For decades, the tower at 185 Franklin Street was the headquarters of one company, New England Telephone and Telegraph Co. and its successor, Verizon Communications Inc. With their departure in 2010, new owners Commonwealth Ventures undertook a renovation that added a glass lobby on one side, and on the other side, outdoor seating and space for restaurants and stores overlooking the park in Post Office Square.
The building is now known as 50 Post Office Square, and is occupied by Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., the oldest privately held financial institution in the US. The most significant changes occur on the ground floor, where many of the building’s original features include its high ceilings and the Maine granite that lines many hallways.
The ground-floor lobby, designed by Elkus Manfredi, features a new exterior glass lobby, the interior of which has been clad in large-scale ArmourFX modular wall panels from Armourcoat Surface Finishes Inc. In total, 170 panels were created, most with unique dimensions to completely line the walls and create a decorative effect. Armourcoat’s high gloss Venetian plaster finish – called Spatulata – was hand-applied to the ¾” MDF panels (all class 1 flame retardant) and then hung on site using ‘Z’ clips.