[Westwood Heritage Society]
Bandstand Restoration Project

     In June 1922 design work began on the plans for a community bandstand that would eventually be erected in Veterans' Memorial Park.   The Mayor and Council approved the plans and selected a site within the park, and Irving T. Brickell, the Borough's mayor, began to solicite donations for the construction of the bandstand, raising a total of $1,500.00, which together with donations of labor and materials, enabled the committee to erect the bandstand with no financial obligation to the Borough.

[Westwood Bandstand (circa 1922)]
Westwood Bandstand (circa 1922)

     The inaugural event in the bandstand was a performance by the 52 piece Zem Zem Band on August 2, 1922.   (Note the removable wooden steps, and the railing in front of them, on the original bandstand.)

     Unfortunately, by the mid-1980s the bandstand had deteriorated, and was no longer the 'pride of Westwood'.   Finally, in 1988 several concerned residents, following the example of our forefathers, established a group (The Westwood Heritage Society) and began to hold fundraising events and to soliciate donations from local businesses and residents, so that the bandstand could be restored, once again making it the 'symbol of Westwood'.

[Westwood Bandstand Fundraising]
Westwood Bandstand Fundraising (1988-1989)

     Proving that our forefather's 'spirit of cooperation' still existed in the Borough, The Society was able to raise approximately $10,000.00 for the restoration project.

[Westwood Bandstand Restoration]
Westwood Bandstand Restoration (1988-1989)

     These donations, together with the contributions of labor & skills by residents, local craftsmen and professionals, enabled the restoration of the bandstand to be completed, again with no financial obligation to the Borough.

[Restored Westwood Bandstand]
Restored Westwood Bandstand

     The restored bandstand was rededicated on Memorial Day of 1989 and a band concert was held in it in July.   To this day, the bandstand continues to provide the focal point from numerous Borough activities -- Memorial Day activities, Summer concerts, 'Home for the Holidays' activities, etc.

     In recognition of the significance of the bandstand project, in April 1990 the County of Bergen Historic Sites Advisory Board awarded a Bergen County Historic Preservation Commendation for the Westwood Bandstand Restoration.

     Since the completion of the 1989 restoration, The Society has worked with the Borough and local groups to insure that the bandstand is maintained.   For example, in September 1997 as part of an Eagle Scout project, a Westwood Sr./Jr. High School student proposed a project to replace those railing balustrades that had deteriorated since the previous restoration project.   With the approval of the Society and the Borough, he organized a group of 40 people, including fellow Scouts, high school shop class students and parents, and began his planning and preparation for the restoration.   With a Society member liaison, in March 1998 the Boy Scout supervised the group's actual installation of the new balustrades in the bandstand, completing this second restoration project.

     Unfortunately, because of the wood construction and the intricate configuration of the railing balustrades, by 2006 they were once again showing the effects of the weather and many of them were in need of replacement.   With the goal of a longer lasting replacement for the railing balustrades, the Westwood Heritage Society, with George Mulhauser as project leader, began researching possible replacement materials that would achieve this goal, while still maintaining the historic look of the bandstand.   In late 2007, the Society selected a heavy-gauge aluminum material for the construction, and in conjuction with the Borough of Westwood, arranged for the fabrication of the required seven replacement sections.

[Westwood Bandstand Railing Balustrade Fabriction]
Westwood Bandstand Railing Balustrade Fabriction (2008)

     The fabrication of the seven railing balustrade replacement sections was started at P. Feiner & Sons (Bogota, NJ) in early 2008 and was completed in April 2008.

[Westwood Bandstand Restoration]
Westwood Bandstand Restoration (2006-2008)

     On Saturday, May 10, 2008, members of the Westwood Heritage Society, with the assistance of several members of the Westwood Knights of Columbus and local contractor Idol Brawer, removed all of the deteriorated railing balustrades and installed the seven new heavy-gauge aluminum balustrades sections.

     With the passage of time, the bandstand again began to show the affects of the weather -- its paint fading and even peeling on sections of the deck.

[Westwood Bandstand Maintenance]
Westwood Bandstand Maintenance (2011)

     Therefore, in early May 2011, the Westwood Heritage Society arranged for the painting of the bandstand columns, railings and deck in preparation for the Borough's Memorial Day events and the numerous summer activities that are held in Veterans' Memorial Park.   Upon the completion of the painting, the Society installed the U.S. flags and the bunting, which always adorn the bandstand during the summer months.


 
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Date Last Updated: June 16, 2011 Copyright © 2007-2011