This banner embraces the efforts that were put forth prior to the evolution of historic preservation. The Woodstock Preservation Alliance is the banner which the Preservationists stood under throughout their efforts for the historic preservation of the Woodstock Site. The "Dove Behind the Fence" was a signature logo used by the Woodstock Preservationists to raise awareness and the chain-link fence is symbolic of the fact that the privilege to walk freely on the Woodstock Site, is no longer allowed.

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
Sullivan County
Bethel  NY




INDEX
"OUR THANKS"
REFERENCE & RESOURCE
STUDENT QUICK LINKS
"Our Woodstock Historians"
Essays and Works
"Memories"
WHY PRESERVE
YASGUR'S FARM
Statement on the Cultural & Historical Significance
Of the 1969 Woodstock Festival Site

Michael Wm. Doyle, Ph.D.
Ball State University, Muncie, IN
WOODSTOCK SOLD: THE PURCHASE OF AN ICON
Preservation Efforts on the Local Level
Pac Approval/Permit Process
Historic Preservation Efforts
NTHP 11 Most Endangered Places
National Register
Section 106 Review
The 1969 Woodstock Festival Site
"A Cause for Preservation"
Media Archives
Complete Compilation of News Articles
Press/Media Releases
Public Service Announcements
Pro-Action and Promotion
Soliciting Support
A SMALL VICTORY FOR A GENERATION
The Woodstock Preservationists
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WOODSTOCK SOLD:
THE PURCHASE OF AN ICON
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can let alone." -Henry David Thoreau (1817-62)

1997: Following months of quiet negotiations, closed-door meetings and secret deals, it was revealed that millionaire Alan Gerry, businessman and native of Sullivan County, had purchased the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, as well as 1400 acres of adjoining land in Bethel NY. In prepared remarks issued on 24/4/97, it was announced that Alan Gerry was now the owner of this legendary site. It further went on to state that he had also purchased a number of parcels surrounding the Woodstock site, with the intentions of creating a Following the sale ofthe Woodstock Site, signs were postedyear-round, world class performing arts center. He expressed appreciation that this property had been sold to him in trust, not only to add to the economic fabric of a county, but to ensure that this touchstone of modern American music and culture was protected. He made it clear that his intent was not only to bring growth and prosperity to a much needed area, but also to preserve, in perpetuity, this historic land - where generations of people from around the world could walk freely on those hills, and be inspired by Woodstock past, present and future. The Gerry Foundation Inc., a not-for-profit organization, was created to help develop these plans.

In the years to follow, the news fell silent, and the air in Bethel was filled with curiosity and conjecture as to what those plans might be, as well as doubt and skepticism that any plans would be followed through. During that time, it also heightened trepidation regarding the fate of the highly revered and historic Woodstock site.

2000: The much anticipated news came three years later, when in May, it was reported that the Gerry Foundation�s focus was on the long-term development of a performing arts complex, and in August a major press conference was held. Standing on the Woodstock site, with many politicians, businessmen and media in attendance, Alan Gerry, accompanied by Governor George Pataki, announced his plans for the development of a $40 million Performing Arts Center - plans which would not only breathe new life into Bethel and Sullivan Co., but also respect and protect the history and legend that is contained within that land. Reactions were very positive, and support was pledged from the highest levels of state to the sum of $15 million in financial aid. It was said to be the greatest thing to happen to Bethel. The Woodstock Site -Corner of Hurd & West Shore Road

Rumors that the Woodstock site was threatened by development circulated in September, but those reports were quelled by the Gerry Foundation's reassurance that they acknowledge the importance of this special place.

The re-organization of those concerned with safeguarding the original Woodstock Site came about in October, and the Woodstock Preservation Alliance was born. An internet-based organization in favor of the performing arts center - advocating for the mere 37.5-acre parcel of historical land, situated amidst 1400 - to remain free - in its untouched, unspoiled, and unaltered state, within the complex.

2001: In June, following months of planning, the Gerry Foundation presented a major step in a dream to responsibly and successfully capitalize on a legend, and the master plan for the Bethel Performing Arts Center was unveiled. Pending successful outcomes of the necessary environmental and land use reviews, their proposal revealed plans to include a pavilion, performance center, visitors center, exhibition and retail space and museum, with future plans to include a school for the performing arts as well as a conference center.

Most importantly, and in standing by their pledges, the Gerry Foundation announced that, with the exception of a festival stage to be placed where the original stood in 1969, the Woodstock Site would remain untouched. The concerns of those focused on the protection of the Woodstock Site were eased, and the WPA released a statement of congratulations and support.

This was a win-win decision for commerce, culture, and history, and it strengthened the vision for impending growth. Widely celebrated, reports of this news received national attention. Assuring and reiterating his stance on developing the 37.5 acre Woodstock Site, Alan Gerry posed the question, quoted in the NY Times: "Would you build a shopping center where Washington crossed the Delaware?"

Following the sale ofthe Woodstock Site, fences went up and signs were postedIn retrospect, that statement was the beginning of the end - but nevertheless, at that time, it achieved a wide-scale trust that the socially, culturally, and historically significant global icon would remain undeveloped.

2002: In March, without the fanfare or national attention that had surrounded the previous announcements; the Gerry Foundation quietly changed their plans.

Despite their assurances, regardless of their expert findings and contrary to wide-spread popular belief, the original Woodstock Site was slated for development. Their proposal placed the "core activities buildings" on the top third of the upper plateau, asphalt walkways would cut across the bowl, steel security fencing would encompass the area - attesting to the fact that there are those who would build a shopping center where Washington crossed the Delaware.

The summer of 2002 brought about an evolution in the Woodstock Preservation Alliance, and standing under that banner, a core group of historical preservation activists launched a most compelling cause for the historic preservation of the 1969 Woodstock festival site, in an attempt to make a difference, and the extent of those efforts are documented within this website.

 

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Artie Kornfeld signing the Woodstock Monument

Artie Kornfeld