378 Marlborough was built in 1880 by James McNeil, builder, as the home of leather merchant Francis (Frank) Buckminster Jones. Frank B. Jones is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated August 28, 1880 (no architect is indicated) and as the owner on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps. In 1880, he had lived on Washington Street with his parents, Josiah Moore Jones and Maria Buckminster (Bullard) Jones.
Frank Jones probably had 378 Marlborough built in anticipation of his marriage to Helen E. Warner in February of 1881. It probably was completed soon after their marriage and became their home until about 1892, when they moved to Brookline.
By the 1892-1893 winter season, 378 Marlborough was the home of George Uriel Crocker and his wife, Emma Lilian (Aylsworth) Crocker. They previously had lived at The Austerfield at 7-9 Massachusetts Avenue. He is shown as the owner of 378 Marlborough on the 1895. 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1924.
They continued to live there in 1922, but had moved to 27 West Cedar by 1923.
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. He was associated with the iron and steel manufacturing business founded by his father, George Herric Billings.
They continued to live at 378 Marlborough in 1924, but had moved to 250 Commonwealth by 1925.
378 Marlborough was not listed in the 1925 Blue Book.
In 1925, 378 Marlborough was the home of Claire Frost Lyman. He previously had lived at The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon. He was the assessed owner of 378 Marlborough in 1925 and 1926. Claire Lyman was an English instructor at MIT and also served as editor of the history of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, which he listed at 378 Marlborough in the 1925 City Directory. By 1926, he had become treasurer of the Fraternities Club at 397 Commonwealth, which also became his residence.
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. It continued to be located at 378 Marlborough in 1927.
By 1927, 378 Marlborough was owned by Elijah S. Gorney, a florist. He was the assessed owner from 1927 through 1935, and is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map. . He and his wife, Leah (Lyolia) (Abrams) Gorney, lived in Brookline.
In 1928, 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 1929, Elijah and Leah Gorney had made 378 Marlborough their home.
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 Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN P-75).
The Gorneys continued to live at 378 Marlborough until about 1935, joined in that year their son-in-law and daughter, Lester Ginsberg, a surveyor, and Rosslyn (Gorney) Ginsberg. By 1936, the Gorneys had moved to an apartment at 6 Marlborough.
By 1935, 378 Marlborough was owned by the Massachusetts Savings Bank. In August of 1935, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into seven apartments.
The Massachusetts Savings Bank was the assessed owner of 378 Marlborough from 1936 through 1942, and is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map.
The property changed hands and in about 1955 was acquired by Miss Marion S. Hodgdon, a real estate dealer, who lived in one of the apartments. She was the assessed owner from 1955. She previously had lived in an apartment at 375 Marlborough, which she continued to own. She continued to live at 378 Marlborough until about 1958, when she moved to 10 Clearway.
The property changed hands and in April of 2000 was purchased 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 remained an apartment building, assessed as a four- to six-family dwelling, in 2015.