320 Marlborough was designed by architect Samuel D. Kelley and built in 1879 by Goldthwait & Chapin, builders, for merchant and building contractor Samuel Tarbell Ames, for speculative sale, one of two contiguous houses (314 and 320 Marlborough). He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated October 14, 1879, and on the final building inspection report, dated October 25, 1880. 320 Marlborough was identified as 316 Marlborough on the permit application and inspection report.
The houses were built on land owned by Samuel T. Ames’s son, Harvard law professor James Barr Ames. He had purchased the lot for 320 Marlborough on May 26, 1879, from T. Jefferson Coolidge, and the lot for 314 Marlborough on June 5, 1879, from William B. Bacon. The land originally was part of one of several parcels purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on January 29, 1866, by a real estate investment trust formed by John Templeman Coolidge, Franklin Evans, and Charles Henry Parker. The trust subdivided the parcel into lots, which it sold to investors and builders, who then frequently resold the lots to others.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 320 Marlborough.
On March 15, 1880, 320 Marlborough was purchased from James B. Ames by Anna (How) Bates, the wife of attorney Samuel Worcester Bates. They previously had lived at 76 Commonwealth.
Samuel Bates died in January of 1882. Annie Bates continued to at 320 Marlborough during the 1883-1884 season, joined by her brother, Charles T. How, but moved thereafter to 41 Mt. Vernon.
By the 1884-1885 winter season, 320 Marlborough was the home of Walter H. Reynolds and his sister, Amy H. Reynolds, In 1880, they had lived at 51 Cedar Street in Roxbury with their mother, Harriet E. (Wheelwright) Reynolds, the widow of William J. Reynolds. Walter Reynolds was a student and later would become a lawyer.
On April 26, 1886, 320 Marlborough was acquired from Anna Bates by Walter Reynolds and Amy Reynolds.
On February 16, 1891, Amy Reynolds transferred her one half interest in 320 Marlborough to her brother, and on June 29, 1891, he transferred the one-half interest to himself as trustee of a marriage settlement trust for her benefit. She married the next day to John Lillie, an author and the resident editor in London for Harper’s magazine. They moved to England after their marriage.
Walter Reynolds continued to live at 320 Marlborough during the 1891-1892 winter season, but moved thereafter to 42 Gloucester.
On April 30, 1892, 320 Marlborough was acquired by Dr. Helen Morton to be her home and office and the home and office of Dr. Mary Forrester Hobart. They were both physicians. They previously had lived and maintained medical offices at 16 Union Park. They continued to live and maintain their offices 320 Marlborough during the 1895-1896 season. By 1897, they had both moved their offices to 657 Boylston; Mary Hobart also lived at 657 Boylston, and Helen Morton lived at 17 Chestnut.
320 Marlborough was not listed in the 1897 Blue Book.
On April 28, 1898, 320 Marlborough was acquired from Helen Morton by Nannie R. (Harris) Brewer Rice, the wife of David Rice, a mechanical and civil engineer. They previously had lived in Jamaica Plain.
Nannie Rice was the daughter of Charles Coffin Harris, who was Hawaiian Minister of Finance, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and (from 1877 to his death in 1881) Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court. She was the widow of John D. Brewer, one of the leading shipping merchants in Hawaii (C. Brewer & Co.).
During the 1899-1900 winter season, Nannie Rice’s son and daughter-in-law, Charles E. Brewer and Laura (Morse) Brewer, were living at 320 Marlborough. They had married in July of 1898 and probably temporarily lived at 320 Marlborough after their return from their European honeymoon. They also maintained a residence in Falmouth, where they were enumerated in the 1900 US Census. While the Brewers were living at 320 Marlborough, David and Nannie Rice were living at the Hotel Somerset.
During the 1901-1902 winter season, it was the home of David Rice’s brother-in-law and sister, Alfred Bowditch and Mary Louisa (Rice) Bowditch. He was a trustee. They had lived at 265 Commonwealth during the 1899-1900 season. They also maintained a home in Jamaica Plain. By 1902, they had moved to a new home they had built at 75 Bay State Road.
From 1903, David and Nannie Rice appear to have lived at 320 Marlborough continuously (although the house is omitted from the 1910 US Census, and they were enumerated at the Hotel Westminster, southeast corner of St. James and Trinity Place). Nannie Rice’s youngest son and daughter, Robert Edward Brewer and Martha Davis Brewer, lived with them until their marriages. Robert Brewer, a mechanical and civil engineer, married in November of 1908 to Elsie Trowbridge Carr, and Martha Brewer married in October of 1911 to David Rice’s brother, Arthur Wallace Rice, an architect.
Nannie Rice died in 1918. David Rice continued to live at 320 Marlborough, joined in 1920 (and possibly before) by his unmarried sister, Ellen. In 1920, he married again, to Helen (Hurst) Gordon, the former wife of Edward Oliver Gordon, and they moved to Marion.
During the 1921-1922 winter season, 320 Marlborough was the home of Emily Spaulding Reed and Ida B. Reed, sisters. They previously had lived at the Hotel Somerset.
By the 1922-1923 winter season, 320 Marlborough was the home of Charlotte Elizabeth (called Elizabeth) (Howe) Sproul, the widow of Pittsburgh attorney Frank Penrose Sproul, and their son, Frank P. Sproul, Jr. They previously had lived at 390 Beacon. She continued to live at 320 Marlborough during the 1925-1926 season, but moved thereafter to 20 Fairfield.
On June 21, 1926, 320 Marlborough was purchased from Nannie Rice’s estate by Susan (Jackson) Williams, the widow of real estate trustee Ralph Blake Williams. She previously had lived at 431 Beacon.
She also maintained a home in Cohasset in 1927, in Marblehead in 1928, and again in Cohasset in 1929 and later. After 1932, she also maintained a second home in Dover, Massachusetts (in addition to her home in Cohasset).
Susan Williams continued to live at 320 Marlborough until about 1951.
On January 10, 1952, 320 Marlborough was acquired from Susan Williams by Michael (Max) Lilly, a partner in the Lilly Construction Company with his father, Harry Lilly, and brother, David Lilly. On the same day, he conveyed the property to Veronica Sabine deVallet, and on January 11, 1952, she transferred the property to her mother, Hazel Lois (called Lois) (Joyce) deVallet, as trustee of the deVallet Trust. Lois deVallet was a real estate broker. She was the wife of Jose F. deVallet, from whom she was living apart.
In February of 1952, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into four apartments. She lived in one of the apartments with her daughter, Veronica, and her son, Jose Blaise deVallet. Veronica deVallet married in 1953 to Walter J. Ostrowski and they moved to Chelsea. Jose deVallet continued to live at 320 Marlborough with his mother until the mid-1960s.
Lois deVallet died in July of 1974.
On August 25, 1977, 320 Marlborough was purchased from Veronica (deVallet) Ostrowski, successor trustee of the deVallet Trust, by Betty Bishop and Stephanie Laster.
On January 9, 1978, 320 Marlborough was purchased from Betty Bishop and Stephanie Laster by John H. Webb and his wife, Nancy Grisham Webb.
On May 24, 1993, 320 Marlborough was purchased from the Webbs by Albert D. DiGregorio. On March 23, 2004, he converted 320 Marlborough into four condominium units, 320 Marlborough Street Condominium.