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90 Commonwealth Avenue

90 Commonwealth Avenue

90 Commonwealth Avenue

90 Commonwealth Avenue was designed by Edward B. Stratton and George Nelson Jacobs, architects, and built in 1925 as a nine-story, 24-unit apartment house by the F. J. Van Etten Company, who were also the owners.

The original permit application for the building, dated January 18, 1924, was filed by Michael Seretto, a contractor-builder.  It indicated that the building would be designed by architect Charles R. Greco.  The permit subsequently was approved by the Board of Appeal on March 5, 1924, but it appears that Michael Seretto subsequently abandonded the project.

On July 30, 1925, the F. J. Van Etten Company filed to construct the building, with Edward Stratton and George Jacobs, as the architects.  Norma Van Etten is shown as the owner on the permit application.

By 1928, 90 Commonwealth was owned by the Massland Realty Company, which is shown as the owner on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps.

90 Commonwealth was converted into condominiums on August 26, 1974.

When it was built in 1925, 90 Commonwealth replaced two townhouses at 88 and 90 Commonwealth.

88 Commonwealth was built ca. 1881.  Bainbridge Bunting’s Houses of Boston’s Bay Bay does not attribute the house to any architect, but a photograph of the house in the Bostonian Society's collection indicates that it was designed by Peabody and Stearns.

88 Commonwealth was built as the home of Mrs. Emma Frances (Pierce) Keyes, the widow of merchant and railroad investor Henry Keyes, and the mother of Henry Wilder Keyes, who served as Governor and US Senator in New Hampshire.  Her unmarried daughter, Isabella F. Keyes, lived with her.

By 1900, Emma and Isabella Keyes were joined by Emma Keyes’s widowed son-in-law, Ezra Henry Baker, and his daughter, Gertrude Baker.  He was an investment banker.  He probably moved there soon after the death of his wife, Martha (Keyes) Baker, in June of 1896.  They all continued to live there in 1917. 

Emma Keyes was not enumerated there in the 1920 US Census and probably had died.

Ezra Baker, his daughter Gertrude, and his sister-in-law, Isabella Keyes, continued to live there in 1920.

The house was not listed in the 1922 Blue Book, and on October 23, 1923, the Swift-McNutt Company received permission to demolish the building. 

90 Commonwealth was built ca. 1879 as the home of merchant Nathaniel Walker and his wife, Susan White Seaver Grant.  They had lived at 87 Pinckney Street, on Beacon Hill, in 1875.  Their son, Grant Walker, lived with them.

Nathaniel Walker died in December of 1885.  Susan Walker continued to live at 90 Commonwealth.  Grant Walker continued to live with his mother until his marriage in June of 1888 to Mabel Shaw.  After their marriage, they moved to 386 Beacon Street.

Susan Walker continued to live at 90 Commonwealth until her death in 1903.

By 1905, it was the home of retail clothing merchant and banker Abraham Shuman.  He appears to have moved there following the death of his wife, Hettie (Lang) Shuman, in 1904.  His son-in-law and daughter, Carl Dreyfus and Lillian (Shuman) Dreyfus, lived with him.  Carl Dreyfus was a shirt and clothing manufacturer.

Lillian Dreyfus died in February of 1913, and Carl Dreyfus moved soon thereafter.  At about the same time, Abraham Shuman's daughter, Emma Weil, came to live with him.  She was the widow of August Weil, a shirtwaist manufacturer in New York City.

Abraham Shuman and Emma Weil continued to live at 90 Commonwealth until his death in June of 1918.

On October 22, 1923, the Swift-McNutt Company received permission to demolish the building.
Side View, 90 Commonwealth Avenue
Side View, 90 Commonwealth Avenue
 

 

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