Concert Venues :: Boston Tea Party
|Now Known As
53 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
15 Lansdowne St
Boston, MA 02215
|The joint was rocking on Friday, January 20, 1967, when, for the first time, the Boston Tea Party opened its doors to the public. The original location on Berkeley Street was Unitarian meeting house. Then it became Moon Dial (or Moondial), a venue that showed underground films. (Going entirely on memory, it seems to me that Mel Lyman was connected with that establishment.) Ray Riepen and David Hahn bought Moon Dial and reopened it as the Tea Party, a rock and roll music hall.
About Summer of 1969, the Ark, opened on Lansdowne Street. The Ark suffered from many problems, but the main one seemed to be that the Tea Party simply attracted bigger crowds. By September 1969, the Ark was closed and it was sold to the Tea Party owners, who relocated the club to Lansdowne Street.
The rise of the disco era saw ownership of the space change hands once again. A young Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager with their partner Jon Addison bought the building and converted it into a glamorous discotheque aptly named 15 LANSDOWNE.
Later, in 1992, it was renamed to Avalon, which is still in business as a music venue.
City backs bid, which owner Patrick Lyons sees as part of larger vision for area
By Keith Reed, Globe Staff | June 1, 2007
Nightclub owner Patrick Lyons won city approval yesterday to build a $14 million , 2,500-seat concert hall on Lansdowne Street across from Fenway Park.
The board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority unanimously endorsed Lyonss proposal to combine his two existing Lansdowne Street clubs, Avalon and Axis, into one posh entertainment complex. Lyons said the larger scale of the new venue is necessary for Boston to attract top-tier music acts in an era where live performances are more important than ever for artists.
Theres been a change in the music business because of digital music and the fall of CDs, where the only way artists make money today is touring. The 2,500-seat or 3,000-seat venue is the sweet spot for those tours, Lyons said, adding that Boston currently doesnt have such a facility. This will keep us ahead of the curve, he said.
Lyons also revealed more of his ambitions to transform Lansdowne Street from a drab party strip into a swanky, illuminated entertainment and dining district anchored by his new club and five restaurants that he controls. Two of those restaurants, Game On and La Verdad Taqueria , are already in operation, and Lyons plans to renovate two of his other clubs on the street, Modern and Embassy, into eateries.
He also has designs on another restaurant, which he said should open before the start of baseball season next year. He declined to disclose the location or concept behind that restaurant.
Weve made a significant investment in the transformation of Lansdowne Street into a restaurant row, he said.
That area of the city may be further transformed by other significant developments on the books. Developer John Rosenthal, for example, has proposed building a 1.3-million-square-foot complex, with two residential towers, on Massachusetts Turnpike Authority property a few hundreds yards west of Lyonss Lansdowne Street holdings.
Lyons said his music hall project should be completed within a year. Currently, Avalon and Axis can hold 2,100 and 1,100 people respectively.
Under the new plan, the clubs would renovated into one 35,000- square-foot facility, to be called Lansdowne Street Music Hall.
It would have a stage that could be moved to accommodate the props and sets of various bands and new dressing rooms for performers.
Renderings of the proposed hall show several boxy additions somewhat taller than the existing low-level structures, but with the facades of the existing buildings preserved.
During the meeting yesterday, BRA board member Christopher J. Supple questioned whether Lyons was certain the existing facades could be saved, and was told by architect Gary C. Johnson, a principal of the firm Cambridge Seven, that the company would make every effort to do so.
Lyons plan also has the support of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who released a statement lauding the development.
The addition of this new music venue will enliven the ever-popular entertainment district, and the much needed restaurant space will give people more options when they attend a concert or Red Sox games, Menino said.
Keith Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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