403 Commonwealth

403 Commonwealth (2014)

403 Commonwealth (2014)

Irregular Lot: 25' on Commonwealth and 25.07' on Marlborough (3,646.6 sf)

Irregular Lot: 25′ on Commonwealth and 25.07′ on Marlborough (3,646.6 sf)

403 Commonwealth is located on the north side of Commonwealth, between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East, with 401 Commonwealth to the east and 405 Commonwealth to the west.

403 Commonwealth was designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, architects, and built in 1901-1902 by John Y. Mainland, building contractor, for Samuel Carr, Jr., and his wife, Susan Waters (Tarbox) Carr.  They previously had lived at 296 Marlborough.   He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, approved on October 18, 1901. Susan Carr is shown as the owner on the 1908, 1917, and 1928 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in Manchester.

The rear of the lot on which 403 Commonwealth was built extends north to Marlborough Street and has a secondary street address of 452 Marlborough.

403-405 Commonwealth (2014)

403-405 Commonwealth (2014)

Samuel Carr was former Cashier of the National Hide and Leather Bank. In 1882, he was named president of the Central National Bank, and in 1883, he became secretary to Frederick Lothrop Ames, then the largest real estate owner in Boston. He subsequently became a trustee of the Ames Estate. Samuel Carr also was an organist and composer.

Samuel Carr died in May of 1922. Susan Carr continued to live at 403 Commonwealth and in Manchester until her death in February of 1930.

403 Commonwealth was not listed in the 1931 Blue Book.

By the 1931-1932 winter season 403 Commonwealth was the home of Mary (Shaw) Bancroft, widow of William Amos Bancroft. She is shown as the assessed owner from 1931 through 1934. Her son and daughter in law, Guy Bancroft and Charlotte (Nickerson) Bancroft, lived with her. They all previously had lived in Cambridge. They also maintained a home in Cohasset.

Mary Bancroft’s husband, William A. Bancroft, had been a lawyer and president of the Boston Elevated Railway. He had served as a brigadier general in the US Volunteers during the Spanish American War and as Mayor of Cambridge.

Guy Bancroft was treasurer of the Boston News Bureau.

Charlotte Bancroft died in November of 1934.

403 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

403 Commonwealth (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

In early 1935, Mary Bancroft transferred title to 403 Commonwealth to her daughter, Catherine (Bancroft) Haviland of Limoges, France, the wife of William David Haviland, whose family manufactured Haviland china in Limoges. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on January 13, 1935.

Mary Bancroft died in March of 1935. Guy Bancroft continued to live at 403 Commonwealth until about 1937, when he moved to The Tudor (northwest corner of Beacon and Joy).

By 1937, 403 Commonwealth was owned by Geraldine S. Hanley. She is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map.

In October of 1937, she applied for permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into ten apartments. She subsequently abandoned the permit.

By 1939, 403 Commonwealth was owned by Louis J. Binda. In January of 1939, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into medical offices.

By 1951, 403 Commonwealth was owned by Clara R. Drucker, who was the assessed owner in 1951 and 1952. In March of 1951, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of offices from ten to eleven.

By 1953, 403 Commonwealth was owned by the Simplex Company.

395-405 Commonwealth (ca. 1967), courtesy of the Boston Landmarks Commission and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Non-Commercial license

By 1956, 403 Commonwealth was owned by the Chelko Realty Trust. In August of 1956, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the front office on the fourth floor into an apartment, reducing the number of offices from eleven to ten.

The property subsequently changed hands and in June of 1967 was acquired by Samuel Pusantian.  In May of 1971, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of apartments from one to six. In April of 1977, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of apartments to eight. In April of 1978, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of apartments to nine, with four medical offices. And in February of 1986, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of apartments to eleven and reduce the number of office to two.

In October of 1986, he transferred the property to himself and his wife, Edith R. Pusantian, and in March of 2000, they transferred the property to Edith Pusantian and Regina R. Pusantian-Diarbakerly, as trustees of the Pusantian Realty Trust.

In May of 2012, Regina R. Pusantian-Diarbakerly transferred 403 Commonwealth to PRES LLC.

403 Commonwealth was assessed as a combined residential and commercial building in 2014.

401-407 Commonwealth (2014)

401-407 Commonwealth (2014)