Thursday
Mar202014

September 20, 1913 - Pavilion

The wooden Pavilion, San Bernardino’s first public auditorium, was built in 1890 and was dedicated on New Year's Day in 1891.  It was located in the park where the Feldheym Library is now located.

The Pavilion soon became a very popular gathering place hosting everything from political rallies to religious meetings to social affairs, conventions, fairs, dances and parties of all kinds.  Company K of the local California National Guard used the basement to store ammunition.

In 1904, over 1,000 attended the reception and banquet for visiting railroad engineers.  By 1910, Mrs. Beeman was conducting a kindergarten class there.  

During political campaigns, audiences of 3,500 to 4,000 filled every corner of the famous old building. The Pavilion was used for the last time when Governor Hiram Johnson spoke before a large crowd in 1913.  

Shortly after 1:00 AM on September 20, 1913, the Pavilion caught fire and was consumed in a spectacular blaze.  Explosions of ammunition stored in the basement blew the burning fragments of the roof into the air, and flames roared upward hundreds of feet.

After the fire the only question on everyone's mind was, "When will there be erected another to take its place?" It was 10 years before the Pavilion was replaced by the Municipal Auditorium.