Historic Balboa Pavilion tented for termite treatment


Termites won’t be chomping on Newport Beach’s most famous historic landmark for much longer.

The privately owned Balboa Pavilion, at 400 Main St., is tented this week for termite eradication.

The two-story wood-frame “waterfront Victorian” structure, opened in 1906 by the Newport Bay Investment Co., is on the National Register of Historic Places, meaning the building is federally protected from removal or significant alterations.


This is the second time in 20 years that the building has been tented, and because it is so old, it needs a little extra attention, said Dan Murphy, owner of Long Beach-based ChemFree Exterminating, which is doing the work.

“Periodically, structures like this need to be fumigated, but you treat it with kid gloves because it’s an older building,” he said.

The pavilion was added to the list of historic places because of its “unique architectural character and for the role it played in the development of Newport Beach,” according to a document provided by the National Register.

“It is … one of the most noted historical sites on the South Coast,” the document stated.

It also provides a glimpse of the history of the seaside community.

In the early 1900s, the building became the southernmost stop for the famous Red Car line, which connected Balboa to Los Angeles via a one-hour rail ride.

Over the years, it also has housed a dance hall, a bowling alley, an arcade, a shell museum and Balboa’s first post office.

In June 1968, the pavilion became Newport’s first local historical landmark as part of the city’s 75th anniversary celebration. In 1981, the California Resources Agency designated the building a “point of historical interest.”

It also has value in another sense. The structure, built for $15,000, is now worth about $6.1 million, according to property records.