Central Park’s Marred Band Shell Gets a Golden Pick-Me-Up

The gift has fallen apart over the years…Parts of the inscription, marking the donor’s intent, have broken away.

Neglect has been at the center of a long-running dispute among preservationists, descendants of the Naumburg family and the City of New York over the future of the band shell, the park’s only neo-Classical structure.

But… the dedication was painstakingly restored…Jane Henry, a gilder, primed and sealed the incised letters… It was a rededication of sorts, some nine decades later: “Presented to the City of New York and Its Music Lovers by Elkan Naumburg.”

“He loved music,” Mr. London said. “He thought it was a good thing for people to have something to relax them, and enjoy life with.” The band shell, at the northern end of the Mall, just below 72nd Street, has been the site of free concerts for generations of New Yorkers. This season the Naumburg organization will be hosting five, closing with one by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

He hopes the regilding represents a fresh start.

“It’s kind of a visual appetizer, to see how the building might look if it was repaired,” Mr. London said. “It’s a worthy building.”

— Kia Gregory, The New York Times
June 24, 2014
Read More