Boston gave birth to the American apartment house in the so-called French flats constructed from the late 1850s on. One of the finest surviving, this French flat is French in both name and design. The St. Cloud Hotel's elegant marble-clad front, with stacked oriel windows forming pavilions that terminate with pyramidal mansard roofs, skillfully evokes a Parisian apartment house. Horizontal apartment units here contrasted with the vertical organization of South End town houses. Notice the first-floor storefront with cast-iron columns. In 1987, the St. Cloud and the adjacent brick loft Mystic River Bridge Building were combined and expanded to create condominiums.