Horticultural Hall, Boston (1865)

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Horticultural Hall, Tremont Street, Boston, 19th century

Horticultural Hall (1865-1901) of Boston, Massachusetts, was the headquarters of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in the later 19th century. It stood at no.100-102 Tremont Street, at the corner of Bromfield Street, opposite the Granary Burying Ground.[1] Architects Gridley J.F. Bryant and Arthur Gilman designed the building.[2][3] Sculptor Martin Milmore created horticulturally-themed statuary for the building's exterior: "three ancient Roman goddesses ... Ceres, goddess of agriculture; Flora, goddess of flowers; and Pomona, goddess of fruit trees."[4] In the 1880s: "the ground floor [was] occupied by stores; the second story by the Library Room of the society and a hall for the weekly exhibitions; and the upper story by a large and elegant hall used ... at the annual and other important exhibitions. Both of these halls [were] often used for concerts and the better class of entertainments. The society's library, comprising over 4,000 volumes, [was] the most valuable collection of horticultural works in the United States. The halls [were] adorned with portraits and busts of the presidents, founders, and benefactors of the society."[5]

By 1899 the society's rooms in the building seemed old-fashioned, small, inconvenient, and expensive to maintain.[6] After internal debate the society sold Horticultural Hall in 1900 and leased space there for some months thereafter.[7][8] In 1901 the society transferred to its new building in the Back Bay,[9][10] and the building on Tremont Street "was demolished" the same year.[11] At the time, Milmore's architectural statues were removed to the home of society president Albert C. Burrage (later the Glen Urquhart School) in Beverly, Massachusetts. In the mid-1990s the society restored Milmore's statues (only torsos survived) and installed them in their new headquarters in Wellesley, Massachusetts.[12][13][14]

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  1. ^ Boston Directory. 1868. 
  2. ^ History of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, 1829-1878, Boston: The Society, 1880 
  3. ^ Robert Campbell; Peter Vanderwarker (August 17, 2003), "Horticultural Hall", Boston Globe 
  4. ^ Matt McDonald (July 5, 2001), "Horticultural Society gets new digs; now, at Elm Bank, they can actually plan things", Boston Globe, p. 1 
  5. ^ King's Hand-Book of Boston. 1889. 
  6. ^ "To move or not to move: question before Massachusetts Horticultural Society; some say present building is not up to date and is inadequate, others cling sturdily to the old site and give reasons why", Boston Globe, April 2, 1899 
  7. ^ "Talk but no action: Mass Horticultural Society divided in opinion; plan of erecting a new building discussed at a meeting", Boston Globe, March 5, 1899 
  8. ^ "Horticultural Society Hall plans adopted", Boston Globe, May 27, 1900 
  9. ^ "'Architectural folly': Horticultural Society very much dissatisfied with the interior of its new building", Boston Daily Globe, December 22, 1901 
  10. ^ "History". Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ Gloria Negri (August 23, 2002), "Face of a goddess: donors' features cast in restored statues", Boston Globe 
  12. ^ Peter Hotton (August 23, 1998), "The strange case of the three lost goddesses", Boston Globe 
  13. ^ "Ceres weighs seven tons; Flora and Pomona, four tons apiece. Their pedestals extend five feet into the ground." (Boston Globe, August 23, 2002)
  14. ^ Bill Evans, the sculptor hired to restore the Millmore statues, carved new faces for two of the figures as portraits of 1990s donors Diane DiCarlo and Jeanne Leszczynski. (Boston Globe, August 23, 2002 )

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Coordinates: 42°21′25.96″N 71°3′40.01″W / 42.3572111°N 71.0611139°W / 42.3572111; -71.0611139