Revolution Hotel Wins 2020 Boston Preservation Achievement Award

BPA Awards 2020

Kaplan Construction is pleased to announce that The Revolution Hotel in Boston has been awarded a 2020 Preservation Achievement award by the Boston Preservation Alliance. Designed by Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, the 73,000 SF historic hotel renovation was honored along with eight other projects that “show the resilience of individuals, the versatility of historic buildings, and the importance of storytelling in keeping our histories alive.”

Bestowed annually since 1988, the Preservation Achievement Awards honor outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compatible new construction in Boston. Celebrated for their positive impact on the city’s built environment, winning projects are looked upon as models for future preservation work.

Taken from

Mid-century architecture has had a challenging existence, particularly when constructed in a neighborhood dominated by traditional 19th-century brownstones. Yet this misunderstood style is finding a new audience. A combination of an environmental ethic which emphasizes reuse of existing buildings and a growing appreciation for the functional, stripped-down honesty of architecture, like that of The Revolution Hotel, is leading to the celebration of buildings once derided. When the Mount Vernon Company purchased the former 1953 YWCA, they took on a challenge. The Young Women’s Christian Association began in Boston in 1866 “to aid the young working-women of Boston” and has been providing services for the past 150 years. Forty Berkeley Street was the site of one of the first buildings of the YWCA, which was dedicated to the cause in 1884 and later demolished in 1953 for the current mid-century structure. This complex once housed up to 211 women who were joining the workforce or going to school after WWII and supported women as they transitioned from living with their parents to their own homes.

The project team left the exterior design largely unchanged while returning lost elements to their original form, such as an original canopy. The interior hotel transformation retained all of the original room sizes while updating mechanicals, windows, etc., leaving a remarkable 41 different room types. Creative reuse of original elements and an embrace of the period and the building’s structure leaves a stripped-down style exposing long-covered original features such as concrete floors, a sweeping mezzanine, and a bank of original YWCA resident mailboxes. The entire space was threaded with street art depicting figures and points of Boston’s history with murals and an “innovation tower” sculpture using antiques from Brimfield Antique Market. The exterior courtyard now has a clear publicly accessible use. The site has been transformed into an eclectic micro-hotel, providing an interesting destination in a bustling part of the city.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

  • Mid-century structures tell us about the evolution of the city, of neighborhoods, and of design. They represent an important chapter in urbanism and the various eras of the lives of cities including that of today. To find creative new uses, to embrace existing materials and creatively transform their utility to meet today’s needs, to celebrate the urban context, and to provide reasonably affordable accommodations for visitors is a laudable goal, and The Revolution Hotel succeeds in all these counts.
    Greg GalerExecutive directorBoston Preservation Alliance

Project team

  • Owner: The Mount Vernon Company
  • Owner’s Rep: WaypointKLA
  • Architect: Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Inc.
  • Construction Manager: Kaplan Construction
  • MEP Engineer: Commercial Construction Consulting (C3)
  • Structural Engineer: Roome & Guarracino