458 Beacon was designed by Rotch and Tilden, architects, and built by Thomas R. White, mason, in 1890-1891.
The house was built on the western half of a 48 foot wide lot purchased from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation on April 24, 1886, by real estate investor Nathan Matthews. He and his wife, and his wife, Albertine (Bunker) Matthews, lived at 145 Beacon.
The deeds from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation for the land between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue included language specifying that only dwellings and associated outbuildings (including stables) could be built on the land and that the buildings were to be set back 20 feet from Beacon. The deeds for the land between 460 Beacon and Massachusetts Avenue were entered into in the early 1890s and also included restrictions limiting to one story any building in the rear north of a line 90 feet from Beacon. The deeds for the land between Hereford and 458 Beacon, which were from 1886, did not include language limiting buildings in the rear. As a result, the owners of the land at 448-458 Beacon entered into individual agreements to limit the depth of the houses that were built on their land and restrict the height of outbuildings in the rear to one story. On August 2, 1909, all of the owners of the property on the north side of Beacon between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue (other than the Mt. Vernon Church) entered into an agreement to “continue for twenty years longer [to December 31, 1929] the existing freedom from irregular building and obstruction of view which they now enjoy from the rear portion of their houses.” On December 30, 1929, the owners of 448-480 Beacon extended this agreement to expire on December 31, 1939.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 458 Beacon, including additional information on the deeds and agreements limiting buildings in the rear of the lot, and click here for further information on the land on the north side of Beacon, including the Storrow Memorial Embankment on the Esplanade.
Nathan Matthews kept the eastern half of the lot and had a home built at 456 Beacon for his son and daughter-in-law, Nathan Mathews, Jr., and Ellen Bacon (Sargent) Matthews. Nathan Matthews, Jr., was an attorney and served as Mayor of Boston from 1891 to 1895.
Nathan Matthews sold the western half of the lot, at 458 Beacon, to Mary Hascal (Wheaton) Kittredge, the wife of attorney Francis William Kittredge, and on June 2, 1886, it was purchased from her by Henry M. White, a boot and shoe manufacturer. He and his wife, Frances Elizabeth (White) White, lived at the Adams House hotel.
On June 30, 1886, Henry White filed a permit application to construct a dwelling house at 458 Beacon, with Rotch and Tilden as the architects and David W. Thomas as the builder. The foundations may have been laid (as indicated in subsequent deeds), but the house was not built and the permit was marked “abandoned.”
On January 24, 1887, the lot was purchased from Henry White by textile manufacturer and former shipping merchant William Gurdon Saltonstall. He and his wife, Josephine Rose (Lee) Saltonstall, lived at 30 Fairfield. She died in January of 1889 and he died in July of 1889.
On February 8, 1890, the lot was purchased from William Saltonstall’s estate by real estate dealer Seth Russell Baker. In its February 13, 1890, report on the transaction, the Boston Evening Transcript noted that Seth Baker “will hold it as it is until certain restrictions are removed, when he proposes to erect an apartment house 24×100 feet, the details of which are not yet determined.” The restrictions referred to in the article probably were the limitations on the height of buildings built in the rear portion of the lot.
On March 12, 1890, the property was acquired from Seth Baker by Nathan Matthews who then sold the land “with foundations thereon situated” on the same day to Thomas R. White, a mason and builder who also was constructing two apartment buildings at 362 Commonwealth and 364-366 Commonwealth. On May 15, 1890, the Boston Globe reported that Thomas White had applied for a permit to construct a brick dwelling house at 458 Beacon. Thomas White was not related to Henry M. White, who had owned the land in 1887.
In February of 1891, Nathan Matthews’s son, Constant Southworth Matthews, a real estate dealer in association with his father, advertised 458 Beacon for sale in the Boston Evening Transcript, noting that it was “nearly completed.” The house did not sell and between October of 1891 and November of 1892 the property was re-acquired from Thomas White by Nathan Matthews through foreclosures. At about the same time, Nathan Matthews acquired the apartment houses at 362 Commonwealth and 364-366 Commonwealth from Thomas White, also through foreclosures.
458 Beacon remained unsold and, in April of 1894, Nathan Matthews advertised it in the Boston Evening Transcript, offering it for sale or for lease. The advertisement noted that the house was designed by Rotch and Tilden (presumably either from the plans originally drawn in 1887 for Henry White or subsequent plans prepared for Thomas R. White).
On September 18, 1894, 458 Beacon was purchased from Nathan Matthews by Fanny Lithgow (Payson) Prince, the wife of Dr. Morton Henry Prince. They previously had lived at 71 Marlborough. They also maintained a home in Nahant but frequently rented it to others and spent their summers elsewhere.
Morton Prince was a psychologist specializing in neurology, psychotherapy, and abnormal psychology.
The Princes’ two children, Claire Morton Prince and Morton Peabody Prince, lived with them.
On June 2, 1900, Fanny Prince transferred the property into her husband’s name.
Claire Prince married in June of 1904 to Roger Wolcott, Jr., an attorney, of 173 Commonwealth. After their marriage, they lived in Readville near Milton. Morton Henry Prince, a writer, married in January of 1918 to Marjorie S. Bernheimer. After their marriage, they lived in Washington DC during World War I and then at 57 Chestnut.
Morton Prince died in August of 1929. Fanny Prince continued to live at 458 Beacon until about 1934 (noting in the 1934 and 1935 Blue Books that she would be spending the winter at the Hotel Puritan at 390 Commonwealth).
On March 29, 1934, 458 Beacon was purchased from Fanny Prince by architect Edward Thomas Patrick Graham. He lived in Cambridge and maintained his office at 171 Newbury.
In August of 1934, he applied for a permit to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into nine apartments. He subsequently abandoned the permit and in July of 1936, applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into twelve units.
The house was not listed in the 1936 and 1937 Blue Books, and was shown as vacant in the 1935-1937 City Directories.
Edward Graham continued to own 458 Beacon until his death in September of 1964.
On July 31, 1965, 458 Beacon was purchased by Joseph P. Carpinteri. In August of 1965, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from eleven apartments (the number apparently having been reduced since 1936) to seven apartments.
On August 31, 1965, Joseph Carpinteri transferred the property to himself, Charles G. Raso, and Joseph J. Nutarangeli, as trustees of the Nashua Realty Trust.
The property changed hands and on June 26, 1978 was purchased by Eugene W. Friedrich, trustee of the 458 Beacon Street Trust. In August of 1978, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to reduce the number of apartments from seven to six.
On December 27, 1978, he converted the property into six condominium units, the 458 Beacon Condominium.