Courtesy of The Dagny Boston
HBA Los Angeles renovated The Dagny Boston Hotel with guest rooms featuring wainscoting accents in handsome blue. This superior king room has build-in reading lights and woven and leather-like fabric wraps on the furniture.

HBA Los Angeles Restores the Historic Batterymarch Building into The Dagny Boston Hotel

Nov. 8, 2023
Fusing heritage with modernity, Boston's inaugural skyscraper gets transformed into an Art Deco hospitality experience.
Nestled at the crossroads of work and leisure, where Downtown Boston and the Financial District meet, The Dagny Boston Hotel welcomes guests and locals to explore the next chapter in the building’s storied history. Renowned as the Batterymarch Building, the Art Deco structure achieved iconic status in 1928 as Boston’s inaugural skyscraper, marking a new era in the city’s architectural heritage. International hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates Los Angeles recently completed a multi-million-dollar restoration as the historic building joins the city’s independent hotel scene, aptly named using Old Norse words for “new day,” The Dagny Boston offers a refresh for the building.

Notable artist and architect Harold Field Kellogg designed the exterior, which the Boston Landmarks Commission designated in 1995 to be preserved because of its stunning design and contribution to Boston’s architectural history. In 1998 the building was converted to a hotel as part of the preservation effort. The lobby ceiling still has the original gold leaf Art Deco mural of Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders with the skyline of the City of Boston appearing on the horizon.

“Drawing inspiration from the property’s location, with both the leisurely attractions of downtown and the Financial District just outside the doorstep, our design for The Dagny Boston caters to guests whether they’re visiting for work, play, or a blend of the two,” said HBA Los Angeles Senior Project Designer Laleh Ghafarzadeh. “It was important to us to thread the building’s history throughout the interiors while honoring the locale and offering a fresh take on modern-day comforts. The design maintains the original Art Deco mural on the lobby ceiling as a nod to the history of the building and the city. We incorporated Art Deco moments and elements of the city’s heritage throughout the public spaces and guest rooms, from the rich material and color palettes to the textures and gilded accents.”

The Dagny boasts 377 freshly reimagined guestrooms and 26 updated suites—with accommodations featuring floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms. Guest room corridors feature gray woven wallcoverings, offering a calmer mood as they transition to their rooms. The carpets feature graphic repetition threads and the rooms have updated furnishings in the TV dressers, lounge chairs and sofas, tables and office chairs, nightstands, window treatments and hardware. 

“Guest rooms are warm, welcoming and refined, designed with a playful sense of sophisticated intellect and quality craftsmanship. Woven and leather-like fabrics wrap the furniture with layered, textural sensibility. Wainscoting accent in handsome blue serves as a smart backdrop against a custom headboard with built-in reading lights,” said Ghafarzadeh.

The design extends seamlessly to the hotel’s 15 meeting rooms and 9,000 square feet of innovative event space. Guests can enjoy city views while using cutting-edge equipment in the 2,000-sq.-ft. fitness center.

“We wanted guests to feel the luxury of the Roaring Twenties era and experience local culture through the hotel’s design,” Ghafarzadeh said. A serene on-site library, weekly yoga classes and curated itineraries with unique-to-Boston outings are offered, crafted by certified Les Clefs d’Or concierges. “The whimsical library is an intimate space that nods to Boston’s literary legacy where guests can unwind. It finds rare common ground for Boston’s literary icons, combining the mysteries of Edgar Allan Poe with the contemplative nature of Sylvia Plath,” she said. “To the lobby’s moody Mad Men vibe, The Dagny adds affectionate feminine flair. Exposed brick in the restaurant and coffee shop lends edited rusticity, paired with wood accents and pops of color.”

At the hotel’s center are two of the city’s most popular culinary cocktail and coffee hotspots. The renowned Tradesman Coffee Shop & Lounge features a robust all-day menu and the space transforms into a cocktail lounge at night. The Fin Point Oyster Bar & Grille fine-dining restaurant

offers up a decadent raw bar and ocean-to-table plates that entice both locals and travelers alike.

A double entrance allows guests to visit Downtown Boston on one side of the hotel and experience the pulse of the Financial District on the other. The hotel also provides an easy walk to the popular South Boston Waterfront that boasts favored museums, art galleries, and the city’s most desirable waterfront restaurants and bars.

“Inspired by a city where history sits comfortably alongside innovation, the design of The Dagny Boston is defined by duality working in perfect harmony,”  Ghafarzadeh said. “The narrative pays homage to the building’s distinguished provenance as Boston’s first Art Deco ‘skyscraper’ and caters to both sides of the city’s dynamic – purpose and play. Clean-lined wood paneling and rich scholarly color palettes pair with a variety of textures and materials to create a tailored, charismatic environment with unexpected notes of levity in a way that is authentic to the locale.”

About the Author

Lauren Brant | Editor at BUILDINGS

Lauren Brant is the editor of BUILDINGS. Prior to joining Endeavor Business Media, she served as deputy news editor at a daily and editor of a weekly newspaper. She is an award-winning editor and writer.

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