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|
Built in 1927, the Omni Parker House is a historic hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. The original Parker House Hotel opened on the site on October 8, 1855, making it the longest continuously operating hotel in the United States. Founder Harvey D. Parker ran the hotel until his death in 1884, when the business passed on to his partners. Omni Parker House, Boston, is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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, the hotel has long been a rendezvous for politicians.
The hotel was home to the Saturday Club, which met on the fourth Saturday of every month, except during July, August, and September. The Saturday Club included literary luminaries such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., and John Lothrop Motley.
Charles Dickens resided in the Parker House for five months in 1867-1868 in his own apartments; he first recited and performed "A Christmas Carol" for the Saturday Club at the Parker House. The Parker House currently holds possession of the door to Dickens' guest room when he stayed in 1867 and the mirror used by him for rehearsals.
The hotel introduced to America what became known as the European Plan. Prior to that time, American hotels had included meals in the cost of a room, and only offered them at set times. The Parker House charged only for the room, with meals charged separately and offered whenever the guest chose.
Actor John Wilkes Booth stayed at the hotel April 5–6, 1865, eight days before assassinating Abraham Lincoln. He was apparently in Boston to see his brother, actor Edwin Booth, who was performing there. While in Boston, Booth was seen practicing at a firing range near the Parker House.
Jacques Offenbach stayed at the hotel during an 1876 tour of the U.S., and, inspired by the rolls, sang a tune to friends as a joke. He would later use it as a theme in his opera, The Tales of Hoffmann.
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 Whipple Hotel Co., which had earlier purchased the property from Parker's partners." One wing of the original hotel remained open until the new building was completed in 1927. This wing is still in use.
The hotel currently has 551 rooms and suites. In 2009, AAA named the hotel one of the top 10 historic U.S. hotels. The Omni Parker House is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America program.
In literature and music
Edith Wharton included a private meeting between characters Mr. Newland Archer and Countess Ellen Olenska at the Parker House in her celebrated 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.
Although many "haunting" books and “ghost tours” claim that Stephen King's 1999 short story 1408—about a writer who experiences a haunted stay at a New York hotel called the Dolphin—was based on Room 303 of the Parker House hotel and the supernatural events surrounding the room, that claim is false.
The 2011 Grammy award winning Parker Quartet, both founded and currently based in Boston, is named after the hotel.
- Harvey D. Parker (1805–1884), founder of the Parker House
- "Omni Parker House, Boston, a Historic Hotels of America member". Historic Hotels of America. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Payne, Edward F. Dickens' Days in Boston: A Record of Daily Events. Cambridge, MA: Riverside, 1927, p. 231.
- Ask the Globe. Boston Globe, Aug 7, 1987
- "Boston's Literary Hotel". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- International Directory of Company Histories 12, St. James Press, 1996 – via Boston Public Library Reference & Reader's Advisory Department
- "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
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parker House (Boston, Massachusetts).|
- Official Web site
- "Parker House (breakfast)". Menus. 1949 – via New York Public Library.
- Secrets of Beantown, from Auddissey Guides