In recent months, however, the gazebo has been in sore need of repair, with rotted wood, missing rail posts and chipped and peeling paint.
Pictured left to right: (front row) Shelley Henry, Beverley Owen, Bettye Nagy, Martha Jackson, Carmen Imel, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Jane Hughson, Jean Mooney, Phyllis Klein, Anne Destefano; (second row) Jerry Sebek, Rodney Cobb, Marianne Moore, William Ford. Photo: Don Anders.
To help give the Gazebo the facelift it needed, the Heritage Association donated $30,000 to the City of San Marcos, and pledged an additional $5,000 to help fund repairs to the structure through a future brick sale project. The gift will cover as much as half of the total cost of the work, which the Parks and Recreation Department began in July.
Officials estimate that the work will take about ten weeks to complete. The design of the structure will not be significantly altered, but repairs to the base of the gazebo will make it more accessible to all park visitors. When repairs are completed, the gazebo will continue to be available to rent by the day for weddings, receptions and other events.
William Ford, Assistant Director of Community Services, said the Parks and Recreation Department will also make repairs to the exterior of the Merriman Cabin Museum, located in Veramendi Plaza. Parks & Recreation staff are also doing some exterior work and applying fresh paint to another iconic feature of the plaza park, the Charles S. Cock House Museum.
“We appreciate our continued partnership with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department staff to keep the Charles S. Cock House, the Merriman Cabin, and the Veramendi Park well-maintained for our residents and visitors,” said Jane Hughson, Association president.
The Heritage Association’s gift toward the gazebo is one of several donations the group has made to support preservation projects in Veramendi Park.
The new Gwen Smith fountain and the rock wall surrounding it were designed and funded by the Association thanks to a gracious gift by Dr. Smith through her will. Last year, members of the association purchased 10 metal benches that were distributed throughout Veramendi Park at a total cost of $13,000.
“We are pleased to be able to continue the Association’s legacy of support for the preservation of local landmarks such as the gazebo,” Hughson said. “Those who have eaten lunch at the Cottage Kitchen or bought a ticket to the Home Tour in the last few years have helped us raise the funds that make contributions like this one possible.”