375 Marlborough was built in 1880 by Vinal & Dodge, masons, for building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., for speculative sale. It was one of three contiguous houses (375-377-379 Marlborough) built at the same time and one of twelve contiguous houses (369-371-373-375-377-379-381-383-385-387-389-391 Marlborough) built for George Wheatland, Jr., in 1879-1881. He is shown as the owner of 375-377-379 Marlborough on the original building permit application for the three houses, dated April 9, 1880 (one application for three houses).
The houses were built in three groups: three at 369-371-373 Marlborough in 1879-1880, three at 375-377-379 Marlborough in 1880, and six at 381-383-385-387-389-391 Marlborough in 1880-1881. The six at 369-379 Marlborough are of the same design, and the six at 381-391 Marlborough also are of the same design as each other and quite similar to the six at 369-379 Marlborough.
The two applications for the six houses at 369-379 Marlborough do not identify the architect. However, the application for the six houses at 381-391 Marlborough indicates that the architect was Obed F. Smith and, given the similar style, it appears likely that he also was the architect for the earlier houses. In addition, the application for 369-373 Marlborough indicates that the plans are the same as for 358–360 Marlborough, two of a group of eight houses at 348-362 Marlborough built for George Wheatland, Jr., at about the same time. The applications for those houses also do not name the architect, but are attributed to Obed F. Smith based on the final building inspection reports for 354-356 Marlborough.
George Wheatland, Jr., purchased the land for the twelve houses at 369-391 Marlborough through two transactions. He purchased the eastern 200 feet on May 10, 1872, from Daniel Davies, part of a larger parcel Daniel Davies had purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on June 12, 1868. George Wheatland, Jr., subsequently transferred two-thirds interest to William Dudley Pickman and William Pickering Fay under a trust agreement and the remaining one-third to his father, George Wheatland, Sr., of Salem. The land remained vacant for the next seven years.
On October 9, 1879, George Wheatland, Jr., purchased the land to the west, with a 80.58 foot frontage, from Grenville T. W. Braman, and subsequently transferred the lot to his father. The 80.58 foot parcel originally had been intersected by Parker Street, a 60 foot wide street located on top of the Cross Dam, which ran southwest from Beacon at approximately a 45 degree angle, intersecting the north side of Marlborough at a point about 355 feet west of Hereford. Grenville Braman had purchased the eastern portion of the lot from Daniel Davies on October 1, 1872, a triangular lot bounded on the west by Parker Street. In the late 1870s, Parker Street was abandoned and, through a series of transactions, Grenville Braman purchased the land under the roadway, another triangular parcel which he combined with the first to create the rectangular lot he then sold to George Wheatland, Jr.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 375 Marlborough, and click here for further information on the land on the north side of Marlborough between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue.
George Wheatland, Jr., subsequently built the twelve houses at 369-391 Marlborough on 276 feet of the combined 280.58 foot parcel (the 4 feet to the east and the 0.58 feet to the west were sold by his father to others). As the houses were completed, William D. Pickman and the estate of William P. Fay (who had died in March of 1879) transferred their two-thirds interest to George Wheatland, Sr. He subsequently sold the houses to individual purchasers.
On December 29, 1880, 375 Marlborough was purchased from George Wheatland. Sr., by Miss Anna Frances Odin and Miss Harriet Louise Odin. They were half-sisters, the daughters of Dr. John Odin. Anna Odin was by his first marriage, to Anne Frances Vose; Harriet Odin was by his second marriage, to his deceased wife’s sister, Louisa Hayward Vose. Their aunt, Caroline Draper (Vose) Emmons and her husband, John Lucas Emmons, lived at 373 Marlborough.
Harriet Odin died in March of 1900. Anna Odin continued to live at 375 Marlborough. She also maintained a home, Sweet Briar Cottage, in West Yarmouth.
Anna Odin died in September of 1914. She was a Christian Scientist and in her will, she left 375 Marlborough to James Arthur Neal, a director of the church and trustee under the will of Mary Baker Eddy. He and his wife, Mary Palmer (Metcalf) Neal, lived in West Newton.
375 Marlborough was not listed in the 1915 Blue Book.
On January 31, 1916, 375 Marlborough was purchased from James A. Neal by Elizabeth (Griffin) Norton, the widow of Carol Norton, and Miss Grace Eldridge Collins. Mrs. Norton, and probably Miss Collins, previously had lived in Brookline. They also maintained a home in Eastport, Maine.
Mrs. Norton’s husband had been a leader of the Christian Science Church, and she and Miss Collins were Christian Science practitioners.
375 Marlborough was shown as vacant in the 1944 City Directory.
On August 28, 1944, 375 Marlborough was acquired from Elizabeth Norton’s estate by real estate dealer Frederick E. Ordway, and on September 30, 1944, it was acquired from him by Mrs. Dorothy Henrietta Philbrick (Robinson) Sawyer, the former wife of Frederic Rollins Sawyer. She previously had lived at 336 Marlborough with her mother, Harriet Florence (Philbrick) Robinson, the widow of Arthur W. Robinson. By 1946, she resumed living at 336 Marlborough.
On March 1, 1945, 375 Marlborough was purchased from Dorothy Sawyer by Thomas C. Matthews, a lieutenant in the US Navy, and his wife, Maud Ann (Peabody) Matthews. They previously had lived at 218 Newbury.
On August 30, 1946, 375 Marlborough was purchased from the Matthewses by Frederick G. Moynahan, Jr., who lived there with his parents, Frederick and Lillian T. (Piotti) Moynahan, and his sisters, Harriet and Marion. They previously had lived in Quincy. His father was advertising manager of Hide & Leather & Shoes. By 1948, Frederick and Lillian Moynahan, and probably their three children, had moved to an apartment at 287 Commonwealth.
On January 30, 1948, 375 Marlborough was acquired from Frederick Moynahan, Jr., by Walter L. Clark and his wife, Stuart G. (Murphy) Clark.
On October 15, 1948, was acquired from the Clarks by Miss Marion S. Hodgdon, a real estate dealer. In November of 1948, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into three apartments. In her application, she indicated that the former use was as a lodging house.
Marion Hodgdon lived in one of the apartments at 375 Marlborough. She previously had lived at 133 Bay State Road. Her father, Leroy W. Hodgdon. also lived at 375 Marlborough at the time of his death in September of 1951.
Marion Hodgdon continued to live at 375 Marlborough until about 1955, when she acquired 378 Marlborough and moved to an apartment there.
By 1960, 375 Marlborough had been increased from three to four apartments.
In April of 1960, Marion Hodgdon filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remove the brick and brownstone on the front façade and replace it with brick. The work was required because the existing stone and brick had pulled away from the structure and were in danger of falling.
In January of 1986, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as four apartments.
On May 7, 1986, 375 Marlborough was purchased from Marion Hodgdon by Michael L. Berger and Tyrone Hanlan, trustees of the 375 Marlborough Street Realty Trust. In February of 1987, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to add a penthouse and extend the top of the front bay, thereby enlarging the top floor unit.
On February 26, 1987, they converted the property into four condominium units, the 375 Marlborough Street Condominium.