Zonta Club restores cupolaThe cupola in Zonta Park, across from City Hall, recently received a restoration. The yellow and gray structure, often referred to as a gazebo, is the cupola that used to reside atop the old City Hall, which was built in 1908.
The cupola in Zonta Park, across from City Hall, recently received a restoration.
The yellow and gray structure, often referred to as a gazebo, is the cupola that used to reside atop the old City Hall, which was built in 1908.
“The cupola was rescued from the wrecking ball in late 1989 by the Zonta Club women, who then set about to establish a park site which would feature the cupola as its centerpiece,” said Barb Lang, retired Zonta member and park project manager. “We convinced the city to arrange for a 99-year lease on the weedy railroad property across from the brand new City Hall, and the park was born.”
In 1991 the cupola underwent its first restoration and it was moved into what is now known as Zonta Park.
Age and moisture during the past 20 years took a toll on the cupola. The floor and steps were weakened by rot. The columns and balusters, which were made of galvanized tin, were corroding at their bases. Ten years of weather, graffiti and dirt had dulled its paint.
This spring, “the cupola’s condition had become a safety hazard, and we were very concerned that we were losing this important piece of Jamestown’s history,” said Jane Austin, past president of the Zonta Club of Jamestown.
Zonta members had searched for several years for a contractor or volunteer group willing to take on the task of restoring the cupola, without success. Finally this past spring, Gerald Johnson, Home Rescuers Inc., accepted the challenge to restore it.
Johnson gave the cupola a new, solid floor of composite decking, fixed the corroded bases of the columns, and gave the whole structure a coat of fresh paint, matching the historic pale yellow and gray, with a bright silver roof.
“Gerald did an excellent job for us, and was respectful of the historic significance of this structure,” Austin said. “The cupola should last another 30 years or more.”
Restoration has also involved other individuals in the community. Last summer, Andy Kudrna turned new wooden balusters and Jim Bender installed them with new railings. Grants from the Jamestown Community Foundation and Jamestown Chamber City Beautification Committee provided initial funding.
The Zonta Club needs additional donations to cover the final costs of the restoration work, and to help finish some landscaping details next spring around the perimeter of the cupola. Donations can be made through the Jamestown Community Foundation, P.O. Box 372, Jamestown, ND 58402 or directly to the Zonta Club of Jamestown, P.O. Box 945 in Jamestown.
Since 1991, the cupola in Zonta Park has been the site for family gatherings, several weddings and peace ceremonies. It provides a distinctive landmark in the green park, just across from the Jamestown City Hall.
Zonta is an international service club of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. For more information about Zonta Club of Jamestown, call President Pam Phillips at 252 — 8412 or write Zonta Club of Jamestown at the address listed above