Recently a walking tour of Newbury Street sponsored by Boston’s Chapter of the Retail Design Institute was led by Bergmeyer Associates architect, Lewis Muhlfelder.   After a day of thunderstorms and rain showers, we all wondered if our stroll might be washed out, but it turned into one of those perfect June days when the night is delayed past 9 pm.

Many of the buildings are late 19th century with lots of Victorian details. In other words it is boutique heaven!

Matching the old-school vibe is the oldest family owned hat business in the country.  Goorin Brothers at 130 Newbury St. produces a delicious array of Panama hats, trucker caps, flat derbies and women’s cloche style hats, most recently shown off by  Bérénice Bejo  in “The Artist”.

The tour also featured the retail design of the new stores Lululemon, Nespresso Boutique and others, including Shreve, Crump & Low where Arteriors discussed their application of Venetian Plaster and silver leaf.

This was both a great opportunity for us and we truly appreciated being included in the tour!

Other than showing off our own work, the highlight was seeing Restoration Hardware’s future space which will be in the old Louis of Boston building at the corner of Berkeley and Newbury Streets. This is a gorgeous Neo-Classic building that was originally built as Boston’s Science and Natural History Museum in 1864.

In between its use as a museum and Louis of Boston it was home of Bonwit Teller where, in 1980’s, I was kicked out of for not having the proper attire to be shopping in! I was wearing painters pants, a backpack and was shopping for ideas for my un-conventional wedding dress (And I was told to come back with my mother!) All in all, it’s a place that is packed with history, both personal and of Boston.

Bergmeyer Associates has been commissioned to design the new Restoration Hardware flagship store.  It will not only have 3 enormous stories to display their products but a restaurant as well. I have no doubt that when it opens sometime in the coming late autumn, the retail design will stop traffic.