Restoration of the gazebo at Maple Park Cemetery central Springfield is underway. Ted Smith with the ceremony’s Board of Directors offered a few clues about the landmark’s history during a ceremony today.
“We do know that the gazebo had been constructed shortly after the cemetery opened. As there is a record of a symphonious or pony board, giving a Fourth of July 1876 centennial celebration oration from the gazebo,” Smith says.
The gazebo’s roof was lifted off today, beginning an extensive restoration project. The metal work on the cupola will be repaired and replaced, and the original weathervane atop the roof will be restored. During this time, the structure will be lifted and sandblasted to remove remnants of the original lead paint. According to Laurel Bryant, chairman of the city’s Landmarks Board the cemetery will be attempting to add the structure to the National Register of Historic Places after its restoration.
“This is one of our oldest wooden structures, and it needs preservation allies to preserve and maintain this beauty for future generations. With the help of the state historic preservation office, SHIPPO, and Richard Burton, who has been working tirelessly to survey this structure, and the board of directors for Maple Park Cemetery, there will be a national registry designation sought”, says Bryant.
During the removal of the cupola, Ted Smith made an introduction of a couple who shared a special connection to the site.
“Today is the 31st anniversary of a couple who was married in the gazebo on October 20, 1984, and we are very pleased to have Marty and Dale. Wish them a very happy anniversary, and thanks for celebrating it with us” Smith says.
The project is about 50 percent funded, and seeking donations. Donations can be made to the Maple Park Cemetery at 300 West Grand Street, in Springfield.