Marvel Architects, is currently working with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to renovate and restore the Bathhouse Pavilion at Orchard Beach. The Pavilion was designated a Landmark in 2006 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
This project seeks to bring a new life to the Pavilion, by restoring and reconstructing the main Bathhouse Pavilion structure; including the Promenade Plaza, the Upper, and Lower Loggias, the Waiting Rooms and the former cafeteria space at the lower level. It also includes a feasibility study for a potential active program space in the South Yard of the Pavilion, formerly used as one of two changing room and locker areas.
The design and construction of the Pavilion was envisioned in 1934 by Robert Moses and Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia as part of the New Deal program. Moses scheme consisted of a mile-long beach, a wide promenade, a large bathhouse including viewing terraces and concessions, picnic groves, game areas, playgrounds, and a parking field for several thousand cars, constructed primarily on reclaimed land created by connecting Hunters Island and Rodman Neck by filling LeRoy Bay. Construction of the Pavilion started in 1935, in phases, with a partial opening of five bathhouses the summer of 1936 and the main pavilion wings opening to the public in 1937.
The primary purpose of the building was to efficiently move a large number of visitors through the changing rooms and on to the beach. On its first year, the beach attracted over 100,000 visitors on some days, and through the following decades, the beach became an immensely popular summer destination for New Yorkers.
Today the pavilion is inaccessible and in disrepair, but the beach continues to be a highly visited destination for the people of the Bronx with an average of 1.6 million visitors during the summer season.
Construction is expected to be completed by Spring 2023.