187 Beacon Street
In his Houses of Boston’s Back Bay, Bainbridge Bunting indicates that 187 Beacon Street was built ca. 1866, one of two contiguous houses (187-189 Beacon), with 187 Beacon built by James Tobey and 189 Beacon built by John Farrington. He also indicates that another pair of houses was built ca. 1867 at 197-199 Beacon, with 197 Beacon attributed to James Tobey and 199 Beacon to John Farrington.
John Foster Farrington was a housewright, and it appears likely that he and James Tobey were partners in the construction of these buildings. Neither John Farrington nor James Tobey lived in the Back Bay.
By 1870, 187 Beacon was the home of Frank William Andrews and his wife, Maria Frances (Adams) Andrews. They had lived at 6 Marlborough Street in 1869. He is shown as the owner of 187 Beacon on the 1874 Hopkins map and on the 1883 and 1888 Bromley maps.
Frank Andrews was a former importer of iron and, later, crockery. He had retired at an early age to manage his real estate investments.
The Andrews also maintained a summer residence, Sunset Ridge, in Newport, designed by H. H. Richardson and completed in 1873.
They continued to live at 187 Beacon until about 1889, when they moved to Washington DC. The house remained in the Andrews family, however, and Maria Andrews is shown as the owner on the 1908 and 1917 Bromley maps.
By late 1891, 187 Beacon was the home of William Sumner Appleton and his wife, Edith (Appleton) Appleton. They had lived at 456 Beacon in 1890.
Educated as an attorney, William Sumner Appleton never practiced but devoted himself to the study of history, numismatics, heraldry, and genealogy. He is credited with establishing the arms and seal of Harvard University.
William and Edith Appleton lived at 187 Beacon while the new home they were building at 462 Beacon was being completed. Edith Appleton died in January of 1892, before the new house was finished. William Appleton moved there upon its completion.
By 1894, 187 Beacon was the home of iron merchant Isaac Lowell Pratt and his wife, Emily (Cutter) Pratt. They continued to live there in 1895.
The house was not listed in the 1897 and 1898 Blue Books.
By 1899, 187 Beacon was the home of attorney Ebenezer Gay and his wife, Ellen Blake (Blood) Gay. In 1898, the Gays had lived at 169 Beacon (their son, Eben Howard Gay, had married in December of 1898 and kept 169 Beacon as his home). Their son, notebroker William Otis Gay, and Ellen Gay's unmarried sister, Elizabeth R. Blood, lived with them at 187 Beacon.
Ebenezer Gay died in April of 1899. Ellen Gay continued to live at 187 Beacon until about 1902, but by 1903 had moved to 170 Beacon to live with her son, Eben Howard Gay. William Otis Gay and Elizabeth Blood continued to live at 187 Beacon (Elizabeth Blood appears to have moved to 170 Beacon for the 1901-1902 winter season, but moved back to 187 Beacon thereafter).
William Gay married in April of 1905 to Annie Margaretta Dumaresq. They continued to live at 187 Beacon after their marriage. Elizabeth Blood continued to live with them until her death in December of 1907. William and Annie Gay continued to live at 187 Beacon in 1915.
By April of 1917, it was the home of Dr. Charles Galloupe Mixter, a physician and surgeon, and his wife, Helen Worthington (McIntosh) Mixter. They had lived at 247 Beacon in 1916. He maintained his medical practice at 180 Marlborough Street with his father, Samuel Jason Mixter, and his brother, William Jason Mixter.
In about 1923, his father retired from practice and William and Charles Mixter moved their offices to 270 Commonwealth Avenue. Charles and Helen Mixter continued to live at 187 Beacon in mid-1924, but by 1925 had moved to Brookline.
By September of 1924, 187 Beacon was owned by Roger Elmer Townsend, a real estate agent who also owned 189 Beacon. In September of 1924, he applied for (and subsequently received) permission to install a fire escape on the rear of both buildings. He appears to have sold 187 Beacon soon thereafter and he and his wife, Josephine (Wheildon) Townsend, lived at 189 Beacon.
By 1925, 187 Beacon was the home of Benjamin Helm Bristow Draper, a manufacturer of cotton mill machinery, and his wife, Queena (Sanford) Draper. They had lived at 138 Beacon in 1923, and by 1927 had moved to an apartment at 137 Marlborough Street (317 Dartmouth Street).
By 1927, 187 Beacon was the home of William Jay McKenna and his wife, Isoline Orne (Campbell) McKenna. The McKennas probably leased the house from John Valentine Dittemore, who is shown as the owner on the 1928 Bromley map. He was a retired Indianapolis meat packing executive who came to Boston to work in the Christian Science Church; he also owned and developed real estate and, in 1927, he and his wife, Edith (Bingham) Ditteman lived at 45 Commonwealth Avenue, which had converted to apartments in 1924.
The McKennas continued to live at 187 Beacon in 1930.
By October of 1930, it was the home of William Osgood Taylor and his wife, Mary (Moseley) Taylor. They previously had lived at 276 Beacon. They also maintained a home in Buzzard's Bay.
William O. Taylor was publisher of the Boston Globe. He had succeeded his father, Charles Henry Taylor, who had published it from 1873 (one year after its founding) until his death in 1921. William Taylor remained the publisher until his death in 1955, after which he was succeeded by his son, William Davis Taylor.
The 1938 Bromley Atlas shows William and M.M. Taylor as the owners of this house.
The Taylors continued to live at 187 Beacon in 1943.
By 1945, it was the home of Solomon and Fannie Silverman. The Silvermans appear to have accepted lodgers, but did not formally convert the house into a multiple dwelling until February of 1954, when Fannie Silverman applied for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel and convert the house from a single-family into a single-family and lodging house.
By 1959, it was owned by Nubar J. Dirijian, who remodeled and converted the house into ten apartments.The building subsequently changed hands several times, and remained an apartment house in 2008.