Exchange Coffee House, Boston

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Exchange Coffee House, Boston (engraving by Abel Bowen)
Detail of map of Boston in 1814, showing location of Exchange Coffee House

The Exchange Coffee House (1809-1818) was a hotel, coffeehouse, and place of business in Boston, Massachusetts, in the early 19th century. Designed by architect Asher Benjamin, it was located at Congress Square on Congress Street, and in its day it was the largest building in Boston and one of the tallest buildings in the northeastern United States. Andrew Dexter, Jr. financed the project. Dexter resorted to financial fraud to see the construction to completion, and fled to Nova Scotia to escape prosecution and his creditors.

The completed building passed to a succession of owners, who attempted to run it profitably, including Gilbert & Dean.

The Exchange Coffee House burned down in November 1818. Its owners and financial backers lost most of their investment, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.[1][2]


  • 1809 - Fencing demonstration by Tromelle & Girard.[3]
  • 1810
    • June 26: Two notable Boston musicians of the time, François Mallet and Gottlieb Graupner, presented a concert at the Exchange Coffee House featuring “all the Musicians of the town.”[4]
    • December: Mr. Rannie, ventriloquist.[5]
  • 1815 - Exhibit of the "panorama of the Battle of Leipsic."[6]
  • 1817 - Sculpture exhibit assembled by "Petre Alessandri, sculptor, lately arrived from Italy."[7]


  1. ^ Boston Intelligencer & Evening Gazette, Nov 7, 1818 
  2. ^ Jane Kamensky (2008). The Exchange Artist: A Tale of High-Flying Speculation and America’s First Banking Collapse. Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-01841-3. 
  3. ^ Boston Patriot, December 27, 1809 
  4. ^ Mazzulli (Dec 2, 2011), Boston Musical Intelligencer 
  5. ^ Independent Chronicle, Boston, December 24, 1810 
  6. ^ The Repertory, Boston, January 17, 1815 
  7. ^ Boston Daily Advertiser, August 30, 1817 

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′29.76″N 71°3′24.64″W / 42.3582667°N 71.0568444°W / 42.3582667; -71.0568444