The Nichols Park Gazebo is on a six month deadline by the City of Jacksonville. Ward 2 Alderwoman and Chair of the City Council’s Parks & Lake Committee Lori Large-Oldenettel put out a call to local groups if they want to donate time to disassemble and reconstruct the gazebo, which she says has become a hazard according to engineer reports to the city. Oldenettel says due to prevailing wage, it would cost the city $70,000 to $100,000.
Oldenettel says its now up to the community whether or not the structure stays or goes because it has been in front of the council since 2016. It was brought before the Jacksonville City Council last night in hopes that a group or entity would come forward and donate their time and money towards renovations.
According to an article by local historian and former journalist Greg Olson from 1999, the gazebo was designed by local Jacksonville architect Clarence W. Buckingham. It was similar in design to the bandstand that once stood in Central Park Plaza during the early portion of the 20th Century. Like the Central Park bandstand, the gazebo was host to open air band concerts at Nichols Park up until the early 1920s. The gazebo is likely the last remaining structure built by Buckingham still standing in the Jacksonville area. If you or your group has interest, you can contact Oldenettel at 217-370-4597 for more information on how to help with the gazebo.