378 Marlborough was built in 1880-1881 by James McNeil, builder, as the home of leather merchant Francis (Frank) Buckminster Jones. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated August 28, 1880 (no architect is indicated).
Frank Jones purchased the land for 378 Marlborough on September 6, 1880, from Benjamin Williams Crowninshield and Walter Channing Cabot. It was part of a parcel with a 498 foot frontage on Marlborough, extending west to Massachusetts Avenue, that they had acquired on January 20, 1880, from John Brooks Fenno and William Storer Eaton. J. Brooks Fenno and William Eaton had purchased the land that same day from Grenville T. W. Braman, Henry D. Hyde, and Henry M. Whitney, trustees of a real estate investment trust that had purchased several parcels of land on March 1, 1872, from the Boston Water Power Company.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 378 Marlborough, and click here for further information on the land on the south side of Marlborough between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue.
Frank Jones married in February of 1881 to Helen E. Warner, and they made 378 Marlborough their home. Prior to his marriage, he had lived at 40 West Newton with his parents, Josiah Moore Jones and Maria Buckminster (Bullard) Jones. He was a hide and leather merchant with his father’s firm.
Frank and Helen Jones continued to live at 378 Marlborough during the 1891-1892 winter season, but moved thereafter to Brookline.
On June 1, 1892, 378 Marlborough was purchased from Frank Jones by George Uriel Crocker. He and his wife, Emma Lilian (Aylsworth) Crocker, made it their home. They previously had lived at The Austerfield at 7-9 Massachusetts Avenue.
In 1904, the Crockers built a rear addition to 378 Marlborough occupying most of the rear yard. An August 30, 1904, Boston Herald report noted that the addition “in process of erection at a cost of $20,000, is roofed in.”
The Crockers continued to live at 376 Marlborough during the 1921-1922 winter season, but moved thereafter to 27 West Cedar. George Crocker continued to own 378 Marlborough and lease it to others.
By the 1922-1923 winter season, 378 Marlborough was the home of Kenneth Seyton Billings and his wife, Marjory Church (Fish) Billings. They previously had lived at 111 Bay State Road. He was associated with the iron and steel manufacturing business founded by his father, George Herrick Billings.
They continued to live at 378 Marlborough during the 1923-1924 season, but moved thereafter to 250 Commonwealth.
On December 1, 1924, 378 Marlborough was purchased from George Crocker by Claire Frost Lyman. He previously had lived at The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon.
Claire Lyman was an English instructor at MIT and also served as editor of the history of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, which he listed at 378 Marlborough in the 1925 City Directory. By July of 1925, he had become treasurer of Landon Incorporated, which operated the Fraternities Club at 397 Commonwealth. By the 1925-1926 winter season, he had moved to the Hotel Puritan at 390 Commonwealth. His parents, Willard Clark Lyman and Clara (Frost) Lyman, also moved to the Hotel Puritan for the season; they previously had lived at 455 Beacon. By mid-1926, he had moved to the Fraternities Club at 397 Commonwealth.
By the 1925-1926 winter season, 378 Marlborough had become the fraternity house of the MIT Chapter of Phi Mu Delta. It previously had been located at 354 Commonwealth.
On June 26, 1926, Elijah S. Gorney foreclosed on a mortgage given by Claire Lyman and took possession of 378 Marlborough. He and his wife, Leah (Lyolia) (Abrams) Gorney, lived in Brookline. He was a florist.
376 Marlborough continued to be the Phi Mu Delta fraternity house during the 1926-1927 winter season. It moved thereafter to 330 Bay State Road and then, in 1937, to 460 Beacon.
During the 1927-1928 winter season, 378 Marlborough was the home of Mrs. Flora Harriet (Sharp) Lowe, the former wife of Edward Stephen Lowe, who operated it as a lodging house. By 1929, she had moved to 336 Commonwealth.
By the 1928-1929 winter season, Elijah and Leah Gorney had made 378 Marlborough their home. Their daughter, Rosslyn Miriam Gorney, lived with them.
In February of 1930, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to install a two-car garage in an existing rear ell. Plans for the remodeling, designed by architect Albert J. Carpenter, are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston City Archives (reference BIN P-75).
Rosslyn Gorney married in the early 1930s to Lester Ginsberg. After their marriage, they lived at 378 Marlborough with her parents.
On December 6, 1934, the Massachusetts Savings Bank foreclosed on its mortgage to Elijah Gorney, and on December 19, 1934, he transferred the property to the bank.
The Gorneys and the Ginsbergs continued to live at 378 Marlborough during the 1934-1935 winter season, but moved thereafter, the Gorneys to an apartment at 6 Marlborough and the Ginsbergs probably to Cambridge and then, by 1940, to New York City.
In August of 1935, the Massachusetts Savings Bank applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into seven apartments.
On August 20, 1942, 378 Marlborough was acquired from the Massachusetts Savings Bank by real estate dealer John E. Baginski.
The property changed hands and on September 12, 1945, was acquired by Harry Nathanson and his wife, Pearl (Glazer) Nathanson. They lived in Dorchester until the late 1940s, but had moved to 286 Beacon by 1951. He was president of the Hub Cloak and Suit Company.
On February 23, 1954, 378 Marlborough was acquired from the Nathansons by Miss Marion S. Hodgdon, a real estate investor, who lived in one of the apartments. She previously had lived in an apartment at 375 Marlborough, which she continued to own. She remained at 378 Marlborough until about 1958, when she moved to 10 Clearway.
On November 3, 1958, 378 Marlborough was acquired from Marion Hodgdon by Samuel M. Diamond and David Diamond, trustees of the Amory Park Realty Trust.
On June 16, 1969, 378 Marlborough was acquired from Samuel and David Diamond by John M. LeCoq, trustee of the 403 Marlborough Street Trust.
On September 30, 1999, 378 Marlborough was purchased from John LeCoq by the Mas Que Nada LLC of Saugus (Daniel Siolva, manager of record).
On April 3, 2000, 378 Marlborough was purchased from the Mas Que Nada LLC by Elmar Seibel and his wife, Azita Bina. In May of 2000, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the number of apartments from seven to four.
378 Marlborough continued to be assessed as a four- to six-family dwelling in 2022.