46 Hereford was designed by Ernest N. Boyden, architect and built in 1885-1886 by Albion Knowlton, builder, for Edwin B. Horn, Jr., a jeweler and real estate developer. It was one of four contiguous buildings (46-48-50-52 Hereford) built for Edwin Horn, designed as a symmetrical group, with 48-50 Hereford a symmetrical pair of single-family dwellings, flanked by 46 Hereford and 52 Hereford, each a four-family apartment building. Edwin Horn is shown as the owner on the original building permit applications for 46, 50, and 52 Hereford, all dated May 7, 1885 (the application for 48 Hereford has not been located).
Edwin Horn purchased the land for 46-48-50-52 Hereford on April 21, 1885, from Caleb H. Warner and Charles F. Smith, trustees. The parcel had been part of a tract of land originally purchased by Nathan Matthews on January 2, 1871, from David Sears, Jr., Frederick R. Sears, and Knyvet Sears.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 46 Hereford.
Edwin Horn sold all four of the buildings after they were completed. In the deeds, he included a four foot wide easement across the rear of 46-48-50 Hereford to provide access to the alley.
46 Hereford was built as a four-unit apartment house, called The Francesca.
On November 24, 1885, 46 Hereford was purchased from Edwin Horn by Hiram Walter Roby, a produce and provisions merchant. That same month, he also acquired the single-family dwelling at 48 Hereford.
H. Walter Roby and his wife, Philena E. (Batson) Towle Roby, lived in one of the apartments at 46 Hereford. They previously had lived at 7 Pembroke. They continued to live at 46 Hereford during the 1892-1893 winter season, but moved thereafter to Melrose. He continued to own 46 Hereford.
Philena Roby died in August of 1910 and H. Walter Roby died in August of 1916.
On February 21, 1920, 46 Hereford was purchased from H. Walter Roby’s estate by Mary (Hurley) Mahoney, the widow of Edward Mahoney. She lived at 338-340 Medford in Charlestown, where she operated a grocery store.
On March 6, 1941, she transferred the property to herself and her son, Edward Mahoney. She died in June of 1942.
On August 13, 1954, 46 Hereford was purchased from Edward Mahoney by Susan M. Elliott. In December of 1954, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as five apartments, which she indicated was the existing condition when she purchased the building. In May of 1955, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of units from five to eight.
On February 20, 1956, 46 Hereford was acquired from Susan Elliott by Louise Marie (Gautreau) Geldart Brideau, the wife of Bernard Brideau. They lived at 332 Commonwealth. On January 8, 1959, she transferred the property to Brideau Realty, Inc.
On September 22, 1961, 46 Hereford was acquired from Brideau Realty by George L. Reef, a lawyer. On October 4, 1966, he transferred the property to his brother, Morris J. Reef, as trustee of the Glenville Realty and Research Trust.
On January 15, 1970, 46 Hereford was acquired from Morris J. Reef by Robert A. Keating, an attorney, and his brother, James Ronald Keating, a carpenter. In July of 1972, Robert Keating acquired 48 Hereford. Robert Keating died in July of 1993.
On February 29, 2000, 46 Hereford was acquired from James R. Keating and Mary T. Keating, trustee of the Robert A. Keating Trust, by Neil G. Glynn, Pascal Glynn, and Christine M. Freeman, trustees of the KAG Realty Trust.
46 Hereford remained an apartment building in 2017.