346 Commonwealth

346 Commonwealth (2013)

346 Commonwealth (2013)

Lot 21' a 124.5' (2,615 sf)

Lot 21′ a 124.5′ (2,615 sf)

346 Commonwealth is located on the south side of Commonwealth, between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, with 344 Commonwealth to the east and 348 Commonwealth to the west.

346 Commonwealth was designed by Obed F. Smith, architect, and built in 1883-1884 by Vinal & Dodge, builders, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., probably for speculative sale.  It was one of five contiguous houses (342-344-346-348-350 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 346 Commonwealth, dated November 10, 1883.

346 Commonwealth was originally numbered 344 Commonwealth until about 1889, when 328-330 Commonwealth were built to the east of it.

By the 1886-1887 winter season, 346 Commonwealth was the home of banker Arthur F. Estabrook and his wife, Ida Florence (Fletcher) Estabrook.  They previously  had lived at the Hotel Hamilton at 260 Clarendon.  He is shown as the owner of 346 Commonwealth on the 1888 Bromley map, and Ida Estabrook is shown as the owner on the 1890, 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1923.  They also maintained a home in Swampscott.

Arthur Estabrook died in July of 1919.  Ida Estabrook continued to live at 346 Commonwealth until her death in November of 1922.

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

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

By 1924, 346 Commonwealth was the home of Ida (Fletcher) Estabrook’s nephew, Arthur Warren Fletcher, the son of her brother, Joseph Henry Fletcher and his wife, Nellie E. (Woodbridge) Fletcher.  Arthur Fletcher was the assessed owner of 346 Commonwealth from 1924 through 1954 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps.

Arthur Fletcher was a stockbroker.  As a young man, he had worked for the Estabrook bank and also had been treasurer of the Henry Jewett Players, a Boston repertory company.  In 1923, he had lived in Belmont.

Arthur Fletcher married in December of 1924 to Anna Griswold, and they moved to her home in Cambridge.  He continued to own 346 Commonwealth, which was operated as a lodging house.

By 1947, Arthur Fletcher had become a Christian Science practitioner with offices at 346 Commonwealth.  He and his wife continued to live in Cambridge.  He maintained his office at 346 Commonwealth until his death in 1953.

By 1951, 346 Commonwealth was the home of Thomas George Barry and his wife, Adelaide Shirley (Winkleman) McCabe Barry, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had been lodgers at 197 Marlborough.  After Arthur Fletcher’s death, they acquired the property and Adelaide Barry was the assessed owner from 1955.  They continued to live there until about 1957.  By the early 1960s, they lived in Long Beach, California.

346 Commonwealth remained a lodging house until about 1960, when it became the Convent of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, operated by the Marion Center.

The convent remained there until about 1969.

By 1971, 346 Commonwealth was owned by David C. Keating.  In December of 1971, he applied for permission to legalize the occupancy as a lodging house, which he noted had been the occupancy for “many years.”  He subsequently abandoned the application.

346 Commonwealth was not listed in the 1972 and 1973 City Directories.

By 1976, the City Directory entries indicated that it was occupied as eight apartments.

In October of 1978, Robert White purchased 346 Commonwealth.  He also owned 344, 348, and 350 Commonwealth.

In December of 1988, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 346 Commonwealth from a single-family dwelling (the last legal occupancy on record with the Building Department) into nine apartments.  At the same time, he also applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine it with 344, 348, and 350 Commonwealth into one property, to be known as 344-350 Commonwealth.  In May of 1989, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the occupancy of the four buildings from 17 to 35 apartments.

344-350 Commonwealth remained an apartment building in 2015.

344-348 Commonwealth (2013)

344-348 Commonwealth (2013)