Naumburg Bandshell

Project Progress

  • Design
    Current
  • Construction
  • Complete

Our work on the historic Naumburg Bandshell will restore lost architectural features, repair the concrete and limestone masonry, and help preserve the integrity of the structure for years to come.

The Naumburg Bandshell, on the eastern edge of the Concert Ground at the north end of the Mall, will soon celebrate its 100th birthday. While it has undergone some limited repairs over the years, the upcoming restoration will be far more comprehensive than any past Conservancy efforts.

Our project to revitalize the Naumburg Bandshell will include:

  • Restoration of the historic masonry structure, including roof replacement, arch and cornice reconstruction, and cleaning/repair of the limestone masonry and cast stone ceiling
  • Reconstruction of the concrete stage platform
  • Replacement and enhancement of interior and exterior lighting
  • Interior renovations
  • Replacement of architectural features previously lost from the original design
  • Repair to the limestone steps

Music in the Park

The Concert Ground was intended by Park designers to be a place for visitors to gather and enjoy both popular and orchestral music. In 1862, they built an ornamental cast-iron bandstand at the northern end of the Mall. Soon the Concert Ground was regularly packed with listeners, and many began to call for improvements to better accommodate the crowds.

In 1923, a new bandshell named for philanthropist Elkan Naumburg was built into the slope rising up to the Wisteria Pergola. The semi-circular structure supports a half-dome ceiling constructed of steel-reinforced concrete and limestone. Curved stairways wrap around its back, where they converge into a single staircase leading to the pergola. For nearly a century, the Naumburg Bandshell has been a venue for a wide range of concerts and popular events in the Park.

When the Conservancy restored the Concert Ground in 1991, the work included limited repairs and repointing of the masonry exterior of the Bandshell. Following a structural assessment in 2005, the Conservancy supervised a project to repair the roof and install a new waterproofing system in order to stabilize the structure and prevent further deterioration.

In 2015, a routine inspection revealed some loose masonry; the Conservancy installed netting and other stabilizers as a stopgap measure to keep the structure operational during the planning effort for a full restoration. The project will begin in 2019. 

The Bandshell upon completion of original construction, 1924; Original design drawing of the Bandshell, Tachau & Vought Architects; As part of the restoration design process, the project team investigates conditions inside the masonry exterior.
  • Our Process

    Restoring Central Park is a collaborative effort. Our team of historians, planners, landscape architects, and architects work in partnership with the public to preserve the Park’s original ideals while enhancing the experience for today’s visitors.

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