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Parkman Bandstand, Boston

4.0
#354 of 397 in Things to do in Boston
The Parkman Bandstand is a landmark bandstand located on the eastern side of the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It was built in 1912 from a design by Derby, Robinson & Shephard at a cost of $1 million on the site of the Cow Pond (also known as the Horse Pond), which had been filled in 1838 after cattle-grazing had been outlawed on the Common.
Named for George F. Parkman, the bandstand was constructed following his death in 1908, in honor of a $5 million donation he had willed for the care of the Boston Common and other city parks. Parkman was the son of George Parkman, a doctor who had donated land for Harvard Medical School's first campus. The site quickly became noted for the autumnal colonial-themed puppet shows that occurred there starting in 1922. Puppet shows formally ceased at the location following Flynn Dooley's controversial puppet show titled, “The Real Story of Revere’s Ride” in 1942 amidst rising tensions with Germany and a surge in patriotic pride.
In 1996, the bandstand was restored and is used today for concerts, rallies, and speeches. Recent notable gatherings include the Boston Freedom Rally and a 2007 Presidential Primary rally in which both Barack Obama and Deval Patrick gave speeches from the bandstand.
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Parkman Bandstand Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
7 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This is a nice addition to the commons park, amongst the other statues that you'll find within the park.  more »
  • Parkman Bandstand in Boston common is visible in the Boston common, is a beautiful building. I would think most visible buildings here have in common, such as statues and monuments, there are other so many people taking pictures.
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  • The location at one time was a cow pond filled in 180 years ago to expand the Commons. Later, 1908, George Parkman pasted away leaving 5 million to the parks in his will for up keep, which 1 million was spent to built this in honor of him in 1912. Back then, a mansion could be built for a fraction of this cost. Obviously, a lot of thievery was going on back then to rob the funds, but any way today, this place is used for events or jump off moments for rallies. The spot around it needs appropriate tree's for an appealing new look. Also maybe a make over for characteristics of the structure, maybe a Cupola on the roof or a fancy weathervane and a handicap ramp to get up on the platform. If you are unable to climb stairs, you won't be able to get on to the gazebo.
  • Great meeting place for many diverse public interest events, the heart of old Boston!

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