The 500-room Hotel Manger opened at North Station in August of 1930. Its design was an example of the Moderne style of architecture, developed by Boston native Louis Sullivan. Adjacent to Boston’s North Station and directly connected to the Boston Garden, the Hotel Manger was a prominent and convenient destination for celebrities, show-goers and other travelers.
“In those days, everyone who came to the Boston Garden stayed at the Manger,” said Duane Lucia, Museum Curator. “It was advertised as ‘New England’s Most Perfectly Equipped Hotel, A Tower of Hospitality, With a Radio in Every Room’ and, for about 40 years, it remained a cultural hotspot and a popular destination.”
The Hotel Manger became the Hotel Madison in 1958 when purchased by the Boston & Maine Railroad. For decades, it played host to entertainers, athletes and politicians appearing next door at the Garden. For example, The Beatles not only stayed at the Madison in September 1964, but also held a press conference there that was famously “crashed” by three college buddies who were avid fans.
By the early 1970s, however, the Madison’s splendor had faded and its doors closed in 1976. Under eminent domain, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) acquired the property for $2.2 million in March 1983 as part of its $500 million North Station Urban Renewal Project. Just two months later—on May 15, 1983—a Boston era vanished in a cloud of dust and a pile of rubble in a mere l4 seconds. The demolition made way for the Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Federal Building.
Exhibit and Design copyright Duane Lucia.