Tisbury Historic Commission urges selectmen to reconsider bandstand decision

Commission chairman Harold Chapdelaine expresses opposition in letter. 


In a letter sent to Tisbury selectmen on Dec. 11, Harold Chapdelaine, chairman of the town’s historic commission, detailed the commission’s opposition to the proposed Keith Moskow–designed replacement to the Owen Park Bandstand in Tisbury, asking selectmen to stop the project and refer the design to the commission.

At a Dec. 9 planning board meeting, board members selected Moskow’s modern “Japanese lantern” design over Paul Lazes’ historical, Victorian approach. Board members, who agonized over the decision, cited more room for band members, steps on the side of the water, and Moskow’s experience as deciding factors.

In his letter, Chapdelaine wrote that the historical commission has received “numerous inquiries” about Moskow’s design. The historical commission was not involved in the design selection process, other than with one of the first committees involved with the restoration and design of the bandstand, according to Chapdelaine.

“The Lazes design needs to be reconsidered. There are many who feel it is by far the fitting creation,” Chapdelaine wrote, adding that Lazes’ design uses “Vineyard elements” such as a stone foundation, antique posts, and a standing seam roof. He called Lazes’ creative use of a square base and introduction of planters “masterful.”

Lighting was also a concern. “Interior lighting would be contained by the roof structure and focus on the activities in the pavilion while Moskow’s will be glowing like a moonstone and sending disruptive light to someone navigating the waterway at night,” Chapdelaine wrote.

He also said local artist Margot Datz or another artist could paint a historical Vineyard Haven harbor mural on the ceiling, and Lazes’ design has respect for the Owen Park site.

“It is a humble design that speaks to the community, and not about the designer,” Chapdelaine wrote in his letter. “There is nothing about the Moskow design that is reflective of the town of Tisbury.”

Speaking to The Times by phone Monday, Chapdelaine said he had not heard back from selectmen since sending his letter, and had no further comment until he received a reply. 

Chapdelaine did clarify that while he is an appointed member of both the William Street Historic Commission and the Tisbury Historic Commission, the bandstand has nothing to do with William Street.

He added that since the bandstand was built in the 1960s and is outside the William Street district, the historic commissions did not have purview over it, but welcomed the opportunity to be involved.

“If so invited, the historic commission would be happy for any consideration that would be helpful,” Chapdelaine said.


  1. The Lazes design may include “Vineyard Elements,” but overall is heavy looking and grim. Moskow’s design reminds me of the lanterns of Illumination Night, and has a light elegance. Stay with the Planning Board’s decision.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Chapdelaine that the choice of designs was the worse of the two, but isn’t there a third option? When Santander Bank took the terra cotta shingles off the old stone bank, they were ordered to replace them with identical shingles. Why mess with success? Can’t we just replace the old bandstand with an identical new structure?

    • @Islander: Great suggestion. Same design as the existing bandstand, although perhaps with better accessibility.

  3. I like the Moskow design allot. It’s elegant and a clever take on the old bandstand without copying the old design exactly. I recommend building the chosen design.

  4. What’s wrong with the bandstand? I thought Tisbury loved a bit of tradition…especially buildings not drenched in white trim. Besides, that new thing belongs at an airport, way off-island.

  5. Why is everything in Tisbury a problem?
    The other design was the hands down winner and my first choice.
    Frankly I was blown away when the Japanese lantern was chosen.

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