The Fort Concho Museum Board received an early Christmas present last week with the approval of its post bandstand reconstruction project by the Texas Historical Commission.

Located at the far west end of the fort's Parade Ground on a line with the flagpole, the rebuilding of the post bandstand will further enhance the site’s ongoing restoration program, offering a historically accurate setting for programs and concerts. Local architect Henry Schmidt will be creating plans that will need further review by a wide range of local, state and federal agencies, but the initial approval by the THC should satisfy all future reviews. Fort Concho hopes to start construction in the spring of 2014.

 Site Manager Bob Bluthardt said the approval came after the THC reviewed many years of research and documentation submitted by the fort about this 1880s structure, lost to history more than a century ago. The THC is the lead agency for any such project at a historic site in the state. Fort Concho’s status as a national historic landmark brings an extra-high level of review. To meet that threshold, the fort commissioned a special archaeology study to determine the exact location of the bandstand and to see if any evidence of the structure existed beneath the soil surface.

Fort Concho Board member Greg Stephens noted the project is funded through several sources, including the Fort Concho Foundation, a bequest from the estate of Van Carson, and a future donation of building materials from City Lumber of San Angelo.

 For more information about the project, call Fort Concho at (325) 481-2646.