As the Fenway neighborhood in Boston changes and evolves, certain places within it reflect its unique heritage, such as Fenway Park and the Emerald Necklace. Now, another special place reverberates with the history and energy of old Fenway. Opened in 1959, the Fenway Motor Hotel was once a standard motor court hotel, exhibiting the styles and trends of mid-century America. In a car-centric society, the motel allowed guests to park right at their room, and the circular footprint of the building created a private pool for guests that is so close to the ballpark you can practically smell the Fenway Franks. As rock-era music culture swarmed through the streets of the Fenway and Kenmore Square in the ’60s, the hotel became a favorite of both music lovers and baseball fans. However, as this area of the neighborhood declined, so did the demand for the hotel, eventually left behind as a well-worn version of its former self.
Investing in property across the neighborhood, Samuels & Associates saw what had since become a Howard Johnson’s as an opportunity for something unique. By embracing the eccentric qualities of the hotel and its small-scale massing, the team was able to recreate and enhance the character and excitement of this mid-century treasure, with a contemporary twist. From the lobby to the halls to each guest room, every detail reflects the original design qualities and the neighborhood’s music history. No opportunity for fun and whimsy was overlooked, and hotel guests can experience the best of a mid-century motor court, right in the heart of the Fenway.
“Historic Preservation should encompass our entire history, yet the value of modern structures that some of us may remember in their prime can be challenging to recognize. Cities are exciting in part because they are comprised of a diversity of structures – dates, styles, and sizes,” says Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “At a time when it seems that every lot is ripe for height and density, the Verb Hotel demonstrates that success can be found at a smaller scale. Unique character, with a slice of Punk Rock, trumps height at the Verb Hotel today.”