527 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, 525 Beacon was the home of Rev. William Copley Winslow, an Episcopal clergyman and archaeologist, and his wife Harriet Stillman (Hayward) Winslow. They previously had lived at 429 Beacon. Their only surviving child, Mary Whitney Winslow, lived with them.
The property was owned by a trust for the benefit of Harriet Winslow. Samuel S. Shaw, trustee, is shown as the owner on the 1888 and 1898 Bromley maps, John O. Shaw, Jr., trustee, is shown as the owner on the 1908 map, Harry P. Binney, trustee, is shown as the owner on the 1912 map, and Richard Mortimer, trustee, is shown as the owner on the 1917 map.
Harriet Winslow died in September of 1915. William Winslow and their daughter, Mary, continued to live at 525 Beacon. He married again in May of 1917 to Elizabeth Bruce Roelofson. After their marriage, they lived at 525 Beacon.
Elizabeth Winslow died in January of 1923 and William Winslow died in February of 1925.
Mary Winslow continued to live at 525 Beacon until her death in 1940. She also maintained a home in Magnolia. Although he was deceased, William C. Winslow et al, trustees, are shown as the owners on the 1928 and 1938 maps.
In mid-1941, 525 Beacon was purchased by Hazel E. Maclary from the Old Colony Trust Co. and Oscar W. Haussermann, trustees under the will of Harriet S. Winslow. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on June 29, 1941. Hazel Maclary was the wife of Richard Maclary, a real estate dealer; they lived in Wollaston.
In July of 1941, Hazel Maclary applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert 525 Beacon into a lodging house.
By 1943, 525 Beacon was the home of David Henry Little, a printer, and his wife, Esther Viola (Chatfield) Little, who operated it as a lodging house. They previously had lived at 168 Bay State Road. They continued to live at 525 beacon until 1944.
By 1945, 525 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Lydia R. (Tipping) Adams, widow of Gordon Adams, who operated it as a lodging house. She continued to live there until about 1947, when she moved to 455 Beacon.
By 1946, 525 Beacon was owned by David Lilly, a partner in the Lilly Construction Company with his father, Harry Lilly, and brother, Michael (Max) Lilly. He lived with his parents, Harry and Annie (Nathanson) Lilly, in Dorchester.
In March of 1947, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into eight apartments. In December of 1947, he amended his permit to increase the number of apartments to nine.
David Lilly married in 1948 to Norma Ravech. After their marriage, they lived briefly in one of the apartments at 525 Beacon, but had moved by 1950.
525 Beacon subsequently changed hands and in June of 1995 was acquired by Robert C. Yens and his wife, Estah (Leahy) Yens, trustees of the 525 Beacon Realty Trust. Estah Yens died in October of 1995 and Robert Yens died in November of 1997. In September of 1998, their son, Christopher R. Yens, transferred 525 Beacon to Row House Properties, Inc.
525 Beacon remained an apartment house in 2014.