Q: What was located at the site of the Revere Beach Bandstand before it was built?
A: The Pavilion Hotel at Revere Beach: it began as a hotel and train station, and following two name changes and one site relocation, would burn to the ground in a spectacular fire just 19 years later.
Following its opening in 1876, the Boston Globe described it as “…the best accommodations for those seeking a quiet, abiding place for the summer season. The hotel contains between 70-80 apartments and has some sixty sleeping rooms; it is in all respects a most convenient and delightful retreat to all who seek the healthful breezes wafted in from the ocean.”
The bottom floor of the Pavilion was actually an opening where the Boston, Revere Beach, and Lynn (Narrow Gauge) railroad passed through, and one of the four hotel towers was the original Crescent Beach Station.
In the Spring of 1883, the hotel was moved 15 feet east of the tracks towards the water by the power of six horses, where it rested upon a mud sill foundation. The downstairs was closed in for hotel usage; it was renamed The Vue De L’eau. In October of 1887, a new Crescent Beach Station opened just a few hundred yards south, which today would be at the corner of Shirley Avenue and The Boulevard.
During the Summer of 1888, it was renamed the Strathmore and the bottom floor was redesigned with hotel rooms added. The Strathmore would last another seven years to April 12, 1895, when a fire reduced the hotel to smoldering ashes in less than 30 minutes.
It was during this time that Charles Eliot and the Olmsted architectural firm were well into their plan to remove the railroad tracks from what would become Revere Beach Boulevard that the state stepped in and seized the land. Work to rebuild the hotel was stopped by the MDC; shortly after, the land was razed and graded. By July of 1895, temporary seating for up to 1400 people was erected.
A contract for the building of a bathhouse, pavilions, and a bandstand was awarded to W. T. Eaton in March of 1897; the bandstand was finished in September of that year, where it stands to this day.
Story by Lou Spagnola.