Heritage Commission News – Summer 2014

Work on the 1908 historic Belmont Bandstand, begun in earnest October 1last year with stabilization and repairs by restoration contractor JR Graton,continued in May, with a $15,000 challenge grant from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program www.lchip.org John Thompson and crew from JLT Painting, carefully prepared old and new surfaces, following the paint study of architectural conservator Brian Powell.Field work with a 20X binocular microscope found evidence of original colors, followed by laboratory time, and light bleached under fluorescent light to reverse the darkening and yellowing of linseed oil binder components confirmed the hues, and Powell matched them with a chromameter to currently available commercial paint lines.Colors are now restored as close as todays science allows and feature a main paint of dark, blackish green, accent of red showcasing the decorative detail work on inner brackets, upper spindle bands, scallop-cut skirt, molding, structural posts, and the horizontal trim board over lattice-work. Thompson used Sherwin Williams Emerald paint and their Laconia store donated a sizable product discount to support the project.Heritage Commission Chairman Linda Frawley, says the current restoration benefited hugely from pioneering efforts of the late Mrs. Whitman Ides to protect and repair the structure in the 19070s, the care of builder Neil Whitcher who replicated the first roof replacement and balusters, following the original design, Selectmen of that era and Town Staff, including Alan MacRae and Romeo Clairmont, among others. We also owe a debt of gratitude to architectural histo- rian David Ruell of Ashland and former State Architectural Historian James Garvin, now affiliated with Plymouth State University. Their research, preservation and maintenance of Mrs. Ides files and correspondence helped solve a 25 year mystery about when the Bandstand was built. While the new roof reproduc- tion is underway this summer, the Selectmen-appointed committee hopes to secure funding for the third phase, full updating of electrical and complete in September. Select Board.&nbsp