MHS President Catherine Allgor Shares Their Beloved Historical Collection And The Langham Managing Director Michele Grosso On The Beauty Of A Federal Bank-Turned-Luxury Hotel
Because of its pivotal role in the American Revolution, Boston became rich in both cultural and scientific aspects. This global city is home to delicious seafood, mesmerizing culture, and colorful traditions. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth delve into the heart of Boston with Catherine Allgor, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Michele Gross, Managing Director of The Langham Hotel. Andy and Todd also share their favorite things to visit and do when visiting Boston, from trying out various dishes to seeing historical artifacts that provide a glimpse of the past.
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Boston is one of the oldest municipalities in the country, founded by Puritan settlers in 1630. Its pivotal role during the American Revolution made it an intersection of rich cultural and scientific developments. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth go into the heart of this thriving global city, checking out its most interesting stories to tell and the most delicious cuisine to try.
Catherine Allgor, President of Massachusetts Historical Society
The nation’s first historical society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, promotes understanding of the history of Massachusetts and the United States. Founded by Jeremy Belknap in 1791, the organization collects historical materials and resources to preserve them for the next generations.
Catherine’s Favorite MHS Items
- The sword was carried by the Massachusett’s 54th Volunteer Infantry Regimen, the first military unit of Black soldiers to be raised in the north during the Civil War.
- All papers of the family of John Quincy Adam
- A copy of the U.S. Constitution
- A copy of the Declaration of Independence
- Thomas Jefferson’s papers, more than the entire State of Virginia
- The pen used by Abraham Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation
What To Look Forward To
- Hold various events at the MHS’s historic building full of rare carvings
- Join curated tours for 5-70 people and immerse yourself in an unparalleled setting that feels authentic and magical, guided by MHS’s talented and knowledgeable staff
Andy and Todd’s Boston Favorites
- Visit the Quincy Market, full of traditional market stalls featuring local and international specialties.
- See the USS Constitution Old Ironsides, the oldest commission ship in the U.S. fleet, launched in 1797.
- Eat lobster rolls in Neptune Oyster, known for some of the best seafood in the world.
- Go to Chinatown, the third-largest in the country, located on the southern edge of Boston.
- Appreciate the personal collection of Isabella at the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, composed of priceless European, Asian, and American art.
Michele Grosso, Managing Director of The Langham Hotel
Michele became The Langham’s new Managing Director in 2019, ahead of its historic $200-million renovation. A four-star and four-diamond property located in Boston’s financial district, it is only a 10-12 minute drive from the airport. The hotel’s main structure was the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
After the renovation, most of the building’s outside façade was left intact, but the rooms inside were rebuilt and redone. It perfectly blends classic and modern architecture, giving a strong Boston vibe to every guest or traveler.
- Wyeth Room
- Used to be the office of the bank president
- Other than a new carpet and fresh drapes, the room is restored like it was in 1922
- Features two huge murals painted by N.C. Wyeth.
- A modern Italian restaurant
- Named after the Italian word for grain and the slang word for cash
- Used to be the Grand Hall of the bank
- Features the original floor from 1922 with the seal of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston at the center
- The Fed
- It has outdoor seating and a terrace perfect for summer
- Very approachable and open to all locals
- Has beers on tap outsourced from a local brewery
- Provides an amazing cocktail program and New England fair
Places of Interest Near The Langham
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace for shopping (8-9 minute walk)
- North End, Boston, to grab a coffee, buy some cannoli, or have dinner (1-minute walk)
- Seaport District to explore new restaurants (10-minute walk across the bridge)
- Boston Common and T.D. Garden to catch a game of the Celtics or Bruins (12-minute walk)
Michele’s Boston Bucket List
- Do the harbor and see the entire city from the water
- Join the Freedom Trail
About Michele Grosso
Michele Grosso joined The Langham, Boston, in 2019 in advance of its historic renovation as the new Managing Director. Before joining The Langham, Boston, Grosso spent most of his career with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Over the last 28 years, he has worked at some of the most high-profile hotels and resorts within the Four Seasons brand, including Toronto, Milan, Prague, Singapore, Punta Mita in Mexico, and, most recently, Chicago.
A native of Italy, Michele spent part of his childhood living in a hotel in South Africa where his father was the general manager. After spending a summer working at the iconic Hotel George V in Paris when he was 17, he knew he wanted to join the family business and become a luxury hotelier.
About Catherine Allgor
Catherine Allgor is the president of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Previously, she had been the Nadine and Robert Skotheim Director of Education at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, and a former Professor of History and U.C. Presidential Chair at the University of California, Riverside. Allgor attended Mount Holyoke College as a Frances Perkins Scholar and received her Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University, where she also won the Yale Teaching Award. Her dissertation received a prize as the best dissertation in American History at Yale and The Lerner-Scott Prize for the Best Dissertation in U.S. Women’s History. She began her teaching career at Simmons College and has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a Visiting Professor of History at Harvard University.
Her first book, “Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government” (University Press of Virginia, 2000), won the James H. Broussard First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association Annual Book Award. Her political biography, “A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation” (Henry Holt, 2006), was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. In 2012, she published “Dolley Madison: The Problem of National Unity” (Westview Press) and “The Queen of America: Mary Cutts’s Life of Dolley Madison” (University of Virginia Press). President Obama has appointed Allgor to a presidential commission, The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.
Catherine Allgor also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum and the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians. She is a member of the Gilder Lehrman Scholarly Advisory Board.
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