The Hotel on Pavilion Beach from Fred Bodin

The Pavilion Hotel, Gloucester, circa 1880 Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin
The Pavilion Hotel, built in 1849, was Gloucester’s first true resort hotel. It was located between Stacy Boulevard and Fort Square, on the edge of downtown. The Gloucester Telegraph called it “the first specimen of architectural good taste ever seen here.” The Pavilion featured a two level veranda with dramatic harbor views, fine dining, a saltwater pool, bowling, and accommodated 150 guests. The beachfront of the hotel, called Crescent Beach at the time, is now called Pavilion Beach. On a foggy night in October of 1914, the 65 year old Pavilion Hotel, then named the Surfside Hotel, was consumed by fire. The building which we call the Tavern now sits where the Pavillion once was.
Printed archivally from the original 8×10 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Image #A88810-003.
Fred
Fredrik D. Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

13 comments

  • Wow, that’s a great photo. I never knew there was a hotel there. That would have been a great view.

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  • What a wonderful hotel! I bet it was great fun to stay there.

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  • “the first specimen of architectural good taste ever seen here.” what about what is there now!

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  • This is why whenever someone says that a waterfront hotel will somehow destroy the soul of Gloucester, I can’t help but laugh. This little island of ours has room enough for the fishermen, the artists, and the tourists- if they could do it back in the 19th Century we can certainly do it again in the 21st!

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  • Thank you Fred for the set back to 1849 and hopefully to 2012.

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  • What a great spot for a hotel. You mean there used to be one there? a hundred years ago? And it didn’t ruin the city or the neighborhood?

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    • The Pavilion Hotel was where the Tavern is now, which outside of the Marine Industrial section. The lovely old photos show a hotel that looks quite different from photos of what the New Balance/Westin Hotels look like these days.

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      • Rona, Back in the day there was’nt a marine/industrial zone and everthing co-existed. There is no truth to your comparison of a Westin Hotel look going into the proposed site. We haven’t seen any plans yet so stick to the facts and not scare tactics.

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  • Historical Context: It’s interesting to remember that 100 or so years ago Cape Ann had huge, successful hotel complexes all over – downtown at the Boulevard / Pavillion Beach, in Magnolia, in East Gloucester both on the outer harbor and at Good Harbor. Back then we also had a vibrant, thriving fishing industry, and the two, tourist hotels and fishing industry, co-existed in the community. What is different now ?

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  • Bob Ryan says:
    The Pavilion Hotel was one of two beautiful hotels on the inner harbor in the early 1900’s. In addition to the Pavilion Hotel that accomodated 150 guests on Crescent Beach, now called Pavilion Beach, there was the Colonial Arms on Niles Beach with 305 rooms built by none other than George O. Stacy who gave this City the Boulevard as we know it today.
    Keep in mind that in the early 1900’s Gloucester had over 1200 hotel rooms in the City and over 300 fishing boats in the harbor and co-exsisted with the working harbor. Today, there are only 492 rooms and only 75 fishing boats. Go figure. To put the Pavilion Hotel in perspective and what the harbor looked like over 160 years ago just go the Cape Ann Museum and view Fitz Henry Lane’s painting of “Gloucester Harbor” in 1852. In addition, you might note that the Pavilion Hotel is on the left side of the painting and the City’s Military Fort is on the right side of the painting with all houses in between. I ask, was this all Marine Industrial when the Irish lived in those houses?

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  • i wouldn’t have a problem if he modeled it after this small scale historical gem….but i doubt that’s likely.

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  • Pingback: Petition to support the new hotel is taking off: Over 300 signatures and counting! | We Love Gloucester

  • Disclaimer: Although I posted this historical photo for Fred, it is not to be considered as an endorsement by me for the placement of the hotel on Commercial Street. ~Sharon Lowe

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