Thursday, July 19, 2012

Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044

Merriweather Post Pavilion is an outdoor concert venue located within Symphony Woods, a 40-acre (162,000-m²) lot of preserved land in the heart of the planned community of Columbia, Maryland.

It was designed by award-winning architect Frank Gehry and opened in 1967.[2]
For the Pavilion's dedication ceremonies, the National Symphony Orchestra performed two pieces commissioned for the event, by American composer Morton Gould. The pieces, entitled "Columbian Fanfare for Brass Ensemble" and "Columbia, Broadsides for Orchestra on Columbian Themes", contain variations on themes from historically significant compositions Hail, Columbia and Columbia, Gem of the Ocean.[4]

Named for cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, this natural, outdoor concert setting is one that simply can't be matched. Merriweather is known for its astounding acoustics.
She had tons of money!
She was the daughter of C. W. Post and Ella Letitia Merriweather. At age 27, when her father died, she became the owner of the rapidly growing Postum Cereal Company, founded in 1895.  The Postum Cereals company, after acquiring Jell-O gelatin in 1925, Baker's chocolate in 1927, Maxwell House coffee in 1928, and other food brands, changed its name to General Foods Corporation in 1929. She was subsequently the wealthiest woman in America, when her fortune reached approximately USD $250 million.

Marjorie married four times.

In 1905, she married Edward Close, who would become the paternal grandfather of Glenn Close.

In 1920, she married E.F. Hutton and they developed Birdseye Frozen Foods. She and second husband also owned Sea Cloud (Hussar V), the largest privately owned sea-going yacht in the world at the time.

In 1935, husband #3 was Joseph Davies, who became the second American ambassador to the Soviet Union. During this time, Davies and Post aquired many valuable Russian works of art from Soviet authorities.
Later allegations that many works of art from the Tretyakov Gallery and other collections were either donated or offered at nominal prices to Post and Davies, who were both art collectors. Davies is also alleged to have purchased art expropriated from Soviet citizens well after the Russian Revolution, including victims of Stalin's Terror at discount prices from Soviet authorities.[1]

Her final marriage occurred in 1958 to Herbert A. May, a wealthy Pittsburgh businessman and the former Master of Fox Hounds of The Rolling Rock Hunt Club in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. She divorced May in 1964 and subsequently reclaimed her full maiden name of Marjorie Merriweather Post.

Many of the items, which remain under the control of the Post estate or the agents, can be viewed at Hillwood, the former Washington, D.C., estate of Post. It has operated as a private museum since Ms. Post's death and displays her French and Russian art collection, featuring the work of Fabergé, Sèvres porcelain, French furniture, tapestries, and paintings.

Some of Ms. Post's jewelery bequeathed to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., is displayed in the Harry Winston exhibit. Pieces in the collection include the Napoleon Necklace and the Marie Louise Diadem (a 275 ct. [55g] diamond-and-turquoise necklace and tiara set that Napoleon I gave to his second wife, Empress Marie Louise); a pair of diamond earrings set with pear shapes, weighing 14 ct.(2.8g) and 20 ct. (4g), once belonging to Marie Antoinette; the Blue Heart Diamond, a 30.82 ct. (6.164g) blue-heart diamond ring; and an emerald-and-diamond necklace and ring, once belonging to Mexican emperor Maximilian.
At any rate, back to the venue she built.
In 1969, The Who performed at the pavilion with Led Zeppelin,[3] the only time these two bands have appeared on the same bill.[5]

The pavilion was also host to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, shortly before their passing.[6]
Jimmy Buffet has performed at the pavilion, more than any other artist, over 40 times.[3]

In 1990, local leaders and police banned the Grateful Dead and The Jerry Garcia Band from returning to Merriweather due to rowdy crowds at their shows in the 1980s.

Jerry performed here on
9/1/89 JGB
9/2/89 JGB
6/20/83 Grateful Dead
6/21/83 Grateful Dead
6/26/84 Grateful Dead
6/27/84 Grateful Dead
6/30/85 Grateful Dead
7/1/85 Grateful Dead

1.)^ Tzouliadis, Tim, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia Penguin Press (2008), ISBN 1-59420-168-4, 9781594201684
2.)^ Time, August 1, 1980
3.)^ a b "Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD", Tim Newby, Glide Magazine, October 25, 2005.
4.)^ "Columbian Fanfare for brass ensemble at Allmusic" Hector Bellman, , "Columbia, broadsides for orchestra on Columbian themes at Allmusic" Joseph Stevenson,
5.)^ Led Zeppelin official website: concert summary
6.)^ "Merriweather Post Pavilion". Official Website/About.

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