For a couple of years now, the Levitt Pavilion has been in a state of flux.
Not the leadership or the entertainment — the pavilion itself.
The original structure was great for its time. But that time — and weather — took its toll. In May 2007 — after 34 years — the bandshell burned to the ground.
No problem. It was a training exercise, conducted by the Westport Fire Department.
A temporary structure was erected. Within 2 years, officials promised, a new, improved pavilion would be built.
Five years later, plans are still on the drawing board.
On Monday, contractors interested in the project examined the site. Bids are due soon.
According to executive director Freda Welsh, committee members will then determine whether it’s possible to actually start building this year, to be ready for 2013.
According to the Levitt’s website, Westport architect Peter Cadoux’s new pavilion
will feature greatly improved facilities and amenities for audiences and artists alike. Our new LEED-certified building will have a covered stage with vastly updated technical abilities, furthering our capacity to attract world-class artists as well as to support emerging ones. The enhanced park will feature an improved RiverWalk and picnic groves, an info booth and community hospitality center outfitted with food services and indoor restrooms — all of which will feature universal access.
It’s already 4 years overdue. Fundraising in the current economic climate is not easy — just ask the Y.
Though the Levitt sits on public land, its 50 nights of free entertainment are privately funded.
The new project will rely entirely on donations, too.
The 39th season kicks off Sunday, June 24 with a “60s Show.” Musicians include former members of Billy Joel and Elton John’s bands, the Boston Pops and current Smithereens.
The traditional summer-long mix of military bands, klezmer, comedy, kids’ nights and everything else — a modern-day Ed Sullivan Show, minus Topo Gigio — follows.
Perhaps in 2013 they’ll perform on a fresh, modern, state-of-the-art stage.
Or sometime this century.