As you stroll through the Boston Common, there are many different sights and statues to see and explore. Larger than any statue, the Parkman Bandstand is a Boston Common landmark familiar to all who pass by. Located on the east side of the Common, the bandstand is a circular wonder that’s impossible to ignore. This year marks the 100th anniversary of this popular landmark!
George F. Parkman, the namesake of the bandstand, was a prominent member of Boston society in the mid-1800s. His father, also named George Parkman, was a renowned Boston Brahmin and doctor. With the family’s money, Parkman’s father donated land to Harvard Medical School’s first campus. After George F. Parkman passed away in 1908, Boston firm Derby, Robinson & Shepard began construction on the bandstand. It was erected in 1912 on the land formerly known as Cow Pond, a watering hole for cows grazing in the Common. In his will, Parkman left a $5 million donation to the city in order to maintain the Boston Common as well as other parks throughout Boston.
Today, there’s plenty to see and do around the Parkman Bandstand, especially after its restoration in 1996. In 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama and Governor Deval Patrick spoke at a Presidential Primary rally held at this very bandstand! This monument is also the location of the annual Boston Freedom Rally in September. During the summer, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company performs free shows–this year, the Shakespeare on the Common series will showcase Coriolanus.
The next time you’re visiting the Common, stop by the Parkman Bandstand! You never know what will be happening!