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John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company

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1922, Parker, Thomas and Rice. 200 Clarendon St. 1947, Cram and Ferguson. 175 Berkeley St.
  • John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company (Keith Morgan)

The 1922 building, first of three adjacent headquarters of the company, won the Boston Society of Architects' Harleston Parker Prize for its outstanding design. Vestiges of its former elegance survive in the Corinthian pilasters of the lower stories. The attached second headquarters building's limestone tower (to the east), once the tallest building in Boston (aside from the tower of the U.S. Custom House [WF17]), is distinguished by its stepped back facades and crowning truncated pyramid, which bears a color-coded weather beacon: clear blue, clear view; flashing blue, clouds due; steady red, rain ahead; flashing red, snow ahead. Decoration at the entrance and in the auditorium is reminiscent of 1930s Art Deco. Once again the recipient of the BSA's Parker award, the 1947 John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company tower was built years after Ralph Adams Cram's retirement.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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