527-529 Beacon

527-529 Beacon (2014)

527-529 Beacon (2014)

Combined Irregular Lot: 44' on Beacon (4,111 sf)

Combined Irregular Lot: 44′ on Beacon (4,111 sf)

527-529 Beacon are located on the south side of Beacon, between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East, with 525 Beacon to the east and 531 Beacon to the west.

527 Beacon and 529 Beacon are two 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, and on the final building inspection report for 529 Beacon, dated November 14, 1887. The next year, Chadwick & Stillings built one more house, also designed by Samuel Kelley, immediately to the west, at 531 Beacon.

Second floor plan of 527-529 Beacon, bound with the final building inspection report, 14Nov1887 (v. 21, p. 61); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

Second floor plan of 527-529 Beacon, bound with the final building inspection report, 14Nov1887 (v. 21, p. 61); courtesy of the Boston Public Library Arts Department

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.

Since about 1909, 527 Beacon and 529 Beacon have been owned by the same owner and operated in the same manner. They were legally combined into one property in 1959.

527 Beacon (2014)

527 Beacon (2014)

527 Beacon

In 1888, 527 Beacon was the home of Francis Manning Stanwood and Louisa Blair (Rogers) Stanwood. They previously had lived at 163 West Chester Park. He is shown as the owner of 527 Beacon on the 1888, 1898, and 1908 Bromley maps. They also maintained a home in Manchester.

Francis Stanwood was a merchant. In the mid-1890s, he became manager and editor of the Boston Journal (it had been owned by his father-in-law, Col. Charles O. Rogers, who died in 1869). By 1898, he was president of the Hotel and Railroad News Company.

The Stanwoods continued to live at 527 Beacon in 1908.  By 1909, they had moved to 250 Commonwealth.

529 Beacon

George O. Carpenter is shown as the owner of 529 Beacon on the 1888 Bromley map. This probably was George Oliver Carpenter, a paint and varnish manufacturer and general insurance agent. He and his wife, Maria Josephine (Emerson) Carpenter, lived at 10 Union Park in 1889 and at 307 Boylston in 1890; it does not appear that they ever lived at 529 Beacon.

By the 1889-1890 winter season, 529 Beacon was the home of John M. Washburn and his wife, Elizabeth (Fitzpatrick) Washburn. They previously had lived at 423 Beacon. Elizabeth Washburn is shown as the owner of 529 Beacon on the 1895 and 1898 Bromley maps.

529 Beacon (2014)

529 Beacon (2014)

John Washburn was treasurer of the Old Colony Railroad, having held the position for a number of years. In September of 1893, an investigation revealed that he had embezzled a significant amount of funds from the railroad to make speculative and unsuccessful stock investments. He resigned and, to cover the losses, he assigned all of his property to the railroad (not including 529 Beacon, which was owned by his wife). He died two months later, in November of 1893.

Elizabeth Washburn continued to live at 529 Beacon.

During the 1894-1895 winter season she was living elsewhere and 529 Beacon was the home of Mrs. Frances N. Taylor. She previously had lived in an apartment at 224 Marlborough.

Elizabeth Washburn resumed living at 529 Beacon during the 1895-1896 season, joined briefly by Frank D. Balderston and his wife, Clara E. (Banchor) Balderston, who had married in November of 1895. He was head of the Boston Office of the U. S. Rubber Company. The Balderstons moved soon thereafter to Trinity Court (southeast corner of Dartmouth and Stuart).

Elizabeth Washburn continued to live at 529 Beacon during the 1896-1897 season, but moved thereafter.

In early 1899, 529 Beacon was purchased from Elizabeth Washburn by Dr. Fred Bates Lund and his wife, Zoe Meriam (Griffing) Lund. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on January 24, 1899. The Lunds previously had lived at 122 Marlborough. He is shown as the owner of 529 Beacon on the 1908 Bromley map. They also maintained a home in Scituate.

Fred Bates Lund was a physician and surgeon, and he maintained his medical office at 529 Beacon.

527-529 Beacon

In about 1909, Dr. Lund acquired 527 Beacon. He moved his office there and leased lodgings and offices to other physicians. He is shown as the owner of 527 and 529 Beacon on the 1912, 1917, and 1928 Bromley maps.

Among the physicians who both lived and maintained their offices at 527 Beacon were were Dr. Thomas Francis Leen, who lived there from 1909 until his marriage in November of 1913 to Anna Jones Malley, after which they moved to 19 Bay State Road; Edward Hammond Risley, who lived there from 1910 until his marriage in 1914 to Ada Wilson Simpson, after which they moved to an apartment at 31 Massachusetts Avenue; and Irving James Walker, who lived there from 1912 until his marriage in 1913 to Dorothy C. Pierce, after which they moved to 120 Glennville Avenue in Allston (he continued to maintain his office at 527 Beacon for several more years).

Between about 1914 and 1920, 527 Beacon appears to have been primarily medical offices.

By the 1921-1922 winter season, however, 527 Beacon also was the home of Stephen H. Bennett, a stockbroker. He previously had lived at 329 Commonwealth.

Fred Bates Lund continued to maintain his medical office at 527 Beacon, joined in about 1920 by Dr. Edward Wyllys Taylor, a professor at Harvard Medical School and physician. Dr. Taylor lived at 457 Marlborough and previously had maintained his offices there. He continued to maintain his office at 527 Beacon until about 1926, when he moved them back to his home.

In about 1929, Dr. Lund sold 527 and 529 Beacon. The Lunds moved to Newton Centre and he moved his offices to 319 Longwood Avenue. Stephen Bennett moved to The Charlesgate at 535 Beacon.

By mid-1929, 527 and 529 Beacon were owned by Mrs. Katherine (Catherine) E. (O’Connor) Finnegan, the widow of Thomas E. Finnegan, and their son, Joseph J. Finnegan. They previously had lived at 856 Beacon. They lived at 529 Beacon and operated both 527 and 529 Beacon as lodging houses. She is shown as the owner of both on the 1938 Bromley map.

Katherine Finnegan continued to live at 529 Beacon until her death in January of 1938.

Joseph Finnegan married in 1939 to Alice E. Wright. After their marriage, they lived at 529 Beacon and continued to operate the lodging houses at 527 and 529 Beacon.

Joseph Finnegan died in June of 1942. Alice Finnegan moved soon thereafter to 114 Riverway.

In mid-1943, 527 and 529 Beacon were purchased from the Institution for Savings in Roxbury by Miss Jean Coates and Henry L. Bisson, who operated them as lodging houses. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on June 13, 1943. They both previously had lived at 173 St. Botolph, where Jean Coates had operated a lodging house. She also operated lodging houses at 110 and 162 St. Botolph, and continued to do so after they moved to 529 Beacon.

By 1945, Henry Bisson had moved to 12 Union Park. Jean Coates continued to live at 529 Beacon in 1945, but moved by 1946 to 110 St. Botolph, which she had continued to operate as a lodging house.

In the spring of 1945, 527 and 529 Beacon were acquired from Jean Coates and Henry Bisson by Mrs. Lillian C. (Barbanti) Luderer, the former wife of Walter P. Luderer, who operated them as lodging houses. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on March 18, 1945. She previously had lived at 323 Beacon.

In July of 1945, Lillian Luderer filed for (and subsequently received) permission to legalize the occupancy of 529 Beacon as a lodging house. The application appears to have been intended to include both 527 and 529 Beacon.

She continued to live at 529 Beacon in 1946, but moved soon thereafter to 113 Beacon.

In 1944, when had Jean Coates purchased and moved to 527 and 529 Beacon, Mrs. Eva Lussier, the wife of Frederick Joseph Lussier, moved there as well. She had been a lodger at 162 St. Botolph (operated by Jean Coates).

After Jean Coates sold 527 and 529 Beacon in 1945, Eva Lussier continued to live at 529 Beacon and, it appears, it was she who operated them as lodging houses. After the war, she was joined there by her husband. They continued to live there until about 1960.

By late 1959, 529 Beacon was owned by Solomon Kolodny, trustee of the Ansko Realty Trust. In December of 1959, he filed for (and subsequently received) permission to combine 527 and 529 Beacon into a single property, with the address of 529 Beacon, and to convert the buildings into 25 apartments. In March of 1960, he amended the application to reduce the number of apartments to 23. As part of the remodeling, the entrance to 527 Beacon was converted into a window, and the entrance to 529 Beacon, serving both houses, was redesigned.  Plans for the remodeling, designed by architect Leon Furr, are included in the City of Boston Blueprints Collection in the Boston Public Library’s Arts Department (reference BIN R-277).

In July of 1961, Solomon Kolodny applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert one of the basement apartments into an office for use by his real estate business.

The property changed hands and in July of 1979 was purchased by Emerson College. In February of 1981, it filed for permission to convert the property into a dormitory. The permit was denied and Emerson College’s appeal was dismissed, and the property remained 22 apartments and a basement office.

The property changed hands and in August of 1996, was purchased by Linda E. Hahn, trustee of the 527-529 Beacon Street Realty Trust.

527-529 Beacon remained an apartment house in 2014.

531 Beacon, looking east towards 517 Beacon; (ca. 1890) photograph by Augustine H. Folsom, courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum

531 Beacon, looking east towards 517 Beacon; (ca. 1890) photograph by Augustine H. Folsom, courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum