The Jones Beach West Bathhouse has been in continuous operation for more than 85 years, serving millions of visitors each season. Natural events, wars, changing social and cultural demands, major increases in visitation, and material deterioration have all impacted the building. Changing use patterns have also resulted in major alterations to the previous design.
Previous alterations to the West Bathhouse resulted in the replacement of all original finishes. While the original finishes highlighted the structural components of the design, the alterations concealed many of these elements, changing the character of the space completely. Concrete support columns were covered with large ceramic tiles, original concrete floors were tiled over and the original combination pendant light and fan fixtures were replaced with fluorescent light fixtures. A five-bay-wide passageway that linked the pool to the ocean was also closed off and infilled with concession areas.
Jones Beach State Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, changing how the Park and contributing structures are viewed and treated. In 2015, $65 million was appropriated to the refurbishment of the park.
The first phase of this project returned the 6,000 square foot south side of the first floor to its former historical glory. The main goal of this portion of the project included the restoration of the original open passageway between the West Bathhouse courtyard pool and the ocean beach, creating a new concession area within the connecting passageway link representative of the original design concept and including modern amenities and park functions. Several resiliency elements were included within the design of the first floor to ensure the space would be protected in the event of a storm or flood.
The second phase of the project restored the Marine Dining Hall on the second floor and preserved the original Art Deco design motifs and interior finishes as visualized by Robert Moses. Renovations of the main dining room and adjacent lobby area were incorporated, inclusive of the construction of exterior terrace awnings. The second floor space will serve as a catering space for special and private functions.
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