338 Commonwealth was designed by Bradlee, Winslow, and Wetherell, architects, and built 1882-1883 by Vinal & Dodge, builders, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., probably for speculative sale. It was one of two contiguous houses (338-340 Commonwealth) built at the same time, and one of fifteen houses (322-326 Commonwealth and 338-360 Commonwealth) built on the same block for George Wheatland, Jr., in 1882-1884. He is shown on the original building permit application for 338 Commonwealth, dated September 20, 1882.
338 Commonwealth was originally numbered 336 Commonwealth until about 1889, when 328-330 Commonwealth were built to the east of it.
By the 1883-1884 winter season, it was the home of Joseph B. Lincoln and his wife, Anna (Preston) Lincoln. They previously had lived at 17 Beacon. Annie Lincoln is shown as the owner of 338 Commonwealth on the 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1911. They also maintained a home in Cohasset.
Joseph Lincoln was a wholesale boot and shoe dealer.
He died in October of 1895. Anna Lincoln continued to live at 338 Commonwealth until her death in May of 1910. Her estate was the assessed owner in 1912.
The house was not listed in the 1911-1920 Blue Books.
By 1912, 338 Commonwealth was owned by Mrs. Lillior (Lillie) Temple (Dowling) Nutting, the widow of William B. Nutting. She was the sister of Mark Temple Dowling, a real estate dealer in partnership with James Sumner Draper. She was is shown as the owner of 338 Commonwealth on the 1912 Bromley map and was the assessed owner in 1913 and 1914; J. Sumner Draper was the assessed owner from 1915 through 1917. Lillior Nutting was once again shown as the owner on the 1917 Bromley map..
Eva M. Barry was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth in 1918, and Philip Dexter et al were the assessed owners in 1919.
By the 1920-1921 winter season, 338 Commonwealth was the home of Robert Moore Dobbins, a widower, his brother, Henry Dobbins, Jr., and their widowed father, Henry Dobbins, Sr. They previously had lived in Brookline. Robert Dobbins was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth from 1920 through 1923.
Robert Dobbins was a real estate dealer. Henry Dobbins, Sr., was an optician. Henry Dobbins, Jr., was an optician with his father until about 1923, when he became a salesman in his brother’s real estate office.
They continued to live at 338 Commonwealth in 1923, but by 1924 had moved to 435 Beacon.
In the summer of 1923, 338 Commonwealth was purchased from Robert Dobbins by Mary E. Dillworth. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on September 2, 1923. Living with her were her brothers, Daniel C. Dillworth, a salesman of woven goods, and Charles Henry Dillworth, an attorney and real estate dealer, and her sisters, Anna L. and Eleanor Dillworth. Mary and Anna Dillworth were hairdressers and operated their beauty parlor at 338 Commonwealth. They all had lived in Brookline in 1923.
They also leased space to Dr. Edward R. Williams, a physician, who lived in Cambridge. He continued to maintain his office there until about 1933.
Mary Dillworth was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth from 1924 through 1928 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map.
By 1928, 338 Commonwealth also was the location of Daniels Den, a gift shop operated by Margaret E. Daniels, who lived in Brookline. She continued to maintain her store there until about 1933, but had moved it to 48 Gloucester by 1934.
Mary Dillworth died in January of 1929. Anna Dillworth was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth from 1929 through 1935.
Daniel, Charles, Anna, and Eleanor Dillworth continued to live there until about 1935, but had moved to 204 Beacon by 1936.
The Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth in 1936, and Mary F. Donlon was the assessed owner in 1937.
By 1937, 338 Commonwealth was the home of Roy Wilbur Hunt and his wife, Lillian E. (Fookes) Hunt. They previously had lived in North Acton. Lillian E. Hunt was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth in 1938 and 1939 and is shown as the owner of on the 1938 Bromley map.
In February of 1937, Lillian Hunt applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a lodging house. In her application, she indicated that the current use was as a four-family dwelling.
The Hunts continued to live at 338 Commonwealth until about 1939, when they moved to 329 Commonwealth.
By 1939, 338 Commonwealth was the home of Hugh Hardy and his wife, Annie (MacKinnon) Hardy, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 80 Appleton. Annie Hardy was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth from 1940 through 1944. He was a butler and later would become a manager with the First National Bank of Boston. In October of 1940, they purchased and moved to 5 Fairfield, where they operated a lodging house. They had moved back to 338 Commonwealth by 1942, and continued to live there in 1943, when they moved to Milton. By 1946, they were living at 387 Commonwealth.
By 1944, 338 Commonwealth was the home of Mary K. Sheridan, a nurse, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived in Rutland. She was the assessed owner of 338 Commonwealth from 1945. She continued to live there until about 1955.
By 1964, 338 Commonwealth was owned by Mrs. Elizabeth (Gunther) Ford Edson, the former wife of Edward Layton Ford and the widow of Robert Adams Edson, who continued to operate it as a lodging house. She also operated lodging houses at 136 Marlborough and at 114 Commonwealth, where she lived.
In February of 1980, Naomi Rosen of Brookline purchased 338 Commonwealth from Frances G. Colby, Conservator of the property of Elizabeth G. Edson. Frances (Ford) Colby, the wife of Charles Robert Colby, was the daughter of Elizabeth Edson and her first husband, Edward Layton Ford.
In May of 1980, Joanna Polito, trustee of the 338 Commonwealth Realty Trust, purchased 338 Commonwealth from Naomi Rosen.
In August of 1980, the Trust filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house into five apartments. In December of 1980, the Trust converted the property into five condominium units, the 338 Commonwealth Avenue Condominiums.