210 Beacon was built ca. 1863 as the home of Nathaniel Dean Hubbard and his wife Anne Brooks (Frothingham) Hubbard on land he purchased on October 18, 1862, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 210 Beacon, and click here for further information on the land on the north side of Beacon, including the Storrow Memorial Embankment on the Esplanade.
The Hubbards married in April of 1863 and 210 Beacon probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 76 Mt. Vernon with his mother, Sally Walker (Dean) Hubbard, the widow of Henry Hubbard, and his brother, Aaron Dean Hubbard. Nathaniel and Aaron Hubbard were partners in the firm of Hubbard Brothers, bankers and brokers. Their father, Henry Hubbard, had been Governor of New Hampshire.
Nathaniel Hubbard died in October of 1865 and by 1867, Anne Hubbard had moved to 76 Mt. Vernon with their two infant children, Gorham Hubbard and Katherine Dean Hubbard. 210 Beacon remained in the Hubbard family until the 1930s.
By 1867, 210 Beacon was the home of Thomas Edward Chickering and his wife Caroline Augusta (Battelle) Chickering. They previously had lived at 11 Mt. Vernon.
In August of 1870, the Chickerings purchased and subsequently moved to 290 Beacon. Thomas Chickering died in February of 1871.
By 1874, it was the home of investment banker Francis Lee Higginson. He previously had lived at 39 Brimmer with his parents, George Higginson and Mary Cabot (Lee) Higginson.
Francis Higginson married in February of 1876 to Julia Borland. After their marriage they lived at 294 Beacon.
By 1876, Anne Hubbard was living at 210 Beacon once again. Gorham Hubbard and Katherine Dean Hubbard continued to live with her. Ellen Frothingham may also have lived with them, but by 1877 was living at 9 Exeter.
Anne Hubbard died in January of 1886. After her death, Gorham and Katherine Hubbard continued to live at 210 Beacon. During the 1886-1887 and 1887-1888 winter seasons, they were joined by Ellen Frothingham. Her usual residence continued to be 9 Exeter.
Katherine Hubbard continued to live with them until her death in March of 1894.
Also living with the Hubbards during the 1890-1891 and 1891-1892 winter seasons were Gorham Hubbard’s maternal uncle, Edward Frothingham, and his wife, Eugenia (Mifflin) Frothingham. They previously had lived at 267 Beacon. They moved by the next season and by the 1893-1894 season were living at a new home they had built at 476 Beacon.
During the 1891-1892 season, Gorham and Sarah Hubbard also were joined by her sister, Annie Henshaw.
During the winter of 1891-1892, the Hubbards built a home at Campobello, New Brunswick. They became friends of James and Sara Delano Roosevelt, who also maintained a summer home at Campobello, and of their only son, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Katherine Hubbard married in January of 1914 to Thomas Jefferson Newbold and moved to New York.
Gorham Hubbard died in April of 1921. In his will, he left 210 Beacon to his unmarried children, Gorham, Jr. and Elizabeth. They moved soon after his death and leased the house to others.
By the 1921-1922 winter season, 210 Beacon was leased by Nathan Harry Gordon and his wife, Sarah Anna (Edinberg) Gordon. They previously had lived in Brookline.
Nathan Gordon was a pioneer in the motion picture business. Starting with a Nickelodeon in Worcester in 1906, he became the largest operator of motion picture and vaudeville theatres in New England. In 1917, he helped to form the First National Exhibitors Circuit, Inc., which later became First National Pictures, Inc., formed originally as an agency to lease and distribute motion pictures, but subsequently becoming producers of motion pictures as well.
The Gordons continued to live at 210 Beacon in 1923, but by 1924 had moved back to Brookline.
During the 1923-1924 winter season, 210 Beacon became the home of T. Jefferson and Katherine (Hubbard) Newbold. They previously had lived in Beverly Farms and before that at 307 Beacon.
T. Jefferson Newbold grew up in Hyde Park, New York, where his parents were next door neighbors of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. He was a friend and early supporter of FDR’s. He began his business career as a selling agent for the International Cotton Mills. He subsequently became an investment banker and by 1924 was treasurer of the Red Star Manufacturing Company, makers of house furnishing goods. At the time of his death in July of 1939, he was president of an electrical engineering firm and described by Eleanor Roosevelt as “one of our oldest friends.”
In mid-1924, they purchased and subsequently remodeled and moved to 119 Marlborough.
Gorham Hubbard, Jr., an attorney, married in June of 1924 to Muriel Louise Wilson. After their marriage, they made 210 Beacon their home. His sister, Elizabeth, lived with them.
On June 20, 1932, Gorham Hubbard acquired his sister’s interest in 210 Beacon. The next month, she married to Richard James Robert Haldane Makgill. After their marriage, they lived in England.
Gorham and Muriel Hubbard continued to live at 210 Beacon until late 1933. They also maintained a home at Campobello, probably the same home that his father built in 1892.
On March 1, 1934, 210 Beacon was purchased by Frances Anna Fitch (Sherwood) Saltonstall, the widow of banker Philip Leverett Saltonstall. She previously had lived at 101 Chestnut. She also maintained a home at West Chop on Martha’s Vineyard.
In April of 1936, Frances Saltonstall remarried, to Dr. Joel Ernest Goldthwait, an orthopedic surgeon with offices at 372 Marlborough. He was a widower and lived in Medfield. They lived at 210 Beacon and also continued to maintain homes in Medfield and at West Chop.
On April 11, 1937, the Boston Globe published a feature article on 210 Beacon as part of its series of “exclusive camera visits inside beautiful Boston homes.” The article, which included photographs of the library, living room, and dining room, described the house as recently “remodeled and transformed into a modern and altogether delightful home.”
The Goldthwaits continued to live at 210 Beacon until 1940, after which they made Medfield their home.
On June 22, 1940, 210 Beacon was acquired from Frances Goldthwait by the Institute of Modern Art. In September of 1940, it filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house and convert it from a single-family dwelling into offices and exhibit space.
On April 29, 1943, the second and third floors suffered damage from a fire.
On July 8, 1943, 210 Beacon was acquired from the Institute of Modern Art by Robert Ramsay and his wife, Edna Ramsay, and on October 8, 1943, it was acquired from them by John Joseph Donovan and his wife, Lola Lydia (Lippi) Donovan. They lived in Roxbury. He was treasurer of Color-Vision Plastics, Inc.
In November of 1943, John Donovan filed for (and subsequently received) permission to repair the fire damage and convert the property into four apartments. In January of 1944, he amended the plans to increase the number of units to five.
On April 7, 1977, Dr. Rupert R. Gildenhuys, trustee of the Dento Trust, purchased 210 Beacon from John and Lola Donovan. In April of 1978, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house into four units plus a dentist’s office, noting that both he and his wife were dentists, and that they would use this location for professional use while also maintaining their residence in the building.
On August 10, 1979, he converted the property into four condominium units, the 210 Beacon Street Condominium.