Meadowbrook Arena and Ballroom

Meadowbrook was an outdoor ballroom and boxing arena built in 1922 by William Craven and William Kelly of North Adams, and Wilfred Guerin of Adams. During their ownership of Meadowbrook, they hosted both musical performances and boxing matches. Unfortunately, the boxing match of August 15, 1947, was its last. Contestant Sam Baroudi knocked out the young Newton Smith, resulting in head injuries that led to his death. This painted a poor picture for not just Baroudi but the arena portion of Meadowbrook as well. It was in 1948 that the arena was closed, as they could not keep up with the advancements of broadcasting their fights like Madison Square Garden.

John Fachini, the sole owner of the Meadowbrook Ballroom/Arena from 1930, was responsible for bringing Meadowbrook into its golden age. In 1932, he paid $7,500 for the well known outdoor party parlor and ran dances throughout the summers that followed. His connections with booking agencies in New York gave him access to famous names for performances at Meadowbrook. The first performer was Rudy Vallee, one of the premier teen idols of his era. This raised the bar for Meadowbrook, allowing them to book other famous performers such as Duke Ellington, Vincent Lopez, Glenn Miller, as well as local bands like Pete D’Amico or Don Weston. Fachini was fair when it came to business, with admittance charges ranging from 75¢ to one dollar, and locals were only charged 50¢.

On December 28, 1953, ownership of Meadowbrook was given to Fred E. Brooks, an Albany real estate promoter. The purchase was negotiated for two months and he ended up paying $3400 for the property. At this point, Meadowbrook had been closed and unused for several years. Brooks had plans to raze the enclosure for a housing district. What was once a place of enjoyment, where some of the best-known bands of the time played for dances, was officially demolished in the spring of 1954.


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