Thursday, March 16, 2017

Naumburg Bandshell

Naumburg Bandshell by Tachau and Vaught, Central Park, New York
Naumburg Bandshell by Tachau and Vaught, 1923
North end of Mall, Central Park
New York, September 2007

“In 1923, the acoustically outdated Bandstand was replaced by the Naumburg Bandshell. It encouraged new audiences for classical music in the informal and beautiful setting of Central Park. Today, it is the Park's only Neo-Classical building, thoughtfully centered and nestled between the two projecting pergola viewing points. It admirably reflects the architect William G. Tachau's own Ecole des Beaux-Arts classicist and historicist training. Such greats as Irving Berlin, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington have entertained at the Bandshell, as well as Victor Herbert, whose statue is just a few steps away from that of Beethoven. Those statues, as well as the other 49 statues throughout the Park, are given a cleaning every summer by the Central Park Conservancy. The Conservancy also built and maintains the beautiful and unique wooden benches surrounding the nearby trees, based on an original bench design introduced to Central Park in the mid-19th century to protect the young elms as park-goers gathered under their shade to enjoy classical music performances.” (Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park Conservancy)

“The design of the Bandshell has historic precedents in the Pantheon of Rome, or more closely, the Imperial Russian pleasure park’s pavilion at Gatchina Palace, by Vincenzo Brenna, his ‘Eagle Pavilion’ of the 1790’s, and the later work of the architect F.G.P. Poccianti, his ‘Cisternone’ at Livorno of 1829-42.” (Detailed History, Naumburg Bandshell)