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31-33 Commonwealth Avenue

31-33 Commonwealth Avenue

31-33 Commonwealth Avenue

31 Commonwealth Avenue and 33 Commonwealth Avenue were built ca. 1864, two of nine contiguous houses (31-33-35-37-39-41-43-45-47 Commonwealth) built in the same design between 1864 and 1873 (a tenth house, 29 Commonwealth, also built in 1864 but razed in 1894, may also have been of the same style).

31 Commonwealth
31 Commonwealth was built as the home of woolen manufacturer and merchant Joseph Sawyer and his wife, Anna Maria (Dillaway) Sawyer.  He died in May of 1901.  Anna Sawyer continued to live at 31 Commonwealth until her death in December of 1905.

The house was not listed in the 1906 and 1907 Blue Books.

By 1908, it was the home of Howard Stockton, a widower, and his children.  In 1907, they had lived at 390 Beacon Street.

Howard Stockton was a lawyer and also served as an officer of various textile mill, railroad, telephone, and insurance companies.  Among his positions, he was president of the American Bell Telephone Company from 1887 to 1889, and actuary of the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company from 1901 to 1932.

In 1909, Howard Stockton's daughter, Ethel, married attorney Alexander Whiteside, Jr., and they were listed in the 1910 Blue Book both at 31 Commonwealth, living with Howard Stockton, and at 192 Beacon Street, living with his mother (where he had lived prior to their marriage).  They no longer were listed at either address in 1911 and by 1913 they were living at 323 Beacon Street.

In 1911 or 1912, Howard Stockton's daughter, Jane, married banker Samuel Parkman Shaw, III.  Prior to their marriage, he had lived with his parents at 184 Marlborough Street; after their marriage, they lived with Howard Stockton at 31 Commonwealth.

Howard Stockton and the Shaws also maintained a summer home in Wareham.

Howard Stockton died in 1932.  After his death, the Shaws continued to live at 31 Commonwealth until about 1934.

By 1935, it was the home of Mr. and Mrs. William J. DuBois, who probably leased the house from the estate of Howard Stockton (Philip Stockton, et al, are shown as the owners on the 1938 Bromley map).  They continued to live there in 1937, and probably later.

By 1944, 31 Commonwealth was owned by Louis Benedictis, who operated it as a lodging house.

The house remained a lodging house until 1957, when it was converted into nine apartments.

By 1965, 31 Commonwealth was owned by E. Russell Greenwood and Constance B. Greenwood was remained a nine-unit apartment house.

33 Commonwealth
33 Commonwealth was built as the home of Charles Henry Dalton and his wife, Mary (McGregor) Dalton.  They also maintained a summer home in Beverly Farms.

Charles Dalton was a merchant and businessman.  During his career, he served in a variety of positions, including as president of several railroads, president of the Consolidated Coal Company, treasurer of the Manchester Print Works, and treasurer of the Merrimack Manufacturing Company.  He also was the first treasurer of MIT, serving from 1865 to 1867, and was president of Massachusetts General Hospital for many years.

He died in February of 1908.  Charles H. Dalton's Heirs are shown as the owners on the 1908 Bromley map, and Mary Dalton is shown as the owner on the 1917 map.

Mary Dalton continued to live at 33 Commonwealth in 1920.

The house was not listed in the 1922 Blue Book.

By 1923, 33 Commonwealth was owned by Elizabeth A. Brady.  In December of 1923, she converted the house into a four-family dwelling, indicating that the house had been a multiple dwelling when she acquired it.

The 1938 Bromley Atlas shows the Franklin Savings Bank as the owner of this house.

By 1968, 33 Commonwealth was owned by Mary E. Kirby and remained a four-family dwelling.

31-33 Commonwealth
In 1968, Howard Levin acquired 31 Commonwealth from  E. Russell and Constance Greenwood, and acquired 33 Commonwealth from Mary Kirby.  Each house was owned by a different trust administered by Howard Levin: 31 Commonwealth was owned by the 37 Burbank Trust, and 33 Commonwealth was owned by The Kensington Trust.  The Kensington Trust also owned 29 Commonwealth (Haddon Hall).  In September of 1985, he transferred the three properties into three separate trusts.

In October of 1986, TGF-1 Associates purchased 31-33 Commonwealth from the trusts administered by Howard Levin.  At the same time, TGF-1 Associates also purchased 109-111 Commonwealth, also from Howard Levin, as trustee of yet another trust.

In December of 1986, TGF-1 Associates transferred all four properties to Edgard Puente and David Boersner, Trustees of the Boston Commonwealth Trust, who entered into a mortgage with the First American Bank for Savings secured by all four properties.  In August of 1987, they combined 31-33 Commonwealth into a single property and remodeled the combined building into twelve apartments and two offices.  At the same time, they also combined 109-111 Commonwealth and remodeled them into seven residential units.

In January of 1989, First American Bank for Savings foreclosed on the mortgages on 31-33 Commonwealth and on 109-111 Commonwealth.

In January of  1990, the First American Bank converted the 31-33 Commonwealth into seven condominiums.  At the same time, it also converted 109-111 Commonwealth into seven condominiums.




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