New York-based real estate investor 388 Ventures has closed on the acquisition of a portfolio of historic bed-and-breakfasts in Lenox, Massachusetts. The portfolio was assembled through three separate off-market transactions and encompasses 65 rooms and suites, a local restaurant, bar, and various public space areas. 388 Ventures has partnered with boutique hotel company Life House, which will provide branding, interior design, and hotel and restaurant management services.
Life House will operate the three boutique properties under the existing branding through summer 2021. Subsequent to the high season, the properties will undergo cosmetic renovations and improvements ahead of relaunching as a cohesive collection in spring 2022.
At the heart of the portfolio lies the Church Street Inn (shown), an expansive property with a deep history dating back to 1771, when owner John Whitlock — an early settler in Lenox whose farmlands occupied much of what became Lenox Village — opened his house as an inn alongside many Berkshire householders who supplemented their farming income by providing lodging for stagecoach travelers.
The portfolio also includes Birchwood Inn, the first residential property in Lenox deeded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1765. The core of this house was built by Israel Dewey, a founding member of Lenox’s Continental Congress Committee when the town was incorporated on March 11, 1767. Dewey resided in the house until the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, when he ultimately left town to fight for his country’s independence.
Rounding out the portfolio is the Rookwood Inn, which began its life as the Williams Tavern in 1825 and is located at the Southern point of town. When Lenox stood as the judicial seat of Berkshire County before Pittsfield assumed the distinction, the Tavern was a watering hole for the judges and lawyers who worked the local courthouse. In the 1880s, the property was purchased by Frederick Constance Peters, a businessman from England, who repurposed it into ancillary lodging for owners of Lenox’s famed Gilded Age estates.
Photo: Courtesy of 388 Ventures