304 Beacon

304 Beacon (2015)

Lot 19' x 150' (2,850 sf)

Lot 19′ x 150′ (2,850 sf)

304 Beacon is located on the north side of Beacon, between Exeter and Fairfield, with 302 Beacon to the east and 306 Beacon to the west.

304 Beacon was designed by architect Charles K. Kirby and built ca. 1871, one of two contiguous houses (304-306 Beacon) designed as a symmetrical pair.

304 Beacon was built as the home of Mrs. Caroline Matilda (Williams) Twombly, the widow of shipping merchant Alexander Hamilton Twombly.  They had lived at 198 Beacon in 1870 at the time of his death.  She is shown as the owner of 304 Beacon on the 1874 Hopkins map.

She continued to live there in 1877, but moved to New York City soon thereafter.

By 1878, it was the home of Benjamin Robbins Curtis, Jr., and his wife, Mary Gardiner (Horsford) Curtis.  They had been married in October of 1877, and 304 Beacon probably was their first home together.

Benjamin Robbins Curtis, Jr., was a lawyer and would later become a Municipal Court Judge.

They had moved by 1879 and were living at 74 Mt. Vernon in 1880.

By the 1878-1879 winter season, 304 Beacon was the home of banker Charles Emerson Fuller and his wife, Josephine (Wheildon) Fuller.  They previously had lived at 385 Beacon.  Josephine W. Fuller is shown as the owner of 304 Beacon on the 1883, 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps.

304-306 Beacon (2015)

Charles Fuller died in October of 1907.  Josephine Fuller continued to live there until her death in November of 1913.

304 Beacon was not listed in the 1914 and 1915 Blue Books.

By mid-1915, 304 Beacon was the home of William Henry Brown, a lawyer, and his wife, Adelaide Jones (Moors) Brown.  They previously had lived at 171 Beacon.  She is shown as the owner of 304 Beacon on the 1917, 1928, and 1938 Bromley maps.  They also maintained a summer home in Cohasset.

In July of 1915, William Brown applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remove the stone bay at basement and first floor, in the front, and rebuild the front façade.  The permit notes that “the entire house to be refurbished and put in complete repair.”  The remodeling was designed by architect Andrew H. Hepburn, assisted by Guy Lowell.  Plans for the remodeling, including floor plans but no elevations, are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN H-13).  The changes to the front bay appear not to have been made.

The Browns continued to live at 304 Beacon until about 1952.

The house was shown as vacant in the 1953 Boston City Directory.

By 1954, 304 Beacon was the home of Edward M. Walsh and his wife, Octavia Morley (Sawyer) Walsh. They had lived at 74 Fenway in 1953, and at 130 Marlborough (which they converted into a lodging house) in 1952.  By mid-1955, they had purchased and moved to 73 Marlborough.

By 1957, 304 Beacon was the home of Walter Johnson Coleman and his wife, Eleanor N. (Whitcher) Coleman, who operated it as a lodging house.  They previously had lived at 244 Massachusetts Avenue.  They continued to live there until about 1958.

By 1958, 304 Beacon was the home of Adam Foti, a real estate agent, who continued to operate it as a lodging house.  He previously had lived in Rhode Island.

In August of 1958, Adam Foti was cited by the Building Department for having converted the second floor front room into a business office, probably his real estate office.

304-306 Beacon (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

304-306 Beacon (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

By 1961, 304 Beacon had been purchased by John Breining and his wife, Ruth Y. (Allen) Breining, to be the location of their Miss Allen’s Back Bay School of Modeling. The Breinings also lived at 304 Beacon.  In 1960, the school had been located at 135 Commonwealth and the Breinings had lived in Cohasset.

The school appears to have closed in 1962, and in October of 1962 the Breinings purchased and subsequently moved to 3 Marlborough.

Also in October of 1962, 304 Beacon was purchased from John Breining by Maurice McAllister Henkels and his wife, Helen Mitchell (Anderson) Henkels.  They previously had lived in Wellesley Hills.  Helen Henkels was president and Maurice Henkels was treasurer of Maurice M. Henkels & Co., wool dealers.

In December of 1962, Maurice Henkels filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a two-family dwelling into four apartments.  The Henkels lived in one of the apartments.

In March of 1968, Charles Dudley acquired 304 Beacon from the Henkels.  In July of 1979, he converted the property into four condominiums.

In December of 1992, Weston Dickerman, a unit owner, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a one-car garage at the rear of the building.

In September of 2008, Robert Verville, a unit owner, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remove the existing garage and replace it with a four car garage, with a deck on top and a connector to the main building.