The story of the Verb Hotel is one that began way back in 1959 when the Fenway Motor Hotel first opened its doors at 1271 Boylston Street. Located deep in the heart of Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, the two-story building was designed to 1950s modernist ideals by architects Irving Salsberg and Ralph Leblanc. It was a time of optimism, style and, above all, great music.
From the beginning, this mid-century classic had all of those elements. But it’s the bustling backdrop of Fenway, with its mix of finger-on-the-cultural pulse, urban charm and sense of community, that has always played a big part in the hotel’s personality. Its cast of unconventional characters, electrifying music scene and indie edge have all helped shape the events and stories that the hotel has played a part in ever since.
During the last half-century, the changes in Fenway have been profound. Our neighborhood nurtured the music scene of Kenmore Square and the multitude of clubs on Lansdowne Street, gave rise to the pre-eminent alternative weekly newspaper, the Boston Phoenix, housed the offices of iconic and competitive rock radio stations WFNX-FM and WBCN-FM and has been home to a thriving art scene as well as ever-expanding dining opportunities. And let’s not forget a few epic ball games and stadium music performances along the way. Through the decades, the hotel’s status as a home town icon kept growing, like a cool local personality who’s seen it all and has the characteristic looks to prove it!
So it was out of a deep-felt respect for our past, coupled with our wild imagination for what could be, that our dream to breathe new life into the hotel took shape. Our ambition: To return the site to its rightful place as the home of Fenway’s legends and good times while injecting it with all the things our modern guests could want. Enter The Verb Hotel.
On one level, the creation of The Verb is about the style—the painstaking restoration of the architecture, the idiosyncratic touches and colorful references throughout as overseen by Elkus Manfredi Architects. But on another, it is about the journey to reconnect with our cultural roots. To help us, we enlisted our very own vibe conservators—long-time local cultural observers and players, Stephen Mindich, publisher of the Boston Phoenix, and David Bieber, WBCN Creative Services Director and the Boston Phoenix/WFNX Director of Special Projects—who with real love and attention to detail have summoned up stories and memories of Fenway’s rich music, media and arts scenes.
In many ways, the Boston Phoenix is our kindred spirit; promoter of local music, champion of counter-culture, independent, provocative and passionate. Delving into the treasures of their fabled archives, Stephen and David have curated the authentic events, classic moments and memorable anecdotes and occasions that adorn our interiors. Many of the super-rare pop artifacts and music memorabilia you’ll see are priceless, while all remind us that the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well at The Verb.
The bottom line is, The Verb has been around. It’s a character. At the heart and in our hearts. And now it’s back, restored, reloaded and ready to let the good times roll again. Oh, and why the name? Well, if you want to get literary about it, “Verb” describes an action, and a state of being. But we like that it came from “reverb”—a reminder of the music and attitude that’s inspired us all throughout the years.