Project Progress: Building Permit Issued

Architects NBBJ
General Contractors Suffolk
Engineers VHB
Legal Services Rubin and Rudman LLP
Owner Suffolk University

About the Ames Building - 1 Court Street Dorm

1 Court Street, Financial District, Boston, MA

Suffolk University has won approval for new student housing at the site of the existing Ames Hotel at 1 Court Street in the Government Center area of Downtown.

The conversion will involve 114 rooms and approximately 280 beds of undergraduate student housing. Interior renovations are limited to furniture changes and security upgrades, with no major changes proposed to the existing site or the existing building facade. The project also includes approximately 2,200 square feet of active ground floor use consisting of a student lounge and publicly accessible retail space.

The Ames Building is a hotel and skyscraper located in Boston, MA. It stood as the tallest building in Boston from its completion in 1893 until 1915, when the Custom House Tower was built; however, it was not the tallest overall structure in Boston, as the steeple of the 1867 Church of the Covenant was much taller than the Ames Building.

It is considered to be Boston's first skyscraper. In 2007, the building was converted from office space to a luxury hotel.

Located at 1 Court Street and Washington Mall in downtown Boston, the Ames Building was designed by the architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge in Richardsonian Romanesque and paid for by Frederick L. Ames. It is the second tallest masonry load bearing-wall structure in the world, exceeded only by the Monadnock Building in Chicago, completed that same year. It is fourteen stories high with a three-story granite base and sandstone and brick. The sandstone is from the Berea formation in Ohio and was supplied by Cleveland Quarries Company. Construction was completed in 1889, but interior work was not completed for occupancy until 1893. It became the corporate headquarters for the Ames families' agricultural tool company.

The Ames Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 26, 1974, and later designated as a Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 1993.

After being unoccupied for eight years, the building was purchased in April 2007 by Eamon O’Marah, Rich Kilstock and Seth Greenberg (Ames Hotel Partners, LLC) and Normandy Real Estate Partners for $17.7 million. Renovations to the building were performed by Tishman Construction Corporation of New York-based on a design by Cambridge Seven Associates and with oversight provided by Walsh Co. LLC of Morristown, New Jersey.

Since 2009, the Ames Building has been doing business as a luxury boutique hotel under the name of The Ames Boston Hotel.

Construction Cost $4,985,673.00
Acquisition Cost $61,763,475.00
Square Feet 102,073


Stories 13
Height (feet) 505
Start Date May 22, 2020
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Latest Updates

May 22, 2020

Permit Pulled to Begin Conversion of Ames Building to Suffolk Dorm


May 14, 2020

BPDA Approves Suffolk's Plan to Convert Historic Ames Building to a Dorm


Sep 25, 2019

Suffolk University Buys Ames Building for $61.76 Million


Sep 23, 2019

Suffolk University Makes Proposal for Ames Hotel Conversion


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