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Mineola Gazebo Set to be Torn Down Amidst Safety Concerns

Structural damage from Hurricane Irene cited in felling 80-year old landmark.

The gazebo that once stood in is soon to be no more. 

Previously designated as a historical site, the unanimously voted to demolish the nearly 80-year old structure, citing that it has “fallen into a serious state of disrepair and injury due to the effect of the elements, wind and falling trees,” according to a resolution read by village attorney John Spellman at the April 11 meeting at the .

An inspection of the gazebo made by village building superintendent Dan Whalen on March 2 found that the roof and ceiling had deteriorated and the vertical support structures presented “a dangerous condition,” according to Spellman.

“It’s not what it was,” trustee George Durham said. “It’s fallen into ill-repair and I couldn’t personally deal with it if... with inaction and that collapses on somebody when one of our children are up there... if something happens, it’s going to be a sad state. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”

In making its decision to demolish the structure, the village board considered the historical nature of the gazebo and that it is “beyond repair or restoration,” Spellman said, noting that “the board finds that the historical tradition and theme of the gazebo and its role in the Mineola community can be replicated by means of a new gazebo placed appropriately in Memorial Park.”

According to a plaque affixed to the gazebo, the park and structure was dedicated on Nov. 12, 1932 by then-mayor Edward Schmidt. Since the board had designated it a historical structure, the gazebo would have had to have been repaired with the same types of materials originally used in its construction.

“Unfortunately nature has taken it’s toll on this significant structure in our village,” trustee Lawrence Werther said.

After lasting through eight decades, this past August during Hurricane Irene’s impact in the area, a nearby rendering it “totally beyond repair,” Werther said.

The roof of the gazebo was recently taken down along with the support columns and the foundation will be the next piece to be removed. The board has commissioned a study the design, placement and financing options for a new gazebo.

“We’re looking to remove the current gazebo as it stands as it’s becoming dangerous to anybody that’s in the area,” said. “Memorial Park is thankfully being used by many families, small children. We’re afraid that something’s going to happen with that and we understand the landmark status of it but we can’t let the unsafeness of this what we’re going to do other than eliminate it. We are looking to replace it with something bigger and nicer and hopefully incorporate some of the – hopefully without speaking to any designer at this point – incorporate some of the old parts of it into the new gazebo, making it more functional, more operationally sound and safer in the park.”

Deputy mayor Paul Pereira believed a new gazebo would be able to house performances in the space rather than having the village rent the show-mobile from North Hempstead, as well as be able to incorporate electricity and house new bathrooms that would be wheelchair-accessible. During the summer months the gazebo was only able to function as a viewing platform and .

“As sad as we are to see it go, we certainly welcome the opportunity to perhaps build something better for the residents,” Pereira said.

Artie Barnett April 23, 2012 at 08:36 PM
If Hurricane Irene can indeed be cited as the cause of the damage, will FEMA relief funds be applied for?
Scout April 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Sad to lose it. If you've been up on the floor of the shell, it's been looking shabby for a long time. And what about the kids' wading pool nearby? It hasn't been filled with water for a a couple years and looks unmaintained. And the tennis courts are in bad shape. It's a shame Mineola can't afford to take better care of this lovely little park.
Ellen April 27, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Oh, if those columns could only talk...
Vincent April 27, 2012 at 04:53 PM
This week celebrations were held for the Hundred Year Annversary of the Boston Red Sox cherished and historic Fenway Park. Just last week the Village of Mineola voted to demolish their nearly 80-year old historic gazebo. Sounds about right to me. Mineola, you should be ashamed of yourselves. And Artie Barnett, that's not even funny. A little tender loving care would have have prevented this demolition. We don't need a free handout from the government.
elaine May 28, 2012 at 01:10 PM
After the MIneola Theater was torn down I gave up on believing Mineola could keep its history ,and its charm priorities. Bigger and shinier are not always better , I also bet people would have volunteered time and materials etc if asked.... Instead Mineola will will loose another piece of its self and like the theater it will be found in a photo some where in a book or on line,

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