New pavilion should be built at Ft. Getty
The Lt. Col. John C. Rembijas memorial pavilion at Ft. Getty suffered mightily from this winter’s wrath. While I would agree that the pavilion was not one of Jamestown’s architectural prizes, it has a great history and served a wonderful purpose that must continue.
In the mid-1970s, John Rembijas, the town’s building official and also the head of the Jamestown’s Democratic Town Committee, and Tony Viera, the head of the Republican Town Committee and future Town Council president, decided that Jamestown needed a place for its townsfolk to gather, hold clambakes, parties and other kinds of community celebrations.
So with a few of those inimitable steak fries and other fundraisers, they raised the money to begin building the pavilion. Like the library playground in the early 1990s, it was a community fundraising and construction effort. Rembijas died before the pavilion was finished and it was named for him.
Its demise gives us another opportunity to re-create a place for those events that bring friends and families together: a new pavilion, built to current building standards, accessible, sustainable and more beautiful than the original.
I hope our Town Council will have the foresight to call for a design competition for a new pavilion. The competition could be structured so that participants provide more than one solution.
Responses could include structures that provide better amenities, such as bathrooms, a kitchen, or some form of enclosure.
A competition among Jamestown architects, engineers, designers and builders alone would reap great results.
The community spirit that built the first pavilion is alive and well in Jamestown. The spirit of cooperation shown by Rembijas and Viera still thrives. And to honor it, we should name the new pavilion after both of them.