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) built for speculative sale. E. D. Porter & Company is shown as the owner of all seven houses on the 1874 Hopkins map.
By 1878, 400 Beacon was the home of Meriweather Hood Griffith, an East India merchant, and his wife Olivia Howard (Brown) Griffith. In 1877, they had lived at 4 Commonwealth. Olivia Griffith is shown as the owner of 400 Beacon on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps.
They continued to live at 400 Beacon during the 1890-1891 winter season, but moved thereafter to The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon.
By the 1891-1892 winter season, 400 Beacon was the home of Andrew Gray Weeks, a wholesale druggist, and his wife Harriet Pitts (Pierce) Weeks. They previously had lived at 14 Newbury. He is shown as the owner of 400 Beacon on the 1895 and 1898 Bromley maps.
In March of 1910, 400 Beacon was acquired from Harriet Weeks’s heirs by Miss Rose Linzee Dexter. She lived at 250 Beacon.
Prior to occupying 400 Beacon, Rose Linzee 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, lived at 400 Beacon with her. They had been 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 and Edith (Wood) Dexter. By 1927, William and Constance Dexter had purchased and moved to 67 Marlborough.
Miss Dexter continued to live at 400 Beacon until about 1944. She is shown as the owner on the 1917, 1928, and 1938 Bromley maps.
In July of 1944, 400 Beacon was acquired by Edward Rose (born Rosenthal) and his wife, Bertha R. (Cohen) Rose.
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.
In April of 1980, Alan E. Lewis and his wife, Harriet R. Lewis, purchased 400 Beacon from the executors of Bertha C. Rose.
400 Beacon remained assessed as a single-family dwelling in 2014.