Welcome to the Woodstock - Preservation Archives
Dedicated to the Historic Preservation of the Site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival
THE WOODSTOCK SITE
Hurd & West Shore Rds
|The Woodstock Preservation Alliance
PO Box 216
Olyphant PA 18447
|June 24, 2003
Mr. Michael Litvin, Acting Director
HUD - Community Planning and Development
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278-0068
RE: Bethel Performing Arts Center, Bethel, Sullivan County, New York
Alan Gerry - Gerry Foundation, Inc., Liberty, New York (owner)
HJ Res 2 (PL108-7) Vision K Title II
Community Development Fund Economic Development Initiative #541
Dear Mr. Litvin,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Woodstock Preservation Alliance, regarding the forthcoming Section 106 Review for the Bethel Performing Arts District. The project involves the 37.5 acres of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, Bethel, NY, and; we are aware the these project plans have not yet been submitted by the Gerry Foundation for review.
The Woodstock Preservation Alliance (WPA) is a non-registered grass-roots organization, dedicated to the preservation of the original Woodstock Site, as an undeveloped, open, living monument to peace and music. The Woodstock Site is a tangible reminder of the culturally, socially and historically significant event that occurred there in 1969, and is inseparable from the "Woodstock Generation Spirit" of activism, equity, community, ecology, balance and the desire for a better world. Each year, for the past 33 years, the site has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world. People are drawn to this landmark, without promotion or direction, in search of a personal connection with the struggles, and ideals, of the 1960's. This natural setting is a living testimony.
From it's inception, the Gerry Foundation assured all, that the legacy of this historic landmark would be "preserved," that all buildings would be placed on adjacent farmlands, leaving the Woodstock Site in its natural state. These assurances were changed with their final proposal, which place the "Core Activities Buildings" on the top third of the upper plateau, asphalt pedestrian walkways that cut across the festival bowl and steel security fencing to encompass the area.
We (the WPA) are very much in favor of the Bethel Performing Arts Center. It will not only bring music back to that area; it will provide assistance for the economic recovery of Bethel, and all of Sullivan County. The original Woodstock Site, in its entirety, would be the unique draw needed for success. With two other performing arts centers in close proximity, each vying for patronage, we feel that developing these 37.5 acres will not only jeopardize this landmark, it may very well place the fruition of the entire PAC into question. The desire for its patrons to experience the freedom and a rural garden will not be achieved with concrete buildings and chain link fences.
We see the site as a historically and socially significant global icon that is being altered and developed unnecessarily. We believe there are alternatives. The Woodstock Site, preserved in it's original state, and the Bethel Performing Arts Center - can co-exist - to be experienced by all, for generations to come.
I understand that this letter may be premature, but the Woodstock Preservation Alliance is petitioning for acceptance to participate as a consulting party in the Section 106 Review process. We are seeking advice and requesting any information on the necessary steps we must take, in order to achieve this status.
I appreciate your help, and your time and attention on this matter.
WPA - Board of Directors
1023 Lincoln Avenue
Blakely PA 18447
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
NYS Historic Preservation Field Services Bureau