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 is a historic hotel in Boston, Massachusetts built in 1927. The original Parker House Hotel on the site opened in 1855. 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, it has long been a rendezvous for politicians.
The hotel was home to the Saturday Club, which met on the third Saturday of every month except in summer. It 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 1867-68 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 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, ten 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 US, 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 Hoffman.
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.
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 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.
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 the Room 303 of the hotel and the supernatural events surrounding the room.
The 2011 Grammy award winning Parker Quartet 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
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