470 Beacon was designed by Fehmer and Page, architects, and built in 1891-1892 by Benjamin D. Whitcomb & Co., builders, for James Brown Case, one of two contiguous houses (468-470 Beacon) built for him: 468 Beacon on a 36 foot wide lot and 470 Beacon on a 24 foot wide lot. In 1890, before the houses were built, he received approval to build a 52 foot wide stable behind both houses. He is shown as the owner on the original building permit application for the stables, dated November 4, 1890, and on the applications for 468 Beacon and 470 Beacon, dated June 9, 1891.
James Case was a wholesale dry goods merchant. He also served as president of the National Bank of Redemption and subsequently as president of its successor, the First National Bank.
The land for 468-470 Commonwealth was purchased on October 15, 1890, by James Case’s wife, Laura Lucretia (Williams) Case, from real estate investor Nathan Matthews. It was part of a larger parcel Nathan Matthews had purchased on August 1, 1890, from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.
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 470 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.
Construction of 468-470 Beacon began in July of 1891. In its July 4, 1891, report on the house, the Boston Herald commented that “eighteen months are allowed the contractors in which to finish their work. As the job might be completed, say the building fraternity, inside of a year if rushed, there is all evident intention to spare no expense or care in the building of the two new houses.”
By the 1893-1894 winter season, 468 Beacon had become James and Laura (Williams) Case’s Boston home. They previously had lived at 120 Commonwealth. They also maintained a home, Rocklawn, in Weston. Their unmarried daughters, Louisa Williams Case and Marian Roby Case, lived with them.
470 Beacon became the home of the Cases’ son-in-law and daughter, James Goldthwaite Freeman and Caroline Sumner (Case) Freeman. They previously had lived at 457 Beacon. Later, they also maintained a home in Weston, designed by Fehmer and Page and built in 1903 and expanded several times between 1908 and 1911.
James Freeman was a real estate dealer and manager of real estate and trust properties.
On December 18, 1893, Laura Case transferred 470 Beacon to Caroline Freeman. However, she retained the bulk of the rear yard and the stables behind 470 Beacon, to be held as part of 468 Beacon.
James Case died in April of 1907. Laura Case and Louisa and Marian Case continued to live at 468 Beacon and in Weston.
James Freeman died in December of 1912. After his death, Caroline Freeman sold her Weston home to her sister, Louisa, and continued to live at 470 Beacon.
Laura Case died in December of 1918, and Louisa and Marian Case continued to live at 468 Beacon and in Weston. Caroline Freeman died in November of 1919. She had no surviving children and 470 Beacon was inherited by Louisa and Marian Case.
On January 20, 1920, Laura Case’s estate transferred 468 Beacon and the rear yard of 470 Beacon to Marian Case. 470 Beacon was not listed in the 1921-1923 Blue Books and probably was maintained as an annex to 468 Beacon.
Louisa and Marian Case continued to live at 468 Beacon during the 1922-1923 winter season, after which they made Weston their year-round home.
On February 7/8, 1923, 470 Beacon (including the rear yard) was acquired by Theodora Maria (Eldredge) Lawrence, the wife of Harris Hooper Lawrence. They previously had lived in Brookline and, prior to that, at 441 Marlborough. They also maintained a home, Nine-Acre Lodge, in Concord, Massachusetts.
H. Hooper Lawrence was James Freeman’s nephew (the son of Richard B. Lawrence and Susan (Freeman) Lawrence), and also had been his business associate in the firm of Freeman & Lawrence, real estate and insurance dealers.
The Lawrences continued to live at 470 Beacon during the 1926-1927 winter season.
H. Hooper Lawrence died in September of 1927. Theodora Lawrence and their five children – Caroline Freeman Lawrence, Barbara Lawrence, Theodora Lawrence, Frances Ann Lawrence, and Thomas Lawrence – moved soon thereafter to 376 Marlborough.
On January 30, 1928, 470 Beacon was acquired from Theodora Lawrence by Dr. Arthur Ronald Kimpton, a physician and professor at Tufts Medical School, and his wife, Elizabeth Dale (Mann) Kimpton. They previously had lived at 66 Bay State Road, and he had maintained his medical offices at 23 Bay State (he continued to maintain his offices there after they moved to 470 Beacon). They also maintained a home, Meadowlark, in Norwell.
Elizabeth Kimpton died in July of 1936. Arthur Kimpton remarried in April of 1939 to Mrs. Helen Evaline (Thompson) Kedian Ellis, the widow of James Edward Kedian and Alfonso Lee Ellis. After their marriage, they lived at 470 Beacon. He also continued to maintain his offices at 23 Bay State Road.
The Kimptons continued to live at 470 Beacon until about 1946, when they moved to an apartment at 62 Commonwealth.
On July 2, 1946, 470 Beacon was purchased from Arthur Kimpton by Dr. Bernard Appel, a dermatologist, and his wife, Doris (Leavitt) Appel, a sculptor. They previously had lived in Lynn. They continued to live at 470 Beacon until about 1948.
On April 8, 1948, 470 Beacon was acquired from the Appels by Mrs. Edna Mae (Reynolds) Candage Lovejoy Walsh Grant, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived in Reading.
Edna Grant was the former wife of Henry (Harry) Wells Candage, the widow of Everett John Lovejoy and Dr. William Martin Walsh, and the former wife of Wallace Edwin Grant.
Among the lodgers at 470 Beacon with Mrs. Grant in 1949 was Francis (Frank) Greene MacCausland, an automobile salesman, who also previously had lived in Reading. He had moved from 470 Beacon by 1950.
In 1946, before she lived at 470 Beacon, Edna Grant had filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 220 Commonwealth into apartments. The property was owned by Frank MacCausland, then a resident of Stoneham. He transferred it to her in June of 1947.
Mrs. Grant continued to live at 470 Beacon until about 1951, when she moved to an apartment at 220 Commonwealth
On October 1, 1951, Edna Grant was arrested and charged with arranging for illegal abortions, working with three physicians, who also were arrested.
Louise Day Hicks was a real estate investor and operator of lodging houses. She and her husband, John Edward Hicks, an engineer, lived in South Boston. She later would become a well known Boston politician. She was elected to the Boston School Committee in 1961 and was an outspoken opponent of using busing to integrate Boston’s schools. In 1967, she was an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor, but in 1969 was elected to the City Council. In 1970, she was elected to the US Congress, but was defeated for re-election in 1972. She was reelected to the City Council in 1973 and 1975, but then lost two successive bids in 1977 and 1981.
On June 3, 1952, 470 Beacon was acquired from Anna Louise (Day) Hicks by Eugene J. Venezia, a contractor, and his wife, Aileen Susan Frances (McAneney) Clarke Venezia. In July of 1952, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into nine apartments. He and his wife lived in one of the apartments. They previously had lived in Brookline.
On March 20, 1956, 470 Beacon was acquired from the Venezias by by Anna E. Kaufman, trustee of the Double A Realty Trust.
The property changed hands and on October 31, 1996, was purchased by real estate dealer George P. Demeter, trustee of the Demeter Realty Trust. On February 10, 1997, he transferred the property to the 470 Beacon Limited Partnership, of which he served as president.
470 Beacon remained an apartment house in 2017.