47 Hereford was designed by Bradlee and Winslow, architects, and built in 1882 by Vinal and Dodge, masons. It is one of five contiguous houses (45-47-49-51-53 Hereford) they built for speculative sale in association with building contractor George Wheatland, Jr. He is shown as the owner on the original building application for all five houses, dated February 24, 1882. 47-53 Hereford are designed as a symmetrical composition, somewhat unbalanced by 45 Hereford.
The block of Newbury between Hereford and West Chester Park (Massachusetts Avenue) was intended primarily for stables, including private carriage houses and larger public livery stables, and in 1882, when 45-53 Hereford were built, there already were several stables directly across the street, on the south side of Newbury. 53 Hereford was designed with a window-less wall on Newbury, probably to avoid looking onto these stables and to firmly orient 45-53 Hereford in an eastward facing direction, as a residential block of buildings.
The land for 45-53 Hereford was acquired on April 9, 1881, by George Wheatland, Sr., of Salem, from Caleb H. Warner and Charles F. Smith, trustees for the benefit of the creditors of Nathan Matthews. It originally had been purchased by Nathan Matthews on January 2, 1871, from the David Sears family, which held large holdings of Back Bay tidal lands.
The deed to George Wheatland, Sr., included a restriction that only dwelling houses facing Hereford could be built on the land. The restriction was for the benefit of the owners of the land at 314-320 Commonwealth, which Caleb Warner and Charles Smith had sold in April of 1879 to Sumner R. Mead and to Frank N. Thayer and William H. Lincoln.
On February 18, 1882, George Wheatland, Sr., sold the land to Warren D. Vinal and Charles A. Dodge, the builders. On the same day, they subdivided the land into five lots and entered into a mortgage with George Wheatland, Jr., on each lot, probably to provide the funds for the construction. In November of 1882, after the houses were completed, Vinal and Dodge sold 45 Hereford and 53 Hereford to individual buyers, and in February of 1883, they sold 47-49-51 Hereford to real estate dealer Brice S. Evans. He sold 51 Hereford in August of 1883, but 47 and 49 Hereford remained unsold, and on April 4, 1884, George Wheatland, Jr., foreclosed on his mortgages to Vinal and Dodge, which had been assumed by Brice Evans, and took possession of the two houses. He sold them later in 1884.
The original lots at 45-53 Hereford were 67 feet deep (east-west) and had a four foot easement at the rear to provide passage and drainage from all five houses to the alley between Commonwealth and Newbury. To the west, behind the five houses, was a lot with a 23 foot 3 inch frontage on Newbury. On April 19, 1886, the individual owners of the houses purchased the portions of this lot behind each of their houses, extending the size of their lots to 90 feet 3 inches. Although the reason for this purchase is not known, it is likely that it was to preclude construction of a stable on this land and to provide a larger buffer between the houses and the stable district. On March 8, 1888, the owners of the five houses agreed to move the easement for passage and drainage to the new western edge of their property and share the cost of a new sewer system at that location. That new drainage was not built, however, and on April 8, 1908, the owners agreed that the 1888 agreement remained in effect and that, until a new sewer was built, continuing to use the old sewer, located about 65 feet west of Hereford, would not constitute an easement over the properties.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 47 Hereford.
On August 7, 1884, 47 Hereford was purchased from George Wheatland, Jr., by Ellen (Nellie) A. (Strickland) Goodnow, the wife of Walter Richardson Goodnow. They previously had lived at 45 W. Newton.
Walter Goodnow was a salesman and later would become a silversmith, forming the firm of Goodnow & Jenks with Barton Pickering Jenks.
His brother, William N. Goodnow, a bank clerk, lived with them.
The Goodnows continued to live at 47 Hereford during the 1891-1892 season, after which they moved to the Copley Square Hotel (northeast corner of Huntington and Exeter); by 1894, they were living in an apartment at 293 Commonwealth.
On March 12, 1892, 47 Hereford was purchased from the Goodnows by wool broker Gedney King Richardson. He and his wife, Alice (Gray) Richardson, lived at 492 Boylston. He purchased the property in anticipation of the marriage of their daughter, Caroline Mackay Richardson, to cotton broker Edward Cabot Storrow. They were married in September of 1892 and 47 Hereford became their first home together.
The Storrows continued to live there in 1901. By 1903, they had made their home in Beverly.
47 Hereford was not listed in the 1902 Blue Book.
On September 23, 1902, 47 Hereford was purchased from Gedney Richardson by Edith (Caden) Haynes Burroughs, the wife of real estate dealer George Burroughs. They had married in April of 1901. They also maintained a home, Green Meadows, in Hamilton.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, they had been joined at 47 Hereford by Hiram Tuttle Folsom and his wife, Adelaide Harvey (Chase) Folsom. He was president of the New England Industrial Corporation, industrial bankers. Their primary residence was in Wenham.
The Folsoms continued to live at 47 Hereford with the Burroughses during the 1923-1924 winter season, but moved thereafter to Hamilton.
George Burroughs died in July of 1925 in a small airplane crash in East Boston, and Edith Burroughs moved soon thereafter.
On October 31, 1925, 47 Hereford was acquired by Frederick Andrew Carpenter. He was a salesman with Leonard’s, auctioneers and appraisers, located at 813 Boylston, and later would become president of the firm.
Frederick Carpenter lived at 41 Fairfield, where he had moved earlier in 1925 following his divorce from Anna Vera (Quinlan) Carpenter. Prior to their divorce, they had lived in Brookline. In 1927, he married again, to Abigail S. Beck. After their marriage, they made 47 Hereford their home.
On August 21, 1929, Frederick Carpenter transferred 47 Hereford into Abigail Carpenter’s name.
The Carpenters continued to live at 47 Hereford until about 1932, when they moved to Keene, New Hampshire.
In September of 1932, the Building Department wrote Abigail Carpenter (in Keene, New Hampshire), indicating that it had been notified by the Licensing Board of an application for a lodging house license at 47 Hereford, and advising her of the additional egress requirements that must be met before the property could be used for that purpose.
47 Hereford was shown as vacant in the 1933-1934 City Directories.
On July 2, 1934, the Franklin Savings Bank foreclosed on its mortgage to Abigail Carpenter and took possession of 47 Hereford.
By 1935, 47 Hereford was the home of Frederick Grover Currie, a steamfitter, and his wife, Maude Tobin Currie, who operated it as a lodging house. They had married recently and 47 Hereford probably was their first home together. He previously had lived in Dedham and she had been a lodger at 36 Fairfield. They continued to live at 47 Hereford until about 1937.
On March 15, 1938, the Franklin Savings Bank transferred 47 Hereford and a number of other properties that it had acquired, largely through foreclosures, to Charles S. Kimball. On the same day, he entered into a mortgage with the bank secured by all of the properties, and then transferred them to the Boston Management Corporation, a real estate management firm.
On June 13, 1939, 47 Hereford was acquired from the Boston Management Corporation by Miss Annie Gannon, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived at 34½ Beacon. She continued to live at 47 Hereford and operate a lodging house until about 1957.
On August 27, 1957, 47 Hereford was purchased from Annie Gannon by William T. Stewart and his wife, Patricia (Spaulding) Stewart. They previously had lived in an apartment at 374 Marlborough. He was an editor with the Herald-Traveler newspaper. She was a journalist and publicist, and later would become a social worker.
In October of 1961, they also acquired 49 Hereford.
On August 16, 1967, Dr. Rose (Wexler) Winston, a physician, acquired 47-49 Hereford from William and Patricia Stewart. She already owned 51–53 Hereford. She and her husband, Dr. Murray R. Winston, also a physician, lived at 133 Commonwealth. She operated 47-49-51-53 Hereford as lodging houses.
On July 29, 1992, real estate broker and investor Patrick Joseph Glynn purchased 47-49-51-53 Hereford from Stephen W. Howe, guardian of the estate of Rose Winston.
In August of 1992, Patrick Glynn applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 47 Hereford from three apartments into seven apartments.
On December 22, 1994, 47 Hereford was acquired by the 47 Hereford Street Limited Partnership, the general partner of which was Countryside Management, Inc. (Patrick J. Glynn, treasurer, and his wife, Anne T. Glynn, president). On the same day, 49 and 51 Hereford also were acquired by parallel limited partnerships, and in August of 1995, 53 Hereford was acquired by another limited partnership of which Countryside Management was the general partner. In February of 1999, 45 Hereford was acquired by the 45 Hereford Street LLC (Neil G. Glynn, manager).
In December of 2017, the owners of 45-53 Hereford received permission to renovate the Hereford façades of the buildings, remove the existing penthouse structure at 53 Hereford, install an entrance and windows on the Newbury façade of 53 Hereford, and construct a new building in the former rear yards of the five buildings, with an entrance on Newbury.
47 Hereford remained an apartment building in 2018.