HISTORY IS COOL: 40 years ago
June 19, 1980
Arena events, Sabres
The “Holiday on Ice” and “Ice Follies” shows are expected to sign a contract with the town of North Elba for use of the Olympic Ice Center within two weeks. The two skating extravaganzas will make Lake Placid their permanent home base and will tentatively arrive with an entourage of 100 persons on July 27.
The new $16.5 million fieldhouse will also be the training site of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League from Sept. 15 to 20.
Ski jumper Earle Murphy has purchased the bandshell used at the opening ceremony of the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Mr. Murphy, 51, is the oldest jumper to have flown from the 90-meter hill in Lake Placid.
He purchased the bandshell and other items for $12,000 from the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee. He and a work crew dismantled the shell at the site and transported it in pieces to Farmingdale, New Jersey, where he owns a campground. There the bandshell will begin a new life housing concerts and festivals. Mr. Murphy is a high school science teacher and was a meteorologist for ski jumping during the games.
“It will be an expensive project — between $10,000 and $25,000 — to move and place the flame tower at the Olympic Fieldhouse,” according to George Christian Ortloff, village trustee and director of ceremonies for the 1980 Winter Olympics.
North Elba Supervisor Jack Shea has stated that he believes the tower can be moved to the fieldhouse site “cheaply.”
“And if the cost of moving it proves to be too much, we can dismantle it and take it down, and that will be the end of it,” Mr. Shea said.
Move the sculpture?
“When I read last week that (town supervisor) Jack Shea wanted to move the James Buchman sculpture and put the Olympic flame tower in its place, I was really shocked,” Mrs. Carolyn Hopkins said. “Nobody had spoken to me about it.”
Mrs. Hopkins, chairwoman of the National Fine Arts Committee, was referring to the work “Vans For Ruth,” the permanent sculpture by James Buchman which stands on the grass-covered mall of the Olympic Fieldhouse.
“It’s about time that the community begins to look with pride on these sculptures as tourist attractions. And it’s about time they start speaking positively about them,” Mrs. Hopkins said. “They reflect the art of the 1980s. We are fortunate to have one of the largest permanent sculpture collections in the northeast, something we should be proud of, something that is historic.”
One of the National Fine Arts Committee’s duties was to contract with the Olympic Committee and the municipalities involved to erect five permanent sculptures throughout the community. The Buchman piece is one of the five.
“After she read the news story, Mrs. Hopkins received a letter from Supervisor Shea which said in effect, “Remove the Buchman sculpture at once,” she said.
Mrs. Hopkins said that this is impossible. “The piece is committed.”
A selection committee including local residents Robert Allen, Rev. J. Bernard Fell and James Rogers picked the sculptures.
“The LPOOC then signed a contract with the artist to locate that particular sculpture on that particular site.”