The Orchard Beach Pavilion, the “Riviera of the Bronx,” is returning to its former glory with a massive renovation.
The project, which kicked off this month, will not only bring the pavilion back up to modern standards but create an accessible and fun spot to hang out in the summer sun with new food stalls and plenty of spaces to sunbathe, play and chill out.
“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,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams in a statement. “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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The historic concession spaces in the Loggias and within the Pavilion will be restored and built out for new concessionaires, who will be asked to apply for spots within. Other spaces within it will be brought back to life with access and amenities for everyone.
Speaking of accessibility, the project will gently raise the entrance leading up to the building from the parking lot and add accessible ramps to the upper level of the building. On the beachside of the building, there will be a new brick ramp from the beach that curves up to the upper level of the Pavilion.
The pavilion’s concrete roof will also be reconstructed with new embellishments, including limestone cladding, glazed terracotta, terrazzo, cement plaster, and metalwork. There will be new trees planted and new light fixtures added to make the space light up at night.
Below are renderings of what it’ll look like.
The $87 million project is a long time coming, officials say. The landmarked building is a Bronx gem that welcomes millions of people each year as the Bronx’s only public beach. When it was built in the 1930s, it was dubbed “The Riviera of New York.”
At 115 acres, the 1.1-mile-long beach has a hexagonal-block promenade, a central pavilion, snack bars, food and souvenir carts, two playgrounds, two picnic areas, a large parking lot, 26 courts for ball sports, changing areas and showers.
“As a lifelong Bronxite, many of my fondest memories growing up include summers spent at Orchard Beach with friends and family,” said Bronx Councilmember Rafael Salamanca in a statement. “But like so many of our historic attractions, Orchard Beach found itself in the pitfalls of inadequate funding, leading to a decline in amenities and overall experience that made it the gem of the New York City parks’ system. With today’s momentous announcement of an $87 million restoration project, Orchard Beach will once again be a premier destination for future generations of New Yorkers. A true collective effort, I thank the local community and government stakeholders for their decades-long advocacy to restore Orchard Beach, and the Adams administration for leading the efforts to see this all-important renewal project through.”
NYC officials, including from project leads NYC Parks & NYCEDC, broke ground on the project this month.