235 Beacon was built ca. 1870 by Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, carpenters, for speculative sale, one of two houses (235-237 Beacon) they built at about the same time. Robert Bourn and William Leavitt both lived in Cambridge.
They purchased the 19 foot lot for 235 Beacon from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on April 1, 1871, after the house had been completed. On the same day, Nathaniel SIlsbee, Jr., purchased the 21 foot lot for 237 Beacon, which also had been completed. The land originally had been one of several lots sold by the Commonwealth at its auction on January 23, 1863. William G. Weld had been the successful bidder and subsequently sold or transferred the deed bonds securing his right to purchase the land. Nathaniel Silsbee, Jr., probably acquired the deed bonds for the land at both 235 and 237 Beacon, and entered into an agreement with Bourne and Leavitt to build both houses, after which he sold or transferred them the deed bond for the land at 235 Beacon and they purchased the land from the Commonwealth.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 235 Beacon, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Beacon and Alley 419, from Clarendon to Dartmouth.
In late 1873, 235 Beacon became the home of Charles Gustavus Lundell, a dealer in Swedish iron, and his wife, Elizabeth C. (Atkins) Lundell. They had married in October of 1873. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at the Hotel Vendôme. Elizabeth Atkins probably had also lived at the Hotel Vendôme with her brother, Henry Holly Atkins. They previously had lived at 4 Arlington with their mother, Elizabeth (Gay) Atkins, the widow of Henry Atkins; she had died in July of 1872.
In October of 1875, real estate dealer John Jeffries, Jr., advertised in the Boston Post for proposals for “purchasing the lease of house No. 235 Beacon street; also for purchase of the furniture,” which was “very handsome, and almost new.”
On October 13, 1875, 235 Beacon was purchased (not leased) from Robert Bourn and William Leavitt by Lucy Josephine (Brown) Parker, the wife of Henry G. Parker. They previously had lived with her parents, William and Lucy (Church) Brown, at 4 Commonwealth.
Henry Parker was editor and publisher of the Saturday Evening Gazette.
They continued to live at 235 Beacon in 1883. In October of 1883, they purchased 240 Commonwealth, where they moved soon thereafter.
On April 15, 1884, 235 Beacon was acquired from Lucy Parker by Sarah C. (Iasigi) Dwight, the wife of Dr. Thomas Dwight. They previously had lived at 251 Beacon. They also maintained a home in Nahant.
Dr. Dwight was a physician and was Parkman Professor of Anatomy at Harvard Medical School.
Thomas Dwight died in September of 1911. Sarah Dwight continued to live at 235 Beacon until about 1925, when she moved to Brookline.
On May 28, 1925, 235 Beacon was acquired from Sarah Dwight by Herbert A. Brooks. He was assistant manager of the Copley Plaza Hotel and purchased 235 Beacon as an investment. He lived in Somerville. In May of 1925, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to extensively remodel the interior. The house remained a single family dwelling.
During the 1925-1926 winter season, 235 Beacon was the home of Frances (Nevins) Williams, the wife of Joseph Mason Williams. She also maintained a home in Brookline, which usually was her year-round residence, where she operated a lodging house. Her husband was an attorney in San Antonio, Texas, where he died in February of 1928.
During the 1926-1927 winter season, 235 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Mabel E. Franklin, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived in Provincetown.
During the 1927-1928 winter season, 235 Beacon was the home of Ella J. (O’Connell) Good, the widow of Dr. John P. Good, and their twin daughters, Katherine and Julia P. Good. They also maintained a home in Hull. They previously had lived in Cambridge, where John Good had been a dentist and served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives; he had died in July of 1925, the victim of an accidental drowning in the Charles River.
On January 16, 1928, 235 Beacon was acquired from Herbert Brooks by Frank J. Brown.
By the 1928-1929 winter season, 235 Beacon was the home of Walter Lorenzo Rolfe and his wife, Catherine Isabelle (O’Brien) Rolfe. Walter Rolfe was a piano teacher, composer, arranger, and music editor. He published more than 800 compositions. The Rolfes continued to live at 235 Beacon in 1932, but had moved to 90 Huntington by 1933.
On March 3, 1933, the Whitinsville Savings Bank foreclosed on a mortgage given by Herbert Brooks which had been assumed by Frank Brown. The bank took possession of the property.
On August 30, 1933, 235 Beacon was acquired from the Whitinsville Savings Bank by Ethel H. Anderson.
On March 31, 1934, the Whitinsville Savings Bank foreclosed on the mortgage given by Ethel Anderson at the time she acquired 235 Beacon, and once again took possession of the property.
On December 3, 1936, 235 Beacon was acquired from the Whitinsville Savings Bank by Wallace Raymond Marden. He and his wife, Marjorie L. (Maclary) Marden, lived in Hingham. In November of 1936, prior to taking title to the property, he had applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the house from a single-family dwelling into ten apartments.
On October 23, 1950, Wallace Marden transferred the property to himself as trustee of the Investment Realty Trust. On March 14, 1944, he appointed his brother-in-law, Richard David Maclary, as successor trustee. On August 11, 1955, Richard Maclary transferred 235 Beacon to himself as trustee of the United Realty Trust.
The property subsequently changed hands, and on April 27, 1983, was acquired by John C. Clawson and Carl R. Franceschi, trustees of The Beacon Studio Trust. In June of 1983, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the apartments, keeping the number at ten. On February 21, 1985, they converted the property into ten condominium units, the 235 Beacon Condominium.