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PSFK Visits: The Ames Hotel Captures The Spirit Of Boston

PSFK take a tour of the latest Morgans Hotel offering and learns how a building can reflect a city, both inside and out.

Laura Feinstein
Laura Feinstein on August 17, 2011. @Whatsherrrface

If you were lucky enough to go to school in Massachusetts, especially the Boston area, then you know that there’s a distinct New England sensibility towards design. Instead of the flash and calculated sleekness of New York or other major cities, Boston is a little more down-to earth. With an overall founding- fathers- meets- collegiate feel, and an emphasis on colonial heritage and conservative luxury-there’s just something so distinctly Americana about Boston. During a recent stay at The Ames Boston, we were struck by how this building (the most recent addition to the Morgans Hotel stable) embodied these sort of themes–especially in comparison with some of their other establishments. Just as The Mondrian Soho, with its rockstar guests and enchanted interiors just felt so ‘Soho,’ The Ames feels like the kind of place where important political figures might kick-off their heels and relax with a drink. For those wanting to do so, the downstairs restaurant The Woodward (with a regional ingredient-driven menu by Executive Chef Mark Goldberg) has an excellent cocktail menu as the folks over at notcot recently demonstrated.

One of the things we’re always impressed with when visiting a Morgans Hotel are the subtle touches–in this case finishes inspired by men’s tailoring, special touches like memento plates by the bed, and an overall rich and luxurious color-scheme. When you first walk in, guests are greeted by the intricate mosaic barrel-vaulted ceiling, and the dramatic marble and brass staircase. To juxtapose the antique quality of the antechamber, overlaying the ceiling is the ‘Mirror Chandelier’ or ‘Mirror Cloud’ installation, a fragmented sculpture created for Ames by London based artists Sophie Nielsen and Rolf Knudsen of Studio Roso. As advertised in their press release, hints of Federal Style inspiration include carefully curated items in their cabinets of curiosity, and in some rooms desks lacquered glossy white nightstands adorned with lamps of black chrome, in reference to the whale-oil lamps and fishing industries which once buoyed the city. Despite this attention to historic signifiers, there are still hints of the Morgan’s signature contemporary glamor in the dramatic floor-to-ceiling arched windows, giving visitors a perfect aerial view of the historic neighborhood.

The Ames building itself, re-designed by Rockwell Group in collaboration with the Morgans’ design team, comes complete with its own interesting history. The original Romanesque-Byzantine inspired structure was actually the corporate headquarters for the Ames families’ agricultural tool company. Commissioned by titan of industry Oakes Ames, who was a Congressman from Massachusetts and many say played a large hand in overseeing the construction of the Union Pacific railroad, The Ames building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1974.

With fall wedding season approaching, we highly recommend those looking for a place to experience the more refined side of Beantown check out The Ames for an experience that’s just as fitting for Ben Franklin as it would for Ben Affleck.

The Ames Boston

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