Boston Hotel Buckminster – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

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Boston Hotel Buckminster

This hotel was the site of major events in sports and radio history. It was also used as a detention center during World War II. 


The Boston Hotel Buckminster was constructed in 1897. At the time, it was the largest building in Kenmore Square. Between 1919 and 1950, the building was the site of three notable historical events, covering sports, radio, and jazz.

In 1919, the hotel was the site of a meeting between Joseph “Sport” Sullivan, a gambler, and Arnold “Chick” Gandil the first baseman for the Chicago White Sox. During this meeting, the men allegedly conspired to fix the 1919 World Series, which resulted in the banning of eight White Sox players. The story was immortalized in the film, Eight Men Out.

In 1929, WNAC radio moved its studios to the hotel. Six years prior, WNAC joined with New York station WEAF to create the first chain broadcast in radio history. 

Finally, in 1950, the Storyville nightclub moved to the first floor of the hotel. Over the following decades, it hosted such jazz luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, and others. The hotel is currently closed, although plaques commemorating these events are easily seen from the sidewalk on Beacon St. The building was also used during World War II to house Italian prisoners of war. 

Update as of June 2021: The Hotel Buckminster is closed indefinently. 

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April 9, 2021

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