On December 13, 2022, agency and elected officials gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Orchard Beach Pavilion restoration project in the Bronx. The pavilion supports the 1.1 mile-long beach, which contains a hexagonal-block promenade, snack bars and food carts, souvenir stands, playgrounds, picnic areas, sports courts, changing areas and showers, and a parking lot. The promenade was designated as a city landmark in 2006.
The project has three main goals: historic preservation and renovation; improving accessibility; and adding amenities. The pavilion’s structural concrete roofs will be reconstructed with additional exterior finishes, including glazed terracotta, plaster, metalwork and limestone cladding. New light fixtures will improve lighting and visibility and new trees will be planted.
The project will raise the landside approach to the pavilion and include new accessible ramps to the building’s upper level. On the beachside, a new brick-clad curving accessible ramp will connect the beach to the upper level.
New concession spaces will be constructed, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services for these concession spaces will be upgraded. Concession partitions and finishes will also be restored. The Parks Department will solicit proposals from food service operators for the concession spaces.
The restoration project is expected to cost $87 million and is a joint effort between the Parks Department and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue stated, “Today marks a major milestone in our efforts to enhance the visitor experience at Orchard Beach, and we are thrilled to break ground on the Pavilion project to restore this historic landmark. Once complete, the Pavilion will feature a wide range of amenities for residents and visitors alike and expand access to the beach for all members of the community. We can’t wait to cut the ribbon on this project, and we thank all of our partners on this project for helping to make this restoration a reality.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)