In the 1950s, Prudential went downtown

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Boston’s Prudential Tower

During the 1950’s Prudential Insurance built regional offices in downtowns around the country. They chose to locate downtown instead of the growing suburbs.

From Atlantic Cities:

Prudential executives saw new skyscrapers with their name along the top of each one as a branding opportunity.

By building their new RHOs, the company also hoped to stabilize and even establish each city’s commercial real estate climate. The strategy gave Chicago and Boston those cities’ first new downtown skyscrapers in decades. It temporarily gave Jacksonville its tallest building (Aetna Insurance now occupies the building, but it is still accessed via Prudential Drive).

And it foresaw emerging growth in Los Angeles and Houston, building a retail-oriented facility on L.A.’s Wilshire Boulevard and a tower in what would end up as Houston’s expansive medical campus (that building was demolished for a new medical building earlier this year).