Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

The Music Box, Morris

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Built in the 1920s as a dance hall overlooking Bantam Lake, this large structure has stood emply and unused since 1989. At present, the waterfront property contains a marina, which is a going concern. However, the marina does not make use of the Jazz Age building, which was known historically as the Music Box. In its heyday in the 1930s and 40s, the Music box was a fashionable night spot where legendary performers of the big-band era appeared, such as Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and their orchestra.

In the 1950s the large dance floor was converted to a roller-skating rink. Patrons could arrive by boat and tie up at the marina, while they went inside to roller skate, a popular activity at the time.

A new owner took the building back to its dance hall roots in 1961. This time around, patrons danced to the beat of rock and roll. The building was renamed Beverly’s in the 1970s and became a major venue for rock bands in the Northeast. Beverly’s included a restaurant and bar, as well as live music, until it closed in 1989.

The two-story building is in good condition. The exterior is covered in wood vertical-board siding, painted barn red. A spacious deck at the second floor level overlooks the lake and is supported by stury posts. The property aslo has parking for almost 400 cars and a marina with 112 boat slips plus two apartments. The former dance hall seems perfectly suited to becoming a restuarant with scenic water views.

 Lot Size: 2.82 acres.

Contact McNamara Real Estate, 860-567-8255.

 Price: $3.8 million.