 1963, James F. Draper acquired 289 Marlborough from Herbert C. Graves. In June of 1966, he filed for permission to legalize the occupancy as nine units. He subsequently abandoned the application.
In August of 1966, Florence Beth Pockwinse acquired 289 Marlborough from James F. Draper. She lived at 31 Brimmer where she operated a lodging house.
In February of 1973, she was cited by the Building Department for failing to repair fire damage to the second floor apartment in the rear, and also for failure to secure a permit establishing the legal occupancy as nine units. In March of 1973, she filed for permission to legalize the occupancy as nine units. She subsequently abandoned the application.
In 1973, James C. and Christina H. Lawless, trustees of the Downey Realty Trust, purchased 289 Marlborough from Florence Beth Pockwinse.
In November of 1979, Thomas C. Duffly and his wife, Frances (Lessin) Duffly purchased 289 Marlborough from the James and Christina Lawless. In October of 1979, prior to purchasing the house, the Dufflys filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel it and establish the legal occupancy as four apartments.
In January of 1994, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the number of units from four to three.
In May of 2012, 289 Marlborough was purchased by the 289 Marlborough Street LLC. In December of 2012, it converted the property into two condominium units, the Residences at 289 Condominium.