351 Commonwealth

351 Commonwealth (2013)

351 Commonwealth (2013)

Lot 22' x 124.5' (2,739 sf)

Lot 22′ x 124.5′ (2,739 sf)

351 Commonwealth is located on the north side of Commonwealth, between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, with 349 Commonwealth to the east and 353 Commonwealth to the west.

351 Commonwealth was designed by architect G. Wilton Lewis and built in 1894, one of three contiguous houses (349-351-353 Commonwealth) built and owned by housing contractor Luther M. Merrill, probably for speculative sale.  He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application dated April 23, 1894, and on the final building inspection report dated March 8, 1895.  The three houses are designed as a single, symmetrical unit, centered on a two-story palladian window.

By the 1895-1896 winter season, 351 Commonwealth was the home of George Hinckley Lyman, Jr., and his wife, Caroline (Amory) Lyman.  They had lived at 279 Clarendon in 1895.

The house was owned by the Estate of Gardner Brewer, Caroline (Amory) Lyman’s maternal grandfather.  Caroline Croft, trustee, is shown as the owner on the 1898 Bromley map.  George H. Lyman, trustee, is shown as the owner on the 1908, 1917, and 1928 Bromley maps, and were the assessed owners through 1936.  And Walter Hunnewell (the Lymans’ son-in-law, husband of Maria Cordelia (Minna Cornelia) Lyman) et al, trustees are shown as the owners on the 1938 map.

The Lymans also maintained a home in Beverly Farms.

349-353 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum

349-353 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum

George Lyman was an attorney and served as federal Collector of Customs for the Port of Boston from 1898 to 1910.  In April of 1901, then Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt visited Boston and stayed at 351 Commonwealth with the Lymans.

George Lyman died in May of 1945.  Caroline Lyman continued to live at 351 Commonwealth until her death in the mid-1950s.

In mid-1955, the National Realty Company purchased 351 Commonwealth from George Lyman, III, and Walter Hunnewell, trustees under the will of Gardner Brewer.

In May of 1955, National Realty applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into ten apartments.

The property changed hands and in December of 1980 was purchased by the Eastmare Corporation, Ltd.

In January of 1981, it converted the property into ten condominium units, the 351 Commonwealth Condominium.

349-353 Commonwealth (2013)

349-353 Commonwealth (2013)