286-288 Beacon

286-288 Beacon (2014)

Lot 40' x 150' (6,000sf)

Lot 40′ x 150′ (6,000sf)

286-288 Beacon are located on the north side of Beacon, between Exeter and Fairfield, with 282 Beacon to the east and 290 Beacon to the west.

286 Beacon and 288 Beacon were built ca. 1869, a symmetrical pair of houses.  They were combined into one building and, in 1945, were significantly remodeled. The remodeling was designed by architect Meyer Louis.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 286-288 Beacon.

286 Beacon

286 Beacon was built as the home of coal dealer and commission merchant George Middleton Barnard, Jr., and his wife, Ellen Hooper (Russell) Barnard.  They had lived at 83 Marlborough in 1868.  They also maintained a home in Mattapoisett.

Ellen Barnard purchased the land for 286 Beacon on April 30, 1869, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.

The Barnards lived at 286 Beacon until about 1876.  In 1877 and 1878, George Barnard traveled for two years to Japan and China, returning via Egypt, Paris, and London.  It appears that Ellen Barnard and the children did not travel with him.

After he returned, they made Mattapoisett their primary home and leased 286 Beacon to others.

During the 1879-1880 winter season, it was the home of retired druggist William Gardiner Prescott and his wife, Josephine Augusta (Peabody) Prescott.  They had lived at 174 Beacon in 1878.  They also maintained a home in Pepperell, Massachusetts.  By the 1880-1881 season, they had moved to 84 Beacon.

286-288 Beacon (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

By the 1880-1881 winter season, 286 Beacon was the home of Sophia (Sloan) Brastow, the widow of George Oliver Brastow. She previously had lived in Somerville, where her husband, a real estate investor and agent for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. had served as the first Mayor. He had died in November of 1878.

Living with Mrs. Brastow during the 1880-1881 season were Benjamin Shreve Calef and his wife, Annie (MacDonald) Calef.  Benjamin Calef was manager of the New England branch of New York Life Insurance.  By the 1881-1882 season, they had moved to 95 Mt. Vernon, and by the next season they were living at 381 Marlborough.

During the 1881-1882 winter season, Sophia Brastow was joined at 286 Beacon by William Whitwell Greenough, treasurer of the Boston Gas Light Company, and his wife, Catherine Scollay (Curtis) Greenough.  They previously had lived at 249 Berkeley.  By the 1882-1883 season, they had moved to the Hotel Brunswick (southeast corner of Clarendon and Boylston).

Sophia Brastow continued to live at 286 Beacon during the 1883-1884 winter season, but moved thereafter to 31 Chestnut.

286 Beacon was not listed in the 1885 Blue Book.

By the 1885-1886 winter season, 286 Beacon was the home of Silas French Robinson, a salesman, and his wife, Anne Elizabeth (Dakin) Robinson.  They appear to have operated as a lodging house.  They continued to live at 286 Beacon during the 1890-1891 season, but moved thereafter.

During the 1891-1892 winter season, 286 Beacon was the home of Mary E. (Tarbell) Blake Whitmore, the widow of George Blake, Jr., and of Charles Octavius Whitmore, and Miss Dora Brereton.  Mrs. Whitmore previously had lived at 377 Beacon.

The house was not listed in the 1893 and 1894 Blue Books.

By the 1894-1895 winter season, George and Ellen Barnard were living at 286 Beacon once again.  They continued to live there during the 1896-1897 season, but probably moved soon thereafter to their Mattapoisett home, where he died in December of 1898.

On August 31, 1897, 286 Beacon was purchased from Ellen Barnard by Arioch Wentworth Erickson. He married in October of 1897 to Cecile Rush Macy and they made 286 Beacon their Boston home.

The Ericksons’ primary residence was in Swampscott, where they lived with his grandfather, Arioch Wentworth, and his mother, Susan Maria (Wentworth) Erickson Stuart, the widow of Aaron Erickson, Jr., and wife of Willoughby Herbert Stuart.  Arioch Wentworth lived at 332 Beacon and in Swampscott.  He was a marble dealer and real estate investor. When he died in March of 1903, he left the bulk of his estate to found Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

The Ericksons continued to live at 286 Beacon in 1904, after which they made Swampscott their year-round home.

286 Beacon was not listed in the 1905 Blue Books.

On May 8, 1905, 286 Beacon was purchased from Arioch Wentworth Erickson by Thomas Chandler Thacher. He and his wife, Maria Louise (Leavitt) Thacher, lived at 288 Beacon. Until the late 1920s, they appear to have leased 286 Beacon to others. 286 and 288 Beacon remained under common ownership from this time.

By the 1905-1906 winter season, 286 Beacon was the home of real estate developer John Humphreys Storer and his wife, Edith (Paine) Storer.  They previously had lived in Waltham, where they continued to maintain a home.  They continued to live at 286 Beacon during the 1913-1914 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to 222 Beacon.

286 Beacon was not listed in the 1915-1917 Blue Books.

By the 1917-1918 winter season, 286 Beacon was the home of Dr. André William Bradford Simone Reggio (known as William Reggio) and his wife, Marian Shaw (Lovering) Reggio.  They previously had lived at 40 Fairfield.  They continued to live at 286 Beacon in 1919, but had moved to 356 Beacon by 1920.

During the 1920-1921 winter season, 286 Beacon was the home of Thomas Dawes Blake 2nd.  He previously had lived at 140 Beacon with his mother, Maria Teresa (Hartnell) Blake, the wife of William Horton Blake.  Thomas Blake entered Harvard in 1921 and probably moved to Cambridge.

By the 1921-1922 winter season, 286 Beacon was the home of Constance Lily (Rothschild) Morris, the wife of Ira Nelson Morris.  Her husband was a former executive in his father’s Chicago meat packing firm and served as US Minister to Sweden from 1914 to 1923.  Mrs. Morris and their children, Constance and Ira Victor Morris, probably had moved to Boston in anticipation of his return to the United States.

286 Beacon was not listed in the 1923 and 1924 Blue Books.

By the 1924-1925 winter season, it was the home of attorney Henry Dubois Tudor and his wife Eleanor (Gray) Tudor.  They previously had lived in Cambridge.  They also maintained a home in Hancock, New Hampshire.  They continued to live at 286 Beacon during the 1926-1927 winter season, but thereafter moved back to Cambridge.

The house was not listed in the 1927-1937 Blue Books, and is shown as vacant in the 1930-1945 Boston City Directories.  It appears likely that Thomas Thacher consolidated it with his home at 288 Beacon.

Thomas Thacher died in April of 1945, and on July 5, 1945, 286-288 Beacon were purchased from his estate by real estate dealer Ray C. Johnson.

288 Beacon

288 Beacon was built ca. 1869 for coal dealer Howard Snelling and his wife, Anna Lothrop (Rodman) Snelling, on land which Anna Snelling purchased on January 18, 1869, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation. On the same day, she purchased the lot to the west, where she and her husband built their home at 290 Beacon.

On December 3, 1870, 288 Beacon was purchased from Anna Snelling by Lucy Jane (Blake) Holder, the wife of metals and hardware dealer Daniel Curtis Holder. They previously had lived on Dorchester Avenue.

They continued to live at 288 Beacon during the 1890-1891 winter season, but had moved thereafter and by the 1892-1893 season were living at the Abbotsford at 184 Commonwealth by 1893.

On January 30, 1891, 288 Beacon was purchased from Lucy Jane Holder by wool merchant Thomas Chandler Thacher. He and his wife, Maria Louise (Leavitt) Thacher, made it their home. They previously lived at 74 Chestnut. They also maintained a home in Yarmouthport.

In May of 1905, he acquired 286 Beacon. 286 and 288 Beacon remained under common ownership from this time.

Thomas Thacher was elected to the US Congress in 1912, and from 1912 until about 1915 the Thachers lived in Washington DC.

During that period, 288 Beacon was the home of Dr. John Thornton Bullard, a retired physician, and his wife, Emily Morgan (Rotch) Bullard.  They had lived at 200 Beacon in 1911.

By the 1915–1916 winter season, the Bullards had moved to 47 Commonwealth and the Thachers were once again living at 288 Beacon.

Between about 1918 and 1921, the Thachers were living elsewhere, probably in Yarmouthport where they were listed in the 1920 US Census.

During the 1917-1918 winter season, 288 Beacon was the home of Marie Alexis (Hayes) Sturges, the widow of Walter Knight Sturges, and their three sons: Thomas Rush Sturges, Hayes Sturges, and Walter Knight Sturges, Jr.  They previously had lived at 3 Louisburg Square.  Walter Sturges had been a banker and then, from 1901 until his death in May of 1913, had been agent for the estate of his grandfather, Benjamin Brayton Knight, in Providence.  By the 1918-1919 season, Mrs. Sturges and her sons had moved to 138 Beacon.

288 Beacon was not listed in the 1919 Blue Book.

During the 1919-1920 winter season, it was the home of stockbroker Nelson Slater Bartlett, Jr., and his wife, Christiana Sargent (Hunnewell) Bartlett.  They also maintained a home in Dover.  By the next season, they had moved to 22 Marlborough.

288 Beacon was not listed in the 1921 Blue Book.

By the 1921-1922 winter season, the Thachers were living at 288 Beacon once again.

During the 1923-1924 winter season, 288 Beacon was the home of Miss Katherine Lyman Thomas and probably also her sisters: Alice Lee Whitridge Thomas, Rosamond Whitridge Thomas, and Elizabeth C. Thomas.  They were the daughters of architect Douglas Hamilton Thomas and his wife, Bessie Lyman (Chadwick) Thomas.  In 1922, they had lived at 31 Hereford.

By 1925, Katherine Thomas and her sisters had moved to 104 Marlborough and the Thachers were living at 288 Beacon once again.

During the late 1920s and 1930s, the Thachers probably also occupied 286 Beacon, which was not listed in the 1927-1937 Blue Books and was shown as vacant in the 1930-1945 Boston City Directories.

Maria Thacher died in October of 1933.  Thomas Thacher continued to own and live at 286-288 Beacon until his death in April of 1945.

On July 5, 1945, 286-288 Beacon were purchased from Thomas Thacher’s estate by real estate dealer Ray C. Johnson.

286-288 Beacon

On July 5, 1945, Ray C. Johnson conveyed 286-288 Beacon to Maurice Zerner, an insurance manager. In June of 1945, prior to taking title to the properties, he had applied for (and subsequently received) permission to consolidate 286 and 288 Beacon and remodel them into twelve apartments, with the entrance at 286 Beacon. The remodeling included modernizing the front façade and was designed by architect Meyer Louis.

On March 19, 1948, 286-288 Beacon were acquired from Maurice Zerner by Harry Nathanson and his wife, Pearl (Glazer) Nathanson. They lived in Dorchester, but moved to an apartment at 286 Beacon by 1951. He was president of the Hub Cloak and Suit Company.

On June 1, 1950, the Nathansons transferred the property to Harry Nathanson and Walter Benjamin Cavagnaro as trustees of the Two Hundred Eighty-Six Beacon Street Trust. Walter Cavagnaro and his wife, Estelle (Stella) E. (Gottlieb) Cavagnaro lived in an apartment at 286 Beacon. He was president and treasurer of Dorchester Garage Auto Sales, Inc.

On November 1, 1954, Harry Nathanson and Walter Cavagnaro transferred the property to themselves and their wives, and then to Harry Nathanson and Emil Michael Bonyhady as trustees of the Nabo Realty Trust. Emil Bonyhady and his wife, Gertrude (Rothschild) Bonyhady, lived in an apartment at 286 Beacon. He was president and treasurer of the Embo Casual Footwear Corp.

Emil Bonyhady died in December of 1966, and Gertrude Bonyhady married again in April of 1968 to Harry B. Hershon. Harry Nathanson resigned as trustee in December of 1969 and was succeeded by his wife.

On May 2, 1974, 286-288 Beacon were acquired from Pearl Nathanson and Gertrude Hershon, trustees of the Nabo Realty Trust, by the Second Forest Realty Associates Limited Partnership (Kurt D. Bleicken and Janet H. Bleicken, general partners).

On the same day, the Bleickens converted the property into twleve condominium units, the 286 Beacon Street Condominium.