Gazebo eyed for Town Common

Aug 10, 2017 by

Published in the August 9, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — The Historical Commission began laying the groundwork for bringing a gazebo to the Town Common during last week’s meeting.

Historical Society member Bob MacKendrick recalled the selectmen approved allowing a gazebo to be constructed on the Town Common several years ago. He said the original plan entailed having students from the former North Shore Technical High School build the gazebo. He said Lynnfield Rotary and Moynihan Lumber were involved with the project as well.

“There were several hang-ups and it fell through,” said MacKendrick.

Historical Commission member Steven Richard said the commission came close to voting on the gazebo proposal. After it was initially proposed that the gazebo would be built on the Common, Richard said “someone suggested we build it across the street on South Common in front of the Historical Center.”

Historical Commission Chairman Steve Todisco suggested looking into purchasing a gazebo.

“If you have all of these different groups involved, you’re not going be able to do it,” said Todisco.

In order to begin laying the groundwork for the project, Todisco said he needed specific information about the ideal size for a gazebo.

MacKendrick said the gazebo would ideally need to be “20 feet across or something in that range.” While he said the gazebo needs to big enough to accommodate public events, MacKendrick said it doesn’t have to be massive.

“It’s not like we are bringing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in here,” said MacKendrick.

MacKendrick noted the War Memorial Committee is looking at potentially relocating the War Memorial from the Common to the green located in front of the Historical Center.

“If that happens, the entire Common could be in play,” said MacKendrick. “Two things that were thrown out to me is where the bell is. We could always move the bell. That is one possibility, and the other is where the memorial is.”

Todisco said he would prefer installing the gazebo away from the Meeting House. He suggested the commission look at doing a site visit to evaluate prospective locations.

Additionally, Todisco noted the gazebo would need to have a ramp installed in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

MacKendrick said wiring would need to be installed at the gazebo as well.

“It’s not a big deal to get the wire in there and set up,” said MacKendrick.

MacKendrick proposed getting cost estimates for buying and installing the gazebo.

“The second thing is who pays for it,” MacKendrick added. “I really don’t have a problem if the town pays for it.”

“Who else would pay for it?” asked Todisco.

MacKendrick said the Rotary Club was willing “to kick in at least some of the money” several years ago.

“There might be other groups willing to also,” said MacKendrick. “I think it would be clearer and nicer if we just said to the town ‘look, it’s going to cost us ‘x’ thousands of dollars and it’s going to solve all of these problems.’ It would make a really nice place where we could have all of our ceremonies and concerts. We have a place to do it that is actually decent, and it won’t be taking away from the Meeting House.”

Todisco noted, “Wakefield has done an amazing job with public events.”

“They have a lot going for them,” said Todisco. “They have the Lake and the huge green. They take full advantage of it and do a lot. It’s wonderful. I am sure we could do something with our beautiful green. It’s very unique to our area.”

Historical Commission member Shelley Lynch and Todisco both noted Wenham has a gazebo at its town common. Lynch said Wenham’s gazebo is “not that high off the ground,” and has beautiful amenities.

After further discussion, Todisco said he would get some cost estimates for the gazebo project.

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