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Parks Department to Rebuild Popular Pavilion on SI Once Again

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TWC News: Parks Department to Rebuild Popular Pavilion on SI Once Again
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For decades, a popular pavilion has drawn visitors to a Staten Island park, but twice it's been deemed unusable. Now, the Department of Parks and Recreation is preparing to rebuild it once again. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

It's a spectacular view along the shoreline of the Raritan Bay, until your eyes light on what was once a popular pavilion accessible from Tottenville's Conference House Park. Now, the structure sits in disrepair, unsafe for public use.

However, that's about to change. The Department of Parks and Recreation said it'll start building a new pavilion next year.

"We're really looking forward to bringing the pavilion back to the people," said Staten Island Parks Commissioner Adena Long.

It will be the third at that site. The first was built in 1935 and was home to weddings, banquets and waterfront celebrations until a fire ruined it in the 1960s.

It was rebuilt in 2002 but was open less than a decade. A series of bad storms left it in shambles. The new structure will be built to withstand that type of damage.

"Not only will the materials be more sustainable and more resilient, but we increased the height so that it's above the flood plain," Long said.

For decades, the old pavilion was affectionately known as "Staten Island's front porch," a place you could go, cool off from the sun and take in the views. Residents said they're hoping a new pavilion means a return to those glory days.

"There would be bands playing music on a Saturday or Sunday, and it was nice," said Bob Winkworth, a Tottenville resident.

The Department of Parks and Recreation said it definitely wants to bring that back.

The new design is light, airy and pedestrian-friendly, and meant to convey a more contemporary feel than some of the park's older colonial buildings.

"We have architecture from the 18th, 19th, 20th and, with the rebuilt pavilion, 21st century," said John Kilcullen, director of Conference House Park. "So it really is an ongoing story of Staten Island."

The Department of Parks and Recreation expects construction to last about a year and a half. The agency said it will cost about $3 million.

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