Evolution of the Prudential Center: 1954-1989

squidman1

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Yeah, that's my bad, I didn't end up seeing the bottom part of your message...I think that the majority of Boston architecture nerds admire the Pru as it is anyways.
 

squidman1

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What did the lobby of 101 Huntington look like prior to the site's redevelopment? I assume it was just a bland corporate lobby, different from the swanky polished one in the present.
 

brazile

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I worked in that building 1996-1998. The lobby was pleasant but not remarkable; had a late-80s feel, but nice enough, lots of light-ish wood and warm colors, not particularly brightly lit.

Did ride up the elevator with Bobby Orr once, though. His agents were on the floor below us (I think? It was a long time ago) at the time.
 

shmessy

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I worked in that building 1996-1998. The lobby was pleasant but not remarkable; had a late-80s feel, but nice enough, lots of light-ish wood and warm colors, not particularly brightly lit.

Did ride up the elevator with Bobby Orr once, though. His agents were on the floor below us (I think? It was a long time ago) at the time.
....in 1996, I'm not sure if a "late-80's feel" was all that much of a detriment.

We redid our kitchen 7 years ago, and haven't heard my wife remark yet of it having at "2014 feel". :LOL:
 

squidman1

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So they did substantially renovate the lobby once between 1993 to 2003? Or had it stayed the same the whole time?

(Also, by the way, while that's interesting to hear, I still want to know what the lobby looked like in the 1970s and 80s. A Boston Globe article from way back then says there was a mezzanine in the lobby prior.)
 

kz1000ps

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I'm pretty sure the lobby was upgraded when they did the circa 1992 mall renovations/additions, in which case "late-80s feel" would be mostly on point.

And I too would like to see the original lobby for 101. Surely some contractor out there has a set of photos of it freshly finished sitting in a manila folder in a file cabinet somewhere.
 

brazile

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....in 1996, I'm not sure if a "late-80's feel" was all that much of a detriment.
It wasn't. Just an observation. At the time, it seemed more or less current, but in retrospect it was getting toward the end of that era of commercial interior design. Tail end of the po-mo era and stuff that came with it from my perspective.

We moved from that space to a converted furniture factory near Lechmere, all brick walls, longleaf pine beams, creaky floors, and modern furniture: very on point for the time.
 

dhawkins

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I caught the end years of the original "California Style" outdoor promenade, around 1989 -92. similar to the photo below. I remember the roof openings were not glazed and the escalator entrances at each end were open as well. I can't seem to find any photos of the interior public areas. Needless to say, it was wind swept in the winters. EDIT - I found one of the interior with the open end in the background (Boylston?) and another bad pic of the skywalk before it was enclosed.

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squidman1

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Another "what did" question coming from me... what did the Huntington Arcade look like (1993-1998-ish) prior to the construction of the massive expanded one?
 

squidman1

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I caught the end years of the original "California Style" outdoor promenade, around 1989 -92. similar to the photo below. I remember the roof openings were not glazed and the escalator entrances at each end were open as well. I can't seem to find any photos of the interior public areas. Needless to say, it was wind swept in the winters. EDIT - I found one of the interior with the open end in the background (Boylston?) and another bad pic of the skywalk before it was enclosed.

View attachment 17828 View attachment 17829
Screenshot 2021-10-15 7.45.11 PM.png

Larger bridge angle
 

kz1000ps

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Another "what did" question coming from me... what did the Huntington Arcade look like (1993-1998-ish) prior to the construction of the massive expanded one?
It was still the original podium wing. Had office demand not cratered in the early 1990s then it's possible 111 Huntington plus arcade would've been built in 1992 right along with the Boylston and Back Bay arcades, but obviously that didn't happen and the Huntington portion was split off into a separate phase, waiting for market conditions to improve.

This 1995 aerial shows absolutely nothing had changed along this side since the addition of 101

 

squidman1

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Screen Shot 2021-10-16 at 6.41.30 AM.png


This mural from 1994 appears to show the proto-arcade, unless that idea never saw the light of day
 

Roxxma

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In November of 1989 when I was a sophomore at my suburban public high school, my photography class, along with our Pentax K1000s, took a "photo trek" field trip that began at the Christian Science Plaza and ended at Faneuil Hall. I remember passing through the corridors pictured above, and probably have photos of it somewhere (remember, this was back in the Film Times, but Tri-X and Pan-X film was cheap and provided in abundance courtesy of the Burlington Public Schools). If I remember correctly, the corridors at the Pru were unheated, but more or less indoors, but the plazas were the corridors meet were open to the elements. I remember that there was a Brigham's on the Boylston St end of the corridor (pictured above in post #129), around where the entrance to the corridor that now goes to the former Lord & Taylor. Many of the photos from that trip ended up in the 1990 edition of the school's literary and arts magazine. I remember taking a lot of photos of the pre-mall Pru. I'll search my parents' house next time I'm up there to see what I can find...
 

squidman1

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prulighting.jpeg


The Pru Tower being lit up for an apparent TV commercial (does anyone know what it was for?) The mall is finishing up construction at the bottom, probably around summer of 1993.
 

kz1000ps

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It's gotta be. Flatten out the facade, give it a bigger hat, and you've basically got the final design. It certainly looks more of the pinstripe suit early/mid 1960s.
 

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