Ford Amphitheater and Seaside Park Community Arts Center
Best Project

Project Owner/Developer: iStar Inc. as Developer for the NYCEDC
General Contractor/Construction Manager: Hunter Roberts Construction Group LLC
Lead Design Firm: Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel PC
Structural Engineer: WSP USA
Civil Engineer: Stantec
MEP Engineer: CFS Engineering
Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Landmarks Consultant: Kaese & Lynch Architecture and Engineering

The Ford Amphitheater and Seaside Park Community Arts Center project on the historic Coney Island boardwalk brings a unique addition to New York City’s cultural and historical sites, says the submitter. The project featured the renovation of the landmarked Childs Restaurant building as well as two acres of adjacent property into a LEED Silver-certified amphitheater, restaurant and public park.

Originally built in 1923, Childs Restaurant required structural and facade rehabilitation as well as new infrastructure to accommodate a restaurant and banquet facility. A 5,000-sq-ft roof patio with a kitchen and bar was added to the structure. Historically accurate fenestration, masonry and stucco restoration was performed on the landmarked facade in addition to roof bulkhead repairs and a new roofing system.

One-third of the brick side wall of the building was removed to create a 60-ft by 40-ft stage, which required the addition of structural steel reinforcement and metal decking. Outside, the team installed new water service, electrical utilities, telecom and sanitary and stormwater piping. Soil was imported to raise the site more than 18 ft to create the outdoor seating area and park.

The 5,000-seat amphitheater, covered by a tensile fabric roof membrane and anchored by four 50-ton structural steel arches, is the first covered open-air venue in New York City.

Due to changed rules related to work on historic structures in flood zones after hurricane Sandy, the project began with a six-month delay—causing the terra-cotta restoration to miss the original fabrication window. The project team made up time by visiting the factory for mock-up approvals during production rather than waiting for completed items to be shipped.

Back to Ingenuity On Display Across the Region