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Town seeks to refurbish historic bandstand

The Floyd Bennett Bandstand, which represents Warrensburg to the world as the town logo, has been deteriorating in recent years with its columns rotting and brick face cracking — but  the landmark may soon undergo a facelift. The town is seeking a state grant for its rehabilitation.

The Floyd Bennett Bandstand, which represents Warrensburg to the world as the town logo, has been deteriorating in recent years with its columns rotting and brick face cracking — but the landmark may soon undergo a facelift. The town is seeking a state grant for its rehabilitation.

— Local government is applying for a grant for the restoration and preservation of the its premier landmark, and help is needed.

Town officials are seeking expressions of support for a state grant, and letters from local residents would be helpful in obtaining a grant, they said.

The Floyd Bennett Memorial Bandstand, named after the world-famous aviator and Warrensburg native Floyd Bennett, is deteriorating, and town officials want to give it a makeover.

Letters of support may express the importance of the bandstand to local citizens, and how it’s prominent in local civic activities as well as in national history, according to Patricia Monahan, town bookkeeper and grantswriter. Letters should be addressed to: Patricia Monahan, Town of Warrensburg, 3797 Main Street, Warrensburg 12885, and mailed by Aug. 25.

Bandstand has national fame

Floyd Bennett flew Richard Byrd on the duo’s historic attempt to reach the north pole in 1926. Bennett died two years later from pneumonia he contracted while preparing to fly on a rescue mission to the South Pole. Bennett and Byrd’s fame endured, however.

The bandstand was erected in his honor in 1929, and the image of the bandstand since has been used as the logo representing Warrensburg to the world.

But in recent years, the bandstand hasn’t appeared as pristine as its pictures, with rotting columns and cracking brickwork, outdated fixtures and peeling paint — and its deteriorating condition has prompted the grant application, endorsed Aug. 10 by the town board. The grant, if received, would pay the majority of the rehabilitation costs, and the town would pay primarily through of labor contributions.

The grant money would be used not only give it a facelift, but make the rest rooms in the base of the bandstand handicapped accessible, and pay for new energy-saving plumbing and lighting fixtures as well as upgraded landscaping. It also would allow for reconstruction of the pillars that are rotting out, and improved electrical wiring.

Several prior applications in recent years for a state grant to repair the bandstand have been turned down, but Monahan remained optimistic about this latest request.

Monahan said the bandstand needed repairs so it can endure and continue to be an attractive landmark in the decades ahead.

“We’re seeking to not only refurbish it, but make it more eco-friendly and a pleasant landmark for the community to enjoy,” she said.

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