The mayor of St. John's wants city council to rule against the recommended demolition of the Bannerman Park bandstand, arguing that the structure is of unique character and worthy of preservation.
Council is being asked to approve the removal of the bandstand to make way for a refurbishment of the park that is being organized by the charitable Bannerman Park Foundation. After a fundraising campaign, it plans to replace that part of the park with a Victorian-style pavilion as well as a skating trail.
Mayor Dennis O'Keefe, who likes the refurbishment plan for the park, says council will make a big mistake by approving the destruction of the bandstand.
"The bandstand is the only, and I guess the oldest long-standing structure in Bannerman Park, and I really, really don't believe there's any need to demolish the bandstand," said O'Keefe.
O'Keefe, who is hoping to defer a vote on the park at Tuesday evening's council meeting until next week, said he would like to see a compromise that will "allow the skating trail to go ahead, the Victorian pavilion to go ahead, and the bandstand to remain a vital part of Bannerman Park."
The weathered brick bandstand has its admirers and its detractors, some of whom have described the bandstand as an eyesore.
The Bannerman Park Foundation has been aiming to raise $3 million for the overall redevelopment of the park, with the city matching donations dollar-for-dollar.
Earlier this year, the foundation unveiled a new fountain, "garden of memories" and gate along the Rennie's Mill Road entrance.
The foundation aims to build a new poolhouse and playground for the park.