Emerson Park Pavilion Plans Unveiled
The architects working on the Emerson Park pavilion renovation unveiled a preliminary set of plans showing how the 96-year-old building can be brought back to year-round use.
The designers, from Crawford & Stearns in Syracuse and Beardsley Design Associates in Auburn, said they were careful to preserve as much of the building’s historic character as possible. “When we look at an old building, we don’t just throw it out,” architect Carl Stearns said. “We take it and see how we can keep it and make it work.”
The finely sketched renderings, created with input from the New York State Historic Preservation Office, showcased several changes to the pavilion:
- A satellite kitchen on the east side
- A new small dining room and outdoor deck facing the Owasco River on the west side
- A skylight and removable glass walls for the breezeway
- Heating and air-conditioning throughout both rooms and the breezeway
- Pathways for drop-offs at the pavilion and the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse
The renovations are expected to cost up to $4 million, with the Emerson Foundation covering most of the cost. At a presentation to the county Legislature, foundation president Tony Franceschelli said the timing for the makeover is imminent. “As you know, the pavilion is really starting to show wear and tear,” he said. “It won’t be there in the future if we don’t do something about it.”
About 60 people attended the presentation. They raised questions about the building’s acoustics, drainage from the parking lot into the outlet, boat access and a possible concession stand.
Cayuga County Legislature Chairman Peter Tortorici’s daughter is having her wedding at the pavilion in May, before the renovations will be ready. Tortorici called the project “a really exciting concept and plan to make this a destination venue.” “People from other counties and states are going to come and see what Cayuga County has to offer,” he said.
The project planners said they hope to break ground by April 15 and open the new facility in June 2012.