352 Commonwealth

352 Commonwealth (2013)

352 Commonwealth (2013)

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

Lot 21′ x 124.5′ (2,615 sf)

352 Commonwealth is located on the south side of Commonwealth, between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, with 350 Commonwealth to the east and 354 Commonwealth to the west.

352 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 (352-354-356-358-360 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 352 Commonwealth, dated November 30, 1883.

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

By the 1886-1887 winter season, 352 Commonwealth was the home of Otis Norcross Jones and his wife, Katherine H. (Frost) Jones.  They previously had lived at 486 Columbus.  He is shown as the owner of 352 Commonwealth on the 1888 and 1890 Bromley maps.

Otis N. Jones was a partner in the firm of Otis Norcross & Company, dealers in crockery, earthenware, and pottery, and operators of a glass factory in Sandwich.

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

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

Otis Jones died in May of 1892.  Katherine Jones and their daughter, Mary Ellen Jones, continued to live at 352 Commonwealth.  Otis Jones’s heirs are shown as the owners on the 1895 Bromley map. and Kate H. Jones et al, trustees, are shown as the owners on the 1898 and 1908 maps and were the assessed owners through 1909.

Mary Ellen Jones married in April of 1907 to Henry Clayton Metcalf, a professor of economics at Tufts College.  They lived at 352 Commonwealth with Mrs. Jones during the 1907-1908 winter season, after which they moved to Winchester.

Katherine Jones continued to live at 352 Commonwealth until about 1910, when she moved to the Hotel Vendôme.

Abbie E. Rice was the assessed owner of 352 Commonwealth from 1910 through 1912.

The house was not listed in the 1911-1913 Blue Books.

By 1912, it was the home of Dr. John Howard Payne and his wife, Ernestine Arzilla (Houghton) Payne.  They previously had lived in Brookline.  Ernestine Payne was the assessed owner of 352 Commonwealth in 1913 and 1914 and is shown as the owner on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps, and John H. Payne was the assessed owner from 1915 through 1932 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 map.

John Payne was a physician and oculist, and also maintained his medical offices at 352 Commonwealth.

John Payne died in May of 1927.  Ernestine Payne continued to live at 352 Commonwealth, joined by 1930 by her sister, Sarah Virginia (Houghton) Ricker Hall, the widow of Freeman Alonzo Ricker and of Henry Hall.

The heirs of John H. Payne were the assessed owners from 1933 through 1948 and are shown as the owners on the 1938 Bromley map.

Ernestine Payne continued to live there until her death in May of 1947.

By 1948, 352 Commonwealth was the home of Harold Howard Sisson (Sisonsky), an insurance broker, and his wife, Bessie E. (Moro/Murachowski) Sisson.  They previously had lived at 91 Bay State Road.  Bessie Sisson was the assessed owner of 352 Commonwealth from 1949.

They occupied the house as a single-family dwelling.  However, on August 3, 1948, Bessie Sisson filed an affidavit with the Building Department stating that they would not use the fourth floor “by ourselves or other tenants, except for the use of storage purposes.”  This implies a lack of egress which would be required by a multiple family dwelling.

Harold Sisson died in February of 1953.  Bessie Sisson continued to live at 352 Commonwealth until about 1955. In March of 1956, she purchased and subsequently moved to 300 Commonwealth.

In March of 1956, Marion B. White acquired 352 Commonwealth from Bessie Sisson.  Marion White lived at 352 Commonwealth and also used it for two businesses: Luzier’s Cosmetics and Luzier’s Electrolysis.  The legal occupancy of the property remained a single-family dwelling.

Marion White continued to live at 352 Commonwealth until her death in May of 1987.

In December of 1987, Joanna Gleason, trustee of the D & B Real Estate Trust, purchased 352 Commonwealth from the estate of Marion B. White.  On the same day, she converted the property into eight condominium units, the 352 Commonwealth Condominium.

In February of 1988, the B & D Real Estate Trust filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into four apartments.  In August of 1988, the B & D Real Estate Trust filed an amended master deed reducing the number of condominiums to four.