Broad Street Park
Built - 1922
Rebuilt - 2001

The city of Claremont is located on the western New Hampshire border and is the largest community within a 30-mile radius. It is also the retail and commercial hub of the region. The city has a very rich and diversified ethnic heritage and offers many cultural and recreational activities for all. A beautifully restored opera house draws featured world-class entertainment all year round. Dartmouth College and its educational and extra curricula activities is only a short ride away. Claremont is also the only community in New Hampshire that is served by a commuter rail.
Claremont's bandstand is located in Broad Street Park and stood idle for many years due to its being in bad need of repair especially after severely damaged during a violent storm in 1999. In 2001, the city elected to rebuild the bandstand back to its former glory after having stood as a landmark for over 70 years and a place of enjoyment for so many years. They also brought back the beloved summer concerts after many years' absence.
This ongoing bandstand replaced a small Victorian bandstand which "hath lost its charm, both as an architectural ornament or for acousic value," as quoted from the Claremont Advocate dated 3/14/22, and the said previous bandstand "was not handsome, was too small, had "echoes," and was boxed in thus muffling the sound, etc." Thus in 1922, the new bandstand was voted in at a town meeting and the proposed plans for the structure as drawn by Larson & Wells, Architects of Hanover, showed a new structure which was to be an octagonal one on an elevated cement base with the entrance facing the town building. It also proposed stairways going from both sides of the entrance which would leave an opportunity for an entrance into the basement and giving a very pleasant effect to the whole structure.
The structure built was of attractive proportions with the ceiling convex in shape, thus throwing the sound down and out. The bandstand floor was enclosed by an iron fence between the elevation posts. The structure was 18 feet square with the floor six feet from the ground. The total height to the roof point was about 24 feet. From the floor to the ceiling it measured 12 feet.
In 1922 the town appropriated $2,500 for the building of the bandstand and in 2001 the replacement cost was about $10,000. The bandstand is of a "Classical Revival" style.
Colin Sanborn, Circulation Librarian
Fiske Free Library, Claremont


Anonymous said...

I feel I should correct what may be a factual error. The Claremont American Band, the community group that performs the summer concert series on the bandstand, has been in continual operation since the 1800s. Before the bandstand was rebuilt, the concerts were held on the grass in the park. The concert series wasn't brought back because it never went away. The Band, as they say, played on.

Kevin Knapp said...

I can back up anonymous. A distinct memory of mine, as a performer with this band, was Matt Cross whistling the Stars and Stripes Forever piccolo solo on microphone while the band played on the grass.