The Boston Garden, 1928-1998
The original Boston Garden was one of the most iconic arenas in America. The arena opened its doors on November 17, 1928. It was designed by Tex Rickard, who also designed Madison Square Garden. Some of the more popular events the Boston Garden has hosted were a political rally for Massachusetts native John F. Kennedy, home games for the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins, and concerts for many popular artists such as Elvis Presley and the Beatles. The arena has won many awards such as being a finalist for National Sports Forum Achievement Award.
Backstory and Context
Constructed in 1928, the Boston Garden, also known as the Garden, was one of the most famous sports arenas in America. Although it was built and designed for boxing, basketball, and hockey, the Garden was also good for concerts and other major events. The design of the arena was also very interesting. Tex Rickard, who was a boxing promoter, actually designed the seating and inside of the arena so that fans could see the sweat on the boxers. This was great for boxing as well as basketball and hockey.
Over the lifetime of the Boston Garden, it has hosted the Celtics and Bruins home games. The arena became a huge factor for the Celtics. One season, they set a record going 40-1 at home versus other opponents. It was home to many of the best players in the history of professional basketball. Some of those players include Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Bob Cousey, and Kevin McHale. Owner Red Auerbach and the Celtics hung 16 championship banners in the Garden, the first in 1957 and the last in 1986. The Bruins also won five Stanley Cups during their time in the arena. In addition to home games for the Celtics and Bruins, the Boston Garden has hosted multiple NBA All-Star games. It even became the first arena to host both the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup at the same time in 1957.
Although the Boston Garden was mostly used for sporting events, it also was notorious for concerts, rallies, and other events. The arena hosted John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Rally in 1960. Some of the best artists in the music business have also performed there, including Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and the Jackson 5. Billy Graham and other religious preachers have also spoken in the arena.
After all the historical events and sports teams, the Boston Garden was demolished in 1998 because of multiple issues with deterioration such as broken seats, structural issues, and sanitary problems. On April 21, 1995, the Celtics played their last game on the parquet; a 98-92 loss to the New York Knicks. The last event in the Boston Garden was in 1995 when the Bruins played the New Jersey Devils in the NHL Playoffs. The TD Garden replaced the Boston Garden and opened in 1995. Today, the TD Garden hosts the Boston Celtics and other sporting and major events. The Boston Garden is now a parking lot which is home of "Boston's Walk into the Revolution" for the new Garden.
Looking at the old Boston Garden. June 09, 2015. Accessed October 01, 2018. https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2015/06/19/looking-at-the-old-boston-garden.