456 Beacon was designed by Rotch and Tilden, architects, and built ca. 1886. It was the first house built on the north side of Beacon between Hereford and West Chester Park (Massachusetts Avenue).
This probably is the house for which a building permit application was submitted on June 30, 1886, indicating the owner as Henry M. White, the architect as Rotch and Tilden, and the builder as D. W. Thomas. However, this permit application is marked “abandoned.” Henry M. White may have been the father or brother of Thomas R. White, a mason and builder, who probably built 458 Beacon in about 1890 (his father and his brother both were named Henry).
By the 1887-1888 winter season, 456 Beacon was the home of Nathan Matthews, Jr., and his wife, Ellen Bacon (Sargent) Matthews They previously had lived at the Hotel Oxford (southeast corner of Exeter and Huntington), and before that at 354 Marlborough. Nathan Matthews is shown as the owner of 456 Beacon on the 1888, 1908, 1917, and 1928 Bromley maps.
During the 1889-1890 winter season, the Matthews were living elsewhere at 456 Beacon was the home of William Sumner Appleton and his wife, Edith Stuart (Appleton) Appleton. Educated as an attorney, William Sumner Appleton never practiced law, but devoted himself to the study of history, numismatics, heraldry, and genealogy. He designed the seal for Harvard which was adopted by the Harvard Corporation in 1885. By the 1890-1891 winter season, they had moved to 317 Dartmouth and the Matthews were living at 456 Beacon once again.
Between 1900 and 1902, the Matthews again were living elsewhere.
During the 1889-1900 winter season, 456 Beacon was the home of Augustus Peabody Gardner and his wife, Constance D. (Lodge) Gardner. Augustus Gardner was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate in 1900, and to Congress at a special election in 1901. The Gardners previously had lived in Hamilton and had resumed living there by 1901.
During the 1900-1901 winter season, 456 Beacon was the home of Susan Greene (Amory) Dexter, the estranged wife of shipping merchant and railroad investor Franklin Gordon Dexter. She had lived at 163 Commonwealth the previous season.
By 1902, Mrs. Dexter had purchased and moved to 171 Commonwealth and the Matthews were again living at 456 Beacon.
In about 1905, Nathan and Ellen Matthews were joined at 456 Beacon by his mother, Albertine (Bunker) Matthews, the widow of Nathan Matthews, Sr., who had died in August of 1904. Prior to his death, they had lived at 145 Beacon. By 1907, she was living at the Hotel Vendome, where she died in December of 1907.
Nathan Matthews, Jr., died in December of 1927. Ellen Matthews continued to live at 456 Beacon until about 1932. Before his death, they maintained a summer home in Hamilton. After his death, she listed her summer home as Bar Harbor, Maine.
In August of 1937, Abraham Wintman acquired 456 Beacon from Albert Matthews, Charles B. Barnes, and Carl E. Baesler, trustees.
He converted the property into apartments.
In April of 1986, Leo Travis and Raymond C. Green, trustees of the L & R Realty Trust, purchased 456 Beacon from Abraham Wintman and his wife, Sylvia (Cohen) Wintman.
In July of 1986, they converted the property into ten condominium units, the 456 Beacon Street Condominium.