Bandshell plans get final approval for Amherst Town Common

Posted: 12/7/2021 12:31:20 PM

Modified: 12/07/2021 12:30:52 PM

AMHERST – An 1874 design for Town Common by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted portrayed what he called a “house of music” on the green expanse.

Almost 150 years later, the common ground, long used for community events where live music is played, will receive a permanent performance shell.

City council voted 13-0 on Monday to grant final approval to the project presented by the Amherst Business Improvement District, which will be funded by the Downtown Amherst Foundation. The approval, following a similar unanimous recommendation from the City Services and Outreach Committee, means this element of BID’s Destination Amherst can begin.

“The BID and DAF truly believe that bringing more art and culture to our community and ensuring accessibility for artists and members of the public is invaluable in terms of economic development, enhancing diversity and growth and community support, ”wrote Amherst BID Executive Director Gabrielle Gould. an email.

The structure will be located near the Inn on Boltwood, with the stage facing South Pleasant Street.

The performance hull’s grand opening and grand opening is slated to take place in 2023, Gould said. BID’s current goal is to complete construction of The Drake site on North Pleasant Street. Prior to the construction of the show envelope, a feasibility study for a fundraising campaign will take place and discussions will take place with General Manager Paul Bockelman.

The performance hull design, by Naomi Darling / Ray Mann Architects of Amherst, was selected in a competition in 2018. Made from engineered wood and 38 feet wide and 24 feet deep, the building would use what is known as the architectural techniques of the origami folded plate structure.

The drawings show a cantilevered roof that appears to be made from a single piece of folded paper, like an origami. A rainwater garden would be formed around the base of the bandshell.

Advisors backed the project following unanimous recommendations from the Disability Access Advisory Committee, the Historical Commission and the Design Review Board.

The vote allows the city to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the IDB for maintenance and management, ensuring that maintenance and surveillance costs are not paid by the city.

Scott Merzbach can be contacted at [email protected]

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