Prince Spaghetti House and the Hotel Avery

They used to be at the corner of Washington and Avery streets downtown, which I know thanks to this photo, one of 1,900 or so photos taken in the mid-1950s of Boston and Cambridge and just posted as a Flickr set by MIT.





Hotel Avery


The Hotel Avery was the hotel of choice for visiting actors and actresses. I can't find the article, but I remember reading about how the theater stars would do scandalous things in the hallways.

The Haymarket, a gay club, used to be on the first floor for awhile, at least until the late 1980's. Seedy, with hustlers. At least, that's what they said.

First time I was down there looking for it, a cop drove by, rolled down his window and said, "You look like a crime ready to happen."

Below, the start of an article from the Boston Phoenix about the old days and changes to the neighborhood happening then (2001-2002).

SOME 20 YEARS ago, when I was in college, I interviewed the actress Catherine Hicks, who was appearing with Jack Lemmon in the play Tribute at the Colonial Theatre. Our meeting took place at the Avery Hotel, where Hicks was staying for the length of the show’s Boston run. It wasn’t the most posh hotel in the city; in fact, the Avery had the saggy, tattered quality of a locale in a Raymond Chandler novel. But on a working actor’s salary, it made sense for Hicks to stay there. Hicks told me that Jack Lemmon, the star of the show, was staying at the Ritz.

The Avery Hotel, on Avery Street, is just a memory today. The entire block where the little hotel once stood is now dominated by the opulent Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Towers — 190 hotel rooms and 309 luxury condominiums — and the 19-screen Loews Boston Common megamultiplex, all of which opened this year to great fanfare. Avery Street, in fact, looks nothing like it did just a few years ago, never mind 20 years ago, and I’m not sure where a young, working actor appearing in a nearby show could now afford to stay.

The tiny side street that runs between Tremont and Washington is now walled in by towering glass and steel, an effect broken only by a few parking lots.

More: Making way for the New Boston

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reminds me of a memorable night at the Hotel Avery

as a BC student in the early 70's, I worked part-time as a bartender at the "World Famous Two O'Clock Lounge". One of the featured ecdysiasts took a shine to me and once invited me back to her Avery room. Apparently, my candid admission that our March/July relationship was ephemeral prompted her to get my attention my crawling out on the 7th floor window ledge. Visions danced in my head of my mother, rosary beads in hand, reading a Herald headline of "BC student in love-nest stripper death". Once the manager and a Boston cop talked her down, (and got her back on her meds), I beat feet out of there. As we left, the cop suggested that I consider employment in a more mundane environment. Ah, good times.....

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some great photos. thanks for posting the link!

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On top of Spaghetti...

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Has anyone every seen ANYONE in that furniture store that's on top of the Spaghetti House -- under the Reetz?

It's called something like roche bobo...Super high end...

Gotta be soon that place folds, too...just like the other stores up Washington past Paramount --- I mean Emerson/ Suffolk dorms...

Ahhh, progress.

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...those pictures/ website ROCK...
cheers for the post...

50's Boston always seems so racially and politically sedate when you view it in B/W...


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