Walkway’s East Pavilion Donated To City of Poughkeepsie; East Gate Plaza Construction Begins

The Friends of the Walkway and Siegrist and Sons Construction joined together to donate Walkway Over the Hudson’s East Pavilion to the City of Poughkeepsie. The structure has been removed from Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park and rebuilt 1.1 miles away at Mansion Square Park between North Hamilton and North Clinton Streets.

“Adaptive reuse is in the DNA of Walkway Over the Hudson,” said Elizabeth Waldstein, Executive Director, Friends of the Walkway. “When it came time to discuss the future of the East Pavilion, everyone involved worked together to ensure the structure lives on to benefit of the people of the City of Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley. Demolition was the last option considered.”

To deconstruct, transport, and rebuild the East Pavilion, a crew of workers from Siegrist and Son’s Construction relied upon the services of a crane donated by Hudson Valley Crane Company and fleet of flatbed trucks. Parked alongside Parker Avenue, the crane first detached and lifted away the roof, then the two adjoining storage spaces. All components were shortly shuttled to nearby Mansion Square Park, where they were reassembled on a newly poured concrete slab.

A crew from Siegrist and Sons Construction and Hudson Valley Crane Company lift away the roof of Walkway Over the Hudson’s East Pavilion

“As a lifelong Poughkeepsie resident, I’m proud to be able to help repurpose the East Pavilion for its second life in Mansion Square Park,” said George Siegrist, Owner, Siegrist and Sons Construction. “Our crew was able work efficiently and effectively to complete the job with extremely minimal disruption to Walkway users and those living nearby, and now we’re ready to get moving on building the East Gate Plaza.”

“The former East Pavilion is a tremendous addition to Mansion Square Park,” said Rob Rolison, Mayor, City of Poughkeepsie. “We’re grateful for the creativity of the Friends of the Walkway, as well as the services of Siegrist and Sons Construction to complete this transformative project so quickly for the benefit of our city.”

The storage areas of the pavilion were airlifted onto flatbed trucks for transport to Mansion Square Park in the City of Poughkeepsie (Photos: Irv Solero)

Since its construction in 2012, Walkway’s East Pavilion served as a welcoming hub for visitors to start a Walkway tour, purchase souvenirs, or get information about the park from Walkway Ambassadors. The building was originally designed by Matthew Ballos and John Storyk of Walters-Storyk Design Group (Storyk is now the Chairman of the Friends of the Walkway Board of Directors) and built by Bob and Amanda Baxter of Baxter Building Corporation. Local firms DS Electric, J Mullen and Sons, and Verdant Landscapes contributed expertise to the project. A 2017 renovation was completed by Alfred Torreggiani and Key Construction Services. All involved donated their time, talents, and materials to the Friends of the Walkway.

“It’s wonderful that the East Pavilion, a building we built more than eight years ago that has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of people on the Walkway, will continue to be put to good use at its new location in Mansion Square Park,” said Amanda Baxter, President, Baxter Building Corporation. “We’re deeply invested in the future of the City of Poughkeepsie and collaborations like this are key to our success.”

Left: Cutting the ribbon to open the East Pavilion in 2012 | Right: Commemorating the 2017 renovation to the East Pavilion

The East Pavilion needed to be removed from Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park to make way for the $1.5 million East Gate Plaza, a project that will more than double the size of the pathway atop the Washington Street Stairs just outside the Poughkeepsie gates. When complete, it will create a natural gathering space for visitors and an ideal location for community events.

The hallmark of the East Gate Plaza is the construction of a structure to include a walk-in space for guests to purchase Walkway merchandise, improved access to sundries, snacks, drinks, and other items, and a covered pavilion with audio/visual capabilities to support events, tours, and special programs.

Additional benefits of the project will include more seating, landscaping, and the replacement of a decaying retaining wall from the bridge’s original construction in the 1880s.

Construction on the East Gate Plaza is expected to begin shortly and be completed in 2021. Siegrist and Sons will helm the project.

A rendering of the new East Gate Plaza, now under construction in Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park