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Dragon Inn: 1909

Dragon Inn: 1909

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1909. "Copley Square Hotel." Check out the scaly mascot slithering up the flagpole. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Below is the same view from May of 2013.

Still there

Sans dragon.

View Larger Map

The Green Dragon

I emailed the Copley Square regarding the missing dragon. I received a reply from Janice Tugaoen, Director, Sales and Marketing for the hotel:

Thank you for your inquiry and sharing this great photo of our hotel!

According to our previous owner (Saunders family), the dragon was made of copper and had turned green. It deteriorated to the point that they would have had to spend a small fortune to rehabilitate it. At about the time that it was dangerously hanging over the sidewalk, Dan Coolidge (related to Calvin Coolidge) offered thousands of dollars to purchase it and remove it. This solved two problems as they needed the money to assist in the restoration of the hotel. The dragon was moved to a Belmont Hill estate circa 1953, whose owner was a member of an old Boston family and a prominent attorney

[Fascinating. Thanks to both of you! - Dave]


I got another email from Victoria Romano, Coordinator, Sales for the hotel, telling me that the previous owner, Roger Saunders, was the source of the information and that he added that "This picture is priceless. I had never seen it in almost 60 years of ownership."

Cars and Horses

I think the brief time when cars and horses worked side by side is interesting. Cars seem like they were an oddity up until 1910-1912 or so but by 1920 or 1925 horses must have been largely gone from the cities and replaced by cars and trucks. It must have been shocking.

Imagine if over the next 10 years, cars were replaced by something vastly different.

The Cafe.

Years ago when I lived in Boston I had many a fine meal at the Cafe Budapest in the Copley. Their Hungarian Goulash was so good it was otherworldy!

There's gonna be trouble, I tell ya

On the far right, near the charcoal wagon, there are three characters, either the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers, and they are earnestly entering that building preparing to raise havoc or create some zany antics. Can't wait to see the next scene.

That Dragon

I am fascinated by that dragon, is it made of steel (or other metal)? Despite this hotel still standing, there is no more dragon at the flag. I wonder where is he now?

Fussy, yes. Egregious - no.

Fussy, yes. Egregious - no. Plus it would have fit in with the rest of the neighborhood. Now it's shadowed by the Pru. And the dragon is long gone.

I wonder what happened to it.

Oh man, Boston I feel your pain.

Clearly on the top 10 ugliest buildings of all time.
Money + No taste = This.

Next time I'm downtown

I'll have to check and see if the dragon is still there. Great picture!


It is images like this that make the trite phrase "they sure don't make 'em like they used to" the first thing you can't help but think.

Copley Square Dragon

A closeup.

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