350 Commonwealth

350 Commonwealth (2013)

350 Commonwealth (2013)

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

Lot 21′ x 124.5′ (2,615 sf)

350 Commonwealth is located on the south side of Commonwealth, between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, with 348 Commonwealth to the east and 352 Commonwealth to the west.

350 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 350 Commonwealth, dated November 10, 1883.

350 Commonwealth was originally numbered 348 Commonwealth until about 1889, when 328-330 Commonwealth were built to the east of it.

By the 1884-1885 winter season, 350 Commonwealth was the home of retired shipping merchant Arthur B. Gove and his wife, Margaret (Flood) Gove.  They previously had lived in Brookline.  He is shown as the owner of 350 Commonwealth on the 1888 Bromley map.

Margaret Gove died in March of 1888 and he moved soon thereafter to the Parker House hotel.

By the 1888-1889 winter season, 350 Commonwealth was the home of Louis Wolf and his mother, Barbara (Babette) (Edlinger) Wolf, the widow of Julius Wolf.  Louis Wolf (and probably Barbara Wolf) previously had lived at 327 Columbus with his brother-in-law and sister, Nathan Baer and Rosa (Wolf) Baer.  Nathan Baer was a jeweller.

Louis Wolf was an importer and dealer in fancy goods, dolls, and toys.  He was unmarried.

Barbara Wolf died in March of 1893.  Louis Wolf continued to live at 350 Commonwealth, and in about 1895, was joined there by his nephew, Julius Irving Baer, the son of Nathan and Rosa (Wolf) Baer.  Julius Baer was a clerk and later a partner in Louis Wolf’s importing business.

Louis Wolf died in May of 1900.  Julius Baer continued to live at 350 Commonwealth and operate the firm of L. Wolf & Co.,  and in July of 1902 he acquired 350 Commonwealth from the estate of Louis Wolf.

Nathan and Rosa Baer had divorced and Rosa Baer had married again in January of 1896 to Charles H. Andrews, a former editor of the Boston Herald. He died in June of 1897.  Prior to his death, they had lived at 401 Beacon.  She married a third time, to  George Edward Hale, a retired cigar store owner, and by the 1900-1901 winter season they were living at 350 Commonwealth with Julius Baer.

In the same month as he acquired 350 Commonwealth, Julius Baer created a trust, with himself as trustee, under which his mother had the right to live at 350 Commonwealth for the rest of her life, or to lease or sell the property, in exchange for her paying the interest on any mortgages and all property taxes.

George Hale died in March of 1911.  Julius Baer and Rosa Hale continued to live at 350 Commonwealth.

Rosa Hale died in June of 1915, and by 1916, Julius Baer was living at 76 Huntington.

He continued to own 350 Commonwealth and also to maintain a residence in New York City.  By 1917, he had married Irene Lee, and they were living at 350 Commonwealth when they applied for passports in May of 1917 to travel to Canada and Japan.

In August of 1918, 350 Commonwealth was acquired from Julius Baer by John J. Johnston.

Julius and Irene Baer subsequently moved to Denver because of his health.  They divorced there in December of 1923, he married again in May of 1924 to his nurse, Elsie Bader, and he died in October of 1924.

350 Commonwealth was not listed in the 1917-1937 Blue Books.

In February of 1919, 350 Commonwealth was acquired from John Johnston by George J. Wilson, and in April of 1919, it was acquired from him by Mrs. Annie Jane (Trimble) Varney, the widow of John R. Varney.  She lived at 139 Newbury, where she operated a lodging house, and probably also operated one at 350 Commonwealth.

By 1920, 350 Commonwealth was the home of Dr. Frederic Leroy Kellogg, a physician, and his wife, (Mary) Elizabeth (Mitchell) Kellogg.  He also maintained his medical offices there.  They had been married recently and 350 Commonwealth may have been their first home together.  In 1919, he had lived and maintained his medical offices at 366 Commonwealth. Elizabeth Kellogg was the assessed owner of 350 Commonwealth from 1921 through 1946 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps.

The Kelloggs converted the property into offices and apartments.

Frederic Kellogg died in May of 1939.  After his death, Elizabeth Kellogg applied for a license to operate a lodging house for aged persons at 350 Commonwealth.  In June of 1939, the Building Department advised her of the egress and change in occupancy requirements that had to be met before she could use the property for that purpose.  She subsequently abandoned the application, but applied once again in 1945, and was once again informed of the requirements that needed to be met.

She continued to live at 350 Commonwealth until about 1946.  She had moved to 346 Commonwealth by 1947.

Edward Swarz was the assessed owner of 350 Commonwealth in 1947 and 1948.

The property was shown as vacant in the 1947-1949 City Directories and was not listed in the 1947 and 1948 Lists of Residents.

By 1948, 350 Commonwealth was owned by Russell Dwelley Curry, who lived in one of the apartments. He previously had lived in Arlington. He was the assessed owner of 350 Commonwealth from 1949.

Russell Curry owned and operated the Curry School of Dance, which taught dancing and etiquette.  The school was founded by his mother, Grace (Dwelley) Curry, wife of Frederick Curry.

In August of 1948, Russell Curry applied for permission to remodel the interior, indicating that the use was to be the “same as previous: offices and apartments.”  He subsequently abandoned the permit, but based on City Directory entries, appears to have occupied the property as medical offices and apartments.

In October of 1952, he filed for permission to change the use of the property, indicating that the current use was four medical offices on the 1st and 2nd floors, one apartment on the third and fourth floors, and one apartment in the basement.  He proposed to convert to the property into two doctor’s offices (one each on the first and second floors, in the front) and four apartments (adding an apartment in the rear of the first and second floors).  He subsequently abandoned the permit.

In August of 1978, Robert White purchased 350 Commonwealth from Russell Curry.  He already owned 344 and 348 Commonwealth and in October of 1978, he purchased 346 Commonwealth.

In December of 1988, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 350 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, 346, and 348 Commonwealth into one property, to be known as 344-350 Commonwealth.  On May 5, 1989, he filed for (and subsequently received) to increase the occupancy of the four buildings from 17 to 35 apartments.

344-350 Commonwealth remained an apartment building in 2015.