3 Gloucester was built ca. 1872, one of three contiguous houses (3-5-7 Gloucester) designed by architect Frederic H. Moore.
It appears likely that all three houses were built for building contractor Samuel Tarbell Ames, who is shown as the owner of 3 and 7 Gloucester on the 1874 Hopkins map and who made 7 Gloucester his home. The houses were built on land owned by the Estate of Joshua Stetson (the deed for 5 Gloucester refers to it as Lot 2 of a “Plan of the Estate of Joshua Stetson, deceased, corner Marlboro and Gloucester Streets” prepared by Frederic H. Moore, architect, and dated March 1872).
By 1875, 3 Gloucester was the home of James H. Reed and his wife, Martha A. (Wesson) Reed. In 1873, they had lived at 64 West Cedar. He is shown as the owner of 3 Gloucester on the 1883, 1888, and 1895 Bromley maps.
He was treasurer of the Boston Ice Company.
By the 1897-1898 winter season, 3 Gloucester was the home of attorney Thomas Russell and his wife, Laura (Parks) Russell. They previously had lived in an apartment at 409 Marlborough. He is shown as the owner of 3 Gloucester on the 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps.
The Russells continued to live at 3 Gloucester during the 1918-1919 season, but moved thereafter to 277 Clarendon.
In mid-1919, 3 Gloucester was purchased from Thomas Russell by Dr. George Parkman Denny, a physician, and his wife, Charlotte (Hemenway) Denny. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on June 11, 1919. They previously had lived at 273 Clarendon with her parents, Augustus and Harriet (Lawrence) Hemenway, while he served in the US Army medical corps. Prior to that, they had lived at 285 Marlborough. Charlotte Denny is shown as the owner of 3 Gloucester on the 1928 Bromley map. The Dennys also maintained a summer home in Manchester.
By 1937, 3 Gloucester was the home of John Lavalle and his wife, Virginia (Wilson) Lavalle.
John Lavalle was a portrait and landscape artist.
In 1934, the Lavalles had lived with his mother, Alice Cornelia (Johnson) Lavalle, at 353 Marlborough. On May 7, while he was in New York exhibiting his art and Virginia Lavalle was in Cincinnati visiting family, 353 Marlborough was destroyed by fire. His mother and his daughter, Alice, were killed, and his daughter, Mary, subsequently died of injuries from the fire. His two younger children, John and Ellen, survived.
In August of 1937, John Lavalle applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a fire escape to the rear of 3 Gloucester (the house at 353 Marlborough had neither a fire escape nor fire balconies). Virginia W. Lavalle is shown as the owner of 3 Gloucester on the 1938 Bromley map.
John and Virginia Lavalle lived at 3 Gloucester until about 1945. They divorced at about this time and he moved to New York. 3 Gloucester became the home of his son, John Edward Lavalle. He continued to live there until about 1951.
By 1952, Virginia (Wilson) Lavalle had married again, to Huntington Wolcott Frothingham, principal assessor the City of Boston. After their marriage, they lived at 3 Gloucester.
They continued to live there in 1956, but had moved to an apartment at 308 Commonwealth by 1957.
In 1956, 3 Gloucester became the home of Dr. Girolamo Vitelli, consul general for Italy, and his wife, Maria Giula (Senni) Vitelli. They previously lived in Belgrade, where he had served in the Italian embassy. They continued to live at 3 Gloucester until the fall of 1958, when he was appointed to the Italian mission at the United Nations and they moved to New York City.
By late 1958, 3 Gloucester was owned by Hastings & Gautreau. In November of 1958, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into eleven apartments. The previous use is stated as “apartments” which appears not to have been the case.
The property changed hands and in August of 1978 was acquired by Robert I. Weisberg and R. Bruce MacDougall, trustees of the Three Gloucester Street Realty Trust.
In September of 1981, Paul G. Roiff, successor trustee of the Three Gloucester Street Realty Trust, converted the property into eleven condominium units, the Three Gloucester Street Condominium.