350 Beacon

350 Beacon (2013)

350 Beacon (2013)

Lot 33.33' x 150' (5,000 sf)

Lot 33.33′ x 150′ (5,000 sf)

350 Beacon is located on north side of Beacon, between Fairfield and Gloucester, with 348 Beacon to the east and 352 Beacon to the west.

350 Beacon was designed by architect Arthur H. Vinal and built in 1895-1896 for real estate developer and investor Albert Geiger.  He is shown as the owner on the original permit application, dated October 25, 1895, and on the final building inspection report, dated December 15, 1896.  On the inspection report, Albert Geiger is shown as the builder and Keening & Strout Brothers as the masons.

In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting indicates that 350 Beacon may have been built in 1893 but that he is uncertain.  In fact, the lot is shown as vacant on the 1895 Bromley map and the house was completed in 1896.  The original permit application does not show the house number on Beacon and it has been incorrectly filed by the Building Department in the file for 452 Beacon.  However, the permit application number (#458) is shown on the building inspection report, which indicates the address as 350 Beacon and includes floor plans of the house.

Click here for scans of the original floor plans of 350 Beacon, bound with the final building inspection report.

Albert Geiger and his wife, Emma (Pfyffer) Geiger, lived at 350 Beacon during the 1896-1897 winter season.  They had lived at 636 Beacon earlier in 1896.  In 1895, they had lived at The Chesterfield at 371 Commonwealth (which he built in 1892).  By 1897, they had moved back to The Chesterfield, and by 1898, they were living in an apartment at 290 Commonwealth.

By the 1897-1898 winter season, 350 Beacon was the home of Wallace Lincoln Pierce and his wife, Stella Louise (Walworth) Pierce.  He is shown as the owner on the 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps.  They also maintained a home in Milton.

Wallace Lincoln Pierce was president of the S. S. Pierce Company, importers and retail dealers in groceries, founded by his father, Samuel Stillman Pierce.

The Pierces’ five children — Walworth, Vassar, Barbara, Parkman Dexter, and Virginia — lived with them at 350 Beacon.

Walworth Pierce married in May of 1911 to Marie Burr Harmon, after which they lived at 13 Bay State Road.  He was secretary and later would become president and (later still) chairman of the S. S. Pierce Company.  Barbara Pierce married in March of 1914 to John Duncan Pearmain, and they moved to Framingham.

Stella Pierce died in April of 1914.  Wallace Pierce continued to live at 350 Beacon with their unmarried children.

Virginia Pierce married in March of 1916 to Nelson Curtis, Jr., and they moved to Brookline.

Wallace Pierce remarried in May of 1916 to Mary Agatha (Day) Greeley, the former wife of Martin H. Greeley.  After their marriage, they lived at 350 Beacon.

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

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

Parkman Dexter Pierce, treasurer of a roll paper manufacturing company, married in September of 1916 to Alice J. Coughlin and they moved to Quincy.  Vassar Pierce married in January of 1917 to Dagmar Ladensack and they moved to Brookline.  He was treasurer of a faience and tile company, then was treasurer of an insulator manufacturing firm, and ultimately joined the S. S. Pierce Company.

Wallace and Mary Pierce continued to live at 350 Beacon until his death in March of 1920.

By 1921, 350 Beacon was the home of wool merchant Ludwig Eiseman (Eisemann) and his wife, Selma (Weil) Eiseman.  They had lived at 480 Commonwealth in 1920 and at 193 Marlborough in 1919.  He is shown as the owner of 350 Beacon on the 1928 Bromley map.  They also maintained a summer home, Sea Bend, on Puritan Road in Swampscott.

Ludwig Eiseman died in December of 1932.  Selma Eiseman continued to live at 350 Beacon in 1933.

The house was not listed in the 1934 Blue Book and was shown as vacant in the 1934 City Directory.

In mid-1934, 350 Beacon was purchased from Selma Eiseman by real estate dealer Ray C. Johnson.  The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on June 24, 1934.

About two months later, 350 Beacon was purchased from Ray C. Johnson by Mary L. McAllister.  The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on August 26, 1934.  In September of 1934, Mary McAllister filed for (and subsequently received) permission to add a two-car garage at the rear of the property.

Mary L. McAllister was treasurer of Buff & Buff Manufacturing Company, makers of surveyors’ instruments.

By 1935, 350 Beacon was the home of the president of Buff & Buff, Louis Frederick Augustus Buff, and his wife, Lena Gertrude (Frost) Buff.  Their three adult daughters — Laura Edith Buff, a journalist, Marie Louise Buff, an interior decorator, and Lena Frederica Buff, a social worker — lived with them.

Louis Buff also was president and treasurer of Babson-Dow Manufacturing Company, makers of screw machine products, and president and treasurer of the Henrici Laundry Machinery Company.

Mary L. McAllister continued to be shown as the owner of 350 Beacon on the 1938 Bromley map.  By 1939, Louis Buff was the assessed owner.

The Buffs moved to Brookline in about 1939.

By 1940, 350 Beacon was the home of Stephen J. Flynn and his wife, Elizabeth G. (Sweeney) Flynn, who converted the property into a lodging house.  They previously had lived at 383 Commonwealth, where they also had operated a lodging house.  Stephen Flynn was the former City Clerk of Lowell, having served in that position until 1931.

The Flynns apparently leased the house from Louis Buff and on May 9, 1941, he was advised by the Building Department that an inspection had revealed a number of violations that required action before it could be used as a lodging house.

In 1942, Elizabeth Flynn purchased 350 Beacon from the Buffs.  Louis F. Buff was the assessed owner in 1942, and Elizabeth Flynn was the assessed owner from 1943.

She subsequently filed applications in June of 1943, and again in February of 1944, seeking permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house.  However, both applications were abandoned.

The Flynns continued to live at 350 Beacon until about 1946, apparently continuing to operate it as a lodging house without establishing its legality as such.

By 1947, 350 Beacon was the home of Robert T. Markson and his wife, Joyce Markson.  He was secretary-treasurer of Markson Brothers, men’s and women’s retail clothiers.  They appear to have used the house as a single-family dwelling.  They continued to live there in 1955.

In June of 1955, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a single-family dwelling and four doctors’ offices.  In its June 24, 1955, decision allowing the conversion, the Board of Appeal noted that the “appellant desires to sell the building in question as he no longer desires to occupy it as his home,” has been unable to find a purchaser for it as a single-family dwelling, but “there is a doctor, however, who will purchase said structure provided the necessary permits can be obtained to occupy same for his home and four doctors’ offices — one for himself and three offices for his associates.”

By 1956, Dr. David Landau, a physician, had acquired 350 Beacon from Robert Markson.  In August of 1956, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling and four doctors’ offices into twelve doctors’ offices and two apartments.  He subsequently maintained his offices there, but lived elsewhere.

The property changed hands and in April of 1983 was purchased by James D. McGraw and Roger C. Senter, trustees of the Jasmark Nominee Trust.  In October of 1984, Jasmark Associates filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from twelve doctors’ offices and two apartments into ten professional offices and two apartments.

In April of 1985. real estate broker and investor George P. Demeter, as trustee of the Demeter Realty Trust, purchased 350 Beacon from James McGraw and Robert Senter.  In October of 1990, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from ten professional offices and two apartments into sixteen apartments.

In February of 1996, he transferred 350 Beacon to the Pierce Limited Partnership (of which he was the president).  At the same time, he also transferred 397 Beacon and 1 Gloucester to the same limited partnership.

In June of 2001, the Pierce Limited Partnership applied for (and subsequently received) permission to construct a penthouse and join it to the fourth floor apartment, creating a duplex apartment.

350 Beacon remained an apartment building in 2014.

348-352 Beacon (2014)

348-352 Beacon (2014)