Chautauqua Amphitheater Facing Possible Demolition

CHAUTAUGUA, New York (CelebrityAccess) — The future of the historic Chautauqua Amphitheater is up for consideration as its 24-member board of directors votes on Saturday whether to solicit bids for demolition of the venue.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the vote follows a debate between the directors of the Chautauqua Institution who want to demolish the building and replace it with a $30 million dollar replica and preservationists who want to save the historic building.

Originally opened in 1893, the amphitheater is located at the center of a National Historic Landmark District in Southwestern New York that is visted by more than 100,000 visitors a year.

The future of the venue has been up in the air since 2011 when the first plans to replace the venue were laid, however, a public campaign by preservationists, united under the "Save the Amp" banner has been underway with the organization purchasing billboard space advocating for the restoration of the original building.

A structural engineer who assessed the building found that while it did need some upgrades, the building seemed sturdy.

In the assessment, reported on by the Post Gazette, the engineer wrote: “There were no signs of structural overstress or serious corrosion observed. The existing steel trusses were analyzed to be adequate to withstand the code required loads.” – Staff Writers