7 Fairfield

7 Fairfield (2013)

7 Fairfield (2013)

Lot 29.92' x 55.33' (1,655 sf)

Lot 29.92′ x 55.33′ (1,655 sf)

7 Fairfield is located on the west side of Fairfield, between Marlborough and Commonwealth, with 282 Marlborough to the north and 9 Fairfield to the south.

7 Fairfield was designed by Ware and Van Brunt, architects, and built ca. 1872 for builder and contractor George Martin Gibson, for speculative sale, one of two houses (7-9 Fairfield) built in the same style. At about the same time, Ware and Van Brunt also designed six additional houses for George Gibson: 282 Marlborough (contiguous with 7-9 Fairfield but in a different style) and 284-286-288-290-292 Marlborough. George Gibson and his wife, Frances Rebecca (Esten) Gibson, lived in the Longwood district of Brookline and then in Medford.

George Gibson acquired the land for all eight houses on March 22, 1872, from Edward John Hale, who was associated with John M. Forbes & Co., shipping merchants and investors in railroads, mining, and other enterprises. Edward Hale and his wife, Justine Elise (Sewell) Hale, lived at 3 Brimmer. Edward Hale assembled the parcel through three purchases in October and December of 1870. All of the land was part of one of several parcels originally purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on January 29, 1866, by a real estate investment trust formed by John Templeman Coolidge, Franklin Evans, and Charles Henry Parker. The trust had subdivided the property into lots, which it sold to investors and builders, who then frequently resold the lots to others.

Plot plan of 282-290 Marlborough and 7-9 Fairfield showing easements; 17Apr1872; Suffolk County Deed Registry, Book 1126 (end)

The houses at 282 Marlborough and 7-9 Fairfield were designed with a 12 foot 4 inch open area between them and the house to the west at 284 Marlborough, forming the side yard of 282 Marlborough and the rear yards of 7-9 Fairfield. When he sold the houses, George Gibson included language in the deeds specifying the right of 284 Marlborough to maintain bay windows and chimneys extending over this space. The deeds also provided for a three foot six inch wide easement at the rear yard of 284 Marlborough to provide for passage to the alley for 7 Fairfield and for drainage to the alley for 7 Fairfield and 282 Marlborough, and an easement under the rear yard of 7 Fairfield, running diagonally to the passageway in the rear of 284 Marlborough, to provide for drainage to the alley for 282 Marlborough.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 7 Fairfield.

As originally built, 7 Fairfield was three stories (plus basement); in the early 1900s it was remodeled to add a fourth story.

On October 24, 1872, 7 Fairfield was purchased from George Gibson by Susan Margaret (Benjamin) Stackpole, the widow of attorney John Lewis Stackpole. In 1870, she had lived at 96 Charles.

Mrs. Stackpole’s unmarried sons, Henry and William, lived with her.  Henry Stackpole, a banker, married in July of 1875 to Bessie Value.  They may have lived at 7 Fairfield briefly after their marriage, but by the 1876-1877 winter season they were living at 313 Beacon.

William Stackpole, a wholesale dry goods merchant and later a cotton broker, never married and continued to live with his mother at 7 Fairfield until her death in April of 1896.  He then moved to an apartment at The Tuileries at 270 Commonwealth.

7 Fairfield and Fairfield façade of 282 Marlborough (2013)

7 Fairfield and Fairfield façade of 282 Marlborough (2013)

On September 28, 1896, 7 Fairfield was purchased from Susan Stackpole’s estate by Miss Anna (Hannah) Sears Amory, the daughter of textile manufacturer William Amory, Jr. She previously had lived with her father at 478 Beacon; a widower, he had remarried in July of 1896 and Anna Amory moved soon thereafter.

In May of 1898, Anna Amory married Rev. George Francis Weld, an Episcopal clergyman, and moved to Cambridge. She continued to own 7 Fairfield and lease it to others.

By the 1898-1899 winter season, 7 Fairfield was the home of Ezra Ripley Thayer, an attorney and later Dean of Harvard Law School, and his wife Ethel Randolph (Clark) Thayer.  They had married in June of 1898 and 7 Fairfield probably was their first home together. They continued to live there during the 1900-1901 winter season, after which they moved to a new home they had built at 77 Bay State Road.

On October 4, 1901, 7 Fairfield was purchased from Anna (Amory) Weld by Elizabeth Moorfield (Storey) Lovett, the wife of Dr. Robert Williamson Lovett, a physician and orthopedic surgeon. They previously had lived at 234 Marlborough, which they continued to own and where Dr. Lovett continued to maintain his medical office.

After acquiring the house, the Lovetts remodeled it to add a fourth story (the house is shown as being three stories on the 1902 Bromley map and four stories on the 1908 map).

Robert Lovett died in July of 1924.

During the 1924-1925 winter season, Elizabeth Lovett was living elsewhere and 7 Fairfield was the home of banker Arnold Welles Hunnewell and his wife, Mary Copley (Amory) Hunnewell.  During the previous season, they had lived at 20 Hereford.  They also maintained a home in Wellesley.  By the 1925-1926 season, they had moved to 261 Commonwealth.

During the 1925-1926 winter season, Elizabeth Lovett was living at 7 Fairfield once again.  During the next two seasons, however, she was again living elsewhere.

During the 1926-1927 winter season, 7 Fairfield was the home of wool merchant William Arthur Dupee and his wife, Clara Ethel (Purdon) Dupee.  In 1925, they had lived at 181 Commonwealth. They also maintained a homes on Brush Hill Road in Milton and in Biddeford, Maine. By mid-1927, they had moved to 275 Marlborough.

7-9 Fairfield and Fairfield façade of 282 Marlborough (2013)

7-9 Fairfield and Fairfield façade of 282 Marlborough (2013)

During the 1927-1928 winter season, 7 Fairfield was the home of Charles Frothingham Leland and his wife, Margaret Waters (Carr) Leland.  They previously had lived at 144 Marlborough.  Charles Leland owned a farm in Southborough, which also was the Lelands’ summer home.  By the 1928-1929 season, they had moved to 293 Marlborough.

By the 1928-1929 winter season, Elizabeth Lovett had resumed living at 7 Fairfield.  She also maintained a home in Lincoln.

Elizabeth Lovett was a leader in efforts to repeal Prohibition.

She continued to live at 7 Fairfield until her death in March of 1951.

On October 20, 1951, 7 Fairfield was purchased from Elizabeth Lovett’s estate by James Bernard Regan and his wife, Susanna M. Josephine (McNamara) Cassidy Regan. They lived at 424 Beacon.

On May 23, 1952, 7 Fairfield was acquired from the Regans by Hyman Goodman.  In July of 1952, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into five apartments.

On May 6, 1953, the Regans acquired 7 Fairfield back from Hyman Goodman.

On August 31, 1955, 7 Fairfield was acquired from the Regans by Jennie Ambrose (Tripp) Stevenson, the wife of John Stevenson, who lived in one of the apartments. They previously had lived at 110 Marlborough. They continued to live at 7 Fairfield until about 1960, when they moved back to 110 Marlborough, which they had continued to own.

On April 29, 1960, 7 Fairfield was purchased from Jennie Stevenson by Shirley Clifford Speed, a real estate dealer who converted many Back Bay houses into lodging houses and apartments.

The property changed hands and on August 29, 1971 was acquired by real estate dealers Richard Nemrow and Timothy H. Fife, trustees of the Seven Fairfield Realty Trust. Timothy Fife lived in one of the apartments; Richard Nemrow and his wife, Carolyne Ford (Placak) Nemrow, lived at 292 Marlborough.  On December 24, 1986, Richard Nemrow and Timothy Fife transferred the property to themselves as tenants in common.

In March of 1992, Richard Nemrow filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as four units, noting that was the existing condition.

On July 21, 1999, 7 Fairfield was purchased from Richard Nemrow and Timothy Fife by Richard J. LeBlanc and his wife, Anna LeBlanc.

On March 13, 2003, the LeBlancs converted 7 Fairfield into four condominium units, the 7 Fairfield Street Condominium.

7-9 Fairfield and 282 Marlborough, with 5 Fairfield in distance (ca. 1902); courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum

7-9 Fairfield and 282 Marlborough, with 5 Fairfield in distance (ca. 1902); courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum