400 Marlborough was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built in 1887-1888 by Woodbury & Leighton, builders, for Benjamin Williams Crowninshield and Walter Channing Cabot, one of three contiguous houses (398-400-402 Marlborough). They are shown as the owners on the original building permit application, dated November 15, 1887, and on the final building inspection report, dated December 26, 1888.
By the 1890-1891 winter season, 400 Marlborough was the home of Emeline (Lewis) Cheney, the widow of Arthur Cheney. She previously had lived at 341 Marlborough. She is shown as the owner of 400 Marlborough on the 1890, 1898, 1908, and 1912 Bromley maps, and was the assessed owner through 1915.
Arthur Cheney had been the Boston representative of his family’s silk manufacturing mills and also was owner and manager of the Globe Theatre in Boston. He had died in October of 1878.
During the 1896-1897 winter season, Emeline Cheney was living elsewhere and 400 Marlborough was the home of Herbert Merriam and his wife, Fanny (Hawes) Merriam. Herbert Merriam owned and operated Cherry Brook Farm in Weston, which also was their primary residence. They had moved by 1898, and 400 Marlborough was once again Mrs. Cheney’s home.
In November of 1915, 400 Marlborough was acquired from Emeline Cheney’s estate by Dr. Samuel Augustus Hopkins, Jr., a dentist. He lived at 924 Beacon and maintained his dental office at 235 Marlborough (which formerly had also been his home). He was a widower. He had recently returned from serving as a member of the Harvard Unit in Europe, working with the British hospital forces to provide medical aid in France and Belgium.
Samuel Hopkins remodeled 400 Marlborough and moved his dental offices there in about 1916, and his residence there by 1917. He continued to live and maintain his office there until his death in March of 1921. His estate was the assessed owner in 1922.
400 Marlborough was listed as “offices” in the 1922-1924 Blue Book.
By 1923, 400 Marlborough was owned by Miss Frances Kissock, who was the assessed owner that year. She lived in Brookline with her brother, George Kissock, a real estate dealer.
In November of 1923, Henry Dobbins, Jr., acquired 400 Marlborough from Frances Kissock. He was the assessed owner in 1924.
By 1925, it was the home of Eleanor (Nellie) Campbell. She was the assessed owner from 1925 through 1934 and is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map. She is shown as Miss Eleanor Campbell in the Blue Books and Mrs. Eleanor Campbell in the City Directories. She operated the property as a lodging house.
Eleanor Campbell died in May of 1932.
400 Marlborough continued to be a lodging house in 1934.
By 1934, 400 Marlborough was owned by John A. MacNamara. In May of 1934, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the property from a lodging house into nine apartments.
By 1935, 400 Marlborough was owned by the Suffolk Savings Bank. It was the assessed owner from 1935 through 1940 and is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map.
The property changed hands, including going through foreclosure, and in April of 1980, Amos E. Madanes, trustee of the LMT Trust, purchased 400 Marlborough.
In September of 1982, he converted the property into nine condominium units, the 400 Marlborough Street Condominium.
In September of 1984, the 400 Marlborough Condominium Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a penthouse.