Sozio fire erased part of Revere history
The five-alarm fire that destroyed the Sozio Appliance store on Squire Road yesterday took out Revere's last link to its days as an airport city - the Sozio was housed in what was the last remaining hangar from the one-time Revere Airport - as the Boston Architectural College Library informs us.
Originally opened sometime in the 1920s as Muller Field, by the 1930s the newly renamed Riverside Field was large enough to garner state consideration as the site for the Boston area's first main airport. It lost out to an airfield in East Boston (today known as Logan Airport), but remained in operation for smaller, general-aviation planes and the odd blimp. A nearby area was even flooded for use by seaplanes.
Julius Goldman bought the airport in 1946, renamed it Revere Airport and owned it through its closing in 1962 - when high Revere taxes and the expansion of Rte. 1 right next to his property line, which forced him to abandon one runway and limit operations on the other two - made him close.
The former airport was turned into the Northgate Shopping Center.
The ad in the BAC Library's collection is from 1950:
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ya learn somethin' new
Revere...airport? I never heard of this before. Wow!
Lots of former airports you
Lots of former airports you never heard of: http://www.airfields-freeman.com/MA/Airfields_MA.htm
1st airmail delivery in New England
...from the Saugus Atwood Park to Lynn Common-- basically it was right across the marsh from the Revere site. Pre-dates both Eastie and Revere. And something I didn't know until I looked it up on the Google-machine, it was proposed to be a home for the Boston Patriots before they took off for points more southerly. Can you imagine the Patriots....in Saugus....
Airports Are an 'Endangered Species'
Probably, fewer than 50% have survived to the present.
Restricting attention to large air fields
... there used to be a South Weymouth Naval Air Station
... there used to be an Air Station at Fort Devens
The Massachusetts Air Terminal and Arena, built in Canton in the 1930s, was to have been our international plane/blimp hub, but failed for whatever reason to takeoff (ha). I can't say I've found much info on it, but I'm wondering where else there might be some abandoned airports in our densely populated area.
The major reason
is that there was a small mountain in the flight path. The Blue Hills.
Logan's location certainly isn't perfect, but the Revere airport would have been difficult to use in the age of jumbo jets. It would have been nearly impossible to fit in the length of runways needed to land 747s in to Rumney Marsh, which would have had to be almost completely filled (of course, Logan is almost completely fill). Apparently the airport closed in 1961; I doubt having runways as close to the 4/22 approach would work well with the current traffic Logan sees.
And, yes, you certainly do learn something new every day! Thanks, Adam and other UHubbers!
As I recall, a 757 needs 6,000+ feet of runway for landing...the longest at Muller was 2,500 feet, which is plenty of room for general aviation but still a little short for the big planes. A DC3 had a short takeoff roll (under 1,000 feet) with the right load but could require over 2,500 feet to land, again depending on configuration. A bit of pucker factor but you would've been landing most of the time into a sea breeze, which helps.
Reminds me of the way the Jaffrey NH airport solves the short runway problem -- the runway is on a hill, and you always land uphill unless the wind is absolutely howling up the hill. Takeoffs are always downhill.
And that reminds me of another closed airport, Tewksbury (Tew-Mac). I used to fly in there to play pinball a block or two away as it was smack in the middle of town right on the main road. There was plenty of field, nearly 2,000 feet, but it was only about 15 feet wide (wings would overhang the sides), and the normal approach in my Sundowner was to come in high over the giraffe (there was a jungle-themed mini golf park across the street with an enormous giraffe) and slip like mad to get down to the runway. Add a crosswind and it made for a good lesson in precision landings.
I grew up in Tewksbury
I grew up in Tewksbury and remember Tew-Mac well, from the 'ground perspective.' In elementary school, it seemed like every other kid's birthday party was at the mini-amusement park under the flight path. We used to go to the minigolf and batting cages, and look up every few minutes and see a plane practically sweeping the top of the batting cage. I definitely remember the giraffe too...
TewMac, of course, is now condos and a golf course, and the amusement park in now shuttered.
757 runway requirement
Interesting to read that a 757 needs ~6000 feet of runway to land.
Nantucket's longest runway is 6303 feet, after which you land in the ocean at Nobadeer Beach.
Several years ago, a fully loaded 757 bound for Bermuda had to divert there. Plenty of tire smoke on landing, no doubt. But when they took off, you could hear the engines run up all the way at my house all the way across the island.
On the other hand maybe a
On the other hand maybe a Revere airport victory early on would have resulted in the major airport for Boston being pushed off from the major city like most major airports. East Boston turned out to be a boon because they could just keep pushing out into the water. Wise choice for whoever made the decisions but the area went from hosting an air strip to an air port to a multinational airport that never seems to stop.
My contribution to this thread
I believe the word is spelled 'hangar' when referring to a place where airplanes are stored.
I was not a fifth-grade spelling champ
"Hangar" Was Spelled Correctly Yesterday
An Airplane Hanger
is a device used to hang up your airplane so it won't get wrinkled lying out overnight.
in the 70s, was a site chosen for a new airport to become the new large state airport, and even mentions a monorail from Boston to Hopkinton. Would have been convenient for the marathon.
Never knew about the Revere Airport. Just the early airport that is now part of Squantum Point Park. Thanks UHub.
Wow, who knew.. northgate
Wow, who knew.. northgate looks large enough, but what is behind the shops the former Zayre and the rest of the shops are there houses or is there a marsh , not familiar on what’s behind the strip mall.
I hope the sozio’s rebuild, maybe a replica of the same building, when driving by in the past I always looked at that building , it had such a nostalgic 1950s appeal.
Sozio surname comes from a town named Pratola Serra in the province of Avellino 30 miles east of Naples Italy,
Thanks, 70s NIMBYs
So much for my life-long dream to be a monorail conductor.
Not just an "airport"
it was going to be a JETPORT. Really interesting article, thanks for posting.
Many years ago as a kid in the suburbs listening to Bruins and Celtics games on WHDH, which didn't come in so great 30 miles from Boston, I remember hearing the Sozio theme song after the recaps of the games ended.
Sozio, Sozio, Sozio
Offers so much more
Can't remember any more of it than that.
Was sad to hear of the fire, there was always nostalgia driving past it, but never went in.
The place itself was nostalgic...not just because it was where your gramps went to get a new fridge (and where I recently bought a cheap-ass mini-fridge) but they also had a line of nostalgia appliances. Fridges and ranges down up like old 1930s era ice boxes and gas ranges -- real 3 Stooges looking. A bit cheesey, but it was cool enough if you're into living in the past I guess.
Nostalgia Death Trap
It probably had legacy wiring and nostalgic lack of fire doors, sprinklers and fire breaks, too.
When the airport closed, an article in the following day's newspaper stated, "One of the hangars was bought by the Orange Sport Parachute Club and is now its clubhouse..."
I might just take a ride out there and see if there's any evidence of it still being in existence. No reason to think it wouldn't be.
I've dug up as much as I can as far as books, stories, photos, etc goes...I'm always looking to find anything new.