382 Commonwealth was designed by architect Arthur H. Vinal and built in 1895 as a six story, twelve unit apartment house, The Colonial, for jeweler and real estate developer Edwin B. Horn, Jr. He is shown as the owner and the builder on the original building permit application, dated January 15, 1895.
Edwin Horn purchased the land for 382 Commonwealth on December 1, 1894, from Francis A. Brooks. He had purchased the land (conveyed by banker Asa P. Potter) on August 9, 1890, from Susan Walker (Bartlett) Farwell, the widow of Abel G. Farwell. Susan Farwell had purchased the land on January 30, 1886, from Henry Melville Whitney, Grenville Temple Winthrop Braman, and Henry Dwight Hyde, trustees of The Park Entrance Lands Trust, part of one of four parcels the trust had purchased on October 15, 1880, from the Boston Water Power Company.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 382 Commonwealth, and click here for further information on the land on the south side of Commonwealth between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East.
On December 11, 1894, the Boston Globe reported on Edwin Horn’s purchase of the land at 382 Commonwealth, describing his plans for the building and noting that it would be called The Majestic.
On June 11, 1895, the Globe reported that Edwin Horn had sold 382 Commonwealth, still under construction and by then called the Colonial Hotel, to real estate developer and investor Albert Geiger. The article commented that “the purchase of this property by Mr. Geiger is one of the most important made in the Back Bay for a long time, and gives him control of all the new apartment houses in the Back Bay, west of Massachusetts av. Mr. Geiger will complete the construction of the building at once.”
On September 30, 1895, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from Edwin Horn by building contractor George Wheatland, Jr., who conveyed it on the same day to Elizabeth (McPherson) Kendall, the wife of Josiah Bradlee Kendall. They lived at 389 Commonwealth. He was a real estate dealer and formerly had been a hide and leather merchant and then a granite dealer.
In its October 6, 1895, article on the sale, the Boston Globe described the property and the transaction:
“The handsome apartment house known as the Colonial hotel, numbered 382 Commonwealth av … has just been sold to Mr. George Wheatland, who reconveys the property to Mr. J. B. Kendall for a consideration of about $200,000. The house is one of the finest of its kind in the Back Bay, the structure being of grey brick and Indiana limestone, with a rich colonial style entrance. It contains a dozen apartments, two on a floor, of 10 or 12 rooms. The building is six stories high, and has just been completed by the owner, Mr. Edwin B. Horn. … A number of times this property was reported as sold to various persons, the last one being Mr. Albert Geiger, but have fallen through each time, until Mr. Wheatland purchased the property, reselling the same to Mr. Kendall, the deeds of transfer having just gone on record at the Suffolk registry. Mr. Kendall buys for investment.”
Josiah Kendall died in June of 1897 and Elizabeth Kendall died in December of 1903. In her will, she left her property in trust for the benefit of their four children – Correl Kendall, Frederick Kendall, George Kendall, and Elizabeth Kendall – with their daughter to receive a one-third interest and their three sons to share a two-thirds interest. The trust continued to own 382 Commonwealth.
When Elizabeth Kendall purchased 382 Commonwealth, she had given a mortgage to George Wheatland, Jr., which he subsequently assigned to himself and Jacob C. R. Peabody, as trustees under the will of Philip Dumaresq for the benefit of George Wheatland’s wife, Florence Saumarez (Dumaresq) Wheatland, the daughter of Philip Dumaresq.
On March 23, 1906, the trustees foreclosed on the mortgage and sold 382 Commonwealth to George Wheatland, Jr.
On April 28, 1909, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from George Wheatland, Jr., by Josiah and Elizabeth Kendall’s daughter-in-law, Harriott Martha (Magoun) Kendall, the wife of Frederick Kendall. They lived at his parents’ former home at 389 Commonwealth. He was a hide and leather dealer.
In November of 1910, Harriott Kendall brought suit against John D. Hardy, trustee of the Avenue Real Estate Trust, owner of The Puritan apartments at 390 Commonwealth, seeking removal of bay windows on the rear of The Puritan which overhung the alley and which, she argued, interfered with the free and open access to the passageway assured in her deed.
On July 1, 1908, most of the owners of property on the south side of Commonwealth and north side of Newbury between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East had entered into an agreement allowing bay windows to extend into the alley, provided that they extended no further than three feet and were at least 19 feet above the surface of the passageway. George Wheatland, Jr., who owned 382 Commonwealth at the time of the agreement, was not among the signators. However, the courts dismissed Harriott Kendall’s suit on the basis that the bay windows of The Puritan were sufficiently distant so as not to adversely affect The Colonial.
The Kendalls moved to 382 Commonwealth in 1911, and he died in October of that year. Harriott Kendall continued to live at 382 Commonwealth until about 1919, when she moved to 1 Revere-Street Place to live with her son-in-law and daughter, Gordon Allen, an architect, and Harriott M. (Kendall) Allen.
On June 15, 1920, Harriott Kendall transferred a one-tenth interest in 382 Commonwealth to her daughter, Harriott Allen. She also transferred a one-tenth interest to her daughter, Esther (Kendall) Scott, the wife of Austin Scott, and a two-tenths interest to her unmarried daughter, Barbara Kendall. Harriott Kendall continued to own the remaining sixty percent interest until her death in 1941, when it was inherited by her three children.
On November 1, 1945, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from Barbara Kendall, Esther Scott, and Harriott Allen by Louis J. Binda, an elevator starter at a downtown Boston building who frequently acted as a conveyancer in real estate transactions.
On November 7, 1945, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from Louis Binda by the Simplex Company (Albert C. Titcomb, president).
On January 29, 1951, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from the Simplex Company by William E. Ferguson.
On April 18, 1951, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from William Ferguson by John Goldberg and Harry Goldberg. In April of 1951, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the building from twelve apartments (two per floor) to 24 apartments (four per floor).
On October 23, 1951, John and Harry Goldberg transferred 382 Commonwealth to Colonial Apartments, Inc. Harry Goldberg was the treasurer of the company. In August of 1956, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert one of the 24 apartments into a combination apartment and dental office.
The property changed hands and on November 4, 1966, was acquired by John Carpenter Perry of Keene, New Hampshire. He was custodian of the Historical Society of Cheshire County, New Hampshire, and later would serve as chair of the New Hampshire State Historical Commission.
On May 7, 1967, 382 Commonwealth was damaged by a two-alarm fire in which ten people were injured.
On August 18, 1973, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from John Perry by V. Scott Follansbee, trustee of the 382 Commonwealth Avenue Realty Trust. By that time, it consisted of 23 apartments, one dental office, and one doctor’s office.
On November 30, 1977, 382 Commonwealth was acquired from J. Scott Follansbee by Robert L. Marr and Daniel S. Marr, Jr., trustees of the 382 Realty Trust. In May of 1984, they converted 382 Commonwealth into 25 apartments.
On June 25, 1984, 382 Commonwealth was purchased from Robert and Daniel Marr by Stuart J. Bloom, trustee of the 382 Commonwealth Realty Trust. That same day, he converted the building into twenty-five condominium units, the Colonial Condominium.