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Heritage on the Garden

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1988, The Architects Collaborative. 300 Boylston St.
  • Heritage on the Garden (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Fronting the Boston Public Garden (BB1) on the south, the Four Seasons Hotel and the Heritage on the Garden are results of a redevelopment initiative known as the Park Plaza Project, one of the city's most contested schemes in the 1960s and 1970s. Park Square, a district of railroad terminals and related services that emerged from the 1830s on, attracted light industries and small-scale commercial activities after the relocation of the railroads to South Station in 1900. As part of the city's effort of dramatic urban renewal, the Park Plaza area was identified as a site for intensive new uses, including hotel and apartment towers ranging from thirty to fifty stories. The impact of these buildings on the Public Garden and Boston Common was considered unacceptable, and after 1975 a stronger voice of citizen participation helped to craft lower units.

The restrained red brick Four Seasons Hotel incorporates a thirteen-story hotel unit on Boylston Street and a fifteen-story condominium tower fronting on Hadassah Way. More detailed architecturally, the brick with cast-stone ornament Heritage on the Garden provides a twelve-story condominium block with various commercial uses at the first two levels. Pavilions and setbacks define the upper levels; multiple forms of windows add a chaotic variety to the structure. The final parcel to be developed from the Park Plaza Project is 1 Charles Street (2004, Gary Mandel and Associates), a sixteen-story red brick condominium tower rising behind Thomas Ball's statue of Lincoln Emancipating the Slaves (dedicated 1879), the only remnant of the nineteenth-century district of railroad depots.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Heritage on the Garden", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 129-129.

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