$87M restoration of historic Orchard Beach Pavilion kicks off in the Bronx

December 14, 2022

View of the Upper and Lower Promenades, Cafeteria, and South Loggia, Looking South (1936); Images courtesy of Marvel/ NYC Parks/ NYCEDC

Construction kicked off this week on a project to reconstruct the historic bathhouse and pavilion at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. The city’s Parks Department and the Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday broke ground on the $87 million reconstruction of the 140,000 square-foot landmarked pavilion, which includes a major renovation of its historic architecture, new amenities for the community, and increased accessibility.

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney

Located at the eastern end of Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach was envisioned by former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses and built between 1934 and 1937. It is the only public beach in the Bronx and was constructed as part of the New Deal.

Plans created by architectural firm Marvel, NYC Parks, and the NYCEDC to restore the historic beach-front pavilion were approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in May 2021.

The pavilion’s historic structural concrete roofs will be reconstructed with additional exterior finishes, using limestone cladding, glazed terracotta, terrazzo, cement plaster, and metalwork, according to a press release.

More trees will be planted, and new light installations will help illuminate the area in a way that will meet the upgraded pavilion’s standards.

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney

To make the pavilion more accessible, the construction project will “gently raise the landside approach to the building” and create new ADA-accessible ramps to the building’s upper level. The building’s beachside will receive a new, curving accessible ramp that will connect the upper levels to the beach.

The concession spaces in the pavilion and loggias will be rebuilt to house new vendors, including the restoration of the amenity’s mechanical, plumbing, and electrical services. Parks is looking for proposals from prospective vendors to occupy the newly-restored spaces.

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks / Malcolm Pinckney

“Orchard Beach is the ‘Riviera of the Bronx,’ but it hasn’t seen the same level of investment as our other boroughs’ beaches. It’s high time that its pavilion was restored to its former glory,” Mayor Eric Adams said.

“This $87 million project will be a boon for the Bronxites, and with it, we’re showing that this administration will continue to ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New Yorkers, investing in our public green spaces to serve generations to come.”


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