“Welcome and Safe” is the motto of the security program at Boston’s Prudential Center, and for this massive, mixed-use, high-rise office, hotel, apartment, and retail establishment, the motto is also the goal: create a favorable business environment that attracts and retains tenants, customers, and visitors. That is accompanied by strong emergency preparedness planning, a staff of highly trained security officers, and a state-of-the-art command-and-control center that serves as a communication hub for the entire property.
Prudential Center is composed of 3.2 million square feet of office and retail space. Its office components include Prudential Tower, a 52-story building completed in 1964, as well as the futuristic, 35-floor 111 Huntington Avenue, which was built in 2001, and 25-story building, 101 Huntington Avenue, which was built in the 1970s.
All of these buildings, as well as three high-rise apartment buildings, the Hynes Convention Center, and large hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental Boston and the Sheraton Boston, are interconnected by The Shops at Prudential Center, a glass-enclosed shopping center with 75 stores and restaurants that is one of the five busiest shopping centers in the United States. There is also a 3,600-space underground parking garage—the largest in New England—and the South Garden, a 1.3-acre open-air park that hosts small concerts and other events.
Prudential Tower, 101 and 111 Huntington Avenue, and The Shops at Prudential Center are owned and managed by Boston Properties and are the purview of that company’s security team. The other properties attached to Prudential Center, such as the Hynes Convention Center, are owned and managed by separate companies whose security groups coordinate with Boston Properties and the Prudential Center Security Team.
Prudential Center’s current security policies were developed in the wake of 9-11, says Alan Snow, director of safety and security for Boston Properties.
John Tello, the center’s assistant director of safety and security, explains: “Before 9-11, we had a traditional security program based around typical security officers for office buildings and shopping center programs. After 9-11, we had a duty to our tenants to make them feel good about working in a high-rise office tower without the fear of something terrible happening.”