148 Beacon was designed by Parker, Thomas, and Rice, architects, and built in 1913-1914 by Walter A. Wentworth Co., builders, as the home of George Eddy Warren, a coal and oil distributor and shipper, and his wife, Frances Wightman (Knowles) Warren. They had lived temporarily at 143 Beacon during the 1913-1914 winter season. They also maintained a home in Manchester. George Warren is shown as the owner of 148 Beacon on the original building permit application, dated August 20, 1913.
Architectural plans for the house — including the rear elevation, exterior details, floor plans, and floor framing plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston City Archives (reference BIN L-14).
148 Beacon replaced an earlier townhouse, built ca. 1860, which had been the home of John Templeman Coolidge, Jr., and his wife, Anna Tucker (Parker) Coolidge. After their deaths, the house was acquired on February 3, 1913, by attorney Walter L. Van Kleeck, and was acquired from him on March 15, 1913, by Frances Warren. It was razed soon thereafter.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 148 Beacon, and click here for further information on the land on the north side of Beacon, including the Storrow Memorial Embankment on the Esplanade.
George Warren died in May of 1935. Frances Warren continued to live at 148 Beacon and in Manchester until about 1943. The house was shown as vacant in the 1944 City Directory.
On June 7, 1943, 148 Beacon was purchased from Frances Warren by Charles Ripley Lynde, an importer of China and glass. He and his wife, Helen L. (Fairbanks) Lynde, lived in Newton.
On October 22, 1943, 148 Beacon was acquired from Charles Lynde by Nicholas Caracasis. In December of 1943, he married Ada (Aida) Mercedes (Bifolchi/Befolchi) Bullock, the former wife of Robert Joseph Bullock, and they made it their home. He was a restaurateur, owning Howard Johnson franchises in Dedham and Chestnut Hill, and also was the operator of the Pine Tree Inn in Onset and the Nantasket Beach Hotel. Ada Bullock was the operator of Ada Bullock’s Restaurant at 243 Tremont, at the corner of Stuart.
Ada Bullock Caracasis’s daughter, Barbara Ann Bullock, lived with them, having taken the name Donna Dolores Caracasis. In the late 1940s, Nicholas Caracasis began using the name Donald (Don) Carlos. His wife and step-daughter also were known as Ada Carlos (or Ada Bullock Carlos) and Donna Dolores Carlos.
On December 3, 1947, Nicholas Caracasis transferred 148 Beacon to his wife’s half-brother, Alfred George Silvestri. At that time he was a president of the Sherman Chocolate Company and lived in Quincy.
On December 28, 1948, Alfred Silvestri transferred 148 Beacon to Donna Dolores Carlos Caracasis. On the same day, she transferred the property to Harold Karp, a lawyer. And on November 7, 1951, Harold Karp transferred the property to Ada Caracasis’s mother, Clara (Cleopatra) (Alberici) Bifolchi Silvestri.
Donna Dolores Carlos Caracasis married in 1952 to Charles Fred Lochiatto. After their marriage, they lived in Jamaica Plain.
Nicholas and Ada Caracasis continued to live at 148 Beacon until about 1953, after which they lived with the Lochiattos in Jamaica Plain.
On April 22, 1953, 148 Beacon was purchased from Clara Silvestri by Benjamin F. Sieve.
On September 28, 1953, Joseph E. Levine foreclosed on his mortgage to Benjamin Sieve and sold 148 Beacon at public auction to Charles A. Turner.
On October 5, 1953, 148 Beacon was acquired from Charles Turner by Eleanora (Eleo) Randolph Sears. She previously had lived at 87 Chestnut. She also owned 122 Beacon, where she had lived until about 1941; it had been the home of her parents, Frederick Richard Sears, Jr., and Eleanora (Coolidge) Sears.
Eleo Sears was a noted athlete. In her March 27, 1968, obituary, the Boston Globe described her as “a national tennis and squash champion, a famous rider and breeder of hunting, racing, and polo horses, a strong swimmer, and perhaps the best known woman pedestrian ever. Miss Sears frequently walked a score or more miles a day, and her round-trips between Boston and Providence were reported throughout the world.”
On July 23, 1965, 148 Beacon was acquired from Eleo Sears by Edward S. Ryan.
On September 30, 1966, 148 Beacon was acquired from Edward Ryan by Emerson College. In May of 1967, the college applied for (and subsequently received) permission to combine 148 Beacon and 150 Beacon, which it already owned, with the use of the combined buildings being as a school.
In April of 1976, Emerson College filed for (and subsequently received) clarification that 148-150 Beacon was being used for dormitory and dining quarters, and in July of 1976, it filed for (and subsequently received) clarification that the upper floors could be used as a library.
On September 27, 1999, Emerson College sold 148 Beacon to Joseph T. Doyle, Jr., trustee of the 148 Beacon Street Realty Trust, and sold 150 Beacon to the 150 Beacon Associates LLC.
In December of 1999, Joseph Doyle, Jr., filed for (and subsequently received) permission to separate 148 Beacon from 150 Beacon, and in 2000 he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 148 Beacon into two apartments.
148 Beacon (Demolished)
148 Beacon was designed by architect Arthur D. Gilman and built in 1860-1861 as the home of John Templeman Coolidge, Jr., a merchant in the Calcutta and East India Trade, and his wife, Anna Tucker (Parker) Coolidge. It was originally numbered 124 Beacon, but re-numbered as 148 Beacon ca. 1862 when homes were built on the south side of the street.
On September 24, 1860, the Boston Post commented that “Its external and internal elegance is remarkable, The outside is of brown free-stone, from the Middlesex quarry, and cut by R. L. Meaney. J. Harmon [probably Ivory Harmon, mason] is the general superintendent. On the drawing room floor is a spacious bay window, from which a fine view can be had on either side. Arthur Gilman, architect.”
On December 1, 1860, as the house was nearing completion, it was seriously damaged by fire. On December 3, 1860, the Boston Evening Transcript reported that the fire was caused by “a furnace in the lower story, used to dry the plastering, and the whole building was soon in flames and nearly destroyed, besides damaging to a considerable extent the buildings on each side. At 11 o’clock the north wall fell in, injuring quite seriously Mr. George Town, a hoseman, and Mr. Hailey, a private watchman.” The article notes that the “was still in the hands of the contractors,” and a separate article in the same edition of the Transcript notes the losses they incurred: “William Barton, of Roxbury, the carpenter, sustained a loss of $8000; Standish & Woodbury, masons, about $2000; Thomas D. Morris, painter $1200; Trainer & Crennell, plumbers, $1100 – severally without insurance. A large quantity of mechanics’ tools was destroyed, about twenty men losing from $25 to $100 worth each, and only three chests being saved.”
The house was rebuilt and occupied by John and Anna (Tucker) Coolidge by 1861. They had married in March of 1860. Prior to their marriage, John T. Coolidge, Jr., had lived with his parents at 108 Beacon.
The land for 148 Beacon was purchased from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation by Anna Parker on November 1, 1859, before her marriage to J. Templeman Coolidge, Jr. In January of 1862, her father, James Parker, a widower, purchased and moved to 144 Beacon.
Anna (Parker) Coolidge died in October of 1899, and John T. Coolidge continued to live at 148 Beacon until his death in January of 1913.
On February 3, 1913, 148 Beacon was acquired from Anna Coolidge’s estate and from the Perkins Institution for the Blind, the residurary devisee under her will, by Walter L. Van Kleeck, a lawyer. On March 15, 1913, it was acquired from him by Frances Wightman (Knowles) Warren, the wife of George Eddy Warren. They subsequently razed the house and built their new home in its place.