Boston Homes
- Page 12
A Little House History:

The building at 81 Marlborough St. was one of seven residences constructed by John Lowell Gardner, a shipping merchant and real estate investor. He spent $30,800 to buy property (a 200-foot plot fronting the street – Numbers 70-87) in 1862.


The price, which was established by the Commission on Back Bay Lands, was $1.375 per square foot. Within three years, he had a paper profit of at least $26,000.


He and his wife, Catharine Elizabeth (Peabody) Gardner, lived at 7 Beacon and then at 182 Beacon.


John Gardner died in 1884. The homes on Marlborough Street remained in the Gardner estate as rental property until after his death in 1884. On Jan. 3, 1885, his executors (his sons George Augustus Gardner and John Lowell Gardner, Jr., and his grandson George Peabody Gardner, son of George A. Gardner) transferred the Marlborough Street property to themselves as trustees under his will. The family continued to own the property and lease it to others until 1906- 07 when the houses were sold to individual purchasers.*


*Houses of Boston’s Back Bay by Bainbridge Bunting