437 Marlborough was built in 1885 for Chadwick & Stillings, for speculative sale, one of eight contiguous houses (431-445 Marlborough). Chadwick & Stillings (N. Henry Chadwick and Oscar L. Stillings) was a hat block and flange company that became a significant house building firm in the 1880s and 1890s. They are shown as the owners, architects, and builders on the original building permit application for 437 Marlborough, dated June 16, 1885.
By the 1887-1888 winter season, 437 Marlborough was the home of Albert Lee Newman and his wife, Ella Maria (Harding) Newman. They previously had lived at 250 West Newton. Ella H. Newman is shown as the owner of 437 Marlborough on the 1895 an d 1898 Bromley maps.
Albert Newman was president of the National Bank of the Commonwealth until 1892, when he resigned because of ill health. He died in May of 1894, a suicide. After his death, Ella Newman and their son, Albert Harding Newman, continued to live at 437 Marlborough. By 1896, they had been joined by Ella Newman’s father, Alpheus Harding, a widower.
Albert Harding Newman, an investment banker, married in October of 1897 to Jeanie Stevens Smith. After their marriage, they lived in Brookline.
Alpheus Harding and Ella Newman both died in October of 1903.
437 Marlborough was not listed in the 1903-1904 Blue Book.
By the 1901-1905 winter season, 437 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Charles Morton Smith and his wife, Mary Louise (Moulton) Smith. They previously had lived at 60 Chestnut. Mary Smith is shown as the owner of 437 Marlborough on the 1908, 1917, 1928, and 1938 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in North Scituate.
C. Morton Smith was a physician and dermatologist. He was an expert on syphilis, and was a professor of syphilology at Harvard Medical School. He maintained his office at 437 Marlborough.
In August of 1915, Mary Smith applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a fourth story to 437 Marlborough. Plans for the addition — prepared by A. Hathaway Co., carpenters — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN C-19).
C. Morton Smith died in January of 1938, and Mary Smith moved soon thereafter to an apartment at 90 Commonwealth.
By 1939, 437 Marlborough was owned by Albert Crittendon Kelley, a civil engineer and surveyor, and his wife. Elsie A (Johnson) Kelley. They lived at 505 Beacon. In January of 1940, they filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 437 Marlborough into a lodging house.
By 1944, 437 Marlborough was the home of Joffre Gotreau, who operated it as a lodging house. He previously had lived at 372 Massachusetts Avenue.
437 Marlborough was owned by his mother, Mrs. Martha M. (Roy) Gotreau, the widow of David B. Gotreau, who also owned 441 Marlborough, where she lived and operated a lodging house.
By 1945, Joffre Gotreau had moved from 437 Marlborough to 441 Marlborough, and 437 Marlborough was the home of his brother and sister-in-law, Wilfred R. Gotreau and Germaine (Turcotte) Gotreau. They previously had lived in Canada, and in the early 1940s at 372 Massachusetts Avenue. Wilfred Gotreau was a musician and music teacher. Later that year, they moved to 507 Beacon.
By 1946, Joffre Gotreau had moved from 441 Marlborough to 261 Marlborough, where he operated a lodging house. He also was listed in the City Directories as operator of the lodging houses at 437 and 441 Marlborough.
Martha Gotreau continued to live at 441 Marlborough and to own 437 Marlborough. By 1954, she also had acquired 439 Marlborough; Joffre Gotreau (still living at 261 Marlborough) was shown as the operator of the lodging houses at 437-439-441 Marlborough until the early 1960s.
In May of 1954, Martha Gotreau applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a platform of steel and concrete at the rear of 437-139 Marlborough to serve as a patio for the two houses.
The Gotreau family continued to operate the lodging houses at 437-439-441 Marlborough until the mid-1960s. Martha Gotreau lived at 441 Marlborough until about 1960, after which she moved to 437 Marlborough, where she continued to live until about 1966.
In June of 1967, Milton B. Popkin and Louis Grolnic purchased 437-439-441 Marlborough from Martha Gotreau. They continued to operate them as lodging houses.
In April of 1974, Jerald R. Feldman and Harvey P. Wilk, trustees of the 437, 439, 441 Marlboro Street Realty Trust, purchased the three houses from Milton Popkin and Louis Grolnic. They continued to operate them as lodging houses.
In May of 1983, Alan D. Humbert, trustee of the Ferrari Realty Trust, purchased 437 and 439 Marlborough from Jerald Feldman and Harvey Wilk.
In June of 1983, Dorothy F. Wirth, trustee of the 437-439 Marlborough Street Trust, purchased 437 and 439 Marlborough from Alan Humbert.
In May of 1983, prior to acquiring the property, the 437-439 Marlborough Street Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 437 and 439 Marlborough into seven apartments each.
In August of 1983, Dorothy Wirth converted the houses into fourteen condominium units, seven units in each house, the 437-439 Marlborough Condominium.