Historic Ann Arbor bandshell shut down, needs repairs

Associated Press

A park bandshell that provided a stage for The Grateful Dead in the 1960s has been shut down in Ann Arbor.

The city put a fence around the site in West Park due to safety concerns. The foundation is crumbling, MLive.com reported.

“The bandshell will certainly be closed for 2021," said Colin Smith, Ann Arbor parks manager.

This May 19, 2021 photo shows the park bandshell in West Park in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The bandshell was built in 1938 with money from the Works Progress Administration, a federal jobs program during the Great Depression. The Grateful Dead performed in the park in 1967.

The city is looking for possible grants to help pay for the restoration. Any repairs will be coordinated with Jill Thacher, the city’s historic preservation coordinator, Smith said.

"The bandshell is a defining feature of West Park, and the hope is that will be the case for years to come once repairs are completed,” he said.

The bandshell has been the site of a variety of performances, from drama to hip-hop. About 1,800 people turned out for the dedication and music by a band affiliated with the University of Michigan, according to Ann Arbor library records.