395 Marlborough was designed by architect Samuel D. Kelley and built in 1888 by John W. Shapleigh, builder, for speculative sale, one of three contiguous houses (393-395-397 Marlborough) designed as a single composition, with the central house (395 Marlborough) having a higher and more elaborate façade and the two flanking houses (393 and 397 Marlborough) being identical in design. John Shapleigh is shown as the owner on the original building permit application for 395 Marlborough, dated January 16, 1888.
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting indicates that 393-395-397 Marlborough were built in 1883, but this appears to be an error inasmuch as the original building permit applications all were dated in 1888. Bunting also does not attribute the buildings to a specific architect. However, the final building inspection report for 393 Marlborough indicates the architect was Samuel D. Kelley and includes a floor plan for the second floor labeled “383-395-397 Marlboro St – 1888” signed by Samuel Kelley.
By the 1888-1889 winter season, 395 Marlborough was the home of Arthur Burnham and his wife, Katherine Davenport (Bray) Burnham. They previously had lived at 52 Morland. He is shown as the owner of 395 Marlborough on the 1890 and 1895 Bromley maps.
Arthur Burnham was president of the National City Bank of Boston until January of 1889, after which he was a broker.
They continued to live at 395 Marlborough in 1897, but had moved to an apartment at 407 Marlborough by 1898.
395 Marlborough was not listed in the 1898 Blue Book.
By the 1898-1899 winter season, it was the home of Alanson Wilder Beard and his wife, Mary Calista (Morgan) Devan Beard. She is shown as the owner on the 1898 Bromley map, and was the assessed owner through 1904.
A wholesale clothier, Alanson Beard served as Treasurer of Massachusetts in 1886-1888, and twice as Collector for the Port of Boston.
Alanson Beard died in August of 1900. In October of 1904, Mary Beard married again, to William Rodney Feelyater. At the time of their marriage, he indicated that he was employed as a private secretary and that his address was 395 Marlborough. They moved soon thereafter and she died in 1907 or 1908; at the time of her death, they lived in Brooklyn, New York. He was the assessed owner of 395 Marlborough from 1905 through 1914 and is shown as the owner on the 1908 and 1912 Bromley maps.
By the 1905-1906 winter season, 395 Marlborough was the home of Frank Herbert Thayer and his wife, Alice Augusta (Waterman) Thayer. They previously had lived in Malden. He was a shoe manufacturer with his father’s firm, N. B. Thayer & Co.
Living with them were Alice Thayer’s mother, Sarah Luella (Morrison) Waterman, the widow of Arthur Osceola Waterman, and brothers, William Edgar Waterman, president of a cigar manufacturing company, and Dr. George Arthur Waterman, a neurologist. Dr. Waterman also maintained his medical office at 395 Marlborough. Sarah Waterman and William Waterman previously had lived in Malden, where Arthur Waterman had died in March of 1905. George Waterman previously had lived and maintained his medical office at 220 Marlborough.
Sarah Waterman died in November of 1906. The Thayers, George Waterman, and William Waterman continued to live at 395 Marlborough until about 1912.
George Waterman married in June of 1912 to Claire N. Forrest and they moved to 410 Beacon. William Waterman moved with them, and Frank and Alice Thayer moved to 21 Bay State Road.
395 Marlborough was not listed in the 1913 and 1914 Blue Books.
By the 1914-1915 winter season, 395 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Channing Frothingham, Jr. his wife, Clara Morgan (Rotch) Frothingham. They previously had lived at 51 Hereford. Clara R. Frothingham was the assessed owner of 395 Marlborough from 1915 through 1931 and is shown as the owner on the 1917 and 1928 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in Walpole.
Channing Frothingham was a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School. He maintained his medical offices at 395 Marlborough. Clara Morgan (Rotch) Frothingham was an artist.
Dr. and Mrs. Frothingham continued to live at 395 Marlborough until about 1931, but had moved to 157 Bay State Road by 1932.
In 1932, 395 Marlborough was owned by Mabel Adamson, who was the assessed owner that year. By 1933, it had become the property of the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company, which was the assessed owner from 1933 through 1940 and was shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map.
By 1933, 395 Marlborough was the home of Lewis N. Taber, a salesman, and his wife, Margaret (Stevens) Taber. They previously had been lodgers at 425 Marlborough and before that in Connecticut. In June of 1933, Margaret Taber applied to the Licensing Board for a lodging house license. In July of 1933, Lewis Taber applied for (and subsequently received) permission to erect a fire escape, indicating that the property would be used as a lodging house.
The Tabers had moved by 1935, possibly back to Connecticut, where they were living, in Norwich, in 1939.
By 1935, 395 Marlborough was the home of Oscar Dahlberg and his wife, Frances Dahlberg, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had been lodgers at 527 Beacon. Several of the other residents of 395 Marlborough moved there from 527 Beacon at the same time as the Dahlbergs. They Dahlbergs continued to live at 395 Marlborough until about 1936.
By 1937, 395 Marlborough was the home of Alfred T. Oxton, a salesman, and his wife, Hannah K. (Brett) Oxton, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived in Florida. They continued to live at 395 Marlborough until about 1940, when they moved to an apartment at 27½ Massachusetts Avenue.
In the spring of 1940, 395 Marlborough was purchased from the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company by George Emules LeTendre and his wife, Rose (Sylva) LeTendre. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on May 5, 1940. They operated it as a lodging house. They lived at 336 Commonwealth, where they also operated a lodging house.
They continued to operate a lodging house at 395 Marlborough until about 1946 and were the assessed owners through that year. They also operated lodging houses at 364 Marlborough in about 1942 and 1943, at 338 Marlborough in 1943 and 1944, and at 365 Marlborough in 1945 and 1946.
The property changed hands, remaining a multiple dwelling, probably a lodging house, during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
By 1953, 395 Marlborough was owned by Louise Marie (Gautreau) Geldart Brideau, who was the assessed owner from that year. She and her husband, Bernard Brideau, lived at 389 Marlborough, where they operated a lodging house.
From about 1953, there were nine residents listed at 395 Marlborough in the City Directories, and it appears that the property was being occupied as a nine unit apartment building. The legal occupancy was not changed, however, and the building was shown as a lodging house on various permit applications filed during the 1950s.
By 1960, 395 Marlborough was owned by Ralph S. Cohen, as trustee of the Dexter Realty Trust. In August of 1960, he filed a certificate of ownership with the Building Department indicating that the property consisted of nine apartments. In its verification of occupancy, the Building Department indicated that the legal occupancy of record was as a single-family dwelling.
In February of 1962, Paul J. Zirkle purchased 395 Marlborough from the Dexter Realty Trust. In June of 1962, he filed for permission to legalize the property as a nine-unit apartment house, indicating that he was under the impression that was the legal occupancy when he purchased the building. The application was approved but Mr. Zirkle failed to provide the necessary egress to allow the building to be used as apartments.
In February of 1963, Louis B. Benjamin, trustee of the Benjamin Realty Trust, purchased 395 Marlborough from Paul Zirkle. In March of 1964, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the property as a nine-unit apartment building.
The property changed hands and in January of 2009 was purchased by the 395 Marlborough LLC.
In August of 2009, it converted the property into nine condominium units, the Heaven on Marlborough Condominium.