For the first half of the 20th century, 21 Beacon was known as Hotel Bellevue and periodically housed literary greats and political giants.
Constructed in 1899 to replace a former location at 17 Beacon, 21 Beacon was designed as an elite hotel with European floor plans, fine cuisine and excellent music. According to Literary Trail of Greater Boston by Susan Wilson, Louisa May Alcott sometimes rented rooms here over a 16-year period, including while writing the second part of Little Women. The maternal grandparents of John F. Kennedy also rented an apartment suite at the hotel, and he occasionally stayed there when visiting family and during his run for Congress fifteen years before he was elected President of the United States. Today, 21 Beacon may be best known in the State House for its outstanding restaurants, including Scollay Square, and the former hotel suites are condominiums that retain an air of "Parisian elegance."