Prudential Tower

  • skyscraper
  • international-style
  • MA
  • Boston
Prudential Tower
  1. About the Prudential Tower in Boston
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Prudential Tower is an International Style skyscraper designed by The Luckman Partnership and built between 1960 and 1964 in Boston, MA.

Prudential Tower is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The Prudential Tower is also known, or has been known as, Prudential Building, or The Pru.

Its precise street address is 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. You can also find it on the map here.

The Prudential Tower is part of the Prudential complex, which also includes several smaller buldings.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

The Luckman Partnership was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design. But there was also one other architect involved, as far as we know. We are talking about Hoyle, Doran and Berry Architects.

The Luckman Partnership and the other architects already mentioned were in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline involving many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the Prudential Tower a reality:

  • Perini Corporation as the Main Contractor
  • Otis as the company in charge of the elevators system
  • Boston Properties as the Main Developer

Architectural Style

The Prudential Tower can be categorized as an International Style building.

The international style originated in Europe in the early 20th century, and made its way to the US a couple of decades later when the rise of the Nazi regime forced figures such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, or Mies van der Rohe to flee Europe.

The International Style emerged as a response to the prevailing historicism and ornate architecture styles of the late 19th century, which according to a younger generation of architects didn't represent the new materials and construction techniques that were on the rise at the time.

Architecture in the early 20th century US was marked by the adoption of steel structures, modern construction techniques, and the rise of the skyscraper. As it turns out, this combination of circumstances created the perfect ecosystem for the International Style to flourish, becoming the to-go style for skyscraper designs during the mid-20th century, when American cities were growing fast.

The International Style’s legacy can not only be found in numerous iconic buildings across all major American cities, but also incorporated in contemporary architecture, which still puts a big emphasis on functionality and minimalism.

The Prudential Tower was completed in 1964. By 1964 the International Style movement had already left its early days behind and could be considered a mature movement, which does not mean it was loved and accepted by everyone, on the contrary. The International Style was accepted by the architecture community way before it was by the general public, and it is therefore likely that the Prudential Tower was not well received by everyone at the time.

Spaces & Uses

The Prudential Tower reaches an architectural height of 751ft (229m), 906ft (276m) if you count the antenna. It has a total of 52 floors, which combined offer a total of 1,200,003 sqf (111,484m2) of usable space.

If you want to get a nice view of Boston the Prudential Tower offers an observatory deck. You can plan your visit to the View Boston by visiting its website here.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1964, the Prudential Tower has mainly been used as Commercial space.

906ft (276m)
751ft (229m)

Materials & Structure

The Prudential Tower uses a frame structure made of steel columns and reinforced concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features an intricate curtain wall that alternates transparent glass panes with opaque panes. The curtain wall is divided into very narrow vertical strips divided in a way that resembles a masonry pattern, but running vertically instead of horizontally.