312 Beacon was built ca. 1871, one of two contiguous houses (312-314 Beacon) designed as a symmetrical pair.
It appears likely that 312-314 Beacon were built by Daniel Davies, a housewright and master carpenter, for speculative sale. Daniel Davies entered into a party wall agreement with the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation on November 23, 1871, and Daniel Davies and Son is shown as the owner of both houses (and of 308-310 Beacon, also built ca. 1871) on the 1874 Hopkins map. In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting does not attribute 312-314 Beacon to a specific architect, but it is likely that they were designed by Charles K. Kirby, whom Bunting indicates designed 308-310 Beacon.
312 Beacon was not listed in the 1876-1878 Boston Blue Books.
By 1877, it was the home of banker Edward Belknap Haven and his wife Sarah (Boardman) Haven. They had lived at 97 Mt. Vernon the previous year. Sarah Haven’s father, Benjamin Greenleaf Boardman, is shown as the owner of 312 Beacon on the 1883 Bromley map, and Benjamin G. Boardman’s Heirs are shown as the owners on the 1888, 1898, 1908, and 1912 maps.
Edward Haven died in December of 1909. Sarah Haven continued live at 312 Beacon during the 1911-1912 winter season, but had moved to an apartment at 186 Commonwealth by 1913.
By the 1914-1915 winter season, 312 Beacon was the home of Joseph Gardner Bradley and his wife, Mabel Bayard (Warren) Bradley. They previously had lived at 18 Fairfield. Benjamin G. Boardman’s Heirs continued to be shown as the owners of 312 Beacon on the 1917 Bromley map.
Joseph Bradley was a lawyer and president of the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company, a coal mining company in Widen, West Virginia.
The Bradleys continued to live at 312 Beacon in 1924 but had moved to 11 Arlington by 1925.
During the 1924-1925 and 1925-1926 winter seasons, 312 Beacon was the fraternity house of the Phi Mu Gamma fraternity of Emerson College.
By 1927, 312 Beacon was the home of Charles Bohlen and his wife, Celestine (Eustis) Bohlen. They also maintained a summer home in Ipswich.
The house remained the property of the Boardman family, with Eliza D. Boardman (Benjamin Boardman’s daughter) et al shown as the owners on the 1928 Bromley map.
The Bohlens continued to live there during the 1928-1929 winter season.
By the 1929-1930 winter season, 312 Beacon was the home of Dr. Michael Edmund McGarty, a physician and surgeon, and his wife, Catherine M. (Garrity) McGarty. He also maintained his medical offices there. The previously had lived at The Miles Standish at 30 Bay State Road and he had maintained his office at 420 Commonwealth. They continued to live at 312 Beacon until 1939, when they moved to 131 Bay State Road.
312 Beacon continued to be shown as owned by Eliza D. Boardman et al on the 1938 Bromley map.
In October of 1940, 312 Beacon was leased by the MIT Chapter of the Phi Kappa fraternity. They remained there until October of 1943.
By 1943, 312 Beacon was leased by (or possibly owned by) H. Leon Sharmat. In October of 1943, he applied for a license to operate a lodging house on the premises. The Building Department advised that, before the property could be used for that purpose, egress requirements would need to be met and the legal use of the property changed. It appears no further application was filed.
By 1944, 312 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Elizabeth (Mead) Bingham, the widow of Charles Henry Bingham. She and her husband previously had lived at 486–488 Beacon, where they operated a lodging house. He had died in December of 1942.
Elizabeth Bingham continued to live at 312 Beacon until about 1946, and it appears likely that she operated it as a lodging house.
By 1946, 312 Beacon was owned by Frances W. Christian. In July of 1946, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into eleven apartments. As part of the remodeling, she indicated that the front entrance would be lowered to street level. The remodeling was not completed.
The house was shown as vacant in the 1947-1949 City Directories.
By 1949, 312 Beacon was owned by William Weiner as trustee of The Myrtle Realty Trust. In March of 1949, William Weiner applied for (and subsequently received) permission to “complete the work started in 1946” under the permit issued to Frances Christian. The lowering of the front entrance, previously included in the permit, was abandoned.
The property changed hands and in July of 1983 was purchased by Jean Pierre Sanchez, owner of a hair salon on Newbury, and his wife, Judith G. Sanchez.
In September of 1985, they applied for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of units from eleven to twelve.
312 Beacon remained an apartment house in 2014.