347 Marlborough was built ca. 1872 for builder and contractor George Martin Gibson, for speculative sale, one of eleven contiguous houses (337-339-341-343-345-347-349-351-353-355-357 Marlborough).
George Gibson purchased the land for 337-357 Marlborough on September 10, 1871, from George Williams Pratt, an investment banker and stockbroker and one of the founders of the Boston Stock Exchange. He and his wife, Mary Barrow (White) Pratt, lived at 13 Louisburg Square. They also maintained a home, Oakley, on Belmont Avenue in Watertown (it became the Oakley Country Club in 1898). The land originally was part of a larger parcel purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on February 20, 1863, by George Pratt’s son, Robert Marion Pratt, also a banker and broker.
As originally designed, the eleven houses were organized in a symmetrical block comprising all of the houses facing Marlborough between Gloucester and Hereford. All but 347 Marlborough, in the center, were identical, with the same façades and fenestration, with the three houses at the east (337-339-341 Marlborough) with bays on the east side, and the three houses on the west (353-355-357 Marlborough) with bays on the west side. 343-345 Marlborough and 349-351 Marlborough are symmetrical pairs. 347 Marlborough, in the center, has unique third floor fenestration and window lintels.
George Gibson also had built four houses at 14-16-18-20 Hereford, at the northeast corner of Hereford and Marlborough, which he had completed and sold to individual buyers between October of 1871 and January of 1872.
On January 1, 1872, George Gibson sold the land “on which I am now building eleven dwelling houses” to Hiram A. Gerrish, a building contractor and real estate dealer, who sold the houses, once they were completed, to individual buyers.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 347 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the north side of Marlborough and Alley 415, from Gloucester to Hereford.
On November 15, 1873, 347 Marlborough was purchased from Hiram Gerrish by Joseph McIntire and Elbridge G. Knight, partners in the firm of Knight & McIntire, wholesale provisions (produce) merchants. On the same day, Hiram Gerrish also sold them 351 Marlborough, and sold Joseph McIntire 337 Marlborough, 345 Marlborough, 355 Marlborough, and 357 Marlborough. They purchased the houses as rental property or for re-sale.
Joseph McIntire was unmarried and lived at 92 Waltham with his cousin, Miss Abby A. Rogers. Elbridge Knight was a widower and lived at 416 Columbus. He remarried in December of 1877 to Helen E. Davis; after their marriage, they lived at 416 Columbus.
By 1876, 347 Marlborough was the home of hardware merchant Charles Francis Dowse and his wife, Lucy Ada (Howes) Dowse. They had married in November of 1875, and 347 Marlborough probably was their first home together.
The Dowses were living elsewhere during the 1889-1890 winter season, and 347 Marlborough was the home of Lucy Dowse’s mother, Eliza F. (Merriam) Howes, the widow of Frederic Howes. By 1891, she had moved to 163 West Chester Park (where she died in March of 1891) and 347 Marlborough was the home of Charles and Lucy Dowse once again.
The Dowses continued to live at 347 Marlborough during the 1903-1904 winter season, but moved thereafter to 340 Commonwealth.
By the 1904-1905 winter season, 347 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Robert Bayley Osgood and his wife, Margaret Louisa (Chapin) Osgood. They previously had lived in an apartment at 409 Marlborough. In about 1907, they built a country home, Ring’s Island, in Ipswich.
Robert Osgood was an orthopedic surgeon. He was Chief of Orthopedic Staff at Children’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He maintained his medical office at 372 Marlborough.
Dr. Robert Henry Vose, a physician, also lived at 347 Marlborough and maintained his medical office there. In 1904, he had lived at The Marlborough at 416 Marlborough.
Dr. and Mrs. Osgood and Dr. Vose continued to live at 347 Marlborough during the 1907-1908 winter season. By the next season, Dr. Vose had moved to 51 Hereford, and by 1910 the Osgoods had moved to 1 Spruce (he continued to maintain his office at 372 Marlborough).
On May 29, 1909, 347 Marlborough was acquired from Joseph McIntire’s heirs by the First Church of Boston (Berkeley at Marlborough).
347 Marlborough became the home of Rev. Charles Edwards Park, minister of the First Church of Boston, and his wife, Mary Eliot (Turner) Park. They previously had lived in an apartment at 405 Marlborough. They also maintained a home in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Charles Park was minister of the First Church of Boston until his retirement in 1946, when he was named Minister Emeritus.
The Parks continued to live at 347 Marlborough for the rest of their lives. She died in January of 1960, and he died in September of 1962.
On December 17, 1962, the Unitarian Christian Fellowship acquired 347 Marlborough from the First Church in Boston.
In April of 1963, the Unitarian Christian Fellowship applied for (and subsequently received) permission to “modernize” the front entrance. The revised entrance was built of wood, with a triangular pediment, and painted white. It may have been at this time that portions of the masonry also were painted white.
By 1964, 347 Marlborough was the office of the Unitarian Christian Fellowship and also the home of its director, Rev. Ronald Michael Mazur, and his wife, Joyce Elizabeth (Mann) Mazur.
The house remained the Fellowship’s offices until the mid-1970s. It also was the residence of subsequent directors of the Fellowship.
On June 26, 1978, 347 Marlborough was acquired from the Unitarian Christian Fellowship by Charles C. Stuart and his wife, Sarah W. Stuart. In September of 1979, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into three apartments, and also to construct a greenhouse at the rear of the building.
On January 18, 1980, they converted the property into three condominium units, the Charles E. Park Condominium.
In April of 2018, the condominium owners applied for (and subsequently received) permission to restore the front entrance to approximate the original appearance and to install lighting on either side of the entrance. The entrance and masonry remained painted white.