322 Beacon

322 Beacon (2015)

Lot 26' x 150' (3,900 sf)

Lot 26′ x 150′ (3,900 sf)

322 Beacon is located on the north side of Beacon, between Exeter and Fairfield, with 320 Beacon to the east and 330 Beacon to the west.

322 Beacon was designed by Snell and Gregerson, architects, and built in 1877-1878 by Webster and Dixon, builders, as the home of Charles John Whitmore and his wife, Sarah Olcott Murdoch (Blake) Whitmore.  They previously had lived at 101 Beacon.

Charles Whitmore is shown as the owner of 322 Beacon on the original building permit application, dated November 7, 1877.  Sarah Whitmore is shown as the owner on the 1883, 1888, and 1898 Bromley maps.

Charles Whitmore was a wholesale grocery merchant.  He also served as treasurer of the Ames Plow Company and, by 1885, was Vice President of the Market National Bank.

By 1898, they had been joined at 322 Beacon by Sarah Whitmore’s mother, Mary Elizabeth (Tarbell) Blake Whitmore, the widow of George Blake, Jr., and Charles Octavius Whitmore.  She was also Charles Whitmore’s stepmother, having married his father (Charles O. Whitmore) in 1851.  Mary Whitmore died in March of 1898.

Charles and Sarah Whitmore continued to live at 322 Beacon until his death in October of 1903.

322 Beacon was not listed in the 1904 and 1905 Blue Books.

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

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

By the 1905-1906 winter season, it was the home of attorney and stockbroker Chester Linwood Dane and his wife, Grace (Oliver) Dane.  They previously had lived at 122 Marlborough.  They continued to live at 322 Beacon during the 1907-1908 season, but moved thereafter to the Hotel Lenox at 61 Exeter.

By 1908, 322 Beacon was owned by Mrs. Sarah Marston (Robinson) Harding, the widow of dry goods and wool merchant Edgar Harding.  She lived at 324 Beacon and is shown as the owner of both 322 and 324 Beacon on the 1908 and 1912 Bromley maps.

By the 1908-1909 winter season, 322 Beacon was the home of attorney Robert Hallowell Gardiner and his wife, Alice (Bangs) Gardiner.  They previously had lived at 77 Marlborough.  They apparently first rented from Sarah Harding and then purchased the house, inasmuch as he is shown as the owner of 322 Beacon on the 1917 Bromley map.  The Gardiners also maintained a summer home in Gardiner, Maine.

Robert Gardiner died in June of 1924.  Robert H. Gardiner’s Heirs are shown as the owners of 322 Beacon on the 1928 Bromley map.

Alice Gardiner continued to live at 322 Beacon.  By 1925, she had been joined there by her daughter, Alice (Gardiner) Davis, the former wife of banker and note-broker Livingston Davis.  They continued to live there until Alice Gardiner’s death in December of 1934.

The house was shown as vacant in the 1935 City Directory.

By 1935, 322 Beacon had been acquired by Dr. Edward Francis Bowman and his wife, Doreen Simpson (Woodyatt) Bowman.  He was a physician.  They previously had lived (and he had maintained his office) at 183 Bay State Road.  They also maintained a summer home in Scituate.

In May of 1935, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a single-family dwelling and doctor’s office.  Notwithstanding his application, based on City Directory listings and Boston Lists of Residents, it appears that he converted the property into several apartments and an office.

After remodeling 322 Beacon, Edward Bowman moved his office there.  He and his wife lived temporarily at 1 Spruce, and by 1937 had purchased and moved to 149 Beacon.  He continued to maintain his office at 322 Beacon.  Doreen W. Bowman is shown as the owner of both 149 and 322 Beacon on the 1938 Bromley map.

Edward Bowman’s mother, Annie (Hoelen) Bowman, the widow of Dr. Winthrop H. Bowman, and his brother and sister-in-law, Wordsworth W. and Caroline E. (Bessette) Bowman, lived at 322 Beacon.  Wordsworth Bowman was a wholesale shoe dealer.  The Wordsworth Bowmans (and possibly Annie Bowman) previously had lived at 183 Bay State Road with Edward and Doreen Bowman.

Annie Bowman died in 1936, and the Wordsworth Bowmans moved soon thereafter to live at 149 Beacon with Edward and Doreen Bowman.

In March of 1943, Edward Bowman was cited by the Building Department for failing to obtain a permit to convert the property into five apartments, but as of 1945 he still had not filed to obtain one.

By 1953, 322 Beacon was owned by Robert J. Sherman.  In April of 1953, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy as seven units.

Edward Bowman continued to maintain his office at 322 Beacon until about 1954, when he moved it to 287 Commonwealth.

By 1958, 322 Beacon was owned by the United Business Service Company, Inc., at 210 Newbury.  It was in the process of constructing a new apartment building at 330 Beacon, replacing the existing buildings at 324-326-328-330-332 Beacon.

In March of 1958, it filed for (and subsequently received) permission to increase the number of units at 322 Beacon from seven to nine.  In June of 1960, it filed for (and subsequently received) permission to install a “cooling tower” at the rear of the building (probably for use by the new building at 330 Beacon).

The property changed hands and in December of 2005 was purchased by the First Beacon Real Estate Trust.  In August of 2006, it converted the property into eight condominiums.