47 Marlborough was designed by architect Samuel D. Kelley and built in 1889 by Warren Dexter Vinal, a builder and real estate developer, one of four contiguous houses (424 Marlborough and 47-49-51 Massachusetts Avenue). He is shown as the owner on the original building permit applications, all dated March 1, 1889, and on the final building inspection report for 51 Massachusetts Avenue, dated November 15, 1889. On the application for 47 Massachusetts Avenue, the address is shown as 444 West Chester Park; it changed to 47 Massachusetts Avenue when West Chester Park was renamed on March 1, 1894.
By the 1890-1891 winter season, 47 Massachusetts Avenue was the home of John N. Ladensack, a provisions merchant, and his wife, Delia (Quinn) Ladensack. They had married in June of 1890 and 47 Massachusetts Avenue probably was their first home together. He previously had lived at 117 St. Botolph with his first wife, Sarah (Quinn) Ladensack, who died in January of 1887; she was the sister of Delia Ladensack.
John Ladensack is shown as the owner of 47 Massachusetts Avenue on the 1895, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps.
They continued to live there during the 1902-1903 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to 615 Commonwealth.
47 Massachusetts Avenue was not listed in the 1904 and 1905 Blue Books.
By 1904, it was the home of Dr. Charles O. Thompson and his wife, Carrie Eliza (King) Thompson. He was a physician and also maintained his office at 47 Massachusetts Avenue. They previously had lived at 55 Cambridge, and he had maintained his office at 57 Cambridge. They continued to live at 47 Massachusetts Avenue in 1910, but had moved to 589 Beacon by 1911.
47 Massachusetts Avenue was not listed in the 1911 Blue Book.
By 1912, it had been converted into a multiple dwelling.
It was probably as part of this conversion that a rear addition was constructed, filling the entire back yard. The addition does not appear on the 1908 Bromley map, but is shown on the 1912 map.
At the time of the 1920 US Census, five families were enumerated at 47 Massachusetts Avenue.
By 1924, it was owned by real estate dealer Edward J. Ball. He also owned 49 Massachusetts Avenue. In July of 1924, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to install a new storefront at 47 Massachusetts Avenue. At about the same time, he also converted 49 Massachusetts Avenue into a store and multiple dwelling.
In the fall of 1926, Napoleon L. Demara of Lawrence purchased 47-49 Massachusetts Avenue from Edward Ball. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on October 3, 1926, which indicated that the combined property “comprises the large brick building containing four stores on the lower floor and apartments above.”
N. L. Demara is shown as the owner of 47-49 Massachusetts Avenue on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps.
By 1965, 47-49 Massachusetts Avenue were owned by Morris Bernstein, a lawyer, who lived in Newton.
In October of 1977, Despina (Kalogeras) Mourlas, trustee of the Despina Realty Trust, purchased 47-49 Massachusetts Ave. from Evelyn Bernstein and Sara Bernstein. Evelyn (Swartz) Bernstein was Morris Bernstein’s wife, and Sara (Swartz) Bernstein was the wife of Morris Bernstein’s brother, Dr. Harry B. Bernstein, a physician.
In March of 1978, Despina Mourlas filed for permission to consolidate 47 and 49 Massachusetts Avenue into one property, with the combined occupancy of six apartments, a retail store, and restaurant. She subsequently abandoned her application.
Despina Moulas operated a pizza restaurant, Despina’s, at 47 Massachusetts Avenue.
She married again, in the mid-1980s, to George S. Tzantzos.
In November of 1987, she transferred the property to herself as trustee of a newly organized Despina Realty Trust. The transfer was made with the consent of her children, who were the beneficiaries of the former trust: Constantine Mourlas, Alexander (Spiros) Mourlas, and Anthony (Antonios) Mourlas.
She continued to operate Despina’s Pizza until 2008.
47-49 Marlborough continued to be residential and commercial buildings, with a common ownership, in 2014.