341 Commonwealth

341 Commonwealth (2022)

Lot 27' x 124.5' (3,362 sf)

Lot 27′ x 124.5′ (3,362 sf)

341 Commonwealth is located on the north side of Commonwealth, between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, with 339 Commonwealth to the east and 343 Commonwealth to the west.

341 Commonwealth was designed by Kirby and Lewis, architects, and built in 1880-1881, one of three contiguous houses built by building contractor Asa Harden Caton for speculative sale on land owned by wallpaper merchant Charles Henry Hayden. 341 Commonwealth was built under an agreement with Nehemiah Webster Rice. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated April 9, 1880, but did not take title to the house from Charles Hayden until January 4, 1881, after it was completed.

Charles Hayden purchased the land for 337-339-341 Commonwealth on February 27, 1879, from Grenville T. W. Braman, Henry D. Hyde, and Henry M. Whitney, trustees of a real estate investment trust that had purchased several parcels of land on March 1, 1872, from the Boston Water Power Company

Click here for an index to the deeds for 341 Commonwealth, and click here for further information on the land on the north side of Commonwealth between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue.

Nehemiah Rice was a dealer in leather, hides, and wool. He and his wife, Josephine (Emery) Rice lived at 59 Chester Square and then, during the 1882-1883 winter season, at 353 Beacon. 341 Commonwealth may have been the home of a Mr. Newell who was listed there in the 1882 and 1883 Blue Books, but not in the City Directories.

337-341 Commonwealth (ca. 1883), photograph by Albert Levy; Ryerson and Burnham Libraries Book Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago (Digital file #000000_100709-17).

337-341 Commonwealth (ca. 1881), photograph by Albert Levy; Ryerson and Burnham Libraries Book Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago (Digital file #000000_100709-17).

By the 1883-1884 winter seasons, the Rices had made 341 Commonwealth their home.

In October of 1884, the Nehemiah Rice purchased the stable at 349 Newbury. The Rice family continued to own it until 1921.

The Rices’ two children, Annie Tyler Rice and Charles Goodnow Rice, a member of his father’s hide and wool firm, lived with them at 341 Commonwealth.  Charles Rice married in October of 1890 to Anne S. Proctor. After their marriage, they lived at 327 Beacon with her parents, Thomas Emerson Proctor and Emma Esther (Howe) Proctor, during the 1890-1891 winter season, and then moved to 469 Beacon.

In the mid-1890s, the Rices built a home at Beverly Cove in Beverly

Nehemiah Rice died in December of 1911.  Josephine Rice continued to live at 341 Commonwealth and in Beverly with their daughter, Annie.

Josephine Rice died in 1925 and Annie Rice moved soon thereafter.

341 Commonwealth was not listed in the 1927-1931 Blue Books, and was shown as vacant in the 1930-1931 City Directories.

On June 30, 1931, 341 Commonwealth was purchased from Annie (Proctor) Rice, the wife of Charles Rice, as conservator for her sister-in-law, Annie Tyler Rice, by the Garland School of Home Making (later to become Garland Junior College). That same month, it also acquired 343 Commonwealth.

Both properties were shown as vacant (or were not listed) in the 1930-1933 City Directories, but had been converted into dormitories by 1934.

By the late 1960s, Garland Junior College had assembled a portfolio of 22 properties in the western portion of the Back Bay: 315, 319, 321, 329, 337, 339, 341, 343, 349, 377, 407, 409, 411, 413415 Commonwealth, 24 Charlesgate East (419 Commonwealth), and 447, 449, and 451 Marlborough (composed of 451-457 Marlborough).

341 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

341 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

In April of 1976, Garland Junior College announced that, because of financial difficulties, it was merging with Simmons College.  It subsequently sold twelve of its properties and transferred the remainder — those located furthest west (407-415 Commonwealth, 24 Charlesgate East, and 451 Marlborough) — to Simmons College.

Glen G. Grant, trustee of the Commonwealth College Trust, purchased eleven of the twelve properties that Garland Junior College sold.  On October 27, 1976, he purchased 315 and 341 Commonwealth, and 447 and 449 Marlborough; on January 4, 1977, he purchased 319, 321, 329, 337, 339, 343, and 377 Commonwealth.  The twelfth property, 349 Commonwealth, had been purchased in September of 1976, by Andrew Saggese, Jr., trustee of the Drew Realty Trust.

On May 27, 1980, Glen Grant transferred 315, 319, 321, 337, 339, 341, 343, and 377 Commonwealth to Judith S. Schwartz, trustee of Seofon Trust (the deed was dated in May of 1980 but recorded on June 9, 1981).

In May of 1981, the Commonwealth College Trust filed for permission to convert 341 Commonwealth from a dormitory into six apartments, which it stated was the existing use.  It subsequently abandoned the application.

On June 12, 1981, Judith Schwartz converted 341 Commonwealth into six condominium units, the 341 Commonwealth Condominium.

In February of 1985, the 341 Commonwealth Avenue Trust filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as six units.

In December of 1981, all six units were purchased from Judith Schwartz by six separate trusts established by real estate dealer Eugene William Friedrich: Unit 1 with Kendra Windsor Kaplan (Eugene Friedrich’s wife) as trustee; Unit 3 and Unit 5 with Karen A. Goldrich as trustee; and Unit 2, Unit 4, and Unit 6 with Pamela D. Lapham as trustee.

Unit 3 and Unit 4 were sold along one of the five parking spaces.  The remaining four units and four parking spaces continued to be owned by the trusts established by Eugene Friedrich.

Eugene Friedrich died in January of 2018 and Kendra (Kaplan) Friedrich died in November of 2018. Their daughter, Whitney Windsor (Friedrich) Wolf, became trustee of all of the trusts owning units and parking spaces at 341 Commonwealth.

Between February of 2018 and September of 2019, Nubar der Hagopian acquired all six units and five parking spaces at 341 Commonwealth, and on October 6, 2019, he transferred the property to the 341 Commonwealth Avenue LLC, of which he and David Garabedian were co-managers.

On June 30, 2021, the 341 Commonwealth Avenue LLC established a new condominium with five units, The Garland Condominium.