True Green Cities: Celebrating Thirteen Years – Happy Earth Day!

True Green Cities/Celebrating Thirteen Years: Happy Earth Day!

Celebrating Thirteen Years!  It’s been thirteen years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC on April 19th, 2011 and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected.

Happy Earth Day!

For this year’s Earth Day, I’m happy to share a story about the upcoming rehabilitation of a historic bath house on Lake Chautauqua.  Long Point State Park is a 360-acre property located along the eastern shore of Lake Chautauqua in Bemus Point, New York (about 60 miles south of Buffalo). The Park hosts a variety of site features, including heavily wooded areas, a Marina with a boat launch, and a Bath House located near the beach on the lake. Lake Chautauqua is a popular local destination for residents of Western New York and the Allegheny region, as well as a vacation destination for many visitors throughout the year.  Being strategically located on Lake Chautauqua allows Long Point State Park the ability to offer the public a variety of outdoor activities year-round, including, but not limited to biking, hiking, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.  The Park also includes access to a swimming beach with an adjacent historic Bath House. The Bath House is the focus of this renovation project for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP, or Parks). 

Long Point State Park Bath House built in 1967.

The Park has been determined eligible for listing in the State and National Register of Historic Places.  The Long Point State Park Bath House has been determined eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places as a contributing component of the Long Point State Park potential historic district. 

The Long Point State Park Bath House

The Long Point State Park Bath House was built in 1967.  A master plan was prepared in early 1960s for the park and the initial development, financed through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, included the demolition of some existing structures and the construction of roads, parking areas, picnic grounds, a bathing beach, and a bath house. The latter was designed by the Jamestown architectural office of Beck, Tinkham and Beyer to take advantage of its natural setting and features a second-story porch overlooking the lake. The building’s symmetrical plan and prominent hip roof recall the Minturn House, which was demolished in the early twentieth century due to its deteriorated condition. The park opened to the public for swimming and picnicking in 1968. The marina was completed in the early 1970s and boasts a large parking lot, concession building, boat launch, numerous boat slips, and a refueling station. When the park was first established, the section of East Lake Road running through the property was abandoned; some of the buildings aligned along it became the park manager’s house and maintenance facility. Through the years, park buildings have been repaired and new facilities have been added, including picnic shelters, a playground, and hiking trails. Long Point State Park is the largest public recreational resource on Chautauqua Lake, attracting thousands of visitors each year and offering an array of activities, including swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

The Bath House was historically well used by the public but use has fallen as swimming habits have changed. It is currently used to support swimming activities – lifeguard, changing, and restroom facilities – and for park maintenance storage. The changing features and showers are rarely utilized.  The NYS Office of Parks seeks to rehabilitate the bath house for continuing use as a bath house and locker room, including expansion of the public and community spaces and reactivation of the concession capacity of the site.  We are working with the prime architect/engineer, Colliers to rehabilitate the site following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and anticipate the reopening of the bath house in 2025.

Long Point State Park Bath House Main Stairway

Thank you to all my clients, consultants and colleagues who have supported Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC