The site along the Public Garden eventually was later partly redeveloped into the Four Seasons Back Bay hotel. Map reproduction courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library

What: Demise of the Park Plaza Redevelopment
When: Dec. 19, 1977
Where: Boston 

Boston Properties co-founder Mortimer Zuckerman announced his firm was pulling out of the $150 million Park Plaza redevelopment, which would have included high-rise offices, apartments and a hotel on 10 acres bordering the Boston Public Garden, 45 years ago this month. 

Zuckerman’s decision ended years of controversy after the Boston Redevelopment Authority initially proposed the $260 million project in 1971. 

The demise of the scaled-down project also dropped the curtain on Boston’s neighborhood-scale urban redevelopment era. But it posed no obstacle to the fortunes of Zuckerman, who purchased The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News & World Report and the New York Daily News during the 1980s. Boston Properties now owns nearly 54 million square feet of commercial real estate, including the former Hancock Tower now known as 200 Clarendon St. 

“This is an irrevocable decision and a sad conclusion to years of effort and hopes for the revitalization of blight in Park Square.”
— Mortimer Zuckerman letter to Boston Mayor Kevin White 

To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Banker & Tradesman is highlighting significant moments in the history of Massachusetts’ real estate and banking industries. To suggest a topic, email

This Month in History: Demise of the Park Plaza Redevelopment

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min