Built in 1925 from fill, Bayfront Park was graced with abundant, flowering gardens and a lush tree canopy, serving both as central gathering spot for important events like political rallies and speeches, and in the 1940s and 1950s especially, as a tourist attraction. Over the years, it was home to a popular band shell, fishing piers and the public library — all long gone. The tourists were drawn to concerts at the band shell and to famous Pier 5, home to fishing and sightseeing boats. By the 1980s, as downtown declined, Bayfront Park became rundown and was overtaken by the homeless. Construction of Bayside Marketplace claimed a chunk of the park. The city decided to scrape the rest of it clean, saving just some of its largest trees. In the past decade Bayfront Park has emerged as the city’s “event park” – drawing huge crowds for concerts and festivals.