Revere Beach has a rich history that reflects the changing face of housing and development in the region. From its humble beginnings with beach shanties and cottages to the bustling amusement and nightlife era of the mid-20th century, and the subsequent decline and resurgence in recent decades, Revere Beach’s housing landscape has witnessed a remarkable transformation.
The story of housing along Revere Beach begins in the 19th century when the area was a secluded retreat, offering respite from the bustling city life of nearby Boston. Early settlers and vacationers erected modest beach shanties and cottages along the shoreline. These simple, often makeshift dwellings served as the first homes for those who sought the calming embrace of the ocean. It was a time when the primary allure of Revere Beach was its natural beauty and the tranquility it offered.
As the 19th century progressed, the popularity of Revere Beach as a vacation destination grew, leading to an increased demand for more permanent housing options. These early beachfront cottages, typically constructed with wood and featuring charming, quaint designs, were a testament to the architectural styles of the time. The homes, adorned with gingerbread trim and welcoming porches, spoke of an era long past but still cherished by those who frequented the beach.
The turn of the 20th century marked a significant period of transformation along Revere Beach. The area’s growing popularity as a summer resort led to substantial development.
This period saw the emergence of eclectic architectural styles, blending Victorian influences with elements of the Colonial Revival and Art Deco movements. These structures exuded elegance and sophistication, a stark contrast to the simplicity of the earlier cottages. The housing along Revere Beach was evolving, reflecting the changing tastes and aspirations of the people.
The 1920’s to the 1950s marked what many view as “the golden age” of Revere Beach, as it became a major destination for not only sunbathers but also amusement seekers and nightlife enthusiasts. This era witnessed the rise of iconic amusement attractions like the Cyclone roller coaster, the Virginia Reel , the Hippodrome carousel and many wonderful nightlife hotspots like the Frolic, the Driftwood and the Nautical , which attracted visitors from far and wide.
The housing landscape along Revere Beach adapted to accommodate the booming tourism industry.
Large hotels, such as the Pavilion Hotel, the Metroplitan Hotel and the Pleasanton, lined the beachfront, offering luxurious accommodations with stunning ocean views. These establishments became the epicenter of the beach’s vibrant nightlife, hosting dances and entertainment that drew crowds throughout the summer months.
In contrast to the modest beach shanties of the past, the housing of this era was grand and often featured Art Deco and Streamline Modern architectural elements. The sleek, futuristic designs of buildings like the Oceanview captured the spirit of the times.
Oceanview Ballroom 1940’era – Spanish Gables 1930’s era
As the mid-20th century progressed, Revere Beach faced challenges that would lead to a decline in its appeal as a premier destination. The construction of the Route 1A highway and the decline of traditional amusements contributed to a changing landscape. Many of the grand hotels and entertainment venues closed their doors, leaving the beach with a sense of abandonment.
During this period, the housing along Revere Beach underwent a transformation of its own. The large, historic hotels were often demolished or repurposed, giving way to more impersonal, high-rise condominium buildings. These structures, while practical, lacked the architectural charm and character of their predecessors.
In recent decades, Revere Beach has experienced a major resurgence as developers have recognized its potential as a vibrant coastal community. Historic Revere Beach is the first public beach in the United States, and Revere Beach Boulevard continues to be an attractive destination in the summer and even year-round. The housing landscape along the beach has evolved once again, with a focus on contemporary high-end apartment buildings that offer modern amenities and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Prominent among these developments is the Beach House apartment property, a luxurious residence that epitomizes the transformation of Revere Beach. With its sleek, glass-encased design and state-of-the-art amenities, the Beach House represents the evolution of beachfront living into a modern and upscale experience.
Beach House apartments on Revere Beach Boulevard
Ocean650 is another premier example of contemporary housing along Revere Beach, boasting spacious apartments and a beachfront location that provides residents with unparalleled access to the natural beauty of the shoreline.
Ocean650 apartments on Ocean Avenue
In addition to these developments, 500 Ocean and the Ryder apartment community have also contributed to the revitalization of Revere Beach, offering residents a comfortable and convenient lifestyle while preserving the area’s rich history. Both properties offer exquisite dining and luxurious amenities.
The development of housing along Revere Beach has been closely intertwined with the transportation infrastructure of the area. The MBTA Blue Line Station at Wonderland/Revere Beach has played a pivotal role in connecting the beachfront community to the greater Boston area.
The station, originally opened in 1954, has undergone significant renovations and improvements over the years to accommodate the growing number of commuters and visitors. It serves as a vital link between Revere Beach and the rest of the city, allowing residents and tourists easy access to both the beach and the urban amenities of Boston. The most recent improvements dramatically repositioned the station as one of the epicenter features of Revere Beach – allowing easy access to the beach and historic boulevard for visitors from all over the region.
MBTA parking garage at Wonderland station on MBTA Blue line
The history of housing along Revere Beach is a testament to the enduring allure of this coastal gem. From its humble beginnings with beach shanties and cottages to its heyday as a vibrant amusement destination and its subsequent decline, Revere Beach has continually adapted to the changing needs and desires of its residents and visitors.