273 Beacon was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built ca. 1876 by J. and H. M. Harmon, builders, for merchant, cotton manufacturer, and real estate developer Charles William Freeland, probably for speculative sale, one of six contiguous houses built in the same style: 271-273-275-277 Beacon built ca. 1876 and 279-281 Beacon built in 1881. 271-277 Beacon, which were built first, form a symmetrical group, with the bays of 271-273 Beacon on the west side of each house, and the bays of 275-277 Beacon on the east side of each house. Both 279-281 Beacon have bays on the east side of the house.
Charles W. Freeland is shown as the owner on the original permit application, dated September 28, 1876.
The original building permit for 273 Beacon does not indicate the name of the architect (the building permit for 271 Beacon has not been located, and the permit for 275-277 Beacon also does not indicate the architect). However, the permits for 279-281 Beacon, built for Charles W. Freeland in 1881, state that Peabody and Stearns was the architect of these houses, and it is reasonable to assume the earlier four – which are of the same design — also may have been designed by them (in his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting indicates that all six houses were designed by Peabody and Stearns; he also states that they were built for G. W. Freeland, but the permits for 273, 275, 277, 279, and 281 Beacon confirm that the developer was Charles W. Freeland).
By October of 1877, 273 Beacon was the home of leather dealer George Franklin Putnam and his wife, Sarah Becket (Hood) Putnam. They had lived temporarily at 146 Marlborough while the house was being built.
He is shown as the owner of 273 Beacon on the final building inspection, dated October 12, 1877, and on the 1883, 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps.
The Putnams continued to live at 273 Beacon in 1908, but had moved to 338 Marlborough by 1909.
273 Beacon was not listed in the 1909 and 1910 Blue Books.
In the fall of 1909, 273 Beacon was purchased by Charles Davis, Jr., and his wife, Margaret (Homer) Davis. The sale was reported by the Boston Globe on November 11, 1909. They previously had lived at the Hotel Victoria at 273 Dartmouth, and before that at 227 Beacon. Margaret Davis is shown as the owner of 273 Beacon on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in Nahant.
Charles Davis was retired; he previously had been treasurer of the Atlantic Dyewood Company.
They continued to live there during the 1925-1926 winter season. Charles Davis probably died at about this time, and by the 1926-1927 season Margaret Davis had moved back to the Hotel Victoria.
By the 1926-1927 winter season, 273 Beacon was the home of attorney George Marston Cushing and his wife, Grace (Littleton) Cushing. They also maintained a home in Milton, where they had lived during the previous season. G. M. and G. L. Cushing are shown as the owners of 273 Beacon on the 1928 Bromley map.
They continued to live at 273 Beacon during the 1927-1928 winter season, but thereafter made Milton their year-round home. They continued to own 273 Beacon and are shown as the owners on the 1938 Bromley map.
By 1929, 273 Beacon was a dormitory for the Old Colony School.
By 1932, the Cushing family hadconverted the house into a multiple dwelling, either apartments or a lodging house.
Among the residents of 273 Beacon was Rose Rochelle (Goldberg) Levin Glazer, the former wife of Reuben Levin and of Max L. Glazer, who lived there from about 1939. She previously had lived in Brighton with her husband, Max Glazer, an attorney. She was a pianist and entertainer who performed as (and later legally changed her name to) Rose Rochelle.
In April of 1946, Rose Rochelle (as Rose Goldberg) purchased 273 Beacon from George and Grace Cushing. Over the coming years, she acquired several other houses in the Back Bay and South End which she operated as apartments or lodging houses, including 271 Beacon, which she acquired in September of 1955 and sold in July of 1957.
In November of 1960, she transferred 273 Beacon and several other properties to herself as trustee of the Rochelle Realty Trust, the beneficiaries of which were her brothers, Abraham F. Goldbeck and Carl Goldberg; her sisters, Evelyn (Goldberg) Nectow and Gertrude (Goldberg) Sohn; her niece, Helen Brown, the daughter of Louis Goldberg; and the children of her brother, Robert Golden.
Rose Rochelle was married again in the early 1960s to Morris Bornstein. He either died or they separated by 1965.
She continued to live in an apartment at 273 Beacon until about 1972.
In June of 1972, 273 Beacon was purchased from Rose Rochelle by Lee S. Davis. In December of 1975, Susan Davis filed to legalize the occupancy as nine apartments. The Assessing Department confirmed that the house appeared as such on their records in both 1955 and 1965, and the application was granted.
The property changed hands and in March of 2007 was purchased by the Heritor’s 273 Beacon Street LLC. In August of 2007 it filed for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the number of units from nine to three.
In November of 2008, John P. Holland and Joseph Holland, trustees of the HD 273 Beacon Street Realty Trust, purchased 273 Beacon from the Heritor’s 273 Beacon Street LLC. The Hollands were general contractors who specialized in renovating and reselling properties in the Back Bay and South End. In September of 2009, they converted the house into three condominiums.