Log In

Reset Password

Bandshell is for everyone

I would like to address this letter to those who are fixated on the Palmerton bandshell.

Thirty plus years ago that structure was on borrowed time. The roof had leaked for a long time. The floorboards were rotting away as was much of the structure. It was unsafe to enter. And yes, it was a target of frequent vandalizing. More than now.

As a local builder I was approached to aid in the rebuilding. The ladies of the Concourse Club led the way on fundraising and procuring volunteer labor and materials. It all came together and for most of the late spring and early summer I spent my Saturdays not at my sons T-ball games but in the park with my work truck and a dozen or so volunteers tearing down and rebuilding that iconic building. The trim and railings were beautifully done by the late Joe Plechavy and were the only parts along with the floorboards that would require periodic maintenance and replacement for a hundred or more years.

Palmerton just celebrated another refurbishing of this community structure. It is disappointing that it was such a short time before some vandalism occurred. However, talk about chains or restricted access or a permit to use it really boils my blood. That bandshell belongs to everybody. It is a community asset just like a park bench or a playground. If a person wants to bring a lawn chair into it and recite poetry or contemplate their navel, good on them.

I do, however, believe that bicycles and skateboards don’t belong in a wooden building and should be prohibited. Further, I believe that some form of video surveillance can be designed to suppress vandalism and identify its perpetrators.

There is no need to restrict access to such a lovely place. I hope that the folks who are currently in power realize that this is a community asset that belongs to all to use and enjoy. Anything else shames the efforts of so many volunteers who worked over the years preserve and repair this historic landmark.

James B. Ord