The historic Whitehall Bandstand outdoor venue for live artistic performances recently received a $5,000 community grant from First National Bank and Trust Company to assist with the project restoration.
The iconic Whitehall Bandstand was built in 1915 with funds provided by the Chautauqua Committee, comprised of six women for $700 and has been home of many community events. With the current capital campaign, it is the hope for this ornamental outdoor space to be the hub of even more community activities.
On April 1, 1915 the Whitehall Times newspaper article described the structure as “a fine, concrete pebbledash bandstand. F.B. Seymour, superintendent of the Green Bay & Western Railroad donated the site between the city hall and railroad track and A.E. Wood was contracted to erect it.” It was further described as a “massive octagonal structure 20’ in diameter of solid concrete, stuccoed and pebbled on the outside, with eight large, cement pillars, and pagoda roof with extended eaves. This handsome structure will add materially to the beauty of the village as well as furnish an incentive to our fine bands for a continuance of their worthy efforts.”
According to the newspaper reports, the structure stood as originally built until 1953 when the City Council discussed repairing the original roof and even the possibility of taking down the entire structure. In 1955 the Council approved removal of the roof and replacement with a flat roof. In 1982 the flat roof was replaced with the current roof today.
“We would like to thank First National Bank & Trust Company for this most generous contribution to the restoration of Whitehall’s 1915 bandstand! Contributions like yours will assure the completion of the work to bring the structure back to its original beauty,” said Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Ellen Koxlien.
Since celebrating its 100th birthday in 2015, the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce has been working with the Wisconsin Historical Society and other donors to see this project to fruition and save pieces of history. The official construction will begin fall 2022.
“We are very excited to see the restoration of this historic community feature is finally going to happen,” added Koxlien.