412 Beacon was designed by Shaw and Hunnewell, architects, and built in 1887-1888 by Lyman D. Willcutt, mason and contractor, as the home of Charles Head and his wife, Clementine Hortense (called Hortense) (Lovering) Head. He is shown as the owner of 412 Beacon on the original building permit applications for the house and for a stable at the rear, both dated February 15, 1887.
Charles Head purchased the land for 412 Beacon on January 18, 1887, from George Higginson, part of a 330 foot parcel he had purchased on January 14, 1884, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 412 Beacon, and click here for further information on the land on the north side of Beacon, including the Storrow Memorial Embankment on the Esplanade.
Dr. Richard M. Hodges and Isaac Tucker Burr, Jr., were in the process of building their homes at 408 Beacon and 410 Beacon, respectively. To protect their river views to the west, on February 23, 1887, they purchased the lot at 414 Beacon from George Higginson, and on April 30, 1887, entered into an agreement with Charles Head by which he agreed to limit the depth of his house to no more 83 feet 6 inches from the northern line of Beacon, and they agreed to limit the depth of any house built at 414 Beacon to no more than the depth of the house built at 412 Beacon. This agreement both assured that the house at 412 Beacon would not impede the views from 408 and 410 Beacon and that 412 Beacon’s view would not be impeded by any future house built at 414 Beacon.
By the 1888-1889 winter season, Charles and Hortense (Lovering) Head had made 412 Beacon their home. They previously had lived at 231 Beacon.
Charles Head was an investment banker and stockbroker. In 1893, he was elected president of the Boston Stock Exchange.
The Heads also maintained a home, Headlands, in Westport, New York. In 1900, they built a second country home, Undercliff, in Manchester, Massachusetts, designed by architect Herbert D. Hale, and in 1902, they purchased another estate in Prides Crossing. Landscape architect Martha Brookes Hutcheson designed the landscaping for all three homes.
The Heads’ two daughters, Mary Lovering Head and Margaret Head, lived with them.
Mary Head married in September of 1905 to William Augustus Russell, Jr., a paper manufacturer. After their marriage, they lived at 135 Commonwealth. He died in June of 1906, and she married again, in November of 1912, to Henry Cannon Clark, a broker and later a publisher.
Margaret Head married in February of 1906 to Philip H. Stockton, president of the City Trust Company and later president of the Old Colony Trust Company. After their marriage, they lived at 7 Hereford.
Hortense Head died in April of 1909 and Charles Head died in January of 1910.
412 Beacon was not listed in the 1911 Blue Book.
By the 1911-1912 winter season, it was the home of shoe manufacturer Henry Bradford Endicott and his wife, Louisa (Louise) (Clap/Clapp) Colburn Endicott. They had lived at the Hotel Touraine (southeast corner of Boylston and Tremont) during the previous season. Their primary residence was in Dedham. They continued to live at 412 Beacon through the 1913-1914 season.
On May 1, 1914, 412 Beacon was purchased from Mary (Head) Russell Clark and Margaret (Head) Stockton by Fanny Lee (Reed) Dowse, the wife of William Bradford Homer Dowse. The property was conveyed from the Head family to Fanny Dowse by William Dowse’s uncle, Benjamin Thomas Dowse.
William and Fanny Dowse made 412 Beacon their home. They previously had lived in West Newton. They also maintained a home in Sherburne.
William Dowse was a lawyer and business executive. He was president of Reed & Barton Manufacturing, the United States Fastener Company, and several other manufacturing companies.
On August 8, 1927, 412 Beacon was acquired by Dr. William Russell MacAusland, Dr. Andrew Roy MacAusland, and the State Street Trust Company, as trustees under the W. R. and A. R. MacAusland Joint Trust. William MacAusland and Andrew MacAusland were brothers. Both were physicians and orthopedic surgeons, who previously had their medical offices at 240 Newbury.
After purchasing the building, the MacAuslands converted it into doctor’s offices for themselves and other doctors, including adding two stories to the building and lowering the entrance to street level. The remodeling was designed by the Thomas M. James Company, architects. Plans for the remodeling are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston City Archives (reference BIN P-50).
William Russell MacAusland and his wife, Dorothy (Brayton) MacAusland, lived at 230 Marlborough. Andrew Roy MacAusland and his wife, Katharine (Brayton) MacAusland, lived at 218 Commonwealth. Dorothy and Katharine MacAusland were sisters.
By the 1930s (and probably before) they had installed a metalworking shop at the former stables at rear of the building where they made orthopedic devices for their patients.
In August of 1944, the Boston Safe Deposit Trust Company applied for (and subsequently received) permission to store 500 gallons of gasoline on the property for use by doctors who maintained offices in the building.
Both Drs. MacAusland continued to maintain their offices at 412 Beacon until about 1951. In that year, Andrew MacAusland moved his office to his home at 218 Commonwealth. William MacAusland continued to maintain his office at 412 Beacon.
On May 10, 1954, 412 Beacon was acquired from the Joint Trust by Dorothy MacAusland, and on December 28, 1960, she transferred it to her son, Dr. William Russell MacAusland, Jr., and Henry J. Dietrich as trustees of the 412 Beacon Street Trust.
William R. MacAusland, Jr., also was an orthopedic surgeon and maintained his office with his father at 412 Beacon. He and his wife, Frances (Baker) MacAusland, lived in Dedham.
William MacAusland, Sr., died in August of 1965.
The property remained a medical building, called the MacAusland Building, until the early 1980s.
On February 28, 1983, 412 Beacon was purchased from William MacAusland, Jr., and his son, Theodore B. MacAusland, the current trustees of the 412 Beacon Realty Trust, by John V. O’Neil, trustee of the 412 Waterside Trust.
In March of 1983, the 412 Waterside Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from doctor’s offices into eleven apartments.
On October 20, 1983, it converted the property into ten condominium units, the 412 Beacon Street Condominium.
In June of 1987, the Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the legal occupancy from eleven to ten units, noting that was the number of units originally constructed in 1983.