Band Stand restoration up for consideration in preservation comm - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Band Stand restoration up for consideration in preservation commission

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The Parks and Recreation Department is looking to restore the Anderson Memorial Band Stand in Riverside Park back to its original condition from 1930.

They're also looking to move the structure.

But the band stand in Riverside Park is a designated historic structure.

Barbara Kooiman, chair of the Heritage Preservation Commission, said she would like to see the band stand restored in its current location.

"It's been here ever since (1930) as this public location for orchestra, band, public speaking, and it's just been a part of the history of Riverside Park," Kooiman said.

Parts of the band stand were added on in 1986. Both Kooiman and Parks and Rec have the same goal to get rid of the additions.

But Parks and Rec Superintendent Gar Amunson said his department is proposing to move the band stand to someplace else in Riverside Park.

They also have plans to build a new, bigger band shell.

"We can't restore this to this location because it will not work with the layout of the proposed band shell," Amunson said. "And… it's in the floodway. You cannot do this restorative work on this structure and keep it in its current site."

"The Pettibone Beach house was completely restored and that certainly gets more flooded than Riverside Park does," Kooiman said. "And that restoration, taking a very deteriorated building that wasn't very functional, made it beautiful again.

That's is the goal of Parks and Rec, and the Preservation Commission: Making the band stand beautiful, again.

But both sides are taking a stand on how it should be done.

There is a question raised about the practicality of investing money in a project sitting in a floodway.

Legally, it can be accomplished.

A representative from FEMA said the city would be able to restore the historic structure as long as it does not obstruct or expand the floodway.

The City of La Crosse has a special provision for historic structures in floodways. They may be restored if the structure keeps its historic designation, and flood resistant materials and flood proofing methods are used.

Thursday night the Heritage Preservation Commission will consider whether to take down the band stand and reconstruct it in another part of Riverside Park.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the third floor conference room in city hall.

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