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New design is inspired by prominent groundbreaking Bostonians:
Benjamin Franklin and Isabella Stewart Gardner

Boston, Mass. – August 25, 2014 – The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common today unveiled plans to refurbish the hotel’s luxury Parkview suites and Presidential Suite in the spirit and influence of two of Boston’s most notable personalities, Benjamin Franklin and Isabella Stewart Gardner. The hotel’s suites, which overlook the historic Boston Common and Public Garden, are being reimagined by New York’s Rockwell Group whose desire to create a luxurious and immersive environment will be done using the famed stories and narrative of a prodigious inventor and one of America’s foremost female patrons of the arts. From big picture to the tiniest of details, the suites will offer a seamless synergy of craftsmanship and creativity reflected in environments that combine sophisticated, contemporary design with a nod to historical suggestion and inspiration. Renovation to the hotel’s Parkview suites will commence August 18th and will be completed by September 1st.

Rockwell Group, the award-winning architecture and design firm, is leading the new suite re-design. “For us, it was important that the suites reflect Boston’s rich history,” said Hilli Wuerz, Senior Associate, Rockwell Group. “The lives of Benjamin Franklin and Isabella Stewart Gardener were particularly fascinating to us. We developed a design concept for the suites at The Ritz-Carlton that was inspired by these two great Bostonians. Franklin’s fascination with innovation and Gardner’s love for the arts and travel helped drive a more personalized and residential feel.”

The Ritz-Carlton’s Presidential Suite is being transformed in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin who was born on Milk Street in Boston, just a few blocks from the hotel and who coincidentally wrote that his scientific works were to be used for increasing efficiency and human improvement. Guests will notice the overall improvements to the suite immediately but may not notice the subtle references to one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Among Franklin’s many inventions are bifocal glasses, which serve as a leitmotif for Rockwell Group’s custom light fixtures. For example, the Presidential Suite’s entry features a chandelier made of bifocal lenses that is a unique nod to Franklin’s visual persona. The library is accented with a magnifying glass installed in front of the fixture’s light bulb – a very subtle influence that may take some time for guests to detect.

In the suite’s bathroom, Franklin medallions act as drawer pulls and a whimsical, vintage library chair, with its useful side arm, was added because of Franklin’s affinity for reading and discovery. Look closely at the custom wallpaper and you’ll see vintage bookends. Additional design elements include a new marble foyer, gray stained oak flooring throughout the suite, a custom dining table with walnut top that comfortably seats six and unquestionably breaking from the era of the 1700’s, a very modern fireplace is crowned with a television inlaid into a dramatic mirror. The layout of the suite is designed to capture uninterrupted views and includes a new curved sofa sitting on a custom rug in the living area as well as a window seat in the master bedroom which overlooks the State House. Orange, gray and taupe hues provide color accents.

Isabella Stewart Gardner inspired the design for the hotel’s luxury Parkview suites and her influence can be seen in subtle touches, as if she brought numerous accent pieces back from her travels abroad specifically for these new guestrooms. Such travel treasures include pillow shams adorned with Indian elephants and a vintage travel trunk. The walls of the suite are accented with a platinum silver wood surface covering reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century pattern for a stunning dramatic effect. A custom mirror in the suite is inspired by one of Gardner’s dress patterns and a dining nook and reading chaise provide comfortable seating options. Beiges, taupes and blues provide a striking color pattern in the suite.

“Our Parkview suites are some of our most popular rooms because of their larger size and unmatched views of the Boston Common, Public Garden and Charles River,” says Olivia Brown, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton. “The new design scheme for these suites interpreted by Rockwell Group, combined with exclusive Club Level access and first-class amenities, will certainly make them even more appealing for our guests. No doubt Mr. Franklin and Ms. Gardner would be pleased with the outcome they helped inspire.”

Benjamin Franklin’s inventions were never patented. Coincidentally, in his autobiography he wrote, “…as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.” Guests of the hotel will be enormously grateful that Franklin’s inventions and Isabella Stewart Gardner’s zest and passion for life have transcended time to provide the narrative used to creatively reinvent the luxury suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common.

Rates for luxury Parkview suites typically start at $2,495 USD subject to timing and availability. For more information about The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common, named one of “Boston’s Most Admired Companies” and a “Best Place to Work” by the Boston Business Journal, or for luxury Parkview suite reservations, please call 1-800- 241-3333, 617-574-7100, or visit