Hampshire House // 1911

Built in 1911 as a single-family home for Bayard and Ruth Thayer, this building on Beacon Street is one of the most visited in the city (I will get to that later). The four-story home replaced two large townhomes across from the Public Garden and was designed by New York based architect, Ogden Codman, Jr., who was born in Boston into the esteemed Codman family. Bayard Thayer died within five years of the completion of the house, and his widow, Ruth, and their children continued to occupy the massive residence into the 1930s. By 1944, the home was being used as a lodging house, a violation, and it was sold two years later to a realty company who operated apartment houses. From this time the house functioned as a residential hotel known as the Hampshire House. In 1969, Thomas Kershaw acquired the property and kept its name, which it retains today. In the same year they opened the Bull & Finch Pub in the basement, which in 1982 became famous world-wide as the locale for the bar in the television sitcom Cheers, one of the most-watched programs in television history. Pictures of the exterior of the building were used in the show’s credits and scene changes, and the interior was faithfully replicated in a set used in Hollywood. The building is now habitually swarmed by locals trying to get to drink in a piece of cultural history.

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