The impressive Pinewood Bowl has been an establishment in Pioneers Park since the early 1940s. The Pinewood Bowl was seen by landscaper, Chet Ager, when he became superintendent of parks in 1931 as a natural amphitheater. He carefully steered its development toward that goal, but he died in 1940 before his dream could be realized.
Work on the construction of the Bowl started on November 20, 1946. It was formally dedicated to the heroic men and women of World War II on July 13, 1947. Pinewood Bowl is a great natural hollow, which has been skillfully shaped for human use. Great floodlights are placed high to accentuate the beauty of the scene and intensify the shadows of the pine trees surrounding the Bowl.
This memorial bowl was sponsored by the Community Singfest Committee, made up of representatives from the Lincoln Ministerial Association and the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce. Fritz Craig was the name architect for the project, and was supervised by Ernst Heminghaus, then the Superintendent of Parks.
The Pinewood Bowl is approached by a 15-foot walk leading through the pines toward the bowl. Looking down from the crest of the hill, one sees the stage below, set against a background of pines, and three stage wings on each side formed by rows of cedars. The stage has a concrete platform, which is made up of sidewalk slabs from the old Capitol building.
The most recent improvements to this treasured venue are the construction of a new box office, and towers to house stage lighting instruments and concessions in 2021. Additionally, artificial turf was placed in the lower portion of the bowl closest to the stage.