Steele Memorial Bandstand Upgrades Taking Shape

Posted on March 21, 2019

Legacy is everywhere in Lakeside. The fellowship we share, the paths we walk and the traditions we enjoy were shaped by the hearts and hands that came before us. Fred (Fritz) Steele III and his wife, Karlyn Marie Thygesen Steele, were two people that enjoyed the legacy of Lakeside, and who would go on to leave a legacy of their own, despite their years being cut tragically short by a car accident on Aug. 20, 1978.

Fritz had spent nearly every summer of his life in Lakeside, and Karlyn found it easy to adopt her husband's love for the community. Fritz enjoyed playing electric guitar, and Karlyn exercised her vocal talents by singing in a choir. When it came time to honor the couple with a memorial, special care was taken to ensure that their legacy, the Steele Memorial Bandstand, would honor their love for music.

The Steele Memorial Bandstand has been a community gathering place for decades and continues to be a special space for open-air concerts, author visits, vespers, planned marriage proposals and a variety of family celebrations.

In 2017, many Lakesiders gave gifts on #GivingTuesday to help us refresh this beloved gathering space. Because of you, Lakesiders will gather this summer to take in all the improvements and beauty of the surrounding area.

Through the winter, we've been hard at work installing additional electrical outlets to the structure so that more power can be provided for larger musical groups and support the controls for a new irrigation system.

New landscaping plans are in process and the design of the irrigation system is almost complete. New water lines were laid to support the system, and larger lines were installed so we can support additional irrigation in the future for other areas of the park.

An exciting enhancement, sure to protect the high heels of wedding guests, will be the addition of permeable pavers, replacing the loose rock surface of years past. As a sustainability practice, these pavers will provide a safer surface for walking to your seat while allowing rainwater to soak into the ground and not create runoff. Engineers have staked out the layout of the new paver area. Grading and excavation is in progress, and the paver system is targeted to be installed on April 15.

As weather breaks, the new roof will be installed and painting of the structure will be finished before Memorial Day weekend. New LED lighting inside the bandstand will be installed in April, completing the electrical upgrades. Finishing touches include fixing the existing columns that have wood rot, adding new wooden handrails, planting grass and installing a beautiful new copper finial, like the image to the right, to the refreshed bandstand.

This summer we will celebrate the generosity of Lakesiders who made these improvements possible and the 40th anniversary of this treasured spot along Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile.