I am thrilled to announce that I have been named the official “House Historian” for Boston’s oldest continuously operating hotel, the Omni Parker House.
The OPH, as many of you know, has played an integral part in the history of Boston. In the culinary world, it’s been heralded as the home of the Parker House Roll and Boston Cream Pie—and a place where Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X, and Emeril Lagasse once worked in the kitchens.
The Parker House was where the brightest lights of America’s Golden Age of Literature—writers like Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Longfellow—regularly met in the legendary Saturday Club. At the Parker House, baseball greats like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and David Ortiz wined, dined, and unwound, while generations of local and national politicians—including Ulysses S. Grant, James Michael Curley, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Colin Powell, William Jefferson Clinton, and Deval Patrick—assembled for private meetings, press conferences, and power breakfasts.
But there’s no need for me to tell all this to you now… since it’s in the book.
What book, you ask?
For more than twenty years, I have been researching and writing about the Parker House, starting with my “Sites and Insights” column (and my book by the same name) which ran in the Boston Globe from 1987-1993. Over the years I have written and photographed various pieces about or for the Parker House, as well as done TV shows, tours, and lectures on their fascinating past and present. A year ago, I began working on the ultimate culmination of all these years of study: a brand new volume of images and stories, with the working title, Heaven, By Hotel Standards: The History of the Omni Parker House.
Once the new book is published in 2104, I hope to be working on a variety of other projects with the Omni Parker, including telling these stories through a variety of new technologies and media and helping them further develop the mini-museum of images and artifacts now growing downstairs next to their fitness center.
Stay tuned. This should be a great ride!