290 Commonwealth

290 Commonwealth (2013)

290 Commonwealth (2013)

Lot 38.6' x 124.5' (4,806 sf)

Lot 38.6′ x 124.5′ (4,806 sf)

290 Commonwealth is located on the south side of Commonwealth, between Gloucester and Hereford, with 288 Commonwealth to the east and 294 Commonwealth to the west.

290 Commonwealth was designed and built in 1890-1891 by architect and building contractor Frederick B. Pope.  as a six unit apartment house, with one flat on each floor.  Fred Pope is shown as the owner, architect, and builder on the original building permit application, dated May 27, 1890, and on the final building inspection report, dated October 24, 1891.  On both documents, the property is identified as 292 Commonwealth.

By 1894. 290 Commonwealth was owned by the estate of Mrs. Jane Marshall (Neil) Dodge, who had died in May of 1881.  She had been the wife of Theodore Ayrault Dodge, an army officer and military historian.  In late 1894, the property was released by Jane Dodge’s estate to her son, Robert Elkin Neil Dodge, et al, who then transferred the property to Louis A. Wyman, trustee.  The transactions were reported in the Boston Globe on November 21, 1894.  Robert Elkin Neil Dodge lived in Madison, Wisconsin, where he was a instructor and later a professor of English at Wisconsin University.

Second floor plan of 290 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 24Oct1891 (v. 41, p. 70); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Second floor plan of 290 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 24Oct1891 (v. 41, p. 70); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Front elevation of 290 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 24Oct1891 (v. 41, p. 70); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Front elevation of 290 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 24Oct1891 (v. 41, p. 70); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Louis A. Wyman, trustee, is shown as the owner of 290 Commonwealth on the 1895, 1898, 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.  Louis Augustus Wyman was president and treasurer of the Wright & Potter Printing Company, the Massachusetts state printers.  He and his wife, Edith Estelle (Merriam) Wyman, lived in Swampscott.

Louis Wyman died in July of 1917.  After his death, Robert Elkin Neil Dodge et al became the assessed owners of 290 Commonwealth from 1918 through 1923.

Arthur Merriam Wyman, the son of Louis Wyman and his successor as treasurer of the Wright & Potter Printing Company, was the assessed owner from 1924.  He and his wife, Laura Gertrude (Case) Wyman, lived in Swampscott.  He is shown as the owner of 290 Commonwealth on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1946.

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

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

By the mid-1940s, 290 Commonwealth contained seven apartments and ten maid’s rooms.

By 1947, it was owned by the Ashe Realty Trust.  In September of 1947, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into 26 apartments.  Although the work was approved, it appears that the conversion never took place (there continued to be six or seven residents listed in the City Directories at 290 Commonwealth throughout the 1950s).

By 1961, 290 Commonwealth was owned by Max Gopin, a real estate management executive. In October of 1961, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from seven apartments into 26 apartments.

Max Gopin died in December of 1961, and in September of 1963, Pierre L. de Bourgknecht acquired 290 Commonwealth from his sons,  Solomon D. Gopin and Nathan L. Gopin, executors and trustees under Max Gopin’s will.

In July of 1985, Barry P. Winer, trustee of the 290 Commonwealth Avenue Realty Trust, purchased 290 Commonwealth from Pierre L. de Bourgknecht.  That same month, he converted the property into 29 condominium units, the 290 Commonwealth Avenue Condominium.