March 22, 2018

Salada Tea Doors

In the Back Bay there is a unique set of decorated brown doors. These doors are a reminder of how the building once played an important part of the growth of the Commercial Industry in Boston.

The building was once the United States Headquarters for the Salada Tea Company. They not only had executive offices in the building but the building also had a warehouse where tea bags were manufactured.

Tea Doors Boston

Ten Things I Learned About the Tea Doors and the Building

  • Building was constructed in sections, first was done in 1917 and the second in 1927.
  • The building was once known as the largest in the world devoted exclusively to the merchandising of tea.
  • Peter Larkin, the founder of the Salada Tea Company, was found of the Boston office and decorated the building with beautiful works of art that some people thought that it "resembled a museum more than a business office."
  • The bronze doors were installed in 1928 - where executives would enter the building.
  • The bronze doors show 10 scenes from the tea trade. Each panel tells the historic story of the tea "as it was planted and exported years ago and of the culture associated with this product on the faraway island of Ceylon."
  • The doors were designed by English sculptor Henry Wilson. His only other United States work was the Brozen doors at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York. Most of his architectural works were around London.
  • Peter Larkin, died on February 3, 1930 in London.
  • The Salada Tea Company merged into Salada-Shirriff-Horsey Inc. in June 1957.
  • In 1958, the newly formed company acquired the "Junket" dessert product company in Little Falls, NY. The company headquarters was moved to New York.
  • The building is currently now known as "Berkeley Place."
  • The Tea doors are not registered as Boston Landmark. (Should it be?)

Tea Doors Sign

A sign next to the door reads...

English sculptor Henry Wilson was commissioned to design these doors by the Salada Tea Compay founder Peter Larkin.

Cast by The Gorham Company in 1926, the bronze panels depict the 1920's Ceylon tea industry from planting through harvest and export. Figures representing Indian deities frame the bronze panels. The bronze door was awarded the highly distinguished silver medal at the Paris Salon of 1927.

The Marble surrounding the door consists of reliefs executed by French sculptor M. Caesar Caira and show Demeter, Triptolemus, and Persephone; Greek gods associated with agriculture and harvest. Projecting elephant heads form the capitals of the pilasters and profiles of elephants form the frieze above the doors. Salada Tea Company moved its headquarters from this building and Liberty Mutual owns the building today.

Finding the Tea Doors

The Tea Doors is located at 300 Stuart Street, Boston Ma. It's located between the Berkeley Street intersection and the Stuart St Pedestrian overpath. Next to the Grill 23 & Bar.

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