The 10-Year Conversion

March 30, 2011
Publication: Structural Engineering & Design

More than a century later, Boston's first skyscraper becomes the Ames hotel. More than 120 years ago, Frederick Lothrop Ames, grandson of the founder of the successful Ames Shovel Works, financed the construction of the Ames Building in downtown Boston, which was billed in a marketing piece as "a notable example of recent commercial architecture, and the most prominent and eligibly situated of Boston's great buildings." Ames hired Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, a firm headed by protégés of legendary and then-recently deceased architect H.H. Richardson, to complete the design in what now is labeled "the Richardsonian Romanesque style." The building, constructed in 1889, is Boston's first "skyscraper" - rising 14 stories above Court Street - and it remained the tallest non-ecumenical building in the city until the construction of the Custom House Tower in 1915. It became listed on the National Historic Register in 1974.

Markets: Hospitality
Keywords: High Rise Masonry