Arches for an intricate, basket-weave roof have gone up on the Gerry Frank Salem Rotary Amphitheater in Riverfront Park in the state capital, as club officials announced they have raised the $4 million to complete funding for the ambitious community project.
The uniquely designed amphitheater should be finished this summer in time for events, assuming the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
Salem Rotary undertook the project five years ago to commemorate its 100th anniversary and to honor Gerry Frank, the club’s longest-tenured member and one of the community’s favorite sons. Frank’s Konditorei has been a must-visit destination in Salem for anyone who loves rich cakes.
The State of Oregon contributed $1 million toward the project. CFM Partner Dale Penn II, a Salem Rotary Club member, lobbied for the state investment successfully and on a pro bono basis.
“In our line of work advocating for clients, we seldom get the chance to share the joy of our project work with our own families,” said Penn, who grew up in Salem and now lives in nearby Keizer. “The Amphitheater will be a frequent destination for us, as well as a reminder of the goodwill of this community, the native people who once lived along this waterfront, the good works of Salem Rotary and the towering achievements of Gerry Frank.”
The basket-weave design for the roof is intended to recognize the Kalapuya people who called this portion of Salem’s waterfront their home.
A six-foot-wide arch stretches 35 feet above ground and spans 100 feet to form the front of the amphitheater’s roof that faces where crowds will congregate. The basket-weave design for the roof is intended to recognize the Kalapuya people who called this portion of Salem’s waterfront their home.
The City of Salem will assume ownership and manage the Amphitheater once it is completed.
The Salem Rotary Club previously sponsored the Pavilion and children’s playground at Riverfront Park, one of the most popular community gathering places.