RH Announces the Opening of The Gallery at the Historic Museum of Natural History
RH Restores and Reimagines 40,000-square-foot Landmark Building in Boston’s Back Bay
CORTE MADERA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- RH (Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc.) (NYSE:RH) announced today that it will open The Gallery at the Historic Museum of Natural History at 234 Berkeley Street in Boston, Massachusetts, on Saturday, April 13, 2013. The 40,000-square-foot landmark, designed in 1862 by distinguished architect William G. Preston, was only the second building to be erected in Boston's famous Back Bay. Honoring its cultural significance and singular place in Boston’s urban landscape, the building’s exterior and interior have been completely restored by stripping back decades of structural modifications, auxiliary mezzanine levels, and pedestrian elevators added during its history. The space has been reimagined consistent with its original vision as a museum, unveiling artistic installations unseen before in the retail industry.
The landmark and park-like setting is framed by Berkeley, Boylston and Newbury Streets. Guests and residents will admire the building’s exterior luminescent glow created by internationally award-winning lighting designer Ross De Alessi, who is widely acclaimed for illuminating historical monuments across the country including The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The Gallery’s interior is a study in light by famed lighting designer and artist, Bentley Meeker, who has designed events for MoMA, The Guggenheim, New York's Natural History Museum and exhibited at The Whitney. A pavilion of glass and steel designed by architect James Gillam, in respectful contrast to the building’s neoclassical facade, creates a dramatic new entrance on Newbury Street. The landscape has been restored and preserves the original flowering magnolia trees, including new brick paths and a soon-to-be outdoor sculpture garden.
Entering the Gallery at 234 Berkeley Street, your eye is drawn up through the re-opened central atrium by a reinterpretation of an 1892 traction and counterweight elevator inspired by the iconic model in downtown Los Angeles’ Bradbury Building. Soaring three floors, a ride in the steel-caged glass cab highlights the interior’s now unobstructed vertical openness and dramatic architecture. From the grand central atrium with its fresh floral boutique, up through the 18-foot antiqued mirrored archways reflecting 12 sparkling crystal chandeliers reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles on level two, the artistic interior installations inspire new and evolving ideas to design a home. Stepping out of the elevator on level three to the sound of trickling fountains you enter the Indoor Conservatory and Park with reproduction heritage olive trees, a 24-foot illuminated steel Eiffel Tower discovered at the Paris flea market, and the first Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley wine bar outside of its original Yountville, California, location. All are housed under the restored original vaulted and iridescent gold-coffered ceiling visible from the first level 70 feet below. The third floor is also home to four "Clubrooms," including the Billiards Room, complete with a refurbished vintage Brunswick table, open for play; the Music Room, a tribute to the days of vinyl, rock & roll and Motown, also home to a 100-year-old beer bar salvaged from a local Boston pub; the Library, filled with design and architecture reads; and the Cinema, celebrating the art of film and fame. You can also traverse the original winder staircase, previously hidden behind walls and now completely exposed through dramatic steel and glass archways, winding its way up to the third floor. Throughout the gallery, the dramatic architecture is highlighted, enhanced and in harmony with the artistic design installations.
The Gallery at The Historic Museum of Natural History represents the latest and most complex collaboration between RH Creator and Curator Gary Friedman and Design Architect James Gillam of Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects, a firm that was selected for Architectural Digest’s list of the World’s Top 100 Architects and Designers and is led by noted architect, Howard Backen.
Marking another moment for the brand will be the introduction of the first RH Baby & Child Gallery on the East Coast in the building’s restored subterranean level. Punctuated by original, 12-foot vaulted brick ceilings, the entire space will be dedicated to the latest RH Baby & Child installations – artistic expressions of furnishings inspiring a new and innovative approach to nurseries and children's rooms.
“This outstanding project exemplifies RH’s position as one of the most innovative luxury brands in the marketplace,” says RH Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Alberini. “The Gallery at the Historic Museum of Natural History highlights the magnitude of our real estate transformation and elevates the RH customer experience to a place never seen before in retail. We are grateful for the support we received during the development process from Boston’s city officials and other local and state organizations who were greatly involved with the project. We have invested considerable resources to bring our vision to life and are proud to present the product of our work to this great New England community,” concluded Alberini.
“This Gallery marks a milestone for RH as the most significant architectural undertaking of its kind,” says RH Chairman Emeritus, Creator and Curator, Gary Friedman. “With great respect for the building’s history, we are reestablishing its relevance while unveiling innovative elements and aspirational interior installations that reimagine the landmark museum’s tremendous potential.”
“We are excited to welcome RH to Boston in one of our most beloved cultural and architectural landmarks,” adds Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston. “Through collaborative efforts and partnership, RH has restored a piece of history for Boston’s residents and visitors. I believe that RH has honored this building and uncovered its potential to be a one-of-a-kind design destination.”
Upon opening, The Gallery at the Historic Museum of Natural History can be reached at 857.239.7202. Hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 12pm-6pm.
About Restoration Hardware
RH (Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc. - NYSE:RH) is a luxury brand in the home furnishings marketplace, offering product assortments across a number of categories, including furniture, lighting, textiles, bathware, décor, tableware, outdoor and garden, as well as baby and child products. Restoration Hardware operates an integrated business across multiple channels of distribution including galleries, catalogs and websites.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements related to the opening of the new Gallery at the Historic Museum of National History in Boston and the features of the building as well as the expected benefits and merchandising opportunities of the new store format located at this Gallery. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “likely” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of the timing or nature of future events. We cannot assure you that future developments affecting us will be those that we have anticipated. Important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations include, among others, risks and uncertainties with respect to the company’s ability to achieve the expected benefits to its business from the new Gallery in Boston and the new store format, risks relating to customer response to the company’s new store concepts and new product merchandise, risks relating to the costs of developing, implementing and operating new store concepts, risks related to the number of new business initiatives we are undertaking and risks in the implementation of our real estate portfolio transformation, as well as those risks and uncertainties disclosed under the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Restoration Hardware Holdings’ final prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 5, 2012, and available on our investor relations website at ir.restorationhardware.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release speaks only as of the date on which we make it. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by any applicable securities laws.
Katya Sorokko, 415-945-3598
Cammeron McLaughlin, 415-945-4998
Source: Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc.
Released April 12, 2013