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35 Commonwealth Avenue

35 Commonwealth Avenue

35 Commonwealth Avenue

35 Commonwealth Avenue was designed by architect Nathaniel J. Bradlee and built ca. 1873, one of three contiguous houses (35 Commonwealth built ca. 1873 and 37-39 Commonwealth built ca. 1872), and one 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).

35-37 Commonwealth were built for ship owner, importer, and sugar refiner Elisha Atkins.  He and his wife, Mary Ellen (Freeman) Atkins, lived at 37 Commonwealth.

By 1879, 35 Commonwealth was the home of Charles Marsh and his wife, Julia Maria (Barrett) Marsh.  In 1875, they had lived at 58 Boylston Street.  They also maintained a summer home on Jerusalem Road in Cohasset.  Julia Marsh is shown as the owner of 35 Commonwealth on the 1883, 1888, and 1908 Bromley maps.

Charles Marsh was a partner in the wholesale and retail dry goods firm of Jordan, Marsh & Co.

He died in July of 1886.  Julia Marsh continued to live at 35 Commonwealth until her death in November of 1908.  Her son, Charles R. Marsh,  lived with her.

The house was not listed in the 1909 and 1910 Blue Books.

By 1911, it was the home of architect Arthur Little and his wife Jessie (Whitman) Little.  He is shown as the owner on the 1917 Bromley map.  They also maintained a summer home at Wenham. 

Arthur Little was noted for remodeling Back Bay houses to lower the front entrances to the sidewalk level, and it appears likely that it was while he owned 35 Commonwealth that this change was made to the house.

The Littles continued to live at 35 Commonwealth in 1913, joined by Jessie Little's granddaughter (by her first marriage), Annie M. Means.

In 1915, the Littles were living elsewhere and 35 Commonwealth was the home of Robert Gould Shaw II, and his wife Mary (Hannington) Shaw.

By 1917, however, it once again was Arthur and Jessie Little's home.

By 1920, 35 Commonwealth was the home of Dr. George Jackson Hill, a physician, and his wife, Lucy Freeman (Winslow) Hill.  They had moved to 103 Beacon Street by late 1921.

By 1922, 35 Commonwealth was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Clarke.

By 1923, it was the home of Bayard and Elizabeth (Sears) Warren.  They also maintained a summer home in Prides Crossing.

By 1924, it was the home of Rodman Paul Snelling and his wife, Eva Burnham (de Tréville) Snelling. They had lived at 151 Commonwealth in 1923.  They also maintained a summer home in Beverly Farms.  R. P. and E. Snelling are shown as the owners of 35 Commonwealth on the 1928 Bromley map.

Rodman Snelling was treasurer of the Saco-Lowell Shops, makers of textile (cotton worsted and spun silk) machinery.

Rodman Snelling probably died in 1935 or 1936; Eva Snelling continued to live at 35 Commonwealth in 1936.

The house was not listed in the 1937 Blue Book.

Rebecca Silverman is shown as the owner of 35 Commonwealth on the 1938 Bromley map.

By 1942, 35 Commonwealth was the location of the Academie Moderne, a modeling and finishing school founded in 1936 by Mildred Levine Albert.

In October of 1942, the Academie filed for permission to convert the house from a single-family dwelling into a single-family, school, dormitory, and lodging house.  The permit was abandoned, but the school appears to have occupied the house for this purpose, inasmuch as in April of 1954, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as a "dwelling and school for modeling."

They continued to operate the school there in the 1970s.

The house subsequently changed hands several times, and by the 1980s was utilized by Bay State College as an extension of its 122 Commonwealth facilities.   The College continued to occupy 35 Commonwealth in 2007.

 

 

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