310 Beacon was designed by Peabody and Stearns, architects, and built in 1903-1904 by McNeil Brothers, builders, as the home of sugar manufacturer Joshua Bailey Richmond and his wife, Josefa (Rubira) Richmond. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application, dated June 13, 1903. They previously had lived in the house formerly at 310 Beacon and, after acquiring 308 Beacon, they razed both houses and replaced them with a new residence built on both lots. They also maintained a home in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
Peabody and Stearns’s plans for 310 Beacon — including elevations, foundation and piling plans, floor plans. and framing plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN A-89).
Click here to view elevations and floor plans for the original building.
Joseph Richmond is shown as the owner on the 1908, 1917, and 1928 Bromley maps.
Josefa Richmond died in June of 1931 and Joshua Richmond died in August of 1931.
The house was not listed in the 1932 and 1933 Blue Books and was shown as vacant in the 1932-1933 City Directories.
By 1933, 310 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Mary Anna (Sullivan) Flanagan, the widow of stockbroker Joseph Francis Flanagan. She had lived in Brookline in 1930. She is shown as the owner of 310 Beacon on the 1938 Bromley map.
In September of 1933, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the stable at the rear of the property into a garage.
Mary Flanagan continued to live there until about 1944. Her son, Austin Gerard Flanagan, lived with her.
By 1944, 310 Beacon was owned by Fred L. Arata, a retail liquor dealer and real estate investor. He and his wife, Annette Flossie (Crovo) Boggiano Arata, lived in Brighton. In November of 1944, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into nine apartments.
The property subsequently changed hands and in December of 1975 was purchased by Robert A. Keating, trustee of the 310 Beacon Street Realty Trust.
In March of 1994, Thomas Twomey (successor trustee of the 310 Beacon Street Realty Trust) applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a penthouse of approximately 36 feet by 38 feet, designed by Ahearn-Schopfer, architects. From subsequent letters from the Back Bay Architectural Commission, it appears that this penthouse was either not approved by the commission or was built in a manner different than that approved by the Commission.
The property subsequently changed hands and in March of 2006 was purchased by the Overland Beacon LLC.
In September of 2006, 310 Beacon Street, LLC, successor to Overland Beacon LLC, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the property and reduce the number of units from nine to four. It also received permission to expand the garage at the rear to extend across the entire width of the property. As part of the remodeling, the owner agreed to remove and replace the existing penthouse. The Back Bay Architectural Commission’s Certificate of Appropriateness notes that the applicant will remove the “non-conforming penthouse addition constructed by a previous owner and cited in violation by the commission and the Inspectional Services Department” and replace it with a penthouse “to be lower in height, smaller in footprint, rotated against the higher party wall of the adjoining building to the east, and appropriate in design and materials…”.
When it was built in 1903-1904, 310 Beacon replaced two townhouses at 308 and 310 Beacon designed by architect Charles K. Kirby and built ca. 1871. 308-310 Beacon were built by Daniel Davies, a housewright and master carpenter, for speculative sale. A December 19, 1871, advertisement by Daniel Davies and Son in the Boston Transcript, offering 308 Beacon for sale, describes the house as “four stories, exclusive of basement and attic.” Daniel Davies and Son is shown as the owner of both houses (and of 312-314 Beacon, also built ca. 1871) on the 1874 Hopkins map.
308 Beacon (Demolished)
By 1876, 308 Beacon was the home of rubber merchant and manufacturer David Hunt and his wife, Antoinette (White) Hunt. They previously had lived in the Longwood district of Brookline. David Hunt is shown as the owner of 308 Beacon on the 1883, 1888, and 1898 Bromley maps.
The Hunts’ unmarried children — Abby W. Hunt, William David Hunt (treasurer of the Suffolk County, harness manufacturers), and Belle Marinda Hunt — lived with them. William Hunt married in May of 1894 to Frances Emily Hitchcock; after their marriage, they lived at 264 Commonwealth with her mother, Sarah Frances (Crosby) Hitchcock, the widow of John Hitchcock.
The Hunts were living elsewhere in June of 1900 (at the time of the US Census) and 308 Beacon was the home of boot and shoe dealer Arthur E. Mann and his wife, Eleanor M. (Fairbrother) Mann. By the 1900-1901 winter season, they had moved to 435 Beacon.
David Hunt died in February of 1901. Antoinette Hunt moved to 17 Gloucester to live with their son-in-law and daughter, Robert Dawson Evans and Maria Antoinette (Hunt) Evans. Abby and Belle Hunt moved with her.
During the 1901-1902 winter season, 308 Beacon was the home of Miss Georgiana Gordon King. She had lived at 377 Beacon during the 1899-1900 season. She also maintained a home in Newport.
By 1903, the house had been purchased by Joshua Bailey Richmond, who lived at 310 Beacon.
310 Beacon (Demolished)
By 1875, 310 Beacon was the home of Frank Shaw and his wife, Abbie (“Nina”) (Perkins) Shaw. In 1873, they had lived at the Hotel Hamilton at 260 Clarendon.
Frank Shaw was a partner in the Boston office of Warren & Co., shipping merchants and operators of steamships between Liverpool and Boston. They continued to live at 310 Beacon in 1882.
By the 1882-1883 winter season, it was the home Richard Montgomery Field and his wife, Louisa B. (Fenno) Hastings Field. R. M. Field is shown as the owner on the 1883 Bromley map.
Richard M. Field was manager of the Boston Museum on Tremont Street. It was primarily a theatre, but also featured a wax museum, natural history museum, and fine arts gallery.
By the 1885-1886 winter season, 310 Beacon was the home of Joshua and Josefa (Rubira) Richmond. They previously had lived at 325 Beacon.
By 1903, they had acquired 308 Beacon, razed both houses, and had a new home constructed (with the address of 310 Beacon) on both lots.