531 Beacon was designed by architect Samuel D. Kelley and built in 1888 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 application, dated April 2, 1888, and on the final building inspection report, dated November 24, 1888. The previous year, Chadwick & Stillings had built ten houses, also designed by Samuel Kelley, immediately to the east, at 511-529 Beacon.
Chadwick & Stillings are shown as the owners of 531 Beacon on the 1888 Bromley map.
531 Beacon was not listed in the 1890-1894 Blue Books.
By the 1894-1895 winter season, it was the home of Edward Benjamin Maltby and his wife, Julia June (Keep) McKay Maltby. They previously had lived at 903 Boylston. He is shown as the owner of 531 Beacon on the 1895 and 1898 Bromley maps.
Edward Maltby was a textile manufacturer and also served as president of the Boston Electric Lighting Company.
He died in October of 1902. Julia Maltby continued to live at 531 Beacon during the 1902-1903 winter season. Their children, Constance Keep Maltby and Charles Edward Maltby, lived with her.
Charles Maltby, a student at Harvard, married in February of 1903 to Helen Tudor Danziger. At the time of their marriage, she was a member of the chorus of the Little Host Company, playing at Columbia theatre, and the marriage attracted significant publicity. After their marriage, they lived at The Ranelegh at 11 Montford Street.
Julia Malby and her daughter, Constance, moved to Brookline by 1904.
531 Beacon was not listed in the 1904 Blue Book.
In late 1903, real estate dealer Mark Temple Dowling purchased 531 Beacon from the Edward Maltby estate. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on December 11, 1903.
In early 1904, 531 Beacon was purchased from Mark Temple Dowling by Dr. Edgar Miller Holmes and his wife, Pauline Gertrude (Prentice) Holmes. The transaction was reported in the Boston Globe on February 19, 1904. They previously had lived at 598 Tremont. He is shown as the owner of 531 Beacon on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.
Edgar Holmes was a physician and ear, nose, and throat specialist, and maintained his office at 531 Beacon.
Pauline Holmes died in February of 1907. Edgar Holmes married again in April of 1908 to Lottie A. Crowell. After their marriage, they lived at 531 Beacon.
Edgar Holmes died in September of 1918. Lottie Holmes continued to live at 531 Beacon during the 1920-1921 winter season, but moved thereafter.
By the 1921-1922 winter season, 531 Beacon was the home of Dr. William Thomas Haley and his wife, Mary L. (Shea) Haley. They previously had lived in Salem. They also maintained a home in Marblehead. He is shown as the owner of 531 Beacon on the 1928 and 1938 Bromley maps.
William Haley was a physician and eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist. He maintained his office at 531 Beacon.
The Haleys continued to live (and he to maintain his office) at 531 Beacon until the early 1950s, after which they lived in Marblehead.
By 1955, 531 Beacon was owned by Boston University. In August of 1955, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property into a dormitory.
531 Beacon remained a dormitory for Boston University students in 2014.