City Council to look at bandstand plan for park
Construction of a proposed bandstand in Geiser-Pollman Park is the only order of business during Tuesday’s meeting of the Baker City Council.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 1655 First St.
A committee that’s been working more than two years on the bandstand project already won City Council approval to construct a bandshell across Grove Street from the Oregon Heritage Museum.
But the committee has instead chosen a bandstand, a more open structure, and hopes to site it near where the sidewalks intersect at the center of the park.
Portland architect Larry Abell, owner of the Pythian Castle, which is being redeveloped, said it’s been “fun to find a new way to bring music to the park in a more permanent way. We’re hoping the City Council gets behind the project and we hope the community gets behind it as well.”
According to committee chair Joy Berryhill, the bandstand will face the smaller gazebo in the park and will be designed for multiple uses, including musical performances and community and social events.
“We want it to be aesthetically pleasing and enhance the historical character of our community,” she said.
Abell’s plans and elevation show a hexagonal performance area, with sides ranging from 18 feet on the northeast corner to 38 feet in the front of the stage, which faces east.
The construction and materials estimate is $145,800. The construction estimate, compiled by Baker City-based Natural Structures, includes prevailing wage for all field work.
Berryhill said the committee has so far raised $5,544, including a $2,500 seed grant from the Leo Adler Foundation.
Fund-raising will begin in earnest once the City Council has signed off on the proposal, she said. Raising the necessary funds will include hiring a grant-writer.
She said that while some neighbors voiced opposition to placing a bandshell close to Grove Street, she believes the current concept — a bandstand —‑sited close to the center of the park is less likely to draw neighbors’ opposition.
“We’ve received plenty of support for the project,” she said, including a petition with about 1,000 names.
A bandshell used to be a fixture at Geiser-Pollman Park. It was constructed almost 100 years ago, but it deteriorated and was torn down about 35 years ago.
The structure featured an apartment for the park caretaker and his family. That apartment was right behind the bandshell, Berryhill said.
The modern option of a bandstand will be both less expensive than and less bulky, compared to a traditional bandshell.
“Originally we were looking at a bandshell, but it’s too much of an obstruction,” Berryhill said. “With the amplification we have nowadays, you don’t need a big heavy structure.”