354 Marlborough was built in 1879-1880 by Vinal & Dodge, masons, and William H. Stewart, carpenter, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., one of eight contiguous houses (348-350-352-354-356-358-360-362 Marlborough) built in 1878-1880 for him.
The land on which 348-362 Marlborough were built was acquired by George Wheatland, Jr., on May 10, 1872, from a real estate investment trust formed by Grenville Temple Winthrop Braman, Henry Dwight Hyde, and Frank William Andrews. It was part of one of several parcels they had purchased on March 1, 1872, from the Boston Water Power Company, of which Grenville Braman was the former treasurer.
On May 25, 1872, George Wheatland entered into a trust agreement with William Dudley Pickman and William Pickering Fay under which he agreed to hold two undivided one-third interests in the property in their names and they agreed to assume the obligation for one third (each) of the mortgages on the property. On April 18, 1876, George Wheatland, Jr., sold the remaining one-third interest in the property to his father, George Wheatland, Sr., of Salem.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 354 Marlborough.
George Wheatland, Jr., subdivided the property into eight lots, seven with 23 foot frontages and the eighth, at the corner of Hereford, with a 24 foot frontage. He then built houses on the lots at 348-362 Marlborough, each of the same design, with the entrance on the left and a bay on the right.
The houses probably were designed by architect Obed F. Smith. No architect is indicated on the permit applications. However, the final building inspection report for 354-356 Marlborough indicates that the architect was “F. O. Smith.” There was no architect named Smith with those initials listed in the 1878-1880 Boston Directories and it appears likely it was meant to be O. F. Smith. Obed F. Smith designed a number of houses for George Wheatland, Jr., at this time, including six houses (381-391 Marlborough) of very similar design.
348-362 Marlborough all were started in 1878 or 1879 and appear to have been completed within a year. From the deeds and original permit applications, it appears that 348-350-352 Marlborough were built first, then 354-356 Marlborough, and then 358-360-362 Marlborough. The lots were transferred to one of the three owners of the land as the houses were constructed; each house was then sold after it was completed.
The original permit application for 354-356 Marlborough (one application for both houses) was filed on June 11, 1879, by George Wheatland, Jr., and the final building inspection report was issued on June 3, 1880. On February 3, 1880, as the houses were being completed, William D. Pickman and the estate of William P. Fay (who had died in March of 1879) transferred their two-thirds interest in the two properties to George Wheatland, Sr.
On February 3, 1880, 354 Marlborough was purchased from George Wheatland, Sr., by Mary Abby (Mayer) Greene, the widow of Dr. John Singleton Copley Greene. She previously had lived at 283 Dartmouth. Her mother, Mary Louisa (McCulloh) Mayer Upham, the widow of Henry C. Mayer and of Henry Upham, lived next door at 356 Marlborough.
During the 1884-1885 and 1885-1886 winter seasons, Mary Greene was traveling abroad.
During the 1884-1885 season, 354 Marlborough was the home of clothing merchant Hatherly Foster and his wife Emma C. (Bickford) Foster. They previously had lived at 1 Yarmouth, and by 1886, they were living in Brookline.
During the 1885-1886 winter season, 354 Marlborough was the home of attorney and future Boston Mayor Nathan Matthews, Jr., and his wife, Ellen Bacon (Sargent) Matthews. They previously had lived at the Hotel Oxford (southeast corner of Exeter and Huntington). By the 1886-1887 season, they were living at the Hotel Oxford again, and by the 1887-1888 season, they had moved to 456 Beacon.
From 1890 through about 1892, it was the home of her mother, Mary Upham, who had lived at 356 Marlborough until about 1884.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, Mary Greene was once again living at 354 Marlborough and Mrs. Upham had moved to 371 Marlborough. Living with Mary Greene were her two surviving children, Belle Greene and Henry Upham (later Henry Copley) Greene, an author. Henry Greene married in May of 1907 to Rosalind Huidekoper and they moved to an apartment at 261 Beacon. Belle Greene remained unmarried and continued to live with her mother.
Belle Greene continued to live at 354 Marlborough and also maintained a home in Dublin, New Hampshire.
By the 1915-1916 winter season, she had been joined at 354 Marlborough by her grandmother, Mary Louisa Upham, who previously had lived at 381 Marlborough. She died in November of 1916.
Belle Greene continued to live at 354 Marlborough. By the 1918-1919 winter season, she had been joined by Miss Anne Howe, a teacher and later a social worker, who continued to live with her until the early 1920s, then probably moved, but had resumed living with her by 1924.
From about 1925, Belle Greene and Anne Howe were joined by Belle Greene’s second cousin, Miss Matilda Elizabeth (called Elizabeth) Greene, daughter of James Lloyd Greene (James Lloyd Greene’s father, William Parkinson Greene, was the half-brother of John Singleton Copley Greene, Jr.’s father). She previously had lived in Somerville. Elizabeth Greene served as Belle Greene’s private secretary.
In about 1927, they were joined by Miss Harriet Mabel Cutler, a teacher.
Anne Howe and Harriet Cutler continued to live at 354 Marlborough until about 1932.
During the 1932-1933 winter season, Belle and Elizabeth Greene were traveling in Europe; thereafter, Belle Greene (and probably Elizabeth Greene) lived in Cambridge and Dublin, New Hampshire.
Belle Greene continued to own 354 Marlborough and lease it to others.
By the 1932-1933 winter season. 354 Marlborough was the home of Edward Risegari Gai, an engineer. He continued to live there until about 1939, but moved thereafter. By the early 1940s, he was living in Brighton.
In 1938, Edward Gai was joined at 354 Marlborough by Erving Plumer Morse, an accountant, his wife, Marion Houghton (Dutton) Morse, and their son, Harold D. Morse, a department store buyer. They previously had been lodgers at 10 Commonwealth. They continued to live at 354 Marlborough in 1939, but had moved to an apartment at 457 Beacon by 1940.
On October 26, 1939, 354 Marlborough was purchased from Henry Copley Greene by Miss Hester E. Hurlbutt, a sewing teacher in the public schools. She previously had lived at 109 St. Stephen. She continued to live there until about 1943, but moved thereafter to an apartment at 457 Beacon.
On September 1, 1943, 354 Marlborough was purchased from Hester Hurlbutt by Samuel Thal and his wife, Jeanette (Eyre) Thal. They previously had lived in Cambridge and, before that, at 457 Marlborough. Samuel Thal was a noted artist, etcher, and architectural sculptor. Jeanette Eyre Thal was an author and Russian expert.
By this point (and probably in the 1930s), 354 Marlborough had been converted into a two-family dwelling. Jan Veen, an instructor at the Boston Conservatory of Music, lived in the second unit until about 1945. By 1947, it was the home of Raymond E. Stoddard and his wife, Abbie Stoddard. They continued to live there until about 1955.
Jeanette Thal died in December of 1958. Samuel Thal continued to live at 354 Marlborough until his death in April of 1964.
On October 8, 1964, 354 Marlborough was purchased from the estate of Samuel Thal by Eliot (called Peter) Warden Denault, Jr., owner and operator of oil storage tank facilities. He lived in one of the two apartments. In 1966, he married to Dorothy Bartels. They continued to live at 354 Marlborough until the early 1970s. At about that time, based on City Directory entries, they appear to have increased the number of units to four or five.
On February 3, 1993, he transferred the property to himself and his wife as trustees of the Denault Marlborough Realty Trust.
On June 2, 1999, 354 Marlborough was purchased from the Denaults by Efharis Alepedis and Betty Alepedis Stoukedis. On February 5, 2003, they transferred the property to the 354 Marlborough Street LLC.
354 Marlborough remained a multiple dwelling in 2015, assessed as a four- to six-family dwelling.