360-370-380-388 Beacon were designed by Ralph Harrington Doane, architect, and built in 1926 as matching three-family apartment buildings located on a parcel of land with a Beacon Street frontage of approximately 145 feet. 360 Beacon is located on the Southeast quarter of the lot, 370 Beacon on the Northeast, 380 Beacon on the Northwest, and 388 Beacon on the Southwest.
Architectural plans for 360 Beacon and 380 Beacon — including elevations, floor plans, framing plans, and footing and piling plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN P-9).
The 390 Beacon Street Trust is shown as the owner of 360-388 Beacon on the original permit application, dated April 12, 1926. James Sumner Draper and Richard deB. Boardman were the trustees of the 390 Beacon Street Trust and are shown as the owners of all four buildings on the 1928 Bromley map.
The project was described in a May 18, 1926, Boston Globe article as being “four separate and distinct units of three stories and basement, to be 100 percent cooperative,” with one apartment per floor, each apartment having 13 rooms and three bathrooms. The article also indicated that the “plans are by Ralph A. Cram and show the most modern improvements.” The attribution of the buildings to Cram appear erroneous, inasmuch as the permit applications indicate the architect to have been Ralph Harrington Doane, whose offices were separate from Cram and Ferguson.
The property subsequently changed hands, and in about 1950 was owned by the Beacon Court, Inc., later renamed Beacon Court Cooperative. Inc.
The earliest residents at 360 Beacon were furniture dealer William L. Shearer, Jr., and his wife, Elsie (Clark) Shearer, who lived there from about 1928 until about 1931. In 1927, they had lived at 47 Bay State Road, and by 1932, they had moved to Brookline. By 1930, Francis Lee Higginson, III, and his wife, Dorothy (Lucas) Higginson, had taken another of the three units. They continued to live there until about 1932, when they separated and moved elsewhere. And by 1932, food broker Albert Henry Morse, Jr., and his wife, Ada C. (Burke) Morse, also were living at 360 Beacon. They previously had lived at 428 Marlborough. They continued to live at 360 Beacon until about 1941, but had moved to an apartment at 282 Beacon by 1942.
The earliest residents at 370 Beacon were Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, III, a banker, and his wife, Catherine Hill (Kuhn) Coolidge, They had been married in August of 1927, and 370 Beacon probably was their first home together. They continued to live there until about 1932, but had moved to Brookline by 1933. During the 1928-1929 winter season, Andrew James Peters and his wife, Martha Robeson (Phillips) Peters also lived at 370 Beacon. He was a lawyer and former US Congressman, Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in the Wilson Administration, and Mayor of Boston. By 1930, the Peterses were living in Jamaica Plain. By 1930, one of the other apartments at 370 Beacon had become the home of leather manufacturer Marcus Beebe, Jr., and his wife Lillian Northup (Oakley) Beebe. They had lived at the Maryland Apartments at 512 Beacon in 1929. They continued to live at 370 Beacon until about 1932, but were living in Needham by 1933.
The earliest resident of 380 Beacon was Thomas W. Kennedy, president of an iron and steel company. He was a widower, and he lived there from about 1928 with his children, James and Georgia. In 1927, they had lived in Brookline. They continued to live at 380 Beacon until about 1932, but had moved to an apartment at 192 Commonwealth by 1933. By 1929, banker and broker Henry Courtlandt Van Voorhis and his wife Jane (Standish) Van Voorhis, also were living in an apartment at 380 Beacon. They had lived in Brookline in 1928. They continued to live at 380 Beacon in 1930, but had moved to an apartment at 6 Arlington by 1931. And by 1930, the third apartment had been occupied by Dr. Malcolm Storer, a retired physician, and his wife, Grace (Ayrault) Storer. They had lived at 302 Beacon in 1929. Malcolm Storer died in January of 1935, and Grace Storer continued to live there until about 1958.
The earliest residents of 388 Beacon were contractor William Samuel Patten and his wife, Anna Morton (Thayer) Patten, who were living there in 1927. They had lived at 294 Beacon earlier that year. He died in December of 1927. Anna Patten continued to live there until about 1930, when she remarried, to Rev. Thomas Frederick Davies, Episcopal Bishop of Western Massachusetts. By 1929, Mrs. Marion Genevieve (Stevens) Douglas, the wife of James Robson Douglas, also was living at 388 Beacon with their daughters, Grace and Marjorie Jane Douglas. Their usual residence was in Nova Scotia, where James Douglas was a broker and had served as Lt. Governor. They continued to live at 388 Beacon until about 1931. By 1932, Clare Hill Draper and his wife, Matilda Grace (Engman) Draper, lived at 388 Beacon. He was a manufacturer of textile weaving machinery. They continued to lived there in 1934, but had moved to 301 Berkeley by 1935.
When they were built in 1926, the four apartment buildings replaced six townhouses at 356-386-388-390-392-394 Beacon.
356 Beacon (Demolished)
356 Beacon was built ca. 1883 for Samuel Tarbell Ames, probably for speculative sale, one of two contiguous houses (354 and 356 Beacon).
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting states that the two houses built by Ames ca. 1883 were 356 and 386 Beacon (next door). This appears to be incorrect, inasmuch as 386 Beacon appears on the 1874 Hopkins map and is listed in the 1877 Blue Book. It is more likely that 386 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by John Fisher Farrington, a housewright, who is shown as the owner on the 1874 Hopkins map. In addition, 386 Beacon appears to have had a bay, rather than a bow, and therefore is unlikely to have been one of a pair built at the same time by the same builder.
By 1885, 356 Beacon was the home of wholesale wool merchant Francis Henry Manning and his wife, Charlotte Barrett (Vose) Manning. They had lived at 128 Charles in 1884. Charlotte Manning is shown as the owner of 356 Beacon on the 1888 and 1898 Bromley maps.
Charlotte Manning died in January of 1900. Francis Manning continued to live at 356 Beacon during the 1915-1916 winter season, but moved thereafter to 129 Commonwealth to live with his sister, Abby F. Manning. Charlotte Manning’s Heirs are shown as the owners of 356 Beacon on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.
During the 1916-1917 winter season, 356 Beacon was the home of Ralph Blake Williams, a real estate trustee, and his wife, Susan (Jackson) Williams. They previously had lived at 424 Beacon. They also maintained a home in Dover. They had moved from 356 Beacon by the 1917-1918 season, and by 1920, they were living at 20 Hereford.
During the 1917-1918 winter season, 356 Beacon was the home of banker and stockbroker Matthew Bartlett and his wife, Serita (Lincoln) Bartlett. They previously had lived in Brookline. They also maintained a home in Beverly Farms. BY the 1918-1919 season, they had moved to 230 Marlborough.
356 Beacon was not listed in the 1919 and 1920 Blue Books.
By 1920, it was the home of Dr. André William Bradford Simone Reggio (known as William Reggio), a surgeon, and his wife, Marian Shaw (Lovering) Reggio. They previously had lived at 286 Beacon. They continued to live at 356 Beacon until about 1924, when they moved to Chestnut Hill.
The house was razed in about 1926.
386 Beacon (Demolished)
John Fisher Farrington probably built 386 Beacon ca. 1872. He is shown as the owner on the 1874 Hopkins map.
386 Beacon was shown as vacant in the 1878 Blue Book, and was not listed in the 1879 and 1880 Blue Books.
During the 1880-1881 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of cotton buyer Gorham Gray and his wife, Harriet (Webb) Gray. They previously had lived at 12 Hereford. By 1882, they were living in West Newton.
Also living at 386 Beacon during the 1880-1881 season was Isabel (Patterson) Chadbourne, widow of dry goods merchant William Chadbourne.
386 Beacon was not listed in the 1882-1885 Blue Books.
By 1886, it was the home of Dr. Henry Jabez Barnes, a physician, and his wife, Augustine (Lelierre) Barnes. In 1885, they had lived at 314 Marlborough. They continued to live at 386 Beacon in 1888, but by 1889 had moved to 429 Beacon.
By 1889, 386 Beacon was the home of Grant Walker and his wife, Mabel (Shaw) Walker. They had been married in June of 1887 and 386 Beacon probably was their first home together. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 90 Commonwealth with his mother, Susan (Grant) Walker, the widow of Nathaniel Walker.
Grant Walker was an investor and director in various textile mills and related businesses.
Grant and Mabel Walker continued to live at 386 Beacon in 1892, but had purchased and moved to 330 Beacon by 1893.
By the 1892-1893 winter season. 386 Beacon was the home of Dr. Charles Edward Inches and his wife, Louise (Pomeroy) Inches. They previously had lived (and he had maintained his medical offices) at 88 Charles Street. Louise P. Inches is shown as the owner of 386 Beacon on the 1895, 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps.
During the 1903-1904 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of Charles Augustus Stone and his wife, Mary Adams (Leonard) Stone. Earlier in 1903, they had lived in Newton. Charles Stone and his MIT classmate, Edwin Webster, founded the firm of Stone & Webster in 1889. Under their leadership, it became an major international construction, engineering, and consulting firm. They moved to 349 Commonwealth by 1905.
During the 1904-1905 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of William Howard Gardiner, Jr., a consulting gas engineer, and his wife, Amelia Garrison (Candler) Gardiner. Their principal residence was in Canton.
And during the 1905-1906 winter season, it was the home of Richard Spofford Russell and his wife, Mary Gertrude (Sutton) Russell. Earlier in 1905, they had lived at 135 Commonwealth with his mother, Frances Spofford (Hall) Russell, the widow of William Augustus Russell. Richard and Mary Russell also maintained a home, Oakland, in North Andover. He was a partner in William A. Russell and Brother, the investment banking firm that managed the Russell family’s manufacturing and mining interests. By 1907, the Russells had moved to 491 Commonwealth.
By the 1906-1907 winter season, the Inches were living at 386 Beacon again.
Charles Inches died in January of 1911 and for the next two seasons, Louise Inches was living elsewhere.
During the 1911-1912 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of Caspar Henry Burton and his wife, Byrd Waithman (Spence) Burton. He was a lumber dealer and furniture manufacturer from Cincinnati. Their son, Charles Henry Burton, Jr., lived with them. He had graduated from Harvard in 1909 (a classmate of Charles Inches, Jr.) and was a student at Harvard Medical School. Caspar and Byrd Burton had moved to Boston temporarily to be with him.
In 1912, Caspar Burton, Jr., left medical school to join Dr. Wilfred Grenfell’s mission to provide medical services to the native populations in Labrador. By the 1912-1913 winter season, Caspar and Byrd Burton had moved to 7 Chestnut Street; they subsequently moved back to Cincinnati. Caspar Burton, Jr., worked with Dr. Grenfell until 1915, when he enlisted in the British Red Cross, then the Royal Fusiliers, and then, in 1917, the US Army (he died in March of 1920 in Cincinnati from wounds suffered during the war).
While they were living at 386 Beacon, the Burtons were joined by Charles Wilkins Short, Jr., a friend of Caspar Burton, Jr., from Cincinnati who had graduated from Harvard in 1908 and then studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Architecture. While living at 386 Beacon, he met Countess Camilla Hoyos, a friend of the Burtons from England. They married in November of 1912 and continued to live at 386 Beacon during the 1912-1913 winter season, after the Burtons had moved. Charles Short was a draftsman with Ralph Adams Cram. He later would become an architect and builder in New York.
During the 1920-1921 winter season, 386 Beacon was the home of William Dana Orcutt and his wife, Louise (Thompson) Orcutt. He was an author, publisher, and typeface designer. They previously had lived in an apartment at 333 Commonwealth, where they resumed living the next season.
386 Beacon was not listed in the 1922 Blue Book.
By the 1922-1923 winter season. it had become the home of Charles Edward Inches, Jr., and his wife, Margaret (Carter) Inches. They had lived at 29 Hereford in 1922. He was assistant treasurer of several textile mills. They continued to live at 386 Beacon during the 1923-1924 season, but had moved to Beverly Farms by 1925.
386 Beacon was razed by 1926.
388 Beacon (Demolished)
388 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400) built for speculative sale. E. D. Porter & Company is shown as the owner of all seven houses on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1874, 388 Beacon was the home of William J. Cutler, a druggist, and his wife, Lucy L. (Hobart) Carter Cutler. They had lived at 9 Beacon in 1873. Living with the Cutlers was Lucy Cutler’s son by her previous marriage, James R. Carter, a paper warehouse operator.
The Cutlers were living elsewhere during the 1879-1880 winter season and 388 Beacon was the home of stockbroker Rogers Lewis Barstow and his wife, Sarah C. (Baker) Barstow. In 1878, they had lived in Dorchester. His sister, Eliza Barstow, lived with them. Sarah Barstow died in December of 1879, and by 1882 he had moved back to Dorchester and 388 Beacon once again was the Cutlers’ home.
By 1898, 388 Beacon was the home of banker and broker Sumner Bass Pearmain and his wife, Alice Whittemore (Upton) Pearmain. They previously had lived in an apartment at 295 Commonwealth. They also maintained a home in Framingham. Alice W. Pearmain is shown as the owner of 388 Beacon on the 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley maps.
Sumner Pearmain’s brother-in-law and sister, Dr. Hamilton Osgood and Margaret Cushing (Pearmain) Osgood, lived with them, along with their younger daughter, Mary Alden Osgood. The Osgoods previously had lived in Europe, and before that at 95 Mt. Vernon. They also owned 235 Marlborough, where they had lived in the early 1880s. Hamilton Osgood was a physician and in 1885-1886, during an earlier stay in Europe, he had studied with Louis Pasteur. When he returned, he brought with him samples of the rabies antitoxin developed by Pasteur; these formed the basis for research and development of the antitoxin in America.
Mary Osgood married in January of 1904 to Robert Erskine Childers. After their marriage, they lived in London. Erskine Childers was an author and a clerk in the British Parliament, and later would become a leader of the Irish nationalist movement, for which he was executed in November of 1922. Their son, Erskine Hamilton Childers, would become the fourth President of Ireland.
In 1904, Hamilton and Margaret Osgood moved to 8 Mt. Vernon Place.
Sumner and Alice Pearmain continued to live at 388 Beacon until about 1925, when they moved to an apartment at 256 Beacon.
390 Beacon (Demolished)
390 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400) built for speculative sale. E. D. Porter & Company is shown as the owner of all seven houses on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1877, 390 Beacon was the home of Howard Stockton and his wife, Mary (Mason) Stockton. They had lived in Brookline in 1875. Mary Stockton is shown as the owner on the 1883 and 1888 Bromley maps.
Howard Stockton was an attorney and also served as an officer or director of various railroad, textile mill, banking, and other companies. Among his positions, he was treasurer of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company from 1876 through 1887 and of the Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company from 1880 to 1887, president of the American Bell Telephone Company from 1887 to 1889, and Actuary of the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company from 1901 until his death in 1932.
Mary Stockton died in February of 1886. He continued to live at 390 Beacon with their seven young children, joined by 1889 by his mother, Mary E. (Remington) Stockton, the widow of Philip Augustus Stockton. He is shown as the owner on the 1898 Bromley map.
They continued to live there until about 1907. By 1908, Howard Stockton had purchased and moved to 31 Commonwealth.
By the 1907-1908 winter season, 390 Beacon was the home of boot and shoe dealer William Howe McElwain and his wife, Helen Whyte (Merriam) McElwain. They previously had lived at 169 Bay State Road, and before that at 272 Marlborough. She is shown as the owner of 390 Beacon on the 1908 Bromley map.
William McElwain died in January of 1908. Helen McElwain continued to live at 390 Beacon with their four children: Dorothy Howe McElwain, Donald Merriam McElwain, Alexander McElwain, and Helen Blanchard McElwain. Louis D. Brandeis et al, trustees, are shown as the owners on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps.
Dorothy McElwain married in September of 1916 to John Cleveland Talbot and they moved to Medfield (she died in January of 1918). Donald McElwain married in October of 1917 to Charlotte Augusta (called Augusta) Converse.
During the 1918-1919 winter season, the McElwains were living at the Hotel Puritan at 390 Commonwealth and 390 Beacon was the home of paper manufacturer George Thomas Keyes and his wife, Emily Brown (Eaton) Keyes. They had lived at 278 Beacon during the previous season. By the 1919-1920 season, they had moved to 22 Fenway, and by the 1920-1921 season, they lived at 338 Beacon.
By the 1919-1920 winter season, Helen McElwain was living at 390 Beacon once again. Her unmarried children, Alexander and Helen, continued to live with her, and they were joined by Donald and Augusta McElwain. He was a shoe manufacturer in partnership with his brother-in-law, John Talbot. They all continued to live at 390 Beacon during the 1920-1921 season, but moved thereafter.
During the 1921-1922 winter season, 390 Beacon was the home of Charlotte Elizabeth (called Elizabeth) (Howe) Sproul, the widow of Pittsburgh attorney Frank Penrose Sproul. In 1920, she had lived at 496 Commonwealth. By the 1922-1923 winter season, she had moved to 320 Marlborough.
390 Beacon was not listed in the 1923 Blue Book.
During the 1923-1924 winter season, 390 Beacon was the home of attorney Frederic Sprague Goodwin and his wife, Juliet Borland (Higginson) Goodwin. They also maintained a home in Dover, which they appear to have made their year-round residence for the past several years. During the 1918-1919 winter season, they also had maintained a Boston home at 15 Gloucester. By the 1924-1925 season, they had moved from 390 Beacon to 265 Commonwealth.
392 Beacon (Demolished)
392 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400) built for speculative sale. E. D. Porter & Company is shown as the owner of all seven houses on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1878, 392 Beacon was the home of advertising agent Stephen R. Niles and his wife, Minnie (Whitaker) Niles. Minnie W. Niles is shown as the owner on the 1883, 1888, and 1898 Bromley maps.
During the 1882-1883 winter season, the Nileses were living elsewhere and 392 Beacon was the home of Robert Dawson Evans and his wife, Maria Antoinette (Hunt) Evans. He was president of the American Rubber Company. By the 1883-1884 season, they had moved to a new home they had built at 324 Beacon, and the Nileses were once again living at 392 Beacon.
Living with the Nileses was their son, Edward Glover Niles, a portrait painter. He married in June of 1887 to Emily Mary Wilks, and after their marriage, they lived at 392 Beacon with his parents.
Stephen Niles died in November of 1893. Minnie Niles continued to live at 392 Beacon with Edward and Emily Niles until about 1899. By 1900, they all had moved to 318 Beacon.
James Ford Rhodes had been a coal, iron, and steel producer in Cleveland with his father, Daniel Pomeroy Rhodes. He retired in 1885 and moved to Boston, where he became an author and historian. His History of the Civil War: 1861-1865 received the Pulitzer Prize in 1918.
Sometime between 1902 and 1908, James Ford Rhodes had 392 Beacon remodeled to add a rear bay on the eastern side at the basement and first story levels, and to significantly renovate the interior on all levels. The remodeling was designed by architects Peabody and Stearns. Undated plans for the remodeling are included in the Peabody and Stearns Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference PS/MA.067A).
Click here to view the plans for the remodeling.
During the 1906-1907 winter season, the Rhodes were living elsewhere and 395 Beacon was home of Mrs. Rose (Lee) Gray, the widow of attorney Reginald Gray. She previously had lived in Chestnut Hill. By the next season, she had moved to 108 Beacon and the Rhodes were living at 392 Beacon once again. They continued to live there until about 1922.
By 1923, 392 Beacon was the home of John Jameson Chickering and his wife, Anne Elizabeth (Russell) Chickering. He was an educator, having served as superintendent of schools in Flushing, New York, and in Queens, New York.
394 Beacon (Demolished)
394 Beacon was built ca. 1872 by Bourn & Leavitt, a partnership of carpenters Robert Tower Bourn (Bourne) and William Leavitt, one of seven houses (388-390-392-394-396-398-400) built for speculative sale. E. D. Porter & Company is shown as the owner of all seven houses on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1878, 394 Beacon was the home of Calvin A. Richards and his wife, Ann R. (Babcock) Richards. Ann R. Richards is shown as the owner on the 1883, 1888, 1898, 1908, and 1917 Bromley map.
Calvin Richards was a wine and tea merchant. He retired from business to concentrate on his real estate investments, and in the late 1870s became president of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company.
He died in February of 1892. Ann Richards and their unmarried daughter, Anna (Annie) Louise Richards, continued to live at 394 Beacon. Annie L. Richards died in 1921, and Mrs. Ann Richards moved soon thereafter to the Hotel Somerset. She died in January of 1923.
394 Beacon was not listed in the 1922-1924 Blue Books.
In the spring of 1924, William N. Ambler purchased 394 Beacon from the estate of Annie L. Richards. The transaction was reported by the Boston Globe on April 29, 1924.
394 Beacon had been razed by 1926.