314 Beacon was built in 1870-1871 by Daniel Davies and his son, Charles H. Davies, housewrights and master carpenters, one of a symmetrical pair of houses (312-314 Beacon). At the same time, Daniel and Charles Davies built a second pair of houses at 308-310 Beacon. On December 5, 1870, they filed with the Board of Aldermen a Notice of Intention to build on Beacon, presumably for all four houses (the specific house numbers are not given in the Boston Journal’s December 6, 1870, report of the filing).
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting does not attribute 312-314 Beacon to a specific architect, but does attribute 308-310 Beacon to architect Charles K. Kirby. Bunting’s source for attributing 308-310 to Charles Kirby is not known. Charles Kirby designed and built 304-306 Beacon at about the same time as 308-310 Beacon were built, and Bunting may have concluded that he designed them as well (308-310 Beacon had been demolished by the time Bunting wrote his book). This attribution is uncertain, inasmuch as both 308-310 Beacon and 312-314 Beacon had brownstone facades, whereas 304-306 Beacon have brick facades. However, if 308-310 Beacon were designed by Charles Kirby, then it is likely that the companion buildings at 312-314 Beacon were as well.
The houses at 308-310 Beacon and 312-314 Beacon were built while the land was still owned by the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation, probably under an agreement with Daniel and Charles Davies. On November 23, 1871, Daniel and Charles Davies acquired the land for all four houses, the deeds confirming that they had erected houses on the property in conformance with the building restrictions set forth in the deeds.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 314 Beacon, and click here for further information on the land on the north side of Beacon, including the Storrow Memorial Embankment on the Esplanade.
A December 19, 1871, advertisement by Daniel Davies and Son in the Boston Transcript, offering 308 Beacon for sale, described the house as “four stories, exclusive of basement and attic.” 310 Beacon and 312-314 Beacon probably were offered for sale at about the same time. However, they were not sold until the mid-1870s.
On June 22, 1877, 314 Beacon was offered at public auction. In its June 19, 1877, Boston Daily Advertiser notice of the auction, Samuel Hatch & Co., the auctioneer, described the property as a “new four story octagon front and rear brick and stone dwelling house, with French roof, and basement.”
On August 2, 1877, 314 Beacon was purchased from Daniel and Charles Davies by Barney Cory and Benjamin C. Clark, trustees under a trust established by George Foster Williams. George Foster Williams, a real estate dealer and investor, had died in December of 1872. 312 Beacon became the home of his widow, Susan Lucy (Fellowes) Williams. She previously had lived on Llewellyn Avenue.
Susan Williams continued to live at 314 Beacon until her death in January of 1915. On March 23, 1915, the Williams trust transferred the property to George and Susan Williams’s six surviving children: Lucy Lambert (Williams) Harding, the wife of Benjamin Fosdick Harding; Gertrude Fellowes (Williams) Hooper, the wife of James Ripley Hooper; Matilda F. Williams; Ida Pauline (Williams) Davis Parker, the former wife of Charles Davis and the wife of Howard Parker; Robert Wade Williams; and George Percy Williams.
The house was not listed in the 1916-1922 Blue Books.
On October 7, 1915, Pauline (Williams) Davis Parker transferred her one-sixth interest to her son by her first marriage, Nathaniel Fellowes Davis, a lawyer, who lived in Duluth. He died in September of 1920 while serving with the Inter-Allied Commission in Coblenz, Germany. On November 17, 1921, Robert Wade Williams and Lucy (Williams) Harding transferred their one-sixth interests to George Percy Williams.
On May 10, 1922, 314 Beacon was acquired from the Williams family by Thomas E. Dempsey, who conveyed it on the same day to real estate dealer George A. Kissock.
On August 21, 1922, 314 Beacon was purchased from George Kissock by Leo Shlick and his wife, Charlotte (Lénard) Shlick. They previously had lived at 657 Boylston. He was an architect and paper mill engineer.
In September of 1922, Leo Shlick applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the interior, probably in preparation for making it their home. In November of 1929, Charlotte Shlick applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add a one-car garage at the rear.
The Shlicks operated 314 Beacon as a lodging house.
In August of 1933, Charlotte Shlick applied for permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into ten apartments, including providing for a basement level front entrance. She subsequently abandoned the permit.
They continued to live there until about 1934.
On March 6, 1934, the Home Savings Bank foreclosed on its mortgage to the Shlicks and took possession of the house. In October of 1935, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into six apartments.
314 Beacon was not listed in the 1935-1937 Blue Books, and was shown as vacant in the 1935 City Directory.
On March 12, 1936, 314 Beacon was acquired from the Home Savings Bank by Lillian Y. Chandler and Inez U. Harrison. Lillian Chandler operated a real estate rental office and lived in an apartment at 31 Massachusetts Avenue.
On May 13, 1941, the Home Savings Bank acquired 314 Beacon back from Lillian Chandler and Inez Harrison.
On September 30, 1942, 314 Beacon was acquired from the Home Savings Bank by Alice Erika Berger, the former wife of Alfred Rosenbaum. She lived at 306 Riverway.
On October 1, 1945, 314 Beacon was acquired from Alice Berger by Beatrice (Miller) Silversmith, the wife of Peter Philip Silversmith. He was a lawyer, hotel operator, and real estate dealer. They lived in Brookline and later in an apartment at 62 Commonwealth.
On November 19, 1945, 314 Beacon was acquired from Beatrice Silversmith by Horace Upham Ransom. He and his wife, Sarah Chaplin (Bent) Ransom, lived in Meredith, New Hampshire. On December 20, 1946, he transferred the property into his wife’s name.
On August 28, 1958, 314 Beacon was acquired from Charles G. Martignette and George J. Colantino by Helen E. Larkin, a buyer with the Jordan, Marsh department store. She lived in an apartment at 195 Marlborough, which she had purchased earlier in the year.
On October 16, 1968, 314 Beacon was acquired from Helen Larkin by Donald Arthur Flaherty and his wife, Marion Louise (Taylor) Flaherty. He was a real estate manager and former television news editor. They lived in an apartment at 228 Beacon.
On July 11, 1969, 314 Beacon was acquired from the Flahertys by Richard N. Rosenfeld, trustee of the 314 Beacon Street Realty Trust.
On August 19, 1977, 314 Beacon was acquired from Richard Rosenfeld by Thomas G. Chadbourne and his wife, May-Belle Chadbourne.
On July 1, 1986, 314 Beacon was purchased from the Chadbournes by John R. Robinson and William Schwartz, trustees. On August 25, 1986, they converted the property into six condominium units, the Riverview Condominium.
In July of 1991, Rafael Tallada, a unit owner, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to replace the existing one-car garage with a four-car garage with a roof deck on top. On the same day, he also applied for (and subsequently received) permission to add one additional window to the dormer at the rear of the top floor.
In February of 1998, the 314 Beacon Street Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the building and reduce the number of units from six to four.