Omni Parker House
|Omni Parker House Hotel|
Omni Parker House hotel in October 2010
|Hotel chain||Omni Hotels|
|Address||60 School Street|
|Opening||1855 (original hotel), 1927 (current building)|
|Number of rooms||551|
The Omni Parker House (built 1927) is a hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, currently owned by Omni Hotels. The name of the hotel derives from the original Parker House, which first opened in 1855. Founder Harvey D. Parker ran the hotel until his death in 1884, when the business passed on to his partners.
Opened in 1855 by Harvey D. Parker and located on School Street near the corner of Tremont, not far from the seat of the Massachusetts state government, it has long been a rendezvous for politicians. The hotel was home to the Saturday Club, also referred to as the Saturday Night Club, which consisted of literary dignitaries such as Charles Dickens, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. John Wilkes Booth was also once a guest at the hotel. Charles Dickens resided in the Parker House for two years in his own apartments and first recited and performed "A Christmas Carol" at the Saturday Club at the Parker House. The Parker House currently holds possession of Charles Dickens lock and key to his apartment door and also his mirror.
The original Parker House building and later architectural additions were demolished in the 1920s and replaced with an entirely new building. "Four of the five buildings Harvey D. Parker built between 1854 and 1866 were demolished in 1926 by the Wittle Hotel Co., which purchased the property from Parker that year." One wing of the original hotel remained open until the new building was completed in 1927.
Some well-known people have worked at the Parker House, including Hồ Chí Minh who was a baker in the bakeshop from 1911 to 1913, and Malcolm X who was a busboy in the early 1940s. John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for Congress in the hotel's Press Room, and held his bachelor party here.
The business was bought by Omni Hotels in the mid-1980s.
The hotel currently has 551 rooms and suites. In 2009, AAA named the hotel one of the top 10 historic U.S. hotels. It is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America program.
In literature and music
Edith Wharton includes a private meeting between characters Mr. Newland Archer and Countess Ellen Olenska at the Parker House in her iconic work of the early 20th century, The Age of Innocence. Archer is told that the Countess Olenska is staying in Boston at the Parker House, and he flees Newport to meet her there.
The 2011 Grammy award winning Parker Quartet is named after the hotel.
- Harvey D. Parker (1805–1884), founder of the Parker House
- Ask the Globe. Boston Globe, Aug 7, 1987
- "Boston's Literary Hotel". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Omni Hotel". Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "AAA Inspectors Pick Their Top Ten Historic Hotels for Independence Day". press release. American Automobile Association. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- Wharton, Age of Innocence, p. 147
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