Today 91 Bay State Road (map) is a Boston University dormitory for Kilachand Honors College students. Since September 2012 it has gone by the name Kilachand Hall. Over the years it has had other names and an interesting history.
It was opened in 1923 as the Sheraton Apartment Hotel. It was one of the popular "apartment hotels."
In his book, Built in Boston, architectural historian Douglass Shand-Tucci explained how these differed from commercial hotels, "... apartment hotels did not seek transient guests." He added, "... they were popularly described as the habitats of the 'newly wed and the nearly dead.'"
BU Today published a story, "One Address, Many Stories: Shelton Hall’s stately, swinging past" on the history of the building in 2012.
If you click over and read this article, you'll learn:
- The Sheraton Hotel chain was named after this building when new owners acquired it in 1939 and unified their holdings under the Sheraton moniker.
- The rooftop was famous as a place for society entertaining.
- In 1950 new owners created the name Shelton possibly as a money saving measure.
- Some say the building is haunted by the spirit of Eugene O'Neill who died on the 4th floor.
- BU bought the building in 1954 and renamed it Shelton Hall and used it as a female dormitory.
When you approach the building from Bay State Road, it's easy to forget that it stands on the banks of the Charles as shown in this postcard.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2016 Penny & Ed Cherubino