324 Commonwealth

324 Commonwealth (2013)

324 Commonwealth (2013)

Lot 24' x 124.5' (2,988 sf)

Lot 24′ x 124.5′ (2,988 sf)

324 Commonwealth is located on the south side of Commonwealth, between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, with 322 Commonwealth to the east and 326 Commonwealth to the west.

324 Commonwealth was designed by Bradlee, Winslow, and Wetherell, architects, and built in 1882-1883 by Vinal & Dodge, builders, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale, one of three contiguous houses (322-324-326 Commonwealth), and one of fifteen houses (322-326 Commonwealth and 338-360 Commonwealth) built on the same block for George Wheatland, Jr., in 1882-1884.  George Wheatland is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated September 20, 1882, and as the owner of all three houses on the 1883 Bromley map.

By the 1884-1884 winter season, 324 Commonwealth was the home of boot, shoe, and leather merchant Augustus P. Martin and his wife. Abbie F. (Peirce) Martin.  They previously had lived at 102 West Chester Park.  He is shown as the owner of 324 Commonwealth on the 1888 Bromley map.

They continued to live there until about 1890, when they moved to Dorchester.

By 1890, 324 Commonwealth had been acquired by real estate investor Samuel Horatio Whitwell, who is shown as the owner on the 1890, 1895, and 1898 Bromley maps.  He died in March of 1904, and his estate is shown as the owner on the 1908 and 1912 maps.

By the 1890-1891 winter season, 324 Commonwealth was the home of Miss Hannah E. Gilman and Miss Julia R. Gilman.  They previously had lived at 44 Rutland Square.

The Misses Gilman operated a school for girls at 324 Commonwealth.  By 1901, they had been joined by Miss Fannie Carleton Guild, and by 1905 the school was known as the Commonwealth Avenue School, with Julia Gilman and Fannie Guild serving as principals.

Miss Guild and the Misses Gilman continued to live there in 1909, but by 1910 the Misses Gilman had moved to Brookline to live with their sister, Sarah (Gilman) Pulsifer.

Fannie Guild continued to live and operate the school at 324 Commonwealth until about 1911.  By 1912,she had moved to 29 Fairfield, where she operated a girls school with Jeannie (Jennie) Carter Evans.

By the 1911-1912 winter season, 324 Commonwealth was the home of Charles Henry Bingham, a railroad conductor, and his wife, Elizabeth (Mead) Bingham, who operated it as a lodging house.  They previously had lived at 142 Beacon, where they also had operated a lodging house.

By 1913, 324 Commonwealth had been acquired by real estate dealer Walter Stanley Tripp. who was the assessed owner in 1913 and 1914.

On December 11, 1913, the Boston Globe reported that 324 Commonwealth had been acquired from Walter Tripp by former Massachusetts Governor and US Secretary of Navy John Davis Long.  He continued to lease the property to the Binghams.  John D. Long was the assessed owner from 1915 through 1923.

From November of 1916 to January of 1917,  the Binghams lived elsewhere and 324 Commonwealth was the “campaign headquarters” and residence of Rev. Billy Sunday and his wife during their Boston evangelical crusade.

The Binghams continued to live and operate a lodging house at 324 Commonwealth until 1923, when they moved to 380 Commonwealth.

On May 17, 1923, the Boston Globe reported that 324 Commonwealth had been purchased by Laura Logan from the estate of John D. Long, who had died in August of 1915.

By late 1923, 324 Commonwealth was the home of John H. Keyes and his wife, Marion (Mary) (Montague) Keyes, who continued to operate it as a lodging house.  Their son, Bernard Montague Keyes, an artist and art teacher, lived with them.  They previously had lived in Brookline.  Mary Keyes was the assessed owner of 324 Commonwealth from 1924 through 1927.

In October of 1923, Mary Keyes applied for permission to construct a garage at the rear of the house.  Her application was denied by the Boston Street Commission.

The Keyes continued to live at 324 Commonwealth until about 1927.

In 1927, 324 Commonwealth was acquired by the Greater Boston Council of the Camp Fire Girls as their headquarters.  The Council was the assessed owner from 1928 through 1933 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map.

The Camp Fire Girls occupied 324 Commonwealth until about 1933.

By 1933, 324 Commonwealth was owned by the Home Savings Bank, which was the assessed owner from 1934 through 1947.

The house was not listed in the 1934 -1937 Blue Books, and was shown as vacant in the 1934-1936 City Directories.

In October of 1935, Parker & Phillips, real estate dealers in Brookline, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior of 324 Commonwealth and convert it from a club into nine apartments. The remodeling was designed by architect Saul E. Moffie. Plans for the remodeling — including elevations and floor plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN P-131).

By 1937, 324 Commonwealth was occupied by the Boston Speech School for Crippled Children and the Copley School of Expression, operated by Mrs. Emma Louise (Grinnell) Tunnicliff, the former wife of Dr. Edmund Harrison Tunnicliff, Jr. She also lived at 324 Commonwealth.  The schools previously had been located (and she had lived) at 408 Beacon.

In 1941, an inspection by the Building Department indicated that there was insufficient egress to permit the building to be used for a school.  The school moved from 324 Commonwealth by mid-1941.

324 Commonwealth was shown as vacant in the 1942 City Directory.  By the mid 1940s, it was occupied as an apartment house.

The property changed hands and by 1947 was owned by Dr. George J. Colantino, a physician, and his wife, Edith E. (Fitzgerald) Colantino.  Edith Colantino was the assessed owner in 1947.  They lived in Medford.

In 1947, 324 Commonwealth was acquired by Nils Smeland, who was the assessed owner from 1948 through 1950. In September of 1947, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from nine apartments into five apartments.

By 1951, the property was once again owned by the Colantinos, who by then had also purchased 300 Commonwealth, where they lived and he maintained his medical practice.  George Colantino was the assessed owner of 324 Commonwealth in 1951 and 1952.

The property changed hands and in July of 1960 was acquired by Charles W. Easter and Mary P. Easter.  In November of 1960, Charles Easter applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a seven unit apartment house, which he indicated was the existing condition when he acquired the property.

In February of 1962, Robert White acquired 324 Commonwealth from Charles and Mary Easter.  By 1969, he owned 324326328330332334336 Commonwealth, and in 1978 he acquired 322 Commonwealth.

In December of 1988, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 324 Commonwealth from seven to ten apartments.  At the same time, he also applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine it with 324 Commonwealth and 326-328-330-332-334 Commonwealth into one property with 63 apartments, to be known as 322-334 Commonwealth.  336 Commonwealth remained a separate property.

324 Commonwealth remained an apartment building in 2015.

322-326 Commonwealth (2013)

322-326 Commonwealth (2013)