30 Gloucester was built in 1880-1881 by Frank Jones, mason, and E. C. Landers, carpenter, for building contractor William Seavey Rand, one of four contiguous houses (30-32-34-36 Gloucester) designed as a symmetrical composition and built for the Boylston National Bank of Boston, owner of the land, for speculative sale. William Rand is shown as the owner on the original permit applications, dated May 26, 1880. No architect is indicated on the applications.
The land for 30-32-34-36 Gloucester was part of a parcel acquired by the Boylston National Bank on June 2, 1876, from Nathan Matthews. The parcel also included the lots where 284-286-288 Commonwealth were built. William S. Rand also built the houses at 286-288 Commonwealth for the bank. The parcel was part of a larger tract of land originally purchased by Nathan Matthews on January 2, 1871, from David Sears, Jr., Frederick R. Sears, and Knyvet Sears.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 30 Gloucester.
When the completed houses were sold by the Boylston National Bank, the deeds included a four foot wide easement at the rear of 30-32 Gloucester to provide access to the alley for 32-34 Gloucester, and specified the right of all four houses to build sewer drains to the alley.
On May 21, 1881, 30 Gloucester was purchased from the bank by James Henry Beal, a wholesale furniture dealer and banker. He and his wife, Louisa Jane (Adams) Beal, lived at 104 Beacon. On the same day, his son, Thomas Prince Beal (by James Henry Beal’s first marriage, to Judith Drew (Beal) Beal, his first cousin), purchased 36 Gloucester.
By the 1882-1883 winter season, 30 Gloucester was the home of mining investor Albert Smith Bigelow and his wife, Mary (DeFord) Bigelow. Mary Bigelow was the sister of Thomas Prince Beal’s wife, Ida (DeFord) Beal. The Bigelows previously had lived 10 Gloucester.
On February 5, 1889, 30 Gloucester was acquired from James H. Beal by Mary Bigelow.
In 1892, Albert and Mary Bigelow built a second home in Cohasset.
The Bigelows continued to live at 30 Gloucester during the 1896-1897 winter season, but moved thereafter to The Tuileries at 270 Commonwealth.
By the 1897-1898 winter season, 30 Gloucester was the home of Jane Huntington (Watkinson) Norton, the widow of Rev. Frank Louis Norton. She had lived at 186 Beacon during the 1895-1896 season. She continued to live at 30 Gloucester during the 1900-1901 season, but moved thereafter. By 1904, she was living in Cazenovia, New York.
By the 1901-1902 winter season, 30 Gloucester was the home of Linzee Prescott and his wife, Frances (Brown) Prescott. They previously had lived at 34 Gloucester.
Linzee Prescott was treasurer of the Atlantic Cotton Mills.
They continued to live at 30 Gloucester during the 1903-1904 season, but moved thereafter to 413 Beacon.
By the 1904-1905 winter season, Albert and Mary (DeFord) Bigelow had moved back to 30 Gloucester. They had lived at 351 Beacon during the previous season.
Mary Bigelow died in April of 1915, and Albert Bigelow continued to live at 30 Gloucester. Their son and daughter-in-law, William DeFord Bigelow and Helen May (Harding) Bigelow, lived with him and also maintained a home in Cohasset.
William DeFord Bigelow was a building contractor. He served in World War I from 1916 to 1919, first as a member of the American Field Service, organized n 1915 by Harvard Professor A. Piatt Andrew to provide ambulance drivers to aid the French, and then with the US Army Ambulance Service until 1919. After the war, he became president of the New England Oil Refining Company and then a real estate dealer.
Albert Bigelow died in September of 1928, and William and Helen Bigelow moved soon thereafter to 308 Marlborough.
On December 30, 1931, 30 Gloucester was purchased from a trust established under Mary Bigelow’s will by real estate dealer George S. Maloof.
On March 11, 1932, it was purchased from George Maloof by Annette Stuart (Shaw) Hill, the widow of Ernest Lawrence Hill, a cotton mill executive. She previously had lived at 208 Commonwealth. She continued to live at 30 Gloucester until about 1945.
The house was shown as vacant in the 1946 City Directory.
On March 36, 1946, 30 Gloucester was acquired from Annette Hill by Lucy Letita (Purdy) Gilnor, the widow of Roy Gilnor. She lived at 291 Beacon.
On August 20, 1946, 30 Gloucester was acquired from Lucy Gilnor by Manuel J. Perry and Edward J. Costa. By 1947, 30 Gloucester had become a multiple dwelling, either apartments or a lodging house. Manuel Perry, a contractor, lived in one of the units. He previously had lived in Cambridge.
On September 24, 1946, 30 Gloucester was acquired from Manuel J. Perry and Edward J. Costa by Paul Revere Barros Lundgren. He and his wife, Mary Gloria (Cordeira) Lundgren, lived in one of the units. They previously had lived in Cambridge. He was a salesman with a furrier and later would operate a construction company. He was born Paul Revere Barros but took the surname of his step-father, Frans Anders Johan Lundgren.
On January 23, 1947, he transferred the property to himself as a trustee for the benefit of himself, his wife, and their children, Joan Gloria Lundgren and Pauline Barbara Lundgren.
The Lundgrens continued to live at 30 Gloucester until late 1949, when they purchased and moved to 173 Beacon.
On November 30, 1949, 30 Gloucester was purchased from Paul Lundgren by Norman Albert Davis, Jr., of Auburn, Maine. On July 10, 1950, he transferred the property to his mother, Gertrude Alberta (Wilkins) Davis, the wife of Norman Albert Davis, Sr. They also lived in Auburn, Maine.
Charles R. Davis and Georgette A. (Charpentier) Davis, Norman and Gertrude Davis’s son and daughter-in-law, lived in one of the units at 30 Gloucester. They had married in May of 1950.
The property changed hands and on February 21, 1957, was purchased by Joseph Charles Butera. A noted artist, he operated the Butera School of Fine Arts (later the Butera School of Art) at 111 Beacon, where he and his wife, Sylvia (Lyon) Butera, also lived.
On March 14, 1957, Joseph Butera transferred the property into his and his wife’s names.
On March 2, 1959, 30 Gloucester was purchased from the Buteras by Norman Parker Gibby. He lived in one of the units. He previously had been a lodger at 364 Marlborough.
On March 1, 1966, 30 Gloucester was acquired by Anthony O. Gordon, and in July of 1966, Anthony and Bernice G. Gordon, as trustees of the AGO Realty Trust, acquired 32 Gloucester. On June 9, 1971, Anthony Gordon transferred the property to himself and Bernice Gordon as trustees of the AGO Realty Trust.
On February 5, 1972, 30 Gloucester and 32 Gloucester were purchased from the AGO Realty Trust by Peter A. Dufour and Jose Leopoldo (Leo) Romero, Jr., trustees of the P & L Realty Trust.
Leo Romero remodeled 30 Gloucester into a restaurant, Casa Romero, on the basement level, with a single-family dwelling on the upper floors, which became his home. 32 Gloucester remained a lodging house.
In July of 1974, the P & L Realty Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine 30 and 32 Gloucester into one property, construct a one-story rear addition 22.3 feet by 22 feet in size, and change the occupancy to be one restaurant and five apartments (with “the present street numbering to be retained”). Leo Romero subsequently extended his restaurant into the basement of 32 Gloucester.
In April of 1980, the P & L Realty Trust sold 32 Gloucester. Leo Romero continued to operate Casa Romero at 30 Gloucester, including utilizing the basement of 32 Gloucester for his restaurant’s dining and storage. In February of 1981, the new owners of 32 Gloucester applied for (and subsequently received) permission to continue the use of their basement for that purpose.
On May 15, 1981, 30 Gloucester was acquired from Leo Romero, as trustee of the P & L Realty Trust, by Karic Corporation (Anthony M. Rando, president and treasurer).
On September 16, 1981, Karic Corporation converted the house into four “office and commercial business” condominium units, the 30 Gloucester Street Condominium.
Leo Romero continued to operate Casa Romero in Unit C of 30 Gloucester and in the ancillary space at 32 Gloucester.
In September of 1981, D. M. Doll, trustee of Tree Trust, filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into two restaurants and a single-family dwelling. Casa Romero continued to be located on the basement level and a new restaurant, L’Espalier, occupied two of the three condominiums on the upper floors. L’Espalier remained there until 2010, when it moved to the Mandarin Hotel on Boylston Street.
In December of 2011, the owners of the units previously occupied by L’Espalier applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert them back into two residential units. Casa Romero continued to occupy the basement unit in 2017.