2011-02-24 / Letters to the Editor

Pavilion shouldn’t be ‘outdated’

The residents of this island invested over a decade in solving the issue of finding a suitable home for the highway barn, and spent almost as long selecting the best location for the Town Hall.

The collapse of the Ft. Getty pavilion should be viewed as an opportunity to re-think not only the way pavilion is marketed and used, but also how it is designed. The current conversation is not far reaching enough and lacks the vision needed to address an opportunity like this that may come along only every 50 years.

With the pavilion in a pile, there are unobstructed views of the bay. Visitors arriving in the park are no longer confronted by a dark, low-pole barn, but now see a green hillside.

This is an opportunity to start over, and develop a pavilion that meets broader user needs, reduces environmental impacts and does more for our community. Permitting and time considerations are of course factors, but should not be overriding ones in making this kind of decision.

There are new ideas to be considered such as a series of terraces with light-weight frames supporting tensioned colored canvas shade structures; or a green-roof pavilion, one that is nestled into the hillside and is a more subtle part of the landscape, a structure that is build in a way that protects the views and allows for walking, sitting and picnics on the roof above, with space for a kitchen and functions protected from the weather on the floor below.

These and other better ideas will be lost without a town commitment to studying the situation. Rather than trying to build a future on a redo of an outdated design, it might be wise for the Council to instead develop an interim plan, which allows for the functions that are already schedule to occur, and then commit the time and funding to creating a pavilion for visitors and residents alike that rises to the challenge and matches the unequalled setting and beauty of Ft. Getty.

It has been sad that perseverance is underrated; let’s give this matter the attention it deserves.

Arek W. Galle

Jamestown

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