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Maritime “pocket” Museum at Battery Wharf

The Fairmont Battery Wharf formally opened the Maritime Museum this week with an outdoor celebration, including podium speeches by the Mayor and other dignitaries. The Museum is being referred to as a pocket museum, with its 1,000 square feet of space retelling the history of Massachusetts Bay, featuring the U.S. Coast Guard and the history of Battery Wharf from colonial times to present. The facility and viewing deck are free to the public. Vivien Li, Executive Director of The Boston Harbor Association, also spoke at the gathering regarding the museum’s addition to the Harborwalk. Matthew Sterne, Fairmont’s general manager, noted the 150-room hotel was sold out over the 4th of July weekend. Also present were Kevin McCarthy, Managing Principal & President of PNC Reality Investors Inc. and Michael A. Gackstetter, General Manager of Battery Wharf residences.

The 5 minute video below has clips of the speeches as recorded by Boston Condo Loft. Note the Mayor’s reference to how important the “155 foot height limit” is for waterfront development (and someone in the audience correcting him to say 55 feet.)

The museum opening is the last significant part of the $372 million project to open, although there is still a vacant spot for a second restaurant. At the presentation, the project was credited with creating 250 jobs.

According to the Herald, “its first year of operation could be difficult. An industry report released yesterday said luxury hotels in Boston are expected to have the second worst year in recent history this year with a 20 percent decline expected in revenue per available room, according to PKF Consulting. Things aren’t much better on the residence side with only about half of the condos sold. The balance are listed from about $1 to $7 million.

Other recent news is the partnering of the Fairmont with the Eliot School in the North End (see previous post.) And about a month ago, the final 40 rooms opened as part of its “gold plan” for VIP guests in the smaller front building near Lincoln Wharf. The VIP section offers a lounge with complimentary breakfast, evening hors d’ oeuvres, coffee/tea and an honor bar for drinks. The honor bar apparently allows VIP guests to obtain drinks and charge them to their own bill using the honor system.

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