A railing at the neglected pavilion at Conference House Park appears dislodged at the site that's been closed since the Summer months. According to a Parks Department inspection report, the pavilion would require $1.335 million in repairs, nearly the same amount of money that was spent to build it. The pavilion was built as part of a $14 million plan to unify the historic 225-acre Conference House Park.The city's Department of Parks and Recreation did not respond to requests for comment. (Staten Island Advance/Mark Stein)
Centuries ago, it was London Bridge that was falling down. Now, it's the Conference House Park Pavilion that's in danger of toppling over, according to the Staten Island Advance.
At the very least, it needs plenty of costly work to shore it up before it reopens to the public. According to an allegedly official city Parks Department inspection report received by the Advance, the structure at the end of the South Shore was inspected on Sept. 30, 2011, and needs extensive repairs to timber beams, planks, posts, and other parts.
The airy wooden structure stands in Conference House Park, Tottenville. According to the report, the pavilion would require $1.335 million in repairs, nearly the same amount of money that was spent to build it. The city's Department of Parks and Recreation did not respond to requests for comment.
The 3,000-square-foot pavilion, which cost $1.4 million when it opened in 2002, has been closed since last summer. It was inspected by "in-house engineers, architects, Five Boro & Borough M & O."
The assessment claims all 2-inch by 12-inch timber beams showed considerable section loss wherever there is contact with accumulated water. In a few locations, total loss was noted. This condition is typical at all columns, stairs and the ramp area. The "heavy timber section" also revealed section loss, similar to the condition and location described above. "There was no total loss," the inspection reports.
"However, at every column location the top two to four of these members appear to be spongy, indicating deterioration of timber due to water accumulation." Timber planks, posts, beams and bracing at the stairs and ramps appear to be completely depleted, and will require reconstruction before re-opening the pavilion, says the report.
Additionally, all shim plates and bracing at the columns needs to be replaced, and all columns have deteriorated and also need to be replaced. The structure exhibits signs of lateral movement, the inspection reads. Additional lateral bracing and/or batter piles will be necessary to stabilize the structure against lateral movement.
SOME GOOD NEWS
On the bright side, the roof and piles appear to be in fairly good condition. The inspection's scope summary explains "This capital project involves the removal and replacement of all structural framing members, columns, deck planks, railings, railing posts, stairs and ramps."
The roof and piles will be retained, and additional piles (battered) or bracing will be installed to stabilize the structure against lateral movement. "I have expressed to Commissioner (Adena) Long the importance of the Pavilion at Conference House Park," said Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R-South Shore.)
"I am confident that they are working to remedy the problems and I stand ready to assist Parks to expedite the process." An open-air structure, the Pavilion was part of a $14 million plan to unify the historic 225-acre Conference House Park.
The pavilion faces the Raritan Bay and affords a view of the surrounding waterways for visitors who used to come to take in the salty air and relax on the pavilion's long, green benches. It was the second such structure in that location.
Conference House Pavilion needs a makeover, according to an
allegedly official engineering report
Staten Island Advance - January 25, 2012 - By Mark D. Stein
A Walk In The Park - October 13, 2011