Wright Tavern, on Lexington Road in Concord, was built in 1747 by Ephraim Jones, who operated it until 1751. Standing in the center of town, it was a popular gathering place for Concord’s leading citizens. For five days in October 1774, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress met in the First Parish Church, next door, and the committees of the Congress met in the Tavern. In 1775, the Tavern was managed by Amos Wright. On the morning of the Battle of April 19, the Concord minutemen assembled at the Tavern. Later that day, the British force, under Maj. John Pitcairn, arrived and the British officers were served at the Tavern. The First Parish Unitarian Church of Concord now owns the building, which, since 1997, has been the Wright Tavern Center for Spiritual Renewal.
Built in 1871, the Mansard-roofed French Second Empire style corner building of the Hotel Vendome, on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, was designed by William G. Preston, who had studied in Paris. The western section, designed by J.F. Ober and R. Rand, followed in 1881. Hotel Vendome was for many years the city’s premier hotel, but by the late 1960s attempts were made to demolish the outmoded building. Renovations were almost complete in 1972, when a fire destroyed the southeast section of the original structure. Nine firefighters died when part of the building collapsed after the fire was out. There is a memorial to the nine firefighters on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall at Dartmouth Street. A 1970s addition to the Vendome by Stahl/Bennett in the Brutalist style replaced the destroyed section. The building today houses apartments, offices and stores.
The Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston was built in 1912 on Copley Square, at the site of the old Museum of Fine Arts building (1876), which was torn down in 1909. The hotel was designed by the local architect Clarence Blackall, working with Henry J. Hardenbergh, a nationally renowned architect of hotels, who had studied with the Ecole des Beaux Arts-trained Detlef Lienau. John Singer Sargent had a suite in the hotel in the early 1920s. The building is now the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.
The curiosities collection of the Springfield Museums, which goes back to 1859, was at first housed in City Hall and then in the City Library. It was later displayed in the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum‘s Hall of Ethnology. This collection soon grew so large that a seperate building was constructed in 1899. Originally established as the Springfield Ethnological and Natural History Museum, it is now the Springfield Science Museum.
The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is one of the four (soon to be five) Springfield Museums. The Springfield Museums Association traces its origins to the varied collections of the Springfield City Library Association, gathered in the nineteenth century. Money was raised to construct a seperate art museum building after the association was promised, in 1886, the vast collection of George Walter Vincent Smith and his Springfield-born wife, Belle Townsley Smith. A wealthy carriage manufacturer, Smith had settled in Springfield in 1871 and focused on collecting Asian decorative arts, American and Italian paintings, rugs and textiles. The museum, completed in 1895, was designed to resemble an Italian villa. The ashes of the Smiths are interred inside a wall on the second floor of the museum.