- Prudential Tower
building_name= Prudential Tower
caption= The Prudential Tower behind
111 Huntington Avenue, as seen from the South End
Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
roof= 749 ft (228.4 m)
antenna_spire= 907 ft (276.4 m)
construction_period= 1960 - 1964
use= Office, Observation, Restaurant
floor_area= 1.2 million square feet (111,484 m²)
architect= The Luckman Partnership
The Prudential Tower, also known as the Prudential Building or, colloquially, as The Pru, [e.g. Burge, Kathleen (2006), "Made You Look! Yeah, There's the Top of the Pru, But There Are Other Amazing Views—If You Know Where to Find Them. "The Boston Globe," July 16, 2006, p. C1] [Feeney, Mark (1998), "The Homely Landmark's a Skyscraper We Can't Stop Looking Down On, But in '65, It Gave The City a Big Boost" "The Boston Globe,", February 3, 1998, page C1: "'The Pru' everyone calls it: a resigned shrug of a name, as flat and uninflected as the wan moue its pronunciation requires."] is a
skyscraperin Boston, Massachusetts. The building, a part of the Prudential Center complex, currently stands as the 2nd-tallest building in Boston, behind the John Hancock Tower. The Prudential Tower was designed by Charles Luckman and Associates for Prudential Insurance. Completed in 1964, the building is 759 ft (229 m) tall, with 52 floors. It contains 1.2 million square feet (111,484 m²) of commercial and retail space. Including its radio mast, the tower stands as the tallest building in Boston and the 26th-tallest in the United States, rising to 907 feet (276 m) in height. A 50th floor observation deck, called the "Prudential Skywalk", is currently the highest observation deck in New Englandthat is open to the public, as the higher observation deck of the John Hancock Tower has been closed (somewhat controversially) since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
The Prudential Tower began construction in 1960. Upon its completion in 1964, the Pru was the tallest building in the world outside of
New York City, just barely surpassing the Terminal Towerin Cleveland, Ohio. It dwarfed the 1947 John Hancock building, seen at the left in the photo. This spurred the rival insurance company to build the 1975 John Hancock Tower, which is just slightly taller at 788 ft (240 m).
Today, the Pru is no longer even among the
fifty tallest buildings in the USAwhen measuring to architectural height. Within Boston, in addition to the nearby John Hancock tower, many other tall buildings have since been built in Boston's financial district, including the 614 ft (187 m) Federal Reserve Bank. The Pru and John Hancock towers still dominate the Back Bay skyline, but other tall buildings have started arising there as well since the late 1990s, perhaps most notably 111 Huntington Avenue, which is also part of the Prudential Center.
In the 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2007
Major League Baseballplayoffs, the building's tenants turned on and off their lights to spell out "GO SOX", providing a visual for Boston Red Soxfans at nearby Fenway Park.
When it was built, the Prudential Tower received mostly positive architectural reviews. The New York Times called it "the showcase of the New Boston [representing] the agony and the ecstasy of a city striving to rise above the sordidness of its recent past". [Fenton, John H. (1965) "Center in Boston To Be Dedicated," "The New York Times,"
April 18, 1965, p. R1] But Ada Louise Huxtablecalled it "a flashy 52-story glass and aluminum tower... part of an over-scaled megalomaniac group shockingly unrelated to the city's size, standards, or style. It is a slick developer's model dropped into an urban renewal slot in Anycity, U.S.A.—a textbook example of urban character assassination." [Huxtable, Ada Louise (1964): "Renewal in Boston: Good and Bad," "The New York Times," April 19, 1964, p. X24] Architecture writer Donlyn Lyndon called it "an energetically ugly, square shaft that offends the Boston skyline more than any other structure." [cite book | first = Donlyn | last = Lyndon | title = The City Observed: Boston | id = ISBN 0-394-74894-8 | publisher = Vintage | year = 1982: the Hancock "may be nihilistic, overbearing, even elegantly rude, but it's not dull;" the Prudential is "an energetically ugly, square shaft that offends the Boston skyline more than any other structure."] In 1990, Boston Globearchitecture critic Robert Campbell commented: "The Prudential Center has been the symbol of bad design in Boston for so long that we'd probably miss it if it disappeared." [Campbell, Robert (1990), "Rebuilding the Pru Disaster," "The Boston Globe," January 28, 1990, p. B33] It has been quipped that the Prudential Tower is "the box the Hancock Tower came in".Fact|date=June 2008
The Prudential Center is currently owned by
Boston Properties. The building is one of several Prudential Centers built around the United States (such as the tower in Chicago) constructed as capital investments by Prudential Financial (formerly, The Prudential Insurance Company of America). Preceding Prudential Financial's demutualization, Prudential sold off many of its real estate assets, for instance most of the air rights in Times Square, and the Prudential Center in Boston, to put cash on the corporate balance sheets. 40% of the space was once home to The Gillette Company, now a unit of Procter & Gamble, but many floors have since been vacated. Boston-based law firm Ropes & Grayis slated to take over many floors in 2010. Other major tenants include Accentureand CSN Stores. The building was sold to Boston Properties. However, Prudential Financial's then head of global marketing, and Boston native, Michael Hines, suggested that the real estate deal only go through with the condition that Prudential retain the name and signage rights for the Prudential Center and Prudential Tower. Signage rights in Boston are very limited, and Prudential's are grandfathered. The other notable backlit signs allowed above convert|100|ft|m include the Colonnade Boston Hotel, State Street Bank sign, Sheratonsign, and Citgo Sign. Using similar negotiations, Prudential retains two notable signs in Times Square.
The main rooftop mast supports two FM master antennas and a top-mounted television antenna; the latter is for
WBPX.The upper master antenna, manufactured by Electronics Research, Inc. (ERI), serves WZLX100.7, WBCN104.1, WMJX106.7, and WXKS-FM107.9. The lower master antenna was installed in the late 1990s, also by ERI, and serves WBOS92.9, WTKK96.9, and WROR105.7. The FM stations each transmit with approximately 22,000 watts ERP and in HD Radio. The roof also has a smaller tower with standby antennas for all of the FM broadcast tenants.
The Prudential Center, situated on 23 acres, is in the Back Bay neighborhood at 800 Boylston Street and houses a successful convert|495229|sqft|m2|sing=on
shopping mall, the Shops at Prudential Center, in the base. Known to locals as "the Pru," it is bordered by Belvedere, Dalton, Boylston, and Exeter streets, along with Huntington Avenue.
extension included the construction of the roadway below parts of the Prudential complex. The Prudential still has its own exit from the turnpike for this reason.
The new skyscraper at
111 Huntington Avenuewas completed in 2002 and is directly across the street from the Colonnade Hotel located at 120 Huntington Avenue. The third tower of the Prudential Center is 101 Huntington Avenue; at a mere 25 stories, it is dwarfed by the other two.
Hynes Convention Centeris connected to the complex, which combined was considered the first mixed-use development in New England and awarded the Urban Land Institute's Best Mixed Use Development Award in 2006. [http://casestudies.uli.org] By the fall of 2007 another major development will be completed along Boylston Street at the Prudential Center complex: the Mandarin Oriental, Bostonhotel, now under construction. [http://www.boston.com/realestate/luxliv/articles/0518_mandarin.html] [http://www.residencesatmandarinorientalboston.com/content/index.jsp]
The complex has direct indoor connections to two
MBTAstops, Prudential and Back Bay. Prudential is on the Huntington Avenue side of the building directly outside the Colonnade Hotel, and is the first station on the Green Line "E" Branchafter the split from the main line at Copley Square. Back Bay is a stop on the Orange Line and is accessible to the complex via the Copley Place Mall, to which it is attached by a walkway over Huntington Avenue. Back Bay is also served by Amtrak, including the Acelahigh-speed train. This means it is possible to travel from the observation lounge in the Pru to the top of the MetLife Buildingin New York Citywithout going outdoors (by walking through the mall to Back Bay Station, hopping on Amtrak to Penn Stationin New York, and taking the subway to Grand Central Terminal).
In addition, the Prudential Center serves as one of two starting locales for the Boston Duck Tours, a popular tourist attraction in the city.
List of Tenants
Procter & Gamble, multiple floors, mostly above 34th floor
RakutenUSA, 49th floor
Shops at Prudential Center
List of tallest buildings in Boston
* [http://www.prudentialcenter.com PrudentialCenter.com]
* [http://www.bostonproperties.com/site/properties/showproperty.aspx?sid=18&pid=9 Boston Properties - The Prudential (Tower)]
* [http://www.bostonproperties.com/site/properties/showproperty.aspx?sid=18&pid=11 Boston Properties - The Prudential Center]
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