fb-pixel Skip to main content

Revamped observatory set to open atop Prudential tower in 2023

A rendering of the View Boston observatory atop the Prudential Center, which is slated to open in 2023.

View Boston, the reimagined observatory on the top three floors of the Prudential tower 750 feet above Back Bay that was long home to the popular Top of the Hub restaurant, will open next year, building owner Boston Properties said Wednesday.

The observatory will feature 360-degree views of the city and “immersive experiential exhibits,” where visitors can create custom itineraries of what to see, do, and eat in Boston based on their travel interests. Boston Properties partnered with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau to develop the View Boston concept.

“We know how popular observation decks are throughout the world, and in a city like Boston with our diverse neighborhoods, unique topography, and historic landmarks, this vantage point is unparalleled,” said Martha Sheridan, the bureau’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Advertisement



The Top of the Hub operated on the 52nd floor of the Prudential tower for more than 50 years, along with a Skywalk on the two floors below, but Boston Properties did not renew the restaurant’s lease and in January 2020 announced plans to open a new observatory. Top of the Hub closed that March, a month earlier than expected, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the US.

The Top of the Hub operated on the 52nd floor of the Prudential tower for more than 50 years, but closed in March of 2020 after the onset of the pandemic. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

In September of 2020, Boston Properties described the project as including an outdoor deck on the 51st floor, just below the building’s famous square crown, as well as interior observation areas, exhibits, and food. A new pavilion and entryway at the base of the tower to link the observation deck and the street and host public events was also planned.

In April of last year, Boston Properties pulled a building permit for $42 million worth of interior work on Boston’s second-tallest building, according to city data. Executives said they ultimately planned to spend $182 million on the project, a jump from the initial $125 million estimate.

Advertisement



The Boston Planning and Development Agency has said that it is “crucial” to preserve public access to the space.

“We want to build a world-class attraction here,” said Boston Properties CEO Owen Thomas in April of 2021. “This project will be the only observatory of its kind in Boston.”

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.


Catherine Carlock can be reached at catherine.carlock@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @bycathcarlock.