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Contact: George E. Price, Jr., Superintendent, 508-957-0739
Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price has announced that the rehabilitation of the outdoor amphitheater at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham is underway. Along with major repairs to the Captain Penniman House in Eastham, funded by the National Park Service, Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and Eastern National, the rehabilitation of the historic Salt Pond amphitheater is a signature project of the National Park Service Centennial celebration at the national seashore.
Salt Pond Visitor Center and its adjacent outdoor amphitheater were constructed in the late 1960s during a National Park Service development period called "Mission 66." The goal of the initiative was to develop park facilities that appealed to post World War II visitors. The construction of visitor centers that included museums, indoor auditoriums, and outdoor amphitheaters, plus careful placement of facilities within the natural environment, were characteristics of this program. Since then, the amphitheater has been used for ranger talks, concerts, and large events. Over the decades, the condition of the amphitheater has deteriorated, despite cyclic maintenance efforts. In 2000 the amphitheater and the visitor center were determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The goals of the rehabilitation are to retain the facility's historic characteristics while making it safe, accessible, comfortable, sustainable, and functional for a variety of programming. The "wave" and stage structures will be repaired. Asphalt and benches will be replaced. An accessible ramp will be installed. The electrical system will be upgraded and lighting will be installed. "We're very excited to be undertaking this project," said Superintendent Price. "There are so many opportunities for dynamic programs at this facility. Our Centennial concert with the Cape Symphony is just one example of how the amphitheater can be used by the park and community partners once it's rehabilitated."During construction, traffic will be detoured in the parking area, and buses will park in the middle parking bay. Access to the Nauset Marsh Trail will be provided via a slightly different starting point. The Buttonbush Trail entrance near the amphitheater will be closed during construction, but the trail can be accessed from the Nauset Bike Trail, which will remain open through the construction period. The work should be complete in early spring 2017. The national seashore is seeking funds to repair the similarly historic amphitheater at the Province Lands Visitor Center in Provincetown.