|Revere Beach Reservation|
Revere Beach in 2005
|Location||Suffolk, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|Area||84 acres (34 ha)|
|Elevation||10 ft (3.0 m)|
|Operator||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Website||Revere Beach Reservation|
Revere Beach Reservation
Revere Beach Blvd. in c. 1910
|Architect||Charles Eliot; William D. Austin of Stickney & Austin|
|NRHP reference #||03000642, 98000871|
|Added to NRHP||May 27, 2003|
|Designated NHL||May 27, 2003|
Revere Beach is a public beach in Revere, Massachusetts, located about five miles (8 km) north of downtown Boston. The beach is over three miles (4.8 km) miles long. In 1875, a rail link was constructed to the beach, leading to its increasing popularity as a summer recreation area, and in 1896, it became the first public beach in the United States. It is still easily accessible by the MBTA Blue Line from Boston, and can accommodate as many as one million visitors in a weekend during its annual sand sculpture competition.
In 1875, the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad, known as the "Narrow Gauge", came to Revere Beach, making it easily accessible to visitors from Boston and elsewhere. Various beach-related and recreational buildings sprang up along the beach itself, which was constrained by the nearness of the railroad to the high tide mark.
In 1896, the Metropolitan Park Commission (now part of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation), assumed control over the beach. Following the design of landscape architect Charles Eliot, the railroad tracks were moved from the beach itself to the alignment now used by the MBTA Blue Line, and more than 100 structures were removed from the beach. On July 12, 1896, Revere Beach was opened as the first public beach in the nation. An estimated 45,000 people showed up on opening day.
In the following decades, Revere Beach developed many attractions, including restaurants, dance halls and ballrooms, roller skating rinks, bowling alleys, and roller coasters. Three roller coasters were particularly well-known: the Cyclone, a wooden roller coaster that was the tallest roller coaster ever built at the time of its construction in 1925; the Lightning, another wooden roller coaster; and the Derby Racer, a racing roller coaster. All have since been torn down.
Decline and renewal
The popularity of Revere Beach began to decline in the 1950s as the facilities at the beach deteriorated. In February 1978, a large blizzard destroyed many of the remaining structures, the sidewalks, and the sea wall.
After a significant revitalization effort by city of Revere and the state of Massachusetts, the beach reopened in May 1992. On the weekend of July 19, 1996, Revere commemorated the centennial of the first opening of Revere Beach with a three-day celebration, and on May 27, 2003, Revere Beach was designated a National Historic Landmark. In 2007, Revere Beach Boulevard was redesigned with new landscaping and sidewalks, and improved parking.
New England Sand Sculpting Festival
The New England Sand Sculpting Festival has taken place at Revere Beach each July since 2004. During the festival, an area of the beach is fenced off, creating a temporary art gallery for visitors. Event organizers have proclaimed that the festival is the largest sand-sculpting contest in New England. A total of $15,000 in prize money was available for the 2010 event. The annual contest draws approximately one million visitors each year.
Starting with the passage of the BEACH Act in 2000, a concentrated effort has been made to improve the water quality of Revere Beach and other beaches in Massachusetts. This includes a public website with water quality results and notifications of beach closures due to waterborne pathogens.
Revere Beach undergoes routine testing for Enterococcus, a pathogen indicating bacteria responsible for illnesses as slight as sore throat to meningitis, gastroenteritis, and encephalitis. The water is tested on a weekly basis at four different sites throughout the summer, from June to August. These sites are Oak Island, Revere Beach Bathhouse (state police station), Beach Street, and Point of Pines. This data is collected by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.
- List of amusement parks in New England
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Suffolk County, Massachusetts
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