Although music plays an important part in bandstand history, not all bandstands are music-themed, except in their common gazebo-type look. In today's post, we'll look at bandstands that visually pay tribute to their musical history.
King Square & Band Stand, St. John, N.B., about 1911. Courtesy of http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.ca
Skip forward to 2013 when two community members step forward with a gift of $100,000 to refurbish and revitalize the old bandstand. "King's Square is a key link to our past and a vital part of our future," the mayor said as his council passed a resolution to accept the donation. "The bandstand was a generous gift from the City Coronet Band and thanks to this generous gift, this icon of the city will once again be a source of entertainment and culture in the heart of our uptown."
With the funds available, the renovations proceeded:
- The original cornet was donated to the New Brunswick Museum and a replica, manufactured by the original factory, took its place on the restored copper roof
- Installation of a new fountain and marble base
- Upgrading of electrical, lighting and ventilation
- Installation of a rolling ladder for second level access
- Painting, sandblasting and cleaning of all fittings, etc
|King Edward VII Memorial Bandstand in King's Square, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, 2010. Creative Commons, Courtesy of Wikipedia|
Today, the sound of splashing water from the fountain mingles with the music flowing from the top level of the elegant King Edward VII Memorial Bandstand, the only structure in Canada to honor this monarch.
One of the first bandstands to be built in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was set in Loring Park on land bought for a public park in 1883. With its growth, along with other city parks, it became a prominent place for musical, as well as theatrical performances. In 1897, Norwegian immigrants of Minnesota erected a statue to honor esteemed violinist and composer, Ole Bull, who had been the catalyst for many of them to leave their old country for a new one. For years, the statue was the gathering place for Norwegians celebrating their homeland's independence day, as well as a fit setting for fiddling contests.
|Ole Bull Monument and Bandstand, Loring Park, Minneapolis, Minn., 1902. Public Domain|
Loring Park was very successful as the site of the dramatic performances and in 1911 offered a historical play that attracted an estimated 25,000 attendees for each performance over three nights. In 1951, with the popularity of mass singing competitions, Loring Park erected a new bandstand. As the competitions faded in popularity, concerts and movies continued to draw in the crowds. Although more recent photos of the area don't show anything except greenery behind the statue of Ole Bull, it still stands as a testament to the Norwegians who helped build Minnesota, as well as the state's appreciation for the arts.
Tower Grove Park in Saint Louis, Missouri, is the site of several statues and pavilions, including the music stand, a large Victorian bandstand erected in the 19th century and representative of what you would find in a Victorian walking park. Officially registered on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), Tower Grove Park Music Stand was built in 1872 and is surrounded by pillars bearing the white marble busts of six famous musical composers.
The Music Stand has been stabilized with guy wires for many years. It's original purpose was to give free concerts on Sunday afternoons, and it continues to this day by hosting ten Compton Heights Concert Band performances each summer. The Music Stand is also a favorite place for events, such as weddings, provided the rules concerning food, drink, and decorating materials are strictly observed in order to preserve its historic beauty.
|Tower Grove Park Music Stand, St. Louis, Mo., Creative Commons|
When the bandstand at Tower Grove Park was nominated for the NRHP in 1987 it listed its colors as brown, mustard, olive, and cream, with red finial brackets. As you can see from the current photo above, the bandstand has recently been repainted. This color may look good for wedding photographs, but I'm missing the original color scheme.
What about you?
Have you been to any of these parks which feature music-themed bandstands? Do you know of any others? Are you surprised by the amount of money it takes to restore an ironwork bandstand? Care to share your thoughts?
Other posts in this historical bandstand series can be found:
- May 5, 2018 - Wooden Bandstands of By Gone Years
- June 5, 2018 - Scenic Bandstands with a Water View
- July 5, 2018 - Elaborate Bandstands for Special Events
- Aug 5, 2018 - From Bandstands to Bandshells
- Sep 5, 2018 - From Rooftop Bandstand to King's Hall
Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are written under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details. Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Her novellas are included in Austen in Austin Volume 1, The American Heiress Brides Collection, and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience. Discover more at:
Website - www.anitamaedraper.com
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