Recognized by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission as “among the most remarkable public recreational facilities ever constructed in the United States,” Orchard Beach is a site to be celebrated. It was seventy-five years ago, on July 25, 1936, that the Beach was dedicated, even though its grand Pavilion would not be completed until the following summer. This structure, designed by Aymar Embury II, who was Parks Department Consulting Architect at the time, is considered an Art Deco monument combining Moderne and classical features. Today, unfortunately, the Pavilion is in deteriorating condition due to its construction from an inferior concrete mixture and its proximity to the damaging effects of salt water. (Image credit: NYC Parks Dept.)
These series of portraits explore the distinctive architecture of the classically inspired Art Deco Pavilion from a variety of angles.
This exhibition was organized by Deborah Wye, an art historian and retired Chief Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, and a member of the Friends of Pelham Bay Park. It was first presented, in an enlarged form, at the City Island Nautical Museum and was supported by the City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum, the Pelham Bay Park Administrator’s Office, and the Friends of Pelham Bay Park.