423 Beacon was built ca. 1869, one of eight contiguous houses (419-421-423-425-427-429-431-433 Beacon). The houses were designed as four matching symmetrical pairs (419-421 Beacon, 423-425 Beacon, and 427-429 Beacon, and 431-433 Beacon). 433 Beacon was remodeled in about 1897 and the entrance moved to 12 Hereford.
The land on which 419-433 Beacon were built was purchased from the Boston Water Power Company on February 20, 1863, by banker and broker Robert Marion Pratt. He was unmarried and lived at 13 Louisburg Square with his parents, George Williams Pratt (one of the founders of the Boston Stock Exchange) and Mary Barrow (White) Pratt. The Pratts also maintained a home, Oakley, on Belmont Avenue in Watertown (it became the Oakley Country Club in 1898).
Click here for an index to the deeds for 423 Beacon.
On October 1, 1868, Robert Pratt sold the land on which 419-425 Beacon would be built to George M. Gibson, and the land on which 427-429 Beacon would be built to Caroline (Carrie) Beal (Burgess) Sawyer, the wife of attorney Frederic William Sawyer. He retained the lot at the southeast corner of Beacon and Hereford and the one to the east of it until after the houses were built at 431-433 Beacon.
George Martin Gibson was a builder and contractor, and built the houses at 419-425 Beacon (in the 1869 deed by which he sold 423 Beacon, he refers to it as “the third lot and house from the eastern end of the block now in process of erection by me”). It appears likely that he also built the houses at 427-433 Beacon under contract to the Sawyers and Robert Pratt. George Gibson and his wife, Frances Rebecca (Esten) Gibson lived at 72 Pinckney and later in Brookline.
On May 7, 1869, 423 Beacon purchased from George Gibson by Thomas Francis Cordis. He and his wife, Annie Boyd (Colton) Cordis, briefly made it their Boston home. Their primary residence was in Longmeadow.
Thomas F. Cordis had served in the Civil War and enlisted again, in 1876, in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, continuing to serve until 1897. In 1898, he recruited and organized a company of provisional militia for the Spanish-American War, retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1899.
On May 21, 1870, 423 Beacon was purchased from Thomas Cordis by John Davis Long. He and his wife, Mary Woodward (Glover) Long, lived in Hingham.
By 1871, 423 Beacon was the home of Jeremiah Prichard, a commission merchant, and his wife Helen (Vila) Prichard. They previously had lived in Arlington. They continued to live at 423 Beacon in 1873 but moved thereafter.
By 1875, John and Mary Long had made 423 Beacon their Boston home. They also continued to maintain a home in Hingham.
John Long was an attorney and served as a state legislator, Lt. Governor, and — from 1880 to 1882 — as Governor of Massachusetts. From 1883 to 1888, he was a Member of Congress, and from 1897 to 1902 he was US Secretary of the Navy.
Mary Long died in February of 1882. John Long continued to live at 423 Beacon in 1883, but soon thereafter (probably when he was elected to Congress) he made Hingham his principal residence. He continued to own 423 Beacon, however, and lease it to others.
By the 1883-1884 winter season, 423 Beacon was the home of John M. Washburn, treasurer of the Old Colony Railroad, and his wife, Elizabeth (Fitzpatrick) Washburn. They previously had lived at 54 Chester Park. They continued to live at 423 Beacon in 1889, but had moved to 529 Beacon by 1890.
423 Beacon was not listed in the 1890 Blue Book.
On April 5, 1890, 423 Beacon was acquired from John D. Long by real estate dealer Frances H. Learned. Two days later, he transferred it to dry goods dealer Michael Freeman, Jr. He was a widower and lived at 423 Beacon with his children: Frances M. Freeman, Catharine (Kittie) Adele Freeman, Francis (Frank) Freeman, and Harold Percival Freeman. They previously had lived at 18 Huntington.
Frances Freeman married in September of 1896 to George Wing Campbell, a box manufacturer. After their marriage, they lived in Nashua, New Hampshire. Francis Freeman, a bank employee, married in December of 1909 to Elizabeth Mary Claiborne Tuckerman and they moved to 96 Harvard Avenue to live with her mother Elizabeth (Watson) Tuckerman, widow of Samuel Tuckerman.
On April 28, 1904, Michael Freeman transferred 423 Beacon to a trust, with his daughter, Catharine A. Freeman, and attorney Edmund H. Talbot as trustees.
By the time of the 1910 US Census, Michael Freeman had been rejoined at 423 Beacon by his daughter, Frances Campbell, whose husband had died in August of 1905. Catharine and Harold Freeman also continued to live at 423 Beacon.
Michael Freeman died in April of 1912. Catharine and Harold Freeman and Frances Campbell continued to live at 423 Beacon during the 1916-1917 winter season, but moved thereafter and by the 1919-1920 season were living at The Stratford apartments at 31 Massachusetts Avenue.
On March 9, 1917, William W. Manning and Charles E. Stratton, trustees under the will of Prentiss Hobbs, foreclosed on their mortgage to Catharine Freeman and Edmund Talbot, trustees, and transferred th property to Martin P. Cummings. William Manning and Charles Stratton were lawyers and trustees; Martin Cummings was a clerk in their office.
423 Beacon was not listed in the 1918-1920 Blue Books.
On May 7, 1920, 423 Beacon was acquired from Martin Cummings by Martha (Fuller) Halsey, the wife of automobile dealer Oscar Lawrence Halsey. They lived at 1 Gloucester.
On October 8, 1920, 423 Beacon was acquired from Martha Halsey by Brigadier General Eugene Frederick Ladd. He and his wife, Violet D. (Norman) Ladd, made it their Boston home. They also maintained a home in Cohasset, which previously had been their primary residence.
Eugene Ladd was a trustee, He had been a career military officer who retired after World War I, receiving the Distinguished Service Medal for his service in the Adjutant General’s Department during the war.
On February 6, 1923, he transferred the property into his wife’s name.
Eugene Ladd died in April of 1927. Violet Ladd continued to live at 423 Beacon, joined in about 1930 by their daughter, Katharine MacMillan, wife of Lt. Colonel William Torbert MacMillan, a career US Army officer who also received the Distinguished Service Medal for his service in World War I. She lived in Boston with her mother while he was stationed at various locations.
Violet Ladd died in December of 1939. Katharine MacMillan continued to live at 423 Beacon until about 1950. By 1951, she was living in an apartment at 50 Commonwealth.
On November 7, 1950, 423 Beacon was purchased from Katharine MacMillan by attorney Henry H. Davis and his wife, Virginia Mildred (Nason) Lyons Davis. They lived at 415 Beacon.
For the next forty years, the property was operated as a lodging house by various owners.
On December 11, 1950, it was purchased from the Davises by Florence Beth Pockwinse. She was a social worker and lived at 18 Brimmer.
On July 2, 1951, it was acquired from Florence Pockwinse by David Sheldon Ross and his wife, Yolanda Marie (Vissa) Ross. On the same day, they transferred the property to David S. Ross and Harry L. Evans.
On October 29, 1954, 423 Beacon was purchased from David Ross and Harry Evans by Jabran K. Kurker and George K. Kurker of Medford, and Charles Wayshak of Boston. They continued to operate it as a lodging house.
On July 16, 1956, it was acquired from the Jabrans and George Kurker and Charles Wayshak by Frederic J. Perry.
On January 31, 1961, it was acquired from Frederic Perry by Winsor, Incorporated, which continued to operate it as a lodging house. The president of Winsor, Incorporated was Florence Beth Pockwinse, who had owned 423 Beacon briefly in 1950-1951. By this time she had moved to 31 Brimmer, where she also operated a lodging house.
On June 2, 1964, 423 Beacon was acquired from Winsor, Incorporated by real estate dealer Peter N. Kinder. He and his wife, Elizabeth, lived in an apartment at 192 Beacon.
On January 18, 1968, Florence Pockwinse acquired 423 Beacon back from Peter Kinder. In March of 1966, she also had acquired 425 Beacon. She operated both properties as a lodging houses.
In March of 1974, William M. Triantafilu acquired 423 Beacon from Florence Pockwinse. He had lived at 423 Beacon in 1965, and then had moved to 425 Beacon about the time Florence Pockwinse acquired it and had served as manager of the lodging house there until the early 1970s.
423 Beacon continued to be operated as a multiple dwelling, shown as eight apartments in the 1976 and 1981 City Directories (one of which was occupied by William Triantafilu).
On September 24, 1980, 423 Beacon was acquired from William Triantafilu by Robert Collier, trustee of the 423 Beacon Associate Real Estate Trust. Robert Collier and his wife, Judith H. Collier, also owned 425 Beacon, which they had bought from Florence Pockwinse in December of 1972.
The legal occupancy of 423 Beacon had never been changed to a multiple-dwelling, and therefore remained a single-family dwelling. In December of 1980, the Trust applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 423 Beacon from a single-family dwelling into a two-family dwelling.
In January of 1981, they filed for permission to combine 423 and 425 Beacon, converting the combined building into six apartments. They subsequently abandoned the permit.
On April 20, 1990, the South Boston Savings Bank foreclosed on its mortgage on 423 Beacon and transferred it to the Guaranty-First Trust Company. On January 22, 1991, the Shawmut Bank foreclosed on its mortgage on 425 Beacon and took possession of the property.
On May 14, 1992, Melvin (Mel) Bernstein and his wife, Katherine S. Bernstein, purchased 423 Beacon from Guaranty-First Trust Company.
Formerly Chancellor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, in 1991 Mel Bernstein was named Vice President for Arts, Science and Engineering at Tufts University. In 2001, he was appointed Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Brandeis University. In mid-2003 he became director of the Department of Homeland Security’s newly created Office of University Programs.
In June of 1992, the Bernsteins applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a two-family dwelling into a single-family dwelling.
On July 22, 2004, 423 Beacon was purchased from the Bernsteins by YAS 423 Beacon LLC (Rouzbeh Yassini-Fard and Paymaneh Yassini-Fard, managers of record).
On September 18, 2015, 423 Beacon was acquired from YAS 423 Beacon LLC by the 423 Beacon LLC (Dartagnan Brown, manager of record), a consortium of three limited liability companies: DJREI LLC, TCR Development LLC, and ARC on Beacon LLC.
The property remained a single-family dwelling in 2015.
In January of 2016, the 423 Beacon LLC applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the property into two units.