Could Boulder's Historic Bandshell Get a New Home?

A city plan could move the iconic bandshell, which preservationists argue would alter its historic significance.
February 14 2013, 12:20 PM

Boulder’s iconic Glen Huntington Bandshell could be getting a new home as part of the city's civic-area master plan to revitalize a massive swath of land along Boulder Creek.

The bandshell, which has been a target for removal in the past, has been a mainstay between 13th and 14th streets on Canyon Boulevard, near the heart of the city, for nearly eight decades. But now Boulder officials are reimagining a “civic area" between Ninth and 17th streets and many of those plans don’t include the art-deco shell, which already is listed as a city landmark. Some ideas include moving the shell to a new site within the area or perhaps eliminating it altogether—though that idea likely wouldn’t get much support within the community.

City planners are using ideas from the concept plans and will eventually create up to four alternatives that will be shown to residents and to the Boulder City Council, the Daily Camera reported. Among the plans is a concept that would turn Canyon Boulevard into a tree-lined street, which would compete with the existing bandshell. Mayor Matt Appelbaum told the Camera the shell already interferes with the pedestrian experience along Canyon.

The Glen Huntington Bandshell is named for its designer, a well-known Boulder architect who designed several Greek society houses at the University of Colorado, Boulder High School, and the Boulder County Courthouse. It’s said Huntington used the Hollywood Bowl as his inspiration for the shell, which was completed in 1938 and dedicated to the city by the Lion’s Club.

If the shell is moved to another location, city preservationists argue the relocation would destroy its historic provenance and would make it ineligible for recognition on the National Register of Historic Places. The bandshell got city landmark status in 1995.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock