375 Commonwealth

375 Commonwealth (2014)

375 Commonwealth (2014)

Irregular Lot: 26' on Commonwealth (2,757 sf)

Irregular Lot: 26′ on Commonwealth (2,757 sf)

375 Commonwealth is located on the north side of Commonwealth, between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East, with 373 Commonwealth to the east and 377 Commonwealth to the west.

375 Commonwealth was designed by architect George A. Avery and built in 1892-1893 for Dr. Holmes Mayhew Jernegan and his wife, Mary E. (Morrill) Moore Jernegan. They previously had lived in an apartment at 366 Commonwealth. He is shown as the owner of 375 Commonwealth on the original building permit application, dated June 18, 1892, on the final building inspection report, dated May 1, 1893, and on the 1895, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps.

Holmes Jernegan was a physician and surgeon specializing in abdominal surgery. He maintained his medical office at 375 Commonwealth.

The Jernegans separated in 1899 and were divorced in June of 1901. He continued to live and maintain his office at 375 Commonwealth, and married again in August of 1903 to Mabel Louise Tobey. After their marriage, they lived at 375 Commonwealth. Mabel L. Jernigan is shown as the owner on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps.

Third floor plan of 375 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 1May1893 (v. 52, p. 78); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Third floor plan of 375 Commonwealth, bound with the final building inspection report, 1May1893 (v. 52, p. 78); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Holmes Jernegan died in May of 1917. Mabel Jernegan moved soon thereafter to the Hotel Puritan at 390 Commonwealth.

By 1918, 375 Commonwealth was owned by Chester L. Dane et al, who were the assessed owners in 1919.

By mid-1919, 373 Commonwealth was owned by Dorothy L. Hallett. In October of 1919, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into medical offices.

By 1924, 375 Commonwealth was owned by William H. Golding. He was the assessed owner from 1924 to 1932, and is shown the owner on the 1928 Bromley map.

The property subsequently changed hands and by 1936 was owned by Ruth V. Northrup. She was the assessed owner from 1936 to 1938, and is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map. In January of 1937, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a building rental office at 373 Commonwealth. The rest of the building remained medical offices.

The property changed hands and in March of 1962, real estate dealer Lionel DeJersey Greene acquired 375 Commonwealth. He died in October of 1962 and the property was transferred by his estate in August of 1964, to his son, Theodore A. Greene, and son-in-law, Bert S. Kagan (husband of Edith Greene), as trustees of the 375 Commonwealth Avenue Trust.

By 1965, 375 Commonwealth was no longer limited to medical offices, but also included Bert Kagan’s insurance agency, Theodore Greene’s real estate brokerage and several other realtors, a food brokerage, an accountant, a lawyer, and a detective agency.

375 Commonwealth; American Architect and Building News, 3Mar1894

375 Commonwealth; American Architect and Building News, 3Mar1894

In September of 1973, Delabarre F. Sullivan purchased 375 Commonwealth from Bert Kagan and Theodore Greene. In December of 1973, he transferred the property to the Back Bay Knights of Columbus Building Corporation.

375 Commonwealth continued to be an office building.

In November of 1977, the Somerset Savings Bank foreclosed on its mortgage to Delabarre Sullivan and took possession of the property.

In April of 1979, James R. Holland and his wife, Helen D. Holland, acquired 375 Commonwealth from the Somerset Savings Bank.

From the mid-1980s, the property was assessed as an apartment building. As of 1990, however, the legal use on file with the Building Department continued to be doctors’ offices.

In September of 1998, the Howard Johnson hotel company filed for permission to convert 375 Commonwealth into a hotel. It subsequently abandoned the application and the Hollands continued to own the building.

375 Commonwealth continued to be assessed as an apartment building in 2014.

Colorized photographic postcard of 371-381 Commonwealth (ca. 1900), showing Commonwealth Avenue before it was widened and straightened ca. 1918; courtesy of Historic New England

Colorized photographic postcard of 371-381 Commonwealth (ca. 1900), showing Commonwealth Avenue before it was widened and straightened ca. 1918; courtesy of Historic New England