Bangor Auditorium Grounds
Built - 1976
The large central Maine city of Bangor has proven that it is a survivor since in its 200 year history, it has overcome periods of siege, war, and staggering wealth and growth to economic depression. The city also resurged from a devastating fire. It has thus weathered the best and worst of times but has set a standard of excellence for the nation to admire. During the best of times, Bangor's ambition, wealth and culture made it a semi-earnest rival to Boston and prompted the famous writer, Henry David Thoreau, to describe the city as a "shining light on the edge of the wilderness."
The "Queen City' was the largest east of the Kennebec River and had a reputation of once being the 'most musical city of its size in America." With this in mind, Bangor still boasts of having the second oldest continuously operating band in the country.
With this long-standing band came a number of bandstands in Bangor. Broadway Park had the earliest recorded bandstand built sometime in the 1890s followed by one in Union Park behind the famous landmark Bangor House which is said to have hosted six Presidents: Grant, Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and Taft who could have all possibly enjoyed a band concert on this bandstand.
Chapin Park held a bandstand which was considered to be Bangor's "handsomest of them all," along with a bandstand in Davenport Park. The bandstand in Central Park cost $325 and was erected by H. L. Jewel in 1881 and turned out to be the most renowned of all of Bangor's bandstand because of its perfect location, comfortable seats and a plush lawn. It was described as an "octagonal bandstand, the platform on a high base with Italianate Posts supporting a slightly averted pointed roof topped by a finial." The bandstand is believed to have been destroyed in the great Bangor fire of 1911.
Bangor's current bandstand has been strategically built directly in front of the famous Bangor Auditorium to add versatility to the grounds during summer events, especially the Bangor Fair which has its fairgrounds directly behind the auditorium and traditionally attracts thousands of people each summer.
Many weekly band concerts are held on the bandstand during the summer months with local and national bands performing on its stage to the delight of the citizens of Bangor and visitors to the area who always come out in large numbers to enjoy the music and support the various groups.
The bandstand was built by CEDA workers (a Government project) in 1976 and was financed by the local Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Clubs. In 1998, the bandstand was expanded by the Bangor Parks Staff so the stage could hold a larger number of participants during the concerts and other community events. The bandstand was built for the community during and for our nation's bi-centennial.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY
Frank Comeau, Director
Frank Comeau, Director
Parks & Recreation Department
"Lest We Forget" - Barbara Merrill Fox, author