Tudor Apartments // 1887

Located at 34 1/2 Beacon Street, at the corner of Joy Street in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, this gorgeous apartment building stands out not only for its height, but interesting architectural design. The apartment building replaced a home owned by Frederick Tudor who was known locally as the “Ice King”. Tudor founded the Tudor Ice Company and a pioneer of the international ice trade in the early 19th century. He invented a way to preserve ice in small containers which would limit melt over long trips, bringing ice for sale to markets all around the world from the Caribbean to India via his wharf in Charlestown.

Developers demolished his home to build a fairly new concept for Boston, a long-term apartment hotel on Beacon Street. Although Boston is credited with having the first apartment building for long-term tenants in the United States (Hotel Pelham, 1857), multi-family living was not readily embraced by proper Bostonians. Instead, confirmed bachelors and moneyed, newlywed Bohemians were among the first to gravitate to apartment living. The architect of the Tudor was Samuel F. J. Thayer, a prominent architect who designed many iconic buildings including Providence’s City Hall. Interestingly, Boston City Directories listed Mrs. Frederick Tudor as residing in one of the apartments as late as 1930. The building has since been converted to luxury condominiums.

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