Award Winner - May/June 2004
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Law Memorial Park
Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.


S u b m i t t e d    b y:

ward associates, P.C. in bohemia, n.y.

Seven-acre park including pond, pool and 8,540-square-foot bathhouse/multipurpose pavilion

Project cost:
$2.13 million

Quick tour:

  • Locker rooms
  • Pool and lifeguard offices
  • First aid
  • Mechanical room
  • Covered pavilion with fireplace
  • Concessions
  • Public park restrooms
  • Paths, lighting, benches, landscaping
  • Parking

What started out as a relatively straightforward outdoor public pool renovation at Law Memorial Park in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., has actually at last transformed the village's central park into a community gathering place all-year long.

"The project met the needs of the pool operation but also improved the overall use of the park," says Henry Jamin, superintendent of recreation and parks. "This was a major project for a little village. I think it shows how much the community supports recreation."


"There was a lot of community involvement in the process, so the pre-architectural work got a consensus in the community," says Richard Ward, president of Ward Associates, P.C., in Bohemia, N.Y., that undertook the project. This public support was crucial considering the project involved a historic area of the village. In fact, the original pool on that site dates back all the way to 1927.

The most recent version of the pool was more than 25 years old and needed some serious TLC, a new deck and mechanical updates. What's more, right next to the pool was an old retention pond choked with weeds and silted up from road drainage runoff, which during the summer season emitted an unpleasant odor.

"No matter what we did, it was unmanageable," Jamin says. "In the meantime, the community has grown. That was a big aspect of the project itself—the community had outgrown the pool. Relocating the pond was a big piece of the solution."

So the pond was relocated, reduced in surface area and constructed with an eight-foot depth and an ozone aeration system creating a balanced aquatic environment. In some sections, the edge was constructed with a rubble stone wall (reminiscent of the local stone walls of prior pastures and fence lines), allowing access to the pond for winter ice skating. The remaining shoreline was planted with wetland vegetation.

Not only did all this improve the aesthetics and use of the pond, it also permitted a larger grassy area for lounging within the pool area. That left the one-story concrete bathhouse next to tackle.

"It was very dated and didn't meet any of the current codes," Jamin says. "To renovate it wasn't practical."

So the old structure was torn down and a completely new one was erected that not only serves as the pool's bathhouse but is also a two-story multipurpose pavilion for the park. Taking advantage of site grades, a bathhouse was constructed at the pool level, while a pavilion with concessions was situated at the upper level overlooking the pool and park amenities. The covered pavilion provides four-season use, and there's even a fireplace for warming up after ice skating on the pond.

The architectural style of the new pavilion is complementary to the Village Library that shares the Law Memorial Park site.

"We wanted to keep with that style so it reflected the historical design of that structure,"

Ward says. The Tudor-style library is actually a retrofitted railroad station building.

"We wanted to match that style," Jamin says. "It ties it all together."

Undoubtedly, the project has made a marked improvement to the park.

"It really wasn't conducive to hosting events before," Jamin says. Now, however, with the new pavilion, the community finally has a specific place to gather for village events, like community day and the annual spring egg hunt as well as other special events and celebrations. Residents also have the opportunity to rent the facility for private parties and functions.

"The park is in the heart of the village and has become the centerpiece of the park system," Jamin says. "This project vastly improved the utilization of both the park and the pool facility, and it has truly added to the quality of life for our residents."

J u d g e s '   N o t e s

"Excellent compatibility with existing library on the park site. I like the quaintness of the building. It's elegant and beautiful. Proportions are wonderful. A great addition to the park."

Christell Leonard

A s s o c i a t e d    F i r m s

consulting structural engineer

Thomas Reilly, P.E.

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