In an effort to make Orchard Beach more accessible and appealing to the public, NYC Parks has a massive proposal that would give the city landmark a much needed facelift.
On April 15, Community Board 10 approved a letter of support for the project that would restore the popular summer destination.
The plans include replacing the roof and floor slabs and deteriorated columns, reinstalling limestone cladding, restoring the upper level loggia bars, improving signage, waterproofing under the promenade, repairing light fixtures, building an ADA accessible ramp at the entrance to the beach and reopening concession stands.
Lastly, the hope is to have a restaurant or event space in the waiting room where the metal will be restored and a glass vestibule will be put in.
The project is in the design phase, which should be finished by the end of the year. Active construction will begin in 2022 and is estimated to be complete by 2025. NYC Parks and Marvel will present their plans to the NYC Landmarks and Preservation Committee May 7.
In late 2018 at the projects start, Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa called it first community ‘say so’ regarding Orchard beach since 1936.
Similar to the Jones Beach pavilion on Long Island, when Robert Moses designed the original structure in 1937, it had been used as both a bathhouse and cafeteria space. At the time, beachgoers said they would like to see the former use brought back.
It was also then that Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. frustratingly contrasted Orchard Beach to Brooklyn’s Coney Island in regards to the quality of entertainment and amenities offered.
In early stages of the project, a the idea of a winter holiday village was also entertained by community members involved.