New Bedford’s Hotel Waverly Most Recently Provided Sober Housing
One of the most interesting-looking buildings in New Bedford from an architectural standpoint is the former Hotel Waverly on Acushnet Avenue. The Queen Anne-style structure was not intended as a hotel when it was designed in 1901 by Samuel C. Hunt.
I was always mesmerized by the cone-shaped spire.
The ground floor was for retail, and the upper two and a half stories were apartments.
In 1911, the building at 1162-1166 Acushnet Avenue was converted to a hotel – The Hotel Waverly – with a cabaret on the second floor. In 1922, it was renamed the Touraine Hotel.
The Touraine Hotel closed in the 1970s, and the building fell on hard times. The former hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Catholic Social Services of Fall River Community Action for Better Housing (CABH) renovated the property in 2000 and operated it as Talbot Apartments, providing 26 low-income studio sober housing units.
In November 2022, the building received heavy damage in a three-alarm fire. There were no injuries in the fire which drew mutual aid from surrounding communities. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental, the result of unintended cooking in a fourth-floor apartment.
The building remains uninhabitable as of this writing.
I remember the Waverly/Touraine/Talbot building well, as my grandparents lived around the corner on Beetle Street for many years. As a child, I saw many movies at the Center Theater Across the street, which was still the Strand when the black and white photo above was taken.