Revere Beach Parkway
Revere Beach Parkway—Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston
Eastbound at Everett Avenue in Everett
|Location||Medford, Everett, Chelsea, and Revere, Massachusetts|
|MPS||Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||07001241|
|Added to NRHP||December 06, 2007|
Revere Beach Parkway is a historic parkway in the suburbs immediately north of Boston, Massachusetts. It begins at Wellington Circle in Medford, where the road leading to the west is the Mystic Valley Parkway, and the north-south road is the Fellsway, designated Route 28. The parkway proceeds east, ending at Eliot Circle, the junction of Revere Beach Boulevard and Winthrop Parkway in Revere. In between, the parkway passes through the towns of Everett and Chelsea. The parkway was built between 1896 and 1904 to provide access from interior communities to Revere Beach. It underwent two major periods of capacity expansion, in the 1930s and again in the 1950s. The parkway is designated as part of Route 16 west of Route 1A, and as part of Route 145 east of that point.
The route of the roadway, along with a number of specific features relating to its original period of construction and those of the later expansions up to 1957, was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
Revere Beach Parkway was one of the first parkways proposed by landscape architect Charles Eliot, identified in an 1893 report to a predecessor of the Metropolitan District Commission. Work began in 1897, with the construction of a bridge across the railroad tracks of the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad, now the MBTA Blue Line right-of-way. Although this bridge was lengthened to cross State Road, the original 1899 northern bridge abutment survives.
Survey work was done in 1898 to identify the route through Chelsea and Everett. The Olmsted Brothers, who consulted on the parkway design, suggested its width be tailored to the cost required to take the land it ran over, resulting in a wider right-of-way in less expensive areas. By 1899 the entire route had been designed and land acquired, and the eastern section from Eliot Circle to Winthrop Avenue had been completed. When originally built, the parkway ran adjacent to Winthrop Street, but the two were merged during road widening in the 1950s.
Construction between Winthrop Avenue and Main Street in Everett took place between 1900 and 1901, but was complicated by the crossing of the Boston and Maine tracks just west of where Massachusetts Route 1A crosses the parkway. Apparently originally expected to be a grade crossing, in 1903 a pony truss bridge was built to span the tracks. This bridge is the oldest surviving bridge on the parkway.
The final section of the parkway, between Main Street in Everett and the Fellsway, was built between 1903 and 1905. This stretch included three significant bridges: two across railroad tracks, and one across the Malden River. The railroad bridges were of steel girder construction, and the Malden Street bridge was a drawbridge. The first of these bridges, across the B&M Saugus Branch line, is now used by the Poirer Memorial Roadway, and the parkway crosses the right of way on a modern six-lane bridge. The second, the Malden River drawbridge, is a double-leaf simple trunnion bridge built in 1954 to replace the earlier drawbridge. The drawbridge is no longer used, but the operator's house still survives. The third bridge, which now crosses the MBTA Orange Line as well as commuter rail lines, was replaced in 1956 with a modern six-lane bridge.
The roadway has been significantly altered over the years, principally widening to allow for increased traffic flow. There are two places where original alignments of the parkway remain. One is the Poirer Memorial Roadway, which is a westbound access road from Santilli Circle in Everett to the Sweetser Overpass. The other segment is now part of an access road in Revere on the north side of the parkway.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Suffolk County, Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Middlesex County, Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Medford, Massachusetts