Harvey D. Parker
also known as H.D. Parker
, was an hotelier in Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...
. He built the Parker House
, the first hotel in the United States "on the European Plan".
Parker was born in Temple, Maine
Temple is a town in Franklin County, Maine, United States. The town was named after Temple, New Hampshire. It is located at the end of Maine State Route 43 , and is said to be one of only two towns in Maine to be situated at the end of a public highway...
, and spent much of his youth in Paris, Maine
Paris is a town in and the county seat of Oxford County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,793 at the 2000 census. The census-designated place of South Paris is located within the town. Because the U.S. Post Office refers to the entire town as South Paris, the town as a whole is commonly...
. In 1825, at age 20, he moved to Boston. He began working at Hunt's restaurant, Court Square, in 1832. A few months later he bought out the owner, and in 1833 opened Parker's Restaurant in the basement of 4 Court Square. He married in 1839. With John F. Mills, Parker established the firm of Parker & Mills in 1845. The partnership lasted until Mills' death in 1876.
In 1854, he built the Parker House hotel and restaurant, "an immense establishment of marble", designed by architect William Washburn
William Washburn was an architect and city councilor in Boston, Massachusetts, in the mid-19th century. He designed Boston's National Theatre , Revere House hotel , Tremont Temple , and Parker House hotel...
. Located on School Street
School Street is a short but significant street in the center of Boston, Massachusetts. It is so named for being the site of the first public school in the United States...
in Boston, it occupied the former site of the Boston Latin School
The Boston Latin School is a public exam school founded on April 23, 1635, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is both the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States....
, and later the house of Jacob Wendell, great-grandfather of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was an American physician, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat...
. The hotel opened in 1856. The business was a success, and in 1858 he expanded the building.
Around 1880, with Joseph H. Beckman and Edward O. Punchard, Parker established the firm Harvey D. Parker & Co. Beckman and Punchard took over the Parker House hotel after Parker's death in 1884. On November 16, 1882, a large public dinner was held in honor of Parker's 50 years in business. Parker was also a member of the Boston Club.
Death and legacy
Parker died in 1884 at age 80. A funeral was held at the Arlington Street Church; the facade of the Parker House was "heavily draped" in mourning. He was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery
Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded in 1831 as "America's first garden cemetery", or the first "rural cemetery", with classical monuments set in a rolling landscaped terrain...
. Parker left $100,000 to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the largest museums in the United States, attracting over one million visitors a year. It contains over 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas...
, providing funds for objects in the museum's Harvey D. Parker Collection.
- "Clever blackmailing; A Shrewd and Daring Attempt to Extort Money. Harvey D. Parker the Victim of the Infamous Scheme. The Failure of the Well-Laid Plans of "Scott Munroe." Cramped and Evidently Disguised Closely Followed by the Officers. Begged Mr. Parker to Leave Town." Boston Daily Globe, March 10, 1882. p. 2.
- "Harvey D. Parker. His Life of Energy and Charity Brought to a Close. A Man Wrought Deserved Success by ... of Patient, Honest Effort. Strict Attention of Business the Secret of His Prosperity. A Momentous Affair. Kind and Affectionate." Boston Daily Globe, May 31, 1884. p. 1.
- "Worth over a million; Inventory of Harvey D. Parker's Estate in the Suffolk Prebate Court." Boston Daily Globe, January 27, 1885. p. 6.
- "Our business pioneers; men, who built up manufacturing New England; Harvey D. Parker, who made a Boston hotel famous; Born at Temple, Me. May 10, 1805." Boston Daily Globe, January 25, 1916. p. 11.