American House (Boston)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
American House
AmericanHouse Boston byJHBufford LC.jpg
American House, c. 1852
General information
Type Hotel
Location 56 Hanover Street
Boston, Massachusetts
United States
Opened 1835
Renovated 1851
Demolished 1935
Technical details
Floor count 6
Floor area 44,000 sq ft (4,100 m2)
Design and construction
Architect William Washburn (renovation)

The American House (est,1835) was a hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, located on Hanover Street. Abraham W. Brigham,[4] Lewis Rice (1837-1874),[5][6][7] Henry B. Rice (1868-1888),[8][9] and Allen E. Jones (c. 1921) served as proprietors.[10] In 1851 the building was expanded.[11] In 1868 it had "the first hotel passenger elevator in Boston."[12] By the 1860s it also had "billiard halls, telegraph office, and cafe."[13] In the late nineteenth century it was described as "the headquarters of the shoe-and-leather trade" in the city.[14] Guests of the hotel and restaurant included John Brown,[15][16] Ralph Waldo Emerson,[17] William Whitwell Greenough,[18] Charles Savage Homer,[19] Zadoc Long,[20] and George Presbury Rowell.[21] Many groups held meetings there, among them: Granite Cutters' International Association of America,[22] Letter Carriers' Association,[23] National Electric Light Association,[24] and New England Shorthand Reporters' Association.[25] The hotel closed in 1916, and re-opened under new management in 1918.[1] It permanently closed on August 8, 1935,[26] and the building was shortly afterwards demolished to make room for a parking lot.[27][28][29] The John F. Kennedy Federal Building now occupies the site.[30]


  1. ^ a b "American House Closes Tomorrow." Boston Daily Globe. 7 August 1935: p. 11.
  2. ^ King's Hand-Book of Boston 9th ed. Buffalo, N.Y.: Matthews, Northrup & Co., 1889. p. 68.
  3. ^ Ellis, George E. Bacon's Dictionary of Boston. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1886. p. 10.
  4. ^ Boston almanac. 1837
  5. ^ "Lewis Rice" [1809-1877]. Memorial biographies of New England historic genealogical society, v.7, 1871-1880. Boston: the Society, 1907
  6. ^ A.Forbes, J. W. Greene. The rich men of Massachusetts: containing a statement of the reputed wealth of about fifteen hundred persons, with brief sketches of more than one thousand characters. Boston: W. V. Spencer, 1851
  7. ^ George S. Rice. "Lewis Frederick Rice" [1839-1909]. Boston Society of Civil Engineers, papers and discussions, v.6, no.5, May 1919
  8. ^ King's Handbook of Boston, 4th ed. 1881
  9. ^ Massachusetts Charitable Fire Society. "Henry Brigham Rice" [1843-1903]. Acts and by-laws: list of members and officers, and sketches of members deceased, 1892-1904. Boston: University Press, 1904
  10. ^ Boston register and business directory, 1921
  11. ^ Edwin M. Bacon (1883), King's dictionary of Boston, Cambridge, Mass: Moses King, publisher, OCLC 838858 
  12. ^ James Henry Stark (1882), Stranger's Illustrated Guide to Boston and Its Suburbs ...: With Maps of Boston and the Harbor, Photo-electrotype co, OCLC 36732469 
  13. ^ A guide to Boston and vicinity: a complete hand-book, directing the stranger how to find its public buildings, hotels, depots, places of amusement, horse cars, churches, benevolent and religious institutions, newspaper and telegraph offices, cemeteries, etc.; with a map of the city and numerous fine steel illustrations; also, a guide to the principal first-class stores in the various lines of trade. Boston: 1867
  14. ^ King's Handbook of Boston, 4th ed. 1881
  15. ^ Walter Muir Whitehill. "John Brown of Osawatomie in Boston, 1857." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series, Vol. 69 (Oct., 1947 - May, 1950)
  16. ^ Edward Renehan. The secret six: the true tale of the men who conspired with John Brown. Univ of South Carolina Press, 1997
  17. ^ Van Wyck Brooks. Life of Emerson. NY: Dutton, 1932
  18. ^ Barrett Wendell. "Memoir of William Whitwell Greenough" [1818-1899]. Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Vol. 14, Feb. 1901
  19. ^ Philip Conway Beam. "Winslow Homer's Father." New England Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Mar., 1947), pp. 51-74
  20. ^ Diary of Zadoc Long, in: Alfred Cole, Charles Foster Whitman. History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine, from the earliest explorations to the close of the year 1900. Buckfield, ME: 1915
  21. ^ George Presbury Rowell. Forty years an advertising agent, 1865-1905. NY: Printers' ink publishing co., 1906
  22. ^ Granite cutters' journal, April 1921
  23. ^ Boston Almanac. 1891
  24. ^ Electrical Review and Western Electrician, Feb. 27, 1915
  25. ^ New York Public Library. Semi-annual dinner, 1900, menu and program. Dinner, 1901, menu and program.
  26. ^ "Tried Japanese Bellhops First." Boston Daily Globe. 11 August 1935: p. C8.
  27. ^ "Begin Razing Monday of American House." Boston Daily Globe. 24 August 1935: p. 19.
  28. ^ "Boston Proper and Back Bay." Map. Atlas for the City of Boston. G. W. Bromley & Co., 1938. Web. 7 May 2013. (shows the American House has been replaced by a parking lot)
  29. ^ Jones, Leslie. Aerial view of Scollay Square area. 1947 (approximate). Boston Public Library. 7 May 2013. (shows the parking lot occupying the former site)
  30. ^ David Kruh. Always something doing: Boston's infamous Scollay Square, rev. ed. Northeastern University Press, 1999

Further reading[edit]

  • New-Yorker, 1838
  • "American House". Gleason's Pictorial. Boston, Mass. 3. 1852. 
  • Ballou's Pictorial, March 5, 1859, p.157
  • Molly W. Berger. Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology, and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 42°21′39″N 71°03′32″W / 42.360859°N 71.058982°W / 42.360859; -71.058982