1829 — The First Hotel with Plumbing

Boston, View of Tremont House. With carriage-and-four & accessory figures. Colored steel engraving by John Wykeham Archer (Newcastle upon Tyne 1806/08 – London 1864) after James Kidder in Boston (engraver and draughtsman for engravings, 1st mentioned about 1813). (1834.) Inscribed: J. Kidder de. / Engraved by J. Archer., otherwise as above. 6¾ × 8⅛ in (17 × 20.5 cm).

Boston, Tremont House

Constructed 1829 by Isaiah Rogers (1800-1869) as one of the leading hotel architects in America, Tremont House at the corner Tremont & Beacon Street was the first hotel with plumbing. From a storage tank on the roof filled by a steam-powered pump besides kitchen and laundry the water closets and bathrooms on the ground floor and in the basement resp. – as indoors a hitherto unknown comfort – were provided with running water. The bathing water additionally warmed up locally by gas heating and the soap supplied for free. Further so far unknown innovations were locked rooms for the guests, a reception area, and bellboys. In such a manner

Tremont House set standards in hotel construction

which numerous hotels in all bigger cities of the country followed, including the Astor House in New York City in 1836 as likewise designed by Rogers. To be mentioned besides these and several further hotel buildings the Merchants Exchange in both Boston and New York (today New York City Bank Building 55 Wall Street), the Astor Place Opera House in New York and, together with William Keeley, the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, Kentucky, with the at completion in 1852 with 287 foot tallest spire of North America. Furthermore worth mentioning the patented design of burglar-proof vaults i. a. in the Treasury Building in Washington.

“ About 1820 A(rcher) served his articles in London with John Scott, the renown animal engraver. Returned to Newcastle he created together with William Collard a number of large-sized sheet of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire after drawings by Carmichael and etched Abbey Church and Abbots Tower in Hexham in Northumberland. The turn to the representation of architecture determined A.s whole work since ”

(Paul Goldman & Siegfried Mahn, Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon IV [1992], p. 692).

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