Letter to the Editor: It’s never been about preservation


The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 Standards of Preservation state that:

“The historic character of a property will be retained and preserved. The replacement of intact or repairable historic materials or alteration of features… that characterize a property will be avoided.

..Distinctive materials, features, finishes and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property will be preserved.

.. The existing condition of historic features will be evaluated to determine the appropriate level of intervention needed. Where the severity of deterioration requires repair or limited replacement of a distinctive feature, the new material will match the old in composition, design, color and texture.”

None of these things have been done by the Clarkdale Town Council nor will be done by the Clarkdale Town Council concerning the Bandstand in our park. It will be torn down. I, for one, very much doubt the Council’s assertion that usable parts will be reused because this is not, and has never been, about preservation.

At the Council meeting on Feb. 14, when the construction bid to preserve the Bandstand was rejected (it was over $200k) a request was made to return the matter to the Preservation Commission to develop a new plan. This didn’t happen. Instead, on May 9, the Council voted unilaterally to “replace” the Bandstand. There seemed to be little concern that the Bandstand would no longer contribute to the town’s historical designation. I think the attitude of the council was summed up by Council member Hunseder, who, at the Feb. 14 meeting, referred to the Bandstand as “a glorified lawn ornament.” I’m sure it was meant as a joke but in light of what is about to happen, not that funny.

Cynthia Malla


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