Our work on the historic Naumburg Bandshell restored lost architectural features, repaired the concrete and limestone masonry, and will 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, its restoration was far more comprehensive than any past Conservancy efforts.
Our project to revitalize the Naumburg Bandshell included:
- 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 began in 2019 and was completed in 2021.
Reconstruction of Rumsey Playfield LandscapeThe area between the Mall and the East Drive serves as a thoroughfare for millions of visitors each year. Our work on this landscape included the reconstruction of paths and other infrastructure, addition of new landscape plantings and turf, and restoration of Rumsey Playfield’s eastern entrance plaza.
East 72nd Street Playground ReconstructionReconstruction of the East 72nd Street Playground enhanced accessibility, updated the adventure-style play elements, and further integrated the playground into the surrounding landscape.
Billy Johnson Playground RenovationOur renovation of Billy Johnson Playground preserved and reinforced the rustic character of the playground while increasing the play value and improving accessibility.
Dene Slope RestorationOur work on the Dene Slope included establishing a meadow of native grasses and wildflowers over several planting seasons, and creating a rustic trail and seating for visitors that contain sweeping new views across the meadow.