Chautauqua Razing Reconsidered

A historic amphitheater in Chautauqua, N.Y., could get another chance following a decision by the board of the  Institution to hold off on razing the structure.
The 120-year-old Chautauqua Amphitheater in New York may, or may not, be torn down.

The board decided last year to tear down the 120-year-old amphitheater and replace it with a $30 million modern structure. But following opposition from preservationists, the board opted to hold off on its decision and allow more public input, the Buffalo News reported.

“Opening the door to a more inclusive and sincere dialogue with all stakeholders is exactly the right thing for Chautauqua Institution to do,” Brian Berg, leader of the Committee to Preserve the Historic Amphitheater, told the paper. “This dialogue will spark new ideas and elicit the best thinking, and the end result will be an improved Amphitheater with its historic character and integrity intact.”

The group had reportedly collected more than 2,000 signatures in favor of saving the structure. Demolition had been scheduled to begin in September, but Chautauqua officials now plan to renew discussions with the community this summer and consult with a preservation expert from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the News said.