Located in downtown Camden, Maine, the Camden Harbor Park & Amphitheatre embrace a landscape of true beauty in all seasons. A gift to the town from Mary Louise Curtis Bok in 1931, the public outdoor amphitheatre and adjoining two-acre park were recently designated a National Historic Landmark.
The public outdoor amphitheatre has served as the stage for dramatic productions by the Camden Shakespeare Company and others, in addition to being regularly rented for weddings. The amphitheatre and park are also the setting for two annual craft shows, various concerts, and other community activities.
Designed by landscape architect Fletcher Steele, the amphitheatre was completed in 1931. The tiered lawn rises up on three sides under a backdrop of lush and attractive trees, behind the historic Camden Public Library, which was built in 1928. When not otherwise occupied by an event, these “steps” are popular place to hang out, play tag or hide-and-seek, or enjoy a good book.
The carefully tended plantings in and around the amphitheatre and library look especially beautiful in fall.
The park’s sloping lawns sweep down to the head of the harbor, offering close views of Camden’s historic windjammer fleet. By late October, most of these majestic ships have been wrapped tight in plastic for the winter.
Like the amphitheatre, the park offers the community and its thousands of visitors a public space to play and relax. Its many benches are filled in summer with sightseers; in winter children sled down the hill.
A granite wall separates the park from the harbor itself, as well as from the Megunticook River, which enters the harbor as a picturesque waterfall streaming from underneath the buildings of Main Street.
This time of year, the blue water of the harbor enhances and reflects the vivid colors of the fall foliage.