Harckham Funds New Town of Cortlandt Waterfront Park Amphitheater in Verplanck

Cortlandt Amphitheater

Cortlandt Town Supervisor Dr. Richard Becker with State Sen. Pete Harckham

Verplanck, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham secured $600,000 in Senate grant funding for the Town of Cortlandt to construct a new amphitheater at Cortlandt Waterfront Park, and this past weekend there was an evening of festivities as part of its inaugural opening. 

The funding, part of the Senate’s Community Resiliency, Economic Sustainability and Technology (CREST) program, was announced during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new amphitheater, known as the Cortlandt Waterfront Performance Stage, with Cortlandt Town Supervisor Dr. Richard Becker presenting Harckham with a special framed certificate recognition and thanks from the Town.

The entire amphitheater project, including an asphalt walking path, new concrete sidewalks, electrical upgrades, landscaping and new benches, cost $1,425,000.

“The Town of Cortlandt has done a magnificent job in updating and remodeling the Waterfront Park, and with its new amphitheater as a crown jewel, the entire complex will certainly be a popular entertainment and recreation destination for town residents and visitors,” said Harckham. “I am happy to have been able to secure a good amount of the funding for this incredible new structure, while also helping to ease the burden on local taxpayers. I look forward to returning here for more fun and enjoyment in the years to come.”

Work on the 1,800 sq. ft., 34’ x 42’ open performance stage began in September 2023; the amphitheater is located at the eastern end of Cortlandt Waterfront Park, near the marina and boat yards. The property, initially owned by James Martin and operated as a seaplane facility, became a fenced-in trailer park later on.

Martin deeded the property to the Town of Cortlandt, with the caveat that it should be turned into a public park 10 years after his death. In 1990, the Town of Cortlandt took ownership and began restoration of the 33-acre property; it is the only location between New York City and Albany unobstructed by railroad tracks and with shoreline access to the river.

The Town of Cortlandt hosts a summer concert and movie series in the Waterfront Park, and for the past several years has rented Westchester County’s portable stage as it made plans to build a permanent amphitheater. Today, the new amphitheater is situated overlooking the Hudson River with an acre of open lawn space in front for additional seating. A portion of the stage is covered.

“The Town of Cortlandt has been able to enhance its Waterfront Park with a beautiful new outdoor performance stage, thanks to a grant obtained by Senator Harckham, for which we are grateful,” said Dr. Becker. “This public facility will allow the park to be used for a variety of performance art programs and will benefit our residents and others greatly in the years to come.”

The awarded CREST grant funding is among the State Senate grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development. Harckham has delivered more than $20 million of State Senate grant funding to municipalities and nonprofits in the 40th Senate District since taking office in 2019.