523 Beacon is one of ten contiguous houses (511-529 Beacon) designed by architect Samuel D. Kelley and built in 1887 for Chadwick & Stillings (N. Henry Chadwick and Oscar L. Stillings), a hat block and flange company that became a significant house building firm in the 1880s and 1890s. They are shown as the owners and builders on the original permit applications, all dated March 14, 1887. The next year, Chadwick & Stillings built one more house, also designed by Samuel Kelley, immediately to the west, at 531 Beacon.
The ten houses at 511-529 Beacon are of a similar pattern, all with entrances on the east side and cylindrical bays on the west. The houses furthest east and west in the group (511 and 529 Beacon) have brick bays which extend to the third story, with two windows above the bay on the fourth story. The next two houses from either end (513 and 527 Beacon) have rusticated stone bays which are cylindrical for the first two stories and angled on the third story, with single arched window above surrounded by decorative stonework with a triangular top. The next two houses from either end (515 and 525 Beacon) have brick cylindrical bays to the third story, with three windows above surrounded by decorative stonework with a fan shape at the top. The four houses in the center of the grouping (517-519-521-523 Beacon) are variations on the same themes.
By 1888, 523 Beacon was the home of George H. Eager and his wife, Elizabeth (Crosby) Eager. They previously had lived at 11 Dartmouth. Elizabeth Eager is shown as the owner on the 1888, 1898, and 1912 Bromley maps.
George Eager was a merchant tailor and also served as treasurer of his wife’s family’s firm, the Crosby Steam Gage and Valve Company (spelled Gage).
The Eagers’ only child, Gertrude Crosby Eager, lived with them. She married in September of 1888 to Franklin Freeborn Raymond. He was a widower and lived in Lexington, where his first wife, Antoinette R. (Calder) Raymond, had died in February of 1884. After their marriage, they lived with her parents at 523 Beacon.
George Eager died in January of 1897. Elizabeth Eager and the Raymonds continued to live at 523 Beacon. After George Eager’s death, Franklin Raymond became treasurer of the Crosby Steam Gage and Valve Company.
Elizabeth Eager died in December of 1913. The Raymonds continued to live at 523 Beacon until about 1938, when they moved to Cambridge. Gertrude Raymond is shown as the owner on the 1917, 1928, and 1938 Bromley maps.
On September 11, 1938, the Boston Globe reported that Gertrude Raymond had sold 523 Beacon to William P. Laxton. He operated a lodging house on Tremont Street.
By late 1938, 523 Beacon was the home of Roger F. Monet, a linoleum layer. He previously had lived at 357 Beacon with his widowed father, Adelard Monet, who operated a lodging house there.
In November of 1938, Roger Monet applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 523 Beacon into a lodging house. In 1940, he married to Cecilia Marie Jarvis. After their marriage they moved to 67 Symphony Road.
By 1941, 523 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Jane T. (Sheehan) Sullivan Goodwin, the widow of John F. Sullivan and of William James Goodwin, who operated it as a lodging house. By 1942. she had moved to 116 Marlborough.
523 Beacon remained a lodging house through the 1940s, with various operators.
By 1946, it was owned by James Rosenfield, who lived in Brookline. In December of 1946, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a lodging house into a lodging house and two apartments.
By 1947, 523 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Marguerite M. Flanagan, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived at 627 Commonwealth. She also operated a lodging house at 69 Montgomery. She continued to live at 523 Beacon until about 1950.
By 1951, 523 Beacon had been acquired by Michael Joseph Callahan and Frances Madeline (Little) Callahan. They lived at 23 Southmere in Mattapan.
In June of 1951, Frances Callahan applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a doctor’s office, two apartments, and a lodging house, noting that this was the existing condition. In September of 1952, she applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into twelve apartments.
The Callahans owned 523 Beacon for the next forty-plus years. They continued to live in Mattapan until the mid-1970s. In 1974, they purchased 298 Beacon and moved to an apartment there.
Frances Callahan died in September of 1987.
In July of 1998, 523 Beacon LLC purchased 523 Beacon from Michael Callahan.
523 Beacon remained an apartment house in 2014.