This banner embraces the efforts that were put forth prior to the evolution of historic preservation. The Woodstock Preservation Alliance is the banner which the Preservationists stood under throughout their efforts for the historic preservation of the Woodstock Site. The "Dove Behind the Fence" was a signature logo used by the Woodstock Preservationists to raise awareness and the chain-link fence is symbolic of the fact that the privilege to walk freely on the Woodstock Site, is no longer allowed.

Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival

Hurd & West Shore Rds
Sullivan County
Bethel  NY

Essays and Works
Statement on the Cultural & Historical Significance
Of the 1969 Woodstock Festival Site

Michael Wm. Doyle, Ph.D.
Ball State University, Muncie, IN
Preservation Efforts on the Local Level
Pac Approval/Permit Process
Historic Preservation Efforts
NTHP 11 Most Endangered Places
National Register
Section 106 Review
The 1969 Woodstock Festival Site
"A Cause for Preservation"
Media Archives
Complete Compilation of News Articles
Press/Media Releases
Public Service Announcements
Pro-Action and Promotion
Soliciting Support
The Woodstock Preservationists
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Copyright Statement
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A Small Victory

 An ending or a new beginning?

No one has the right to tell another what to do with the property he owns ---
but when the wheels of progress and the development it promises, threatens property that holds historic, social, and cultural value, average citizens have the right to be involved, voice concerns and opinions, work towards Peace Polemitigating plans, and offer alternatives - in an attempt to preserve these irreplaceable landmarks. We showed that it is possible to work towards the protection of such properties without financial backing or legal counsel, and it can be accomplished by "us", the ordinary people - committed and determined - to preserve places of global historic importance.

The property, in this case, is owned by Alan Gerry;  a wealthy, influential local area businessman, with a vision to create a venue that will contribute to the revitalization of rural Sullivan County NY.  He owns 1400 acres of land in Bethel, NY, which includes the 38-acre parcel known worldwide, as the original Woodstock Site. The plans for the development of this land promise great financial and economic growth for a much needed area, and the importance of this project is supported at the highest levels of State government. It has been a difficult road, as we found ourselves up against a well beloved local philanthropist , with the audacity to question his plans for the 38-acre piece of history that sits in the center of that land. We could not stand back - as the promise for Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, also included the destruction of this 20th century icon.

We, the Woodstock Preservationists, put forth our best efforts to impress upon the decision makers how important, the Woodstock Site is - left untouched, in its unaltered state. This is a global landmark, and Bethel's draw. A site visited by thousands each year from around the world. Woodstock Site - 2001The destruction of these 38-acres would be a tragic loss of a piece of Americana and a detriment to the success of Bethel Woods. We strived for the realization of co-existence - the "original" Woodstock Site (bowl and upper plateau) housed within Bethel Woods, making such a venue nothing less than legendary.

- We stood as strangers before the Town of Bethel and it's government, to voice our concerns. We brought with us the view of outsiders, from literally across the globe - to once again impress upon the locality that they must weigh the plausible expectations of visiting patrons to this new venue, and whether the final appearance of the site will indeed be congruous with those historic and sentimental expectations. We presented valid alternatives which would prevent the destruction of a true legacy and provide the insurance for the fruition of another, and we struggled to make it seen by the people of Bethel, the importance of what they hold.

- We sought the help of the National Trust for Historic Places, and submitted an application to have the Site nominated as one of America's Most Endangered Places, in an effort to bring about attention.

- We were willing to assume responsibility and move forward with the process of listing the Woodstock Site on our Woodstock Site - 2001National Register of Historic Places, needing only the support and permission of Mr. Gerry for us to proceed.

- We authored "A Cause for Preservation" which addressed the historic preservation issues, and submitted this document to all local/state government/agencies. As potential consultants, we intended this to be our case file when presenting at the federal review.

"We" were only a few people, who followed every avenue and means available to us, but faced with an insurmountable road block when federal support was declined, closing a loophole that would have legally required our input into the development plans, and thus bringing our mission to an abrupt end. On one hand, we could have easily seen this as a failure to complete our ultimate goal of one hundred percent non-development on the Woodstock site. We are realistic and having it all or nothing would only serve to diminish the hard work we put forth. Ultimately, and with some certainty, our efforts and pressure contributed to the downsizing of the development plans for Bethel Woods by 90 percent. That meant that we were successful in realizing a 90 percent historically preserved Woodstock festival site. So-called progress can have 10 percent if it means that 90 percent will remain true for generations to come. We feel that our mission was not in vain, and we're honored and privileged to have been involved in the efforts to preserve this piece of history.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, is coming at a very high price. Initially stated to be a $40 million project, including $15 million in state funding, the cost rose to $43 million, and then to $47 million. Subsequently in 2004, after the announced downsizing of the project - the cost grew to $63 million and climbed to $80 million in 2005.

A Day in the Garden - 1999 - Ariel View
"Day in the Garden" concerts, sponsored by Gerry Foundation and GF Entertainment, were held in 1998 (pictured) and 1999. The stage area will be kept ready and periodically will be used for festival events of up to 30,000 people.

Original Drawings for Bethel Woods The plateau above the "concert bowl", originally slated to house a 400,000 sq. foot complex, although encroaching on the property will now house a scaled down, more fitting Interpretive Centre/ museum, and events sheds. Original Drawings for Bethel Woods

Courtesy: Bethel Woods - Center for the Arts

The original Woodstock Site is an irreplaceable piece of modern American and global history. An icon to a generation, and monument to peace. It is priceless. 38-acres of value and significance that could never be measured in dollars - just as the altering and destruction to all of this unique global landmark would have never been undone. Fortunately, the little people were loud, persistent, and unwavering in conviction. This landmark is your legacy and belongs to you - no matter whose name is on the deed. We have always supported the idea of bringing arts and music back to this land and have always wished nothing but the best for the new Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Despite new permanent structures on and around this green place, Woodstock was not allowed to fade away through modern complacency. In the true spirit of "power to the people", enough of the original site will remain so that generations will come to understand the facts, fiction, legend, mythology, and general power of what is "Woodstock".


Woodstock Site 1969 - Ariel View
Courtesy:  or

Woodstock 1969 - Going Home
Photo Courtesy: Baron Wolman