Sad News: Chautauqua Amphitheater Demolition Complete

September 16, 2016 by Tim Mikulski

Interior view of the amphitheater.

photo by: Stephen Davies

Since its inception in 2012, our National Treasures program has been successful in saving, protecting, and reusing historic places across the country. However, in this time, we have also had a few hard-fought campaigns that have resulted in preservation losses.

Unfortunately, one of those losses occurred just this week when the Chautauqua Institution completely demolished the beloved Chautauqua Amphitheater, simply to make way for a replica in its place. We are extremely sad to see images of the iconic structure's demolition, as the countless historic moments captured in the former venue are now lost forever.

As WBFO stated in its coverage:

"It's the end of an era at the Chautauqua Institution. Following a two-year legal fight, the 123-year-old Amphitheater has been demolished."

While reflecting on this loss, we want to thank all of our coalition partners below for their tireless work on this campaign:

  • Committee to Preserve the Historic Chautauqua Amphitheater
  • Preservation League of New York State
  • Preservation Buffalo Niagara
  • The Campaign for Greater Buffalo
  • Landmark Society of Western New York
  • Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

Even with an excellent track record in our National Treasures program to date, losses like these still sting. On the other hand, they also motivate us to fight even harder for the other 70+ sites we are working to protect for future generations.

Travel with us on an epic trip along Historic Route 66, and help preserve an iconic piece of Americana.

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