Gazebo construction moves forward
August 27, 2008 · Updated 4:15 PM
ARLINGTON A project initiated by the Downtown Arlington Merchants more than 10 years ago, the gazebo in Legion Park has grown into a community-wide effort with materials and services being donated by more than 13 Arlington businesses, including posts from J.H. Baxter & Co., trusses from Evergreen Truss Mfg. Inc., framing lumber from Oso Lumber and roofing material from Arlington Hardware.
Smokey Point Concrete provided structural fill, drain rock and a concrete slab and East Valley Sand & Gravel offered to compact the gravel.
Donnelsons Electric offered a discount on installed electrical connections.
We have a 400 amps of power, said the street project coordinator, Terry Marsh, who has sought volunteers and donations to build the gazebo.
Two 200 amp services have been installed and the 100 amps already in place will be used for the parking lot, Marsh said.
Recent additions to the list of volunteer donations, Russ Allen, of Allen Roofing, has offered to install the roofing material and Allen Ake and Josh Hopp, of Glass Doctor, are donating clear glass to protect a patterned fused glass by Kurt McVay, for the cupola.
Finishing touches will be added by Unique Interiors, which is providing granite for the center of the concrete floor and plaques to record the many contributions.
Carla Lowe, of Little Italy, has offered an eagle weather vane to decorate the top of the traditional, barn-like cupola.
The gazebo in Legion Park has been a fantasy of the downtown Arlington merchants since back in the 1970s when a former editor and manager of The Arlington Times, Rena Jemeyson, campaigned for a gazebo in the park. It was during the mid-1990s, when the merchants were holding a variety of seasonal events in Legion Park using the deck of the former Arlington Chamber of Commerce portable trailer office, that Shirley and Kenny Countryman relaunched the campaign to build a gazebo in the park. They started offering raffles, bake sales and donation buckets at all merchant events to raise more than $16,000 for a proposed $90,000 structure.
After the Countrymans retired their business, the gazebo project lay dormant again for a short time.
Since the city was using the trailer deck for its Concerts in the Park launched during the citys centennial year, City Councilwoman Marilyn Oertle recognized the importance of Legion Park as a gathering place for the entire community. She revived the gazebo effort, proposing to scale down the project by finding a design that could be built of available materials as well as reflecting Arlingtons unique style.
Oertle and fellow gazebo advocates gathered around a table and architect Gregory Minaker sketched the concept, showing natural wood posts to hold up a round roof, in a simple design that acknowledges Arlingtons logging and dairy past. The peeled, round logs speak to the regions logging history, and the barn-like cupola reflects the dairy industry. The traditional, basic structure is styled after the shelters built in Washington state parks by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s.
As the new proposal took shape, Marsh started talking to contractors and business owners in the community and found donors or discounts for nearly every element of the gazebo.
By mounding the area with fill dirt from the street project, a bundle was saved on concrete and, so far, the project has been largely completed within the $16,000 merchants gazebo fund.
Lone B Construction offered a special deal, doing all the framing and miscellaneous construction labor for $11,000 and the concrete was also offered at a discount rate, according to the citys capital project manager, Paul Ellis.
They gave us a pretty good price for what they had to do, Ellis said.
Brian VanWinkle, of Lone B. Construction, said the gazebo will be done by fall.
Oh, yea, no problem. It will be done by October, for sure.
Ellis is hoping to complete the project with a grand-finale community project.
Ive been asking around if some of the city staff would be willing to work on a Saturday with some community volunteers on the final stages of landscaping, Ellis said. He added that the city will contribute the finishing details, such as picnic benches and sidewalks.
The only thing missing is restrooms.
Its on the top of our wish list for next years budget,
When its all done this fall, the community of Arlington will have a new place to gather and celebrate a place for music and speeches and gatherings with protection from the rain, all year round in Legion Park, also home to the new Veterans Memorial that pays tribute to all the branches of the military and the people who served in the military.
Legion Park was established by the Arlington Lions Club way back in the 1930s, when the club maintained the grassy area around the citys train depot for many years until they transferred those responsibilities to the citys parks department in the 1970s.
It was after the American Legion Post No. 76 built the small brick house memorial there that it became known as Legion Park.