The Boston Park Plaza Hotel began construction in 1925 as part of the E.M. Statler Empire. E.M. Statler, one of our nation's most visionary businessmen and Hoteliers, opened the Boston Hotel on March 10, 1927 as "The Statler Hotel."
Statler chose the Boston Hotel's address, which was originally 1922 Providence Street, due to, "location, location, location." The Boston Hotel's original site was once beach front property where British troops landed to embark for the Battle of Lexington. The bay was later filled in to form what is now known as Boston's Back Bay.
Today, The Boston Park Plaza Hotel is located only 200 yards from the nation's first public parks, Boston Common & Public Garden (founded in 1634 & 1837). The Public Garden, famous for its Swan Boats, was the inspiration for The Boston Park Plaza Hotel logo.
During construction in 1925, The Statler Hotel was granted a last minute variance to build the 155 ft., 14 story building, which exceeded the Massachusetts State Building code of 125 ft. This oversight, caught in the final weeks of construction, was approved by Mayor James Curley, making the Boston Hotel the tallest building in Boston by 30 ft. In addition, the Statler Hotel was the largest independent Hotel in all of New England for 5 decades and 8th largest Hotel in the World.
Statler opted to construct the building as a multi-use Hotel and office building to ensure a dependable flow of revenue. He envisioned a Hotel that would serve the neglected middle class and the new breed of commercial/traveling businessmen, all of whom had recently gained freedom with the popularity of the automobile.
The 57,651 square-foot land parcel was purchased for $45,000 and the Hotel originally housed 1,300 Guest Rooms with private baths. These rooms have now been combined to bring the Hotel's current total to 1,054 Guest Rooms & Guest Suites. When the Boston Hotel opened, 60% of its Guest Rooms were priced between $3.50 and $5.00 per night.
By the time the project was completed, craftsmen had used 5 million bricks, 2 acres of window glass, 10 acres of carpet, 7,000 doors, 200 miles of molding, 16 million pounds of steel, and spent over $14 million dollars total.
The Boston Back Bay Hotel was the first to introduce many new and modern Hotel conveniences; the most popular being the implementation of Guest Room Radios. This was a free feature in each Guest Room that was so admired that E.M. Statler soon invested over $1 million dollars to have radios installed in over 7,700 of his Guest Rooms throughout his Hotel empire.
Other new and modern Hotel conveniences being perfected at The Statler Hotel included: in-room telephones, occupancy indicators ("Do not Disturb" sign), complimentary newspaper delivery, mail & laundry chutes on each floor and the "Servidoor," a panel in each Guest Room door which allowed the Valet to deliver laundry without disturbing the Guest.
WBZA, a Boston Radio Station, was once broadcast from the Hotel's Penthouse.
In 1976 The Statler Hotel announced without warning that the Hotel was going to close. Two weeks later it was bought by the Irving M. Saunders family, and the name was changed to The Boston Park Plaza Hotel. "The first instinct was to save the Hotel; it was where my parents were married in 1928. It's always been a Boston landmark," said Irving's son, Donald Saunders.