447 Marlborough was designed by architect William P. Wentworth and built in 1886-1887 by Dodge Brothers, builders, for Francis Jewett Parker and his wife, Anna Whiting (Lyman) Parker. They previously had lived in Newton. Francis Parker is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated October 19, 1886, on the final building inspection report, dated September 7, 1887, and on the 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
Francis Parker was treasurer of the Monadnock Cotton Mill and the Massachusetts Central Railroad. He had served as a colonel in the Civil War and as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and State Senate, and was an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of Boston in 1878.
Anna Parker died in August of 1903. Francis Parker continued to live at 447 Marlborough with their unmarried daughter, Clara Virginia Parker.
Francis Parker died in January of 1909 and Clara Parker moved soon thereafter.
By the 1909-1910 winter season, 447 Marlborough was the home of Francis and Anna Parker’s son-in-law and daughter, William Brooks Cabot and Elizabeth Lyman (Parker) Cabot. They previously had lived in Chestnut Hill. The Heirs of Francis J. Parker are shown as the owners on the 1912, 1917, 1928, and 1938 Bromley maps. They also maintained a summer home in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
William Cabot was a civil engineer and contractor whose firm undertook a number of railroad, bridge, and tunnel projects, including a portion of the subway tunnel under Times Square in New York City. He also was an amateur anthropologist and explorer, whose special interest was the natives in the arctic areas of Canada. He made numerous trips between 1899 and 1924 to northern Quebec and Labrador, documenting his trips with photographs and in his 1912 book, In Northern Labrador.
From about 1921 through about 1924, the Cabots were joined at 447 Marlborough by Mrs. Harriet (Kehue/Keyou) Estabrook, widow of Lyman Watson Estabrook.
Elizabeth Cabot died in March of 1941. William Cabot continued to live at 447 Marlborough until his death in January of 1949.
By mid-1949, 447 Marlborough was the home of Walter J. Griffin and his wife, Barbara (O’Neill) Griffin. He was a porter at Raymond’s department store. The Griffins previously had lived at 96 Huntington.
In August of 1949, Walter Griffin applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 447 Marlborough into three apartments (one on each floor). The Griffins lived in one of the apartments at until about 1959, when they moved an apartment at 52 Hereford.
By 1964, 447 Marlborough was owned by Kenneth L. Shaw. In February of 1964, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as seven apartments.
By 1967, 447 Marlborough was owned by Garland Junior College. In August of 1967, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into school offices.
Garland Junior College owned a portfolio of 22 properties in the western portion of the Back Bay: 315, 319, 321, 329, 337, 339, 341, 343, 349, 377, 407, 409, 411, 413–415 Commonwealth, 24 Charlesgate East (419 Commonwealth), and 447, 449, and 451 Marlborough (composed of 451-457 Marlborough).
In April of 1976, Garland Junior College announced that, because of financial difficulties, it was merging with Simmons College. It subsequently sold twelve of its properties and transferred the remainder — those located furthest west (407-415 Commonwealth, 24 Charlesgate East, and 451 Marlborough) — to Simmons College.
Glen G. Grant, trustee of the Commonwealth College Trust, purchased eleven of the twelve properties that Garland Junior College sold. In October of 1976 he purchased 447 and 449 Marlborough and 315 and 341 Commonwealth; in January of 1977, he purchased 319, 321, 329, 337, 339, 343, and 377 Commonwealth. The remaining property, 349 Commonwealth, had been purchased in September of 1976, by Andrew Saggese, Jr., trustee of the Drew Realty Trust.
In June of 1979, the Commonwealth College Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy of 447 Marlborough as six apartments (notwithstanding the change in occupancy to school offices approved in 1967, the Building Department indicated that there was no record of the previous occupancy).
The property subsequently changed hands and in October of 1985 was purchased by Raymond H. Reef, trustee of the 447 Marlborough Street Realty Trust
In September of 2009 and August of 2012, Kenneth S. Frieze and his wife, Tamar Salter Frieze, residents of 445 Marlborough, acquired the two condominium units on the third floor of 447 Marlborough. They applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine the two units and cut a door in the party wall, providing access between 445 Marlborough and the third floor of 447 Marlborough.