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Prudential Tower

Prudential Tower

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The Prudential Tower, also known as the Prudential Building or, colloquially, The Pru, is a skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

 in Boston
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...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
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...

. The building, a part of the Prudential Center complex, currently stands as the 2nd-tallest building in Boston, behind the John Hancock Tower
John Hancock Tower
The John Hancock Tower, officially named Hancock Place and colloquially known as The Hancock, is a 60-story, 790-foot skyscraper in Boston. The tower was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the firm I. M. Pei & Partners and was completed in 1976...

. The Prudential Tower was designed by Charles Luckman and Associates
Charles Luckman
Charles Luckman was a businessman and an American architect, famous as the "Boy Wonder of American Business" when he was named president of the Pepsodent toothpaste company in 1939 at the age of thirty...

 for Prudential Insurance. Completed in 1964, the building is 749 feet (228.3 m) tall, with 52 floors. It contains 1.2 million square feet (111,484 m²) of commercial and retail space. Including its radio mast
Radio masts and towers
Radio masts and towers are, typically, tall structures designed to support antennas for telecommunications and broadcasting, including television. They are among the tallest man-made structures...

, the tower stands as the tallest building in Boston and the 26th-tallest in the United States, rising to 907 feet (276.5 m) in height. A 50th-floor observation deck, called the "Prudential Skywalk", is currently the highest observation deck in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 that is open to the public, as the higher observation deck of the John Hancock Tower
John Hancock Tower
The John Hancock Tower, officially named Hancock Place and colloquially known as The Hancock, is a 60-story, 790-foot skyscraper in Boston. The tower was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the firm I. M. Pei & Partners and was completed in 1976...

 has been closed since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The building also has a restaurant on the 52nd floor, called Top of the Hub.

History



The Prudential Tower began construction in 1960. Upon its completion in 1964, the Prudential was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, surpassing the Terminal Tower
Terminal Tower
The Terminal Tower is a landmark skyscraper located on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It was built during the skyscraper boom of the 1920s and 1930s, and was the second-tallest building in the world when it was completed. The Terminal Tower stood as the tallest building in North America...

 in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

. It dwarfed the 1947 John Hancock building
Berkeley Building
The Berkeley Building is a 36-story, structure located at 200 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It is the second of the three John Hancock buildings built in Boston; it was succeeded by the John Hancock Tower. The building is known for the weather beacon at its summit, which...

, seen at the left in the photo. This spurred the rival insurance company to build the 1975 John Hancock Tower
John Hancock Tower
The John Hancock Tower, officially named Hancock Place and colloquially known as The Hancock, is a 60-story, 790-foot skyscraper in Boston. The tower was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the firm I. M. Pei & Partners and was completed in 1976...

, which is just slightly taller at 790 feet (240.8 m).

Today, the Prudential is no longer even among the fifty tallest buildings in the USA in architectural height. Within Boston, in addition to the nearby John Hancock tower, many other tall buildings have since been built in the financial district, including the 614 feet (187.1 m) Federal Reserve Bank
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, commonly known as the Boston Fed, is responsible for the First District of the Federal Reserve, which covers most of Connecticut , Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. It is headquartered in the Federal Reserve Bank Building in Boston,...

. The Prudential and John Hancock towers still dominate the Back Bay skyline, but other tall buildings have arisen there since the late 1990s, perhaps most notably 111 Huntington Avenue
111 Huntington Avenue
111 Huntington Avenue is one of Boston's newest skyscrapers and is part of the Prudential Center complex that also houses the Prudential Tower. Completed in 2002, the tower is 554 feet tall and houses 36 floors. The building is the tallest skyscraper built in Boston since 1987...

, which is also part of the Prudential Center.

In the 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2007 Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 playoffs, the building's tenants turned on and off their lights to spell out "GO SOX", providing a visual for Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 fans at nearby Fenway Park
Fenway Park
Fenway Park is a baseball park near Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts. Located at 4 Yawkey Way, it has served as the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox baseball club since it opened in 1912, and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. It is one of two "classic"...

.

Over the past few years, the Prudential Tower has been illuminated through light-emitting diodes (LEDs), that have the capacity to create a glow near the top of the building. The lighting is used for special occasions and charitable events and can support nearly every color, including yellow, red, pink, blue, green, red, orange, gold, purple, and maroon.

Opinions



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". But Ada Louise Huxtable
Ada Louise Huxtable
Ada Louise Huxtable is an architecture critic and writer on architecture. In 1970 she was awarded the first ever Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for "distinguished criticism during 1969."...

 called 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." Architecture writer Donlyn Lyndon called it "an energetically ugly, square shaft that offends the Boston skyline more than any other structure." In 1990, Boston Globe architecture 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." It has been quipped that the Prudential Tower is "the box the Hancock Tower came in".

Ownership



The Prudential Center is currently owned by Boston Properties
Boston Properties
Boston Properties, Inc. is a self-managed real estate investment trust based in Boston, Massachusetts. Its primary focus is "Class A" office space which it acquires, develops, and manages in the major markets of Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco...

. The building is one of several Prudential Centers built around the United States (such as the tower in Chicago
Two Prudential Plaza
Two Prudential Plaza is a super-tall skyscraper that was built in the Loop area of Chicago, Illinois, United States in 1990. At 995 feet tall, it is currently the sixth-tallest building in Chicago and the thirteenth tallest in the United States. The building was designed by the firm Loebl,...

) constructed as capital investments by Prudential Financial (formerly, The Prudential Insurance Company of America). Preceding Prudential Financial's demutualization
Demutualization
Demutualization is the process by which a customer-owned mutual organization or co-operative changes legal form to a joint stock company. It is sometimes called stocking or privatization. As part of the demutualization process, members of a mutual usually receive a "windfall" payout, in the form...

, Prudential sold off many of its real estate assets, for instance most of the air rights in Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

, 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
Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble is a Fortune 500 American multinational corporation headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio and manufactures a wide range of consumer goods....

, but many of these floors have since been vacated. Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray moved into many of these floors, including the 37th through 49th, in fall 2010. Other major tenants include Partners HealthCare
Partners HealthCare
Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization that owns several hospitals in Massachusetts, primarily in the Boston area. Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital founded the organization in 1994...

, Club Monaco
Club Monaco
Club Monaco is a mid-priced, high-end casual clothing retailer owned by Polo Ralph Lauren. With more than 69 stores in North America, the retailer has locations in Canada, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, South Korea, China, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, United...

 and Accenture
Accenture
Accenture plc is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company headquartered in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. It is the largest consulting firm in the world and is a Fortune Global 500 company. As of September 2011, the company had more than 236,000 employees across...

. The building was sold to Boston Properties. However, Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial
The Prudential Insurance Company of America , also known as Prudential Financial, Inc., is a Fortune Global 500 and Fortune 500 company whose subsidiaries provide insurance, investment management, and other financial products and services to both retail and institutional customers throughout the...

'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
Grandfather clause
Grandfather clause is a legal term used to describe a situation in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future situations. It is often used as a verb: to grandfather means to grant such an exemption...

. The other notable backlit signs allowed above 100 feet (30.5 m) include The Colonnade Hotel, Boston, State Street Bank sign, Sheraton
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts is Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide's largest and second oldest brand . Starwood's headquarters are in White Plains, New York.-Sheraton history:...

 sign, and Citgo Sign. Using similar negotiations, Prudential retains two notable signs in Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets...

.

Broadcast tenants


The main rooftop mast supports two FM master antennas, and a top-mounted television antenna previously used by WBPX
WBPX
WBPX-TV, digital channel 32, is the Ion Television station owned by ION Media Networks , serving the Boston market. The station primarily broadcasts infomercials before 6 p.m. daily, along with a daily Catholic Mass and other religious programming, with Ion network programming beginning at 6 p.m....

. The upper master antenna, manufactured by Electronics Research, Inc. (ERI), serves WZLX
WZLX
WZLX is a prominent classic rock radio station in the Boston, Massachusetts market. WZLX was one of the first classic rock FM stations in America...

 100.7, WBMX 104.1, WMJX
WMJX
WMJX is a radio station licensed to Boston, Massachusetts. It has an Adult Contemporary format. The station's transmitter is located atop the Prudential Tower in Downtown Boston...

 106.7, and WXKS-FM
WXKS-FM
WXKS-FM, better known as Kiss 108, is a radio station in Boston, Massachusetts, licensed to nearby Medford broadcasting a Top 40 format...

 107.9. The lower master antenna was installed in the late 1990s, also by ERI, and serves WBOS
WBOS
WBOS is a commercial radio station located in Brookline, Massachusetts, broadcasting to the Greater Boston area on 92.9 FM. The station airs a mainstream rock format branded as "Radio 92.9"...

 92.9, WTKK
WTKK
WTKK is a New England commercial talk radio station, first broadcast out of Boston on 96.9 FM beginning in 1999. It can be heard in eastern Massachusetts, the northernmost area of Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire, and southern Maine...

 96.9, and WROR 105.7. The FM stations each transmit with approximately 22,000 watts ERP
Effective radiated power
In radio telecommunications, effective radiated power or equivalent radiated power is a standardized theoretical measurement of radio frequency energy using the SI unit watts, and is determined by subtracting system losses and adding system gains...

 and in HD Radio
HD Radio
HD Radio, which originally stood for "Hybrid Digital", is the trademark for iBiquity's in-band on-channel digital radio technology used by AM and FM radio stations to transmit audio and data via a digital signal in conjunction with their analog signals...

. The roof also has a smaller tower with standby antennas for all of the FM broadcast tenants.

Prudential Center



The Prudential Center, situated on 23 acres (93,077.8 m²), is in the Back Bay neighborhood at 800 Boylston Street and houses a 495229 square feet (46,008.3 m²) shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

, the Shops at Prudential Center
Shops at Prudential Center
The Shops at Prudential Center is an urban shopping center located at the base of the Prudential Tower in Boston, Massachusetts. The mall lies adjacent to many other destinations such as: Hynes Convention Center, the 101/111 Huntington Avenue office towers, and a skywalk connecting it to Copley...

, in the base. Known to locals as "the Pru," it is bordered by Belvedere, Dalton, Boylston, and Exeter streets, along with Huntington Avenue
Huntington Avenue (Boston)
Huntington Avenue is a secondary thoroughfare in the city of Boston, Massachusetts beginning at Copley Square, and continuing west through the Back Bay, Fenway, Longwood, and Mission Hill neighborhoods...

. Before the Prudential development, the site was a switch yard for the Boston and Albany Railroad
Boston and Albany Railroad
The Boston and Albany Railroad was a railroad connecting Boston, Massachusetts to Albany, New York, later becoming part of the New York Central Railroad system, Conrail and CSX. The line is used by CSX for freight...

. By 1965, a part of the negotiations for the Massachusetts Turnpike
Massachusetts Turnpike
The Massachusetts Turnpike is the easternmost stretch of Interstate 90. The Turnpike begins at the western border of Massachusetts in West Stockbridge connecting with the Berkshire Connector portion of the New York State Thruway...

 extension included the construction of the roadway below parts of the Prudential complex. The Prudential still has its own (eastbound only) exit from the turnpike for this reason.

The new skyscraper at 111 Huntington Avenue
111 Huntington Avenue
111 Huntington Avenue is one of Boston's newest skyscrapers and is part of the Prudential Center complex that also houses the Prudential Tower. Completed in 2002, the tower is 554 feet tall and houses 36 floors. The building is the tallest skyscraper built in Boston since 1987...

 was completed in 2002, directly across the street from The Colonnade Hotel, at 120 Huntington Avenue. The third tower of the Prudential Center is 101 Huntington Avenue; at a mere 25 stories, it is overshadowed by the other two.

The Hynes Convention Center
Hynes Convention Center
The John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center located in Boston was built in 1988 from a design by architects Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood. It replaced a previous building, also a convention center, regarded as "ungainly." The 1988 design "attempted to relate in scale and materials to its...

 is 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. By the fall of 2007 another major development was completed along Boylston Street at the Prudential Center complex: the Mandarin Oriental, Boston hotel.

The complex has direct indoor connections to two MBTA stops, Prudential
Prudential (MBTA station)
Prudential is an underground light rail stop in Boston, Massachusetts on the "E" branch of the MBTA Green Line. It is located below Huntington Avenue next to the Prudential Tower complex near Belvidere Street.-Fare control:...

 and Back Bay
Back Bay (MBTA station)
Back Bay station, located at 145 Dartmouth Street, between Stuart Street and Columbus Avenue, is a train station in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston...

. 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" Branch after the split from the main line at Copley Square. Back Bay
Back Bay (MBTA station)
Back Bay station, located at 145 Dartmouth Street, between Stuart Street and Columbus Avenue, is a train station in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston...

 is a stop on the Orange Line
Orange Line (MBTA)
The Orange Line is one of the four subway lines of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. It extends from Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain, Boston in the south to Oak Grove in Malden, Massachusetts in the north. It meets the Red Line at Downtown Crossing, the Blue Line at State, and the Green...

 and is accessible to the complex via the Copley Place
Copley Place
Copley Place is an enclosed shopping mall, constructed in 1983, located in the Back Bay section of Boston, Massachusetts. It is owned by Simon Property Group, which acquired it in the 2002 breakup of the then-Dutch owned Urban Shopping Centers, Inc...

 mall, to which it is attached by a walkway over Huntington Avenue. Back Bay
Back Bay (MBTA station)
Back Bay station, located at 145 Dartmouth Street, between Stuart Street and Columbus Avenue, is a train station in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston...

 is also served by Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

, including the Acela high-speed train. This means it is possible to travel from the observation lounge in the Pru to the top of the MetLife Building
MetLife Building
The MetLife Building, originally called the Pan Am Building, is a skyscraper located at 200 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.-History:...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 without going outdoors (by walking through the mall to Back Bay Station, hopping on Amtrak to Penn Station in New York, and taking the subway to Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal —often incorrectly called Grand Central Station, or shortened to simply Grand Central—is a terminal station at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States...

).

In addition, the Prudential Center serves as one of three starting locales for the Boston Duck Tours
Ride the Ducks
Ride the Ducks is a national duck tour operator, and an eponymous tourist attraction in U.S. cities such as Branson, Missouri, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, Newport, Kentucky, San Francisco, CA, Philadelphia, PA, and Stone Mountain Park, Georgia. It makes use of over 90 amphibious vehicles to...

, a popular tourist attraction in the city.

List of tenants

  • Ropes & Gray, 17 floors, mostly above 26th floor; reception on 48th floor.
  • Partners HealthCare
    Partners HealthCare
    Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization that owns several hospitals in Massachusetts, primarily in the Boston area. Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital founded the organization in 1994...

    , several floors; head office is on the 11th
  • SAS
    SAS Institute
    SAS Institute Inc. , headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, USA, has been a major producer of software since it was founded in 1976 by Anthony Barr, James Goodnight, John Sall and Jane Helwig...

    , 22nd floor
  • Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., 25th floor
  • Posternak, Blankstein & Lund LLP, 32nd-33rd floors
  • St. Francis Chapel
    St. Francis Chapel (Boston)
    St. Francis Chapel is a Roman Catholic house of worship located inside the Prudential Center Complex in Boston, Massachusetts. The chapel, which is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, opened in 1969 and is staffed by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary...

    , ground floor of the Prudential Center Complex

Media placement


The Prudential Tower's most notable film credit was the 2007 Disney film Underdog
Underdog (film)
Underdog is a 2007 American live-action comedy film based on the cartoon series of the same name. The film was directed by Frederik Du Chau and stars Peter Dinklage as Dr. Simon Bar Sinister, Patrick Warburton as Cad Lackley, and Jason Lee as the voice of Underdog. The film also stars Jim Belushi,...

. It can be seen with 111 Huntington Avenue
111 Huntington Avenue
111 Huntington Avenue is one of Boston's newest skyscrapers and is part of the Prudential Center complex that also houses the Prudential Tower. Completed in 2002, the tower is 554 feet tall and houses 36 floors. The building is the tallest skyscraper built in Boston since 1987...

 and the John Hancock Tower
John Hancock Tower
The John Hancock Tower, officially named Hancock Place and colloquially known as The Hancock, is a 60-story, 790-foot skyscraper in Boston. The tower was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the firm I. M. Pei & Partners and was completed in 1976...

 as Underdog is flying over the city of Boston.

The tower can also be seen with 111 Huntington Avenue and the John Hancock Tower on the opening and closing shots of most NECN news reports.

External links