Lee’s County Park Marina Pavilion Feasibility Study
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation, in conjunction with the Morris County Park Commission, commissioned a study of the Lee’s Park Pavilion to determine future reuse of the historical lakeside building in Mt. Arlington. The LHF hosted a public forum on the possible uses on Monday, June 2, 2014 at the Mount Arlington Municipal Building. HMR Architects conducted the study and made a presentation to the LHF board of trustees.
The report was completed in September 2014, and you can click here to download the full report from DropBox.
The Executive Summary is included below. The full report includes architectural drawings, historical photographs, cost estimates, and many more details about the Lee’s Park Pavilion’s past and future.
The subject of this feasibility study is the Lee’s County Park Marina Pavilion located at 433 Howard Boulevard, in Mt. Arlington, Morris County, New Jersey. The building was constructed in 1923 as a beach pavilion and refreshment stand. The building is currently owned by the Morris County Park Commission. It is vacant upstairs and houses the Mountain Lakes Rowing Club in the basement.
B. GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The Lee’s County Park Marina Pavilion is simple in both its form and materials. The building is a simple one-story-with-basement rectangular block with a combination of a gable and a hipped roof. The foundation of the building is concrete. On the main level, the walls are painted wood shakes below with windows above wrapping around the entire perimeter. The upper gable walls have been covered with aluminum siding. The basement walls are concrete with some areas of wood infill below windows.
The hinged double-hung wood window sashes that were installed in the 1930s to enclose the porch have been replaced with aluminum awning windows. The exterior basement windows have been replaced with aluminum sliders. Original windows remain in the inner shell of the main level and the basement. Most of the doors are original, with the exception of the modern steel basement double doors, two garage doors, and aluminum-frame entry door. The original doors are wood and have several different styles.
The building has a simple plan with an inner shell that was the exterior when originally built in 1923, and an enclosed porch on all four sides that was originally open-air. The building is entered from the southeast corner facing the road on an exterior area of the porch. The enclosed porch has a large bar counter with shelving on the south side. The inner core has a kitchen area, two small storage rooms, a bathroom, and stairs to the basement. The basement also has an inner core, which is one room, and an outer per meter which is full-height to the north and west and crawlspace to the south and east.
C. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE REPORT
The goal of this feasibility study is to act as a planning document for the Morris County Park Commission and the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to guide, prioritize and inform the County in its future rehabilitation endeavors at the site. The goal of the study is to determine possibilities for reuse of Lee’s Pavilion that are both financially and architecturally feasible. The building is in generally good condition and is situated in a prime waterfront location on Lake Hopatcong, making it a strong candidate for adaptive reuse. The general purpose of this report, therefore, is to document the existing conditions at the Pavilion and to identify the key historic elements to be preserved during any future work at the building, as well as analyze the market conditions in the community and propose potential schemes for adaptively reusing the building. This feasibility study will serve as a guide for all future work at this valuable resource. This report will be of particular use in broadening the understanding and apreciation of the property and in developing future rehabilitation efforts that will improve the representation of the building as an example of early twentieth century “lake-style” recreational architecture, while improving the accommodation for future uses in the building.
D. PRIOR STUDIES OR REPORTS
While the history of Lake Hopatcong has been fairly well documented, there are no known prior studies or reports focusing on the history of the building.
E. RECOMMENDED TREATMENT PHILOSOPHY
The recommended treatment approach for the building should be restoration on the exterior and rehabilitation on the interior. Given the potential uses on the interior, the overall treatment at the interior will be rehabilitation. This will allow for the possibility of changes to be made in order to make the building financially feasible for a new use while enhancing the interpretation of the historic lake recreation kiosk.
F. RECOMMENDED INTERPRETATION AND USE
The period of significance for Lee’s Pavilion will run from construction in 1923 through the early 1930s when the porch was enclosed, and extending to c. 1940 when it was believed the sunshade roof was added. While no spaces will be restored to be interpreted to the period of significance, efforts will be made to restore certain finishes and features to better reflect the period of significance. For instance, the windows around the porch enclosure will be replaced to more closely match the 1930s ones, but the room’s function as a snack bar may change. Three options for use will be proposed later in the study. Scheme 1 proposes a limited-service restaurant on the first floor with boat storage in the basement. Scheme 2 proposes a full-service restaurant on the first floor with bathrooms and storage in the basement. Scheme 3 proposes a rentable banquet hall/catering facility on the first floor with a hot dog stand and kayak rental in the basement. The economic feasibility of Schemes 1 and 2 depend largely on the ability to get reserved dock slips for restaurant use; the County is currently trying to increase their number.
G. OWNERS AND STEWARDS
The Morris County Park Commission owns the Lee’s County Park Marina Pavilion and will continue to be its stewards following any future work. Depending on use, the Park Commission might rent the Pavilion to a building operator.