415 Beacon was built ca. 1867 for Henry Wainwright, one of three contiguous houses (413-415-417 Beacon). This probably was investment banker and stockbroker Henry Chapman Wainwright, who also built a number of other homes in the Back Bay; however, it also is possible that they were built by his father, shipping merchant Henry Wainwright.
When they were completed, 415 Beacon became the home of Miss Annie Wainwright Davis. She was the daughter of Jonathan Amory Davis, president of the Suffolk National Bank, and his wife, Emily (Parker) Davis, both of whom were deceased. Emily Davis was the sister of the senior Henry Wainwright’s wife, Ann Brooks (Parker) Wainwright.
Annie Davis previously had lived in Dorchester with her widowed father, who died in May of 1865. She is shown as the owner of 415 Beacon on the 1874 Hopkins map and on the 1883 and 1888 Bromley maps.
By 1880, Annie Davis had been joined at 415 Beacon by her cousin, Miss Rebecca P. Wainwright, the daughter of Henry and Ann Wainwright and sister of Henry Chapman Wainwright. Rebecca Wainwright previously had lived at 83 Beacon with her aunt, Mary Greene (Wainwright) Codman, the widow of Edward Codman, until her death in October of 1877. Before that, Miss Wainwright had lived with her parents at 417 Beacon.
Miss Davis and Miss Wainwright continued to live at 415 Beacon during the 1887-1888 winter season, but moved thereafter (Annie Davis died in Washington DC in January of 1892).
By the 1888-1889 winter season, 415 Beacon was the home of cotton mill treasurer George Saltonstall Silsbee and his wife, Sarah Frances (Gray) Silsbee. They had been married in September of 1888 and 415 Beacon probably was their first home together. In 1888, he had lived in Salem.
They continued to live at 415 Beacon during the 1890-1891 season, after which they moved to a new home they had built at 512 Beacon.
By the 1891-1892 winter season, 415 Beacon was the home of Frank Capen Herrick and his wife, Mary (Turrell) Herrick. They previously had lived at 154 Huntington. He was a newsstand operator and theatre ticket broker, with offices located at the Hotel Bristol (northwest corner of Boylston and Clarendon) They continued to live at 415 Beacon in 1894.
Sarah B. Wainwright, the widow of Henry C. Wainwright, is shown as the owner of 413 Beacon (where she lived) and 415 Beacon on the 1895, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps.
By the 1894-1895 winter season, 415 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Anna Saltonstall (Merrill) Ward, the widow of Henry Veazey Ward. Henry Veazey Ward had been a merchant in Lima, Peru, and banker in London, and had served as Consul for Chile in Boston. She previously had lived at 21 Chestnut.
Living with Anna Ward were her stepdaughter, Caroline Elizabeth Ward, her son, Robert DeCourcy Ward, and her daughters, Anna (Anita) Saltonstall Ward and Marian DeCourcy Ward.
Robert Ward was a instructor in meteorology and climatology at Harvard, and later would become professor of climatology. He married in April of 1897 to Emma Lane and moved to Cambridge.
Anna (Merrill) Ward died in April of 1901. Caroline, Anita, and Marian Ward continued to live at 415 Beacon.
In the summer of 1911, Caroline, Anita, and Marian Ward purchased 415 Beacon from the Wainwright family. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on August 17, 1911. Anita S. Ward, et al, are shown as the owners on the 1912 and 1917 Bromley maps.
The Misses Ward continued to live at 415 Beacon and also maintained a home in Cape Neddick, Maine. Caroline Ward died in April of 1926. Anita and Marian Ward moved soon thereafter, Anita Ward to an apartment at 90 Commonwealth and Marian Ward to an apartment at 50 Commonwealth.
During the 1928-1929 winter season, 415 Beacon was the home of Dr. George David Cutler and his wife, Jessie Barr (Wright) Cutler. They previously had lived in Brookline. He was a physician and surgeon, and maintained his office at 66 Commonwealth. Jessie W. Cutler is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map. They also maintained a home in Hyannis Port. They had moved back to Brookline by 1930.
By the 1929-1930 winter season, 415 Beacon was the home of Elizabeth (Brooks) Wheelwright, the widow of architect Edmund March Wheelwright, and their son, John Brooks Wheelwright, a poet and founding member of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. They previously had lived at The Austerfield at 7-9 Massachusetts Avenue.
In August of 1929, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel portions of the interior, probably before she and her son moved to the house.
Elizabeth B. Wheelwright is shown as the owner on the 1938 Bromley map.
Elizabeth Wheelwright continued to live at 415 Beacon until her death in 1949.
In late 1949, 415 Beacon was purchased from the estate of Elizabeth Wheelwright by Henry H. Davis, an attorney, and his wife, Virginia Mildred (Nason) Lyons Davis. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on December 18, 1949. He remained the assessed owner through 1951. They previously had lived in an apartment at 52 Hereford. They continued to live at 415 Beacon until about 1951, after which they moved to 1 Exeter.
By 1951, 415 Beacon was the home of Phillip G. Powell and his wife, Dorothy Powell, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived in Chelmsford. Phillip G. Powell et al were the assessed owners of 415 Beacon in 1952.
In December of 1951, the Building Department cited Phillip Powell for failure to secure permission to convert the property into a lodging house and for lack of sufficient egress. In January of 1952, Phillip and Dorothy Powell filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into a lodging house, including providing the necessary egress.
415 Beacon subsequently changed hands and by 1969, was owned by Francis C. Pratt, II. He also owned 413 Beacon.
In June of 1976, Phillip M. Delales, trustee of the Fairborough Realty Trust, purchased 413 and 415 Beacon from Francis C. Pratt, II.
In 1983, P & M Associates (Harvey Madoff, President) foreclosed on its mortgage to Fairborough Realty Trust for 415 Beacon and took possession of the property. In April of 1983, Alan D. Humbert, trustee of the Rossignol Realty Trust, purchased 415 Beacon from P & M Associates.
In May of 1983, Ann Cropp purchased 415 Beacon from Alan D. Humbert. In February of 1992, she converted the property into six condominium units, the 415 Beacon Street Condominium.
In May of 2002, the 415 Beacon Street Condominium Trust filed for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the number of units from six to five, reflecting the consolidation of units 5 and 6.