400 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 Beacon) built for George H. Peters and his partners in the firm of Edward D. Peters & Co., commission merchants, for speculative sale.
The seven houses were built on the western 180 feet of a 200 foot lot George Peters purchased on March 1, 1872, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.
All seven houses were completed by 1874 and are shown on the 1874 Hopkins map. However, only 388 Beacon was sold immediately. The remaining six houses at 390-400 Beacon were unsold, and possibly unoccupied, until 1877.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 400 Beacon.
On March 17, 1877, 400 Beacon was purchased from George Peters by Olivia Howard (Brown) Griffith, the wife of East India shipping merchant Meriweather Hood Griffith. They previously lived at 4 Commonwealth.
They continued to live at 400 Beacon during the 1890-1891 winter season, but moved thereafter to The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon.
On August 4, 1881, 400 Beacon was purchased from Olivia Griffith by wholesale druggist Andrew Gray Weeks. He and his wife, Harriet Pitts (Pierce) Weeks, made it their home. They previously had lived at 14 Newbury.
Andrew Weeks died in June 1903. Harriet Weeks continued to live at 400 Beacon.
On January 26, 1907, Andrew and Harriet Weeks’s three children – Warren Bailey Potter Weeks, Andrew Gray Weeks, Jr., and Harriet Pierce (Weeks) Anthony, the wife of Silas Reed Anthony – transferred their interests in 400 Beacon to their mother.
400 Beacon was not listed in the 1910 Blue Book.
On March 25, 1910, 400 Beacon was acquired from Harriet Weeks’s estate by Miss Rose Linzee Dexter. She lived at 250 Beacon.
Prior to occupying 400 Beacon, Rose Dexter had it remodeled, including adding a fourth story and lowering the front entrance to street level. The remodeling was designed by Bigelow and Wadsworth. Plans for the remodeling — including partial elevations and floor plans — are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN A-5).
Click here to view scans of the floor plans for the 1910 remodeling.
Rose Dexter had moved to 400 Beacon by the 1910-1911 winter season.
In 1925, her nephew, attorney William Dexter, and his wife, Constance Van Rensselaer (Thayer) Dexter, lived at 400 Beacon with her. They had married in April of 1923 and then lived briefly at 6 West Hill Place. Prior to their marriage, he had lived at 65 Marlborough with his parents, Philip Dexter and Edith (Wood) Dexter. By the 1925-1926 winter season, William and Constance Dexter had moved to 67 Marlborough.
Rose Dexter continued to live at 400 Beacon until about 1944.
On July 20, 1944, 400 Beacon was purchased from James Garfield, Rose Dexter’s conservator, by Bertha R. (Cohen) Rose, the wife of Edward Rose (born Rosenthal).
When they bought the house, Edward Rose was president and treasurer of the Epstein Drug Company. He subsequently became president of the Rose-Derry Company, manufacturers of mattresses and baby products, and the Beried Company, Inc., an investment firm. Edward and Bertha Rose endowed the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, dedicated in June of 1961.
Edward Rose died in August of 1975. Bertha Rose continued to live at 400 Beacon until her death in October of 1979.
On April 29, 1980, 400 Beacon was purchased from Bertha Rose’s estate by real estate investment and travel company executive Alan E. Lewis and his wife, Harriet R. Lewis. On December 20, 1990, they transferred the property to themselves as trustees.
400 Beacon remained a single-family dwelling in 2017.