7 Marlborough was designed by architect Charles K. Kirby and built by William W. Bray, mason, in 1862-1863, one of three contiguous houses (3-5-7 Marlborough) that form a symmetrical composition with a single entrance porch.
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting does not attribute 3-5-7 Marlborough to a specific architect. However, deeds for the houses confirm that they were designed by Charles K. Kirby.
The land on which 3-5-7 Marlborough were built was part of a larger parcel purchased by Peleg W. Chandler, J. Amory Davis, and Henry Lee, Jr., on September 2, 1858, from George Goss and Norman Carmine Munson. George Goss and Norman Munson had purchased the land from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that same day; they were the contractors responsible for filling the Commonwealth’s Back Bay lands.
In 1862, Charles Kirby entered into an agreement with Peleg Chandler and his partners to purchase the land for 3-5-7 Marlborough and build the houses on it. The agreement does not appear to have been recorded with the Suffolk County deeds, but is referenced in a party wall agreement dated June 21, 1862, with George T. Shattuck, owner of the land at 9 Marlborough. On June 27, 1862, Charles Kirby entered into an agreement with William W. Bray to provide the materials and labor to build the three houses.
On March 9, 1863, as the houses were nearing completion, Charles Kirby purchased the land from Peleg Chandler and his partners. On the same day, he sold 3 and 5 Marlborough. On May 26, 1863, he sold 7 Marlborough to George Cheyne Shattuck and Nathaniel J. Bradlee, trustees for Eleanor Anne Brune Shattuck (George C. Shattuck’s daughter). Each of the deeds included a provision preventing material changes to the front façades without the consent of the owners of all three properties.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 7 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land on the north side of Marlborough from Arlington to Berkeley, south of Alley 421.
On October 20, 1863, 7 Marlborough was purchased from George Shattuck and Nathaniel Bradlee by John Sewall Hooper. He and his wife, Maria Louisa (Barnes) Hooper, made it their home. They previously had lived at 36 Boylston. They also maintained a home in Hingham.
John S. Hooper was a stationer.
The Hoopers’ son, attorney Sewall Henry Hooper, lived with them. He married in June of 1888 to Annie Heywood Lord, described by in the Boston Globe’s report on the wedding as “the well known contralto.” After their marriage, they lived at 7 Marlborough with his parents.
Maria Hooper died in April of 1891, and John S. Hooper died in March of 1900.
S. Henry and Annie (Lord) Hooper continued to live at 7 Marlborough. They also maintained a home in Hingham. In addition to practicing law, S. Henry Hooper also served as president of Hooper, Lewis & Co., his father’s stationery business.
They continued to live at 7 Marlborough until about 1912, when they moved to The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon.
7 Marlborough was not listed in the 1913-1915 Blue Books.
On December 21, 1914, 7 Marlborough was acquired from Sewall Hooper by Anne Williams (Gillingham) Seaver, the wife of Jonathan Mercer Seaver, a dealer in ivory and boneblack. They lived in Waltham.
On September 17, 1915, 7 Marlborough was purchased from Anne Seaver by Dr. Martin Edwards. He and his wife, Ethel (Hooper) Edwards, made it their home. They previously had lived at 30 Pinckney.
The Edwardses continued to live at 7 Marlborough until about 1917, when they moved to Wayland. He continued to maintain his offices at 7 Marlborough and 79 Shawmut.
During the 1917-1918 winter season, 7 Marlborough was the home of leather and wool merchant Louis Rosenthal and his wife, Mabel (Rothschild) Rosenthal. They previously had lived in Columbus, Ohio. By the 1918-1919 season, they had moved to 9 Gloucester.
7 Marlborough was not listed in the 1919 Blue Book.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, 7 Marlborough was the home of attorney John Lothrop Motley and his wife, Nancy (Barton) Motley. They had married in January of 1918 while he was serving as a captain in the US Army and they subsequently had lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland, near where he was stationed. 7 Marlborough was their first Boston home together. Prior to his marriage, he had lived at 22 Commonwealth with his mother, Eleanor (Warren) Motley, the widow of Thomas Motley.
By mid-1922, the Motleys had purchased and moved to 151 Beacon, and 7 Marlborough was once again the home of Martin and Ethel Edwards. They had moved from Wayland to 76 Revere in about 1920, and he had moved his offices to 21 Bay State Road at about the same time.
In June of 1923, Martin Edwards applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the walls on the first floor. His permit application indicated that the current use was as a residence and doctor’s office, and that there would be no change in occupancy.
By 1924, however, Martin and Ethel Edwards had moved back to 76 Revere and 7 Marlborough appears to have become a a combination of medical offices and apartments, with several families listed there in the Blue Books, City Directories, and Lists of Residents.
On September 12, 1924, Martin Edwards transferred the property into his wife’s name.
On January 21, 1925, 7 Marlborough was purchased from Ethel Edwards by Lewis B. Gardner and his wife, Carolyn Victoria Gardner. In the February 3, 1925, Boston Globe article on the transaction, the property is described as a “five story and basement stone building used for doctors’ offices, apartments, etc.”
On May 8, 1942, 7 Marlborough was acquired from the Gardners by Clarence Haendel Pond, former president of Ivers & Pond, piano manufacturers. His primary residence was in Winchester, but he also lived in one of the units at 7 Marlborough. He continued to live there until his death in February of 1957
On March 26, 1958, 7 Marlborough was acquired from Clarence Pond’s estate by Richard D. Haskell. He and his wife, Elizabeth (Cahill) Haskell lived in one of the units They had recently married; he previously had lived at 226 Beacon with his parents, Edmund Ralph Haskell and Helen F. (Glancy) Haskell, and she had lived in an apartment at 344 Commonwealth. Richard Haskell was New England manager for Sports Illustrated; Elizabeth Haskell was a teacher. They continued to live at 7 Marlborough in 1960, but had moved to an apartment at 88 Beacon by 1962.
On September 5, 1961, 7 Marlborough was acquired from the Haskells by Dr, Jason Aronson, a physician and psychiatrist, who lived in one of the units and also maintained his practice there. On June 29, 1962, he transferred the property to his parents, Louis and Mollie (Weiner) Aronson of Little Falls, Minnesota.
In May of 1964, Jason Aronson (on behalf of Louis and Mollie Aronson) filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as six apartments.
The property subsequently changed hands and on May 15, 1997, was purchased by John F. Kelleher, Jr., trustee of the Seven Marlboro Street Trust.
In October of 1997, the Trust filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from six apartments to two apartments. On February 12, 1999, it converted it into two condominium units, the 7 Marlborough Street Condominium.