Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Pink Palace" to Get a New Lease on Life

Late last month the mayor's office released a statement announcing that Earl of Sandwich, a sandwich shop based in Orlando, Florida will be moving into the Boston Common. The restaurant will make its home in the Common's "Pink Palace," an old and decrepit men's restroom, built originally in 1920. The plan is to have outdoor seating.

The Palace, nestled near the tennis courts and the gazebo on the southern end of the Common is a 660 square foot structure that has been long since abandoned and has seen much better days. The city considers it a historic landmark, with its granite walls and glass ceiling. Today one can observe the front door to the Palace locked and hanging by its hinges, the floor falling through, and the ceiling broken all over. You've probably walked by this tiny building many times before without even knowing it. I know I have. 

The project to allow a commercial restaurant to operate within the Common is part of the city's larger plan to help revitalize the 377 year old park, one of the nation's oldest. In addition to the Palace's face-lift, the city has begun construction of the Liberty Mall, located further up the Common, as Dan talked about in a previous post. A remodeling of the Visitor Information Center to upgrade the HVAC system and the restrooms and to allow for less wind to come through the entrance, along with a remodeling of the exterior of the Deer Park Maintenance Building on the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets are also in the works.

Earl of Sandwich has 11 locations nationwide in Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and Michigan. This new location will be the second for Boston, the other one located at Logan Airport.

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