Central Park's Naumburg Bandshell, an original feature of the Park, has come a long way from its beginnings as a mere classical music arena.
The site of both a speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. and a eulogy read for John Lennon, it has become a place of historical importance within the Park.
The original Mould Bandstand was constructed in 1862 as a pagoda that became one of the park’s most familiar landmarks. Back then, the free Saturday afternoon concerts would draw upward of 45,000 people to the Mall on a nice summer day.
It was decided that a bigger bandshell was needed, and so the new Naumburg Bandshell was built in 1923.
An area under the Wisteria Pergola was expanded to accommodate the new bandshell, gifted by banker Elkan Naumburg. It became home to what was then a new festival in the 1980's called SummerStage.
Today, the Bandshell hosts free classical concerts, sponsored by the Naumburg family. You can see the schedule of the Naumburg Bandshell’s performances at www.naumburgconcerts.org.
The Bandshell is located south of Bethesda Terrace between 66th and 72nd streets.