Building Within a Building: 110 High Street and 50 Post Office Square

110 High Street: Proposed Entrance.

BOSTON–LaSalle Investment Management, the owner of 50 Post Office Square in Boston, has unveiled some additional information on the next phases of the project. The new entrance and official address of the building will be 110 High Street.

Also, the new entrance to the first six floors on 110 High Street will have a state of the art, first-of-its-kind indoor outdoor customizable media screen, that will deliver a workplace dynamic similar to that of the Innovation District.

Project Overview:

At 20 stories tall with over 500,000 square feet of floor area, 50 Post Office Square is an iconic Art Deco building in the heart of Boston’s Financial District. The building was originally built in 1948 as the headquarters for the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, with a substantial addition constructed in 1966. In 2013, Elkus Manfredi Architects worked with the owners to reposition the building as a Class-A Office building, reconfiguring the ground floor to add retail and a new contemporary lobby.

110 High Street: Rendering

Presently, LaSalle is collaborating with Elkus Manfredi on a new lobby for the 110 High Street entry. This new entry, relocated from the east side of the building, will be a 35 foot tall glass curtain wall addition at the corner of Congress and High Street. With this more prominent location, the 110 High Street lobby will be a welcoming beacon to those approaching from South Station. The modern design features a band of interactive media artwork that flows from the exterior into the lobby. The transparent lobby is intended to enliven the streetscape and complement the character of the original Art Deco façade.

Project Description:

LaSalle is pursuing an innovative ground-level renovation on the 110 High Street side of 50 Post Office Square that will create a “building within a building.” For tenants on the 2-6 floors. The project will add a fresh take on this iconic building through a new lobby addition and new 6th floor roof deck. A 35 foot- high glass curtain enclosure has been built around the new lobby. The company will be installing an indoor/outdoor media band that is the first of its kind in the Boston MSA.

110 High Street-Artist Rendering

The technology design for 110 High Street centers on the 100-foot continuous LED band that wraps through the lobby. The media features generative animations that react to the presence and movement of people through the space. Those animations are driven by a suite of interior and exterior sensors, a CPU capable of producing real-time renders based on that sensor data, and a CMS backend that allows administrators to customize the onscreen content.

The media band begins on the outside of the building, before flowing into the lobby. Like the all-glass lobby it emerges from, this move blurs the line between interior and exterior, draws people into the space, and activates the entire corner with dynamic media.  At night, gentle uplighting washes the building and activates the façade.

The media content will also have “special moments” including silhouettes running on the Boston Marathon day, sports fan wear on days of Celtics/Pats/Red Sox games, etc.

Building Background:

50 Post Office Square is a 782,000-square-foot, 20-story building that is known for its art deco design. It’s in a prime location, bordered by Franklin, Pearl and Congress Streets. The property, formerly known as 185 Franklin Street, was completed in 1947. It was solely occupied for some six decades by New England Telephone & Telegraph and its successor, Verizon – who maintains occupancy on the second through fourth floors.

Prior to LaSalle’s purchase in 2015, the former owner (Bentall Kennedy) conducted a $35 million renovation that made the building suitable for multiple tenants by enhancing common areas and infrastructure, and added 21,000 sf of retail space and about 110 underground parking spaces.

The occupancy rate is now about 90%. Investment bank Brown Brothers Harriman has a 410,000-sf lease that runs until 2028.