Saturday, February 20, 2016

Central Park In Our Hometown

Recently my younger brother and I were talking about the fountain and the bandstand in Central Park in our hometown. I think the conversation started with a remark I made about the fountain and he asked, "What fountain?" "The fountain in the middle of the park. As I understand it, the one designed to look like the original that was there way back when.", I said. I told him I would send a picture when I found it. The only one I could easily find was one taken in the background at my 50th class reunion.

Hard to see the dark fountain with the tree behind it in the photo.
But I remembered to take my camera this morning when I was going to Corning so I could get a better photo of it.

I got there to discover this: The pool part of the fountain, but no fountain. It has been removed for repair according the person I asked.

Searching online for a photo of the fountain did not turn one up, but I did find a beautiful painting of it.

Each year at the end of July, artists from all over come to Corning for the En Plein Air Festival and judging. This piece was done in 2007 by artist Peter Yesis.

My brother commented that he hadn't been in that park for decades. I said, "Well, you probably haven't seen the new bandstand either. Or, I should say, the second new bandstand."

The old bandstand plays a featured part in Saves Nine, the second book in his Time Will Tell series. I searched without luck for a picture of the bandstand that stood in the northeast corner of the park for so many years. Then I remembered the mural in the Post Office.

I knew it was painted to represent our hometown bandstand, part of the WPA's depression era Federal Art Project. Marion Gilmore's prizewinning sketch was titled Band Concert. The mural was to be painted on the prominent end-wall above the Postmaster's door. And that is exactly where I took this photo this morning. The band leader was reputed to represent Homer Snodgrass, the lovely man who did lead the free band concerts once held in Central Park.

When the old bandstand fell into disrepair and was too far gone to save, it was torn down. In the late 70's or early 80's, a new one was built. Volunteers were asked to help with some finishing touches. I was part of the Ag Diversity group which laid paving blocks.

Again, not the best photo, one of our 50th class reunion group at the Southeast entrance to the park with the 'new' bandstand above on the right. This bandstand had several problems, one of which was its small size. After about twenty-five years, it too, was deemed unfixable.

It was torn down and replaced by this current version of the Central Park Bandstand. To my knowledge there aren't any concerts held here, but the weekly farmer's market is each Thursday evening during the season.

Another view of the fountain base and the new bandstand. Maybe the next time my brother is in the area we should plan a visit to the Central Park in our hometown. With luck the fountain will be back in place for our enjoyment.

1 comment:

  1. I missed this when you posted it in February. If I ever return to "Mercer" in another story, I'll have to feature the new fountain.