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Jun 15, 2012 2:53 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Pavilion Gets Green Light From Southampton Village Officials

Jun 20, 2012 10:38 AM

Southampton Village officials gave a green light last week to plans to build a new semi-permanent, open-air, tentlike pavilion on the lawn at 25 Jobs Lane once the Parrish Art Museum vacates the premises.

The Founders Committee, a group Mayor Mark Epley set up to shape the property’s future in the absence of the Parrish, which will open a new building in Water Mill later this year, has been eager to usher in a new cultural hot spot to keep activity buzzing in the village while renovation of the art museum to convert it into a new Southampton Center for the Arts gets under way.

According to Michael Etzel of the Rockwell Group, a Manhattan-based firm that designed the pavilion, the structure would be a multi-functional venue that could accommodate performing arts, movie screenings and even an ice skating rink in the winter. Officials said the structure would be ready for the 2013 summer season.

“This was born out of our discussions with Bay Street Theatre,” Mayor Epley said, referring to ongoing negotiations with the Sag Harbor-based theater that had been considering new locations. “They said in order to do theater here, they would prefer to do it outside instead of inside in the summertime.” The mayor also mentioned that members of “Shakespeare in the Park” and “Jazz at Lincoln Center” expressed the same desire.

The project could cost anywhere from $650,000 to $975,000, Mr. Etzel said, all of which would be raised by the Founders Committee, according to Mayor Epley.

“We’re not asking for any taxpayer dollars to go to this,” he said. “It’s a very realistic number to raise. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on this.”

The pavilion would sit at the northwest corner of the property and would be built to evoke the three arches of the current Parrish building, as well as the three arches of the Southampton Cultural Center. The arches would be wrapped with a light fabric “skin,” and colored lights would project onto the fabric, Mr. Etzel said. The structure’s translucent top would glow at night, he added.

Depending on the programming, the pavilion’s interior could be reconfigured, but it would accommodate 299 seats inside the circular building, approximately 80 feet in diameter. Village officials said they wanted to make sure the pavilion would not overpower the Southampton Center, to be located in the historic former Parrish building nearby. The highest point of the structure would reach 35 feet.

Members of the public, at the Village Board meeting on Thursday, June 14, questioned the impact the building could have on the community.

Village resident Susan Stevenson raised the issue of whether the noise generated from performances might carry into residential neighborhoods and local restaurants.

Mr. Etzel said it is difficult to know how much of an impact would be made since no programming has been scheduled yet, but said the company plans to bring in an acoustician to find out. Mayor Epley assured Mr. Stevenson that noise would most likely not be a problem. “The center would limit programming times,” Mayor Epley said. “This wouldn’t be something that would have wild music after 11 p.m.”

If the pavilion becomes a problem or the village no longer needs the structure, it could easily be deconstructed or moved, according to Mr. Etzel.

Board Member Richard Yastrzemski voiced support for the pavilion, calling it a “springboard” to get people into the village.

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Cool...Like Close Encounters of the Third Kind...Lets go down and watch the aliens come out. Make we can have a Drum Circle and Druids too?
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jun 15, 12 4:29 PM
3 members liked this comment
Anyone else get sick to their stomach every time they drive by the New Parrish Art Museum?

To think someone designed that thinking it didn't suck!
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Jun 15, 12 5:06 PM
Are they serious? That pavilion looks like something from Epcot or an old world's fair. Couldn't they have come up with a more attractive form? What a waste of design money.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Jun 15, 12 10:30 PM
3 members liked this comment
It kind of does look like some piece of Star Trek alien head garb...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jun 16, 12 12:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well, at least it is now official. The Southampton Village Board has lost its mind. Hopefully their "Fiddle While Rome Burns" orchestra will entertain us all, as the Village goes bankrupt.

First, they let the Parrish Art Museum slip out the Village's hands years ago (at the planning stages). The new museum could have been built behind the current one. Yes, many adjustments (parking, height restrictions, etc.) would have been necessary, but none requiring the reinvention of the wheel.

Instead, ...more
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Jun 16, 12 12:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
As an addendum. Southampton apparently recoils at the idea of using great local architects for their plans.

The Parrish, who laughingly claims to support local art, went all the the Europe for their new building's architectural firm instead of using local talent.

And now the Village goes to David Rockwell in NYC (who doesn't know @%$& about the local color or flavor) to design the pavilion.
Congratulations on another slap in the face to local artists and architects.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Jun 18, 12 1:55 PM
4 members liked this comment
As an aside. the "pavillion" looks like it belongs in the 1960's NYC World's Fair. Romantic retro-styling most likely cretaed by some young architectural lackie who is obsessed with the 1960's stylings of "Mad Men".

This design is TOTALLY unrelated to the village and thoroughly out of context with the local architecture and
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Jun 18, 12 1:59 PM
2 members liked this comment
They tack on a catchy name "Founders Committie" indeed! Who are those founders? They destroy the very look that Southampton had. Certainly the people (board members) pushed through this just to say they were doing a good thing for the village. I deplore the idea of a iceskating rink in that Parrish park. I thought there was one already in Agawam Park. Since that site, Parrish Museum, was given to the Village back in 1931 yes the taxpayers own it.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Jun 16, 12 1:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
I like it!
By Unkown Local (18), southampton on Jun 16, 12 10:36 PM
i think a sarcastic remark here would take away from how majorly stupid this whole thing is. A "light fabric skin"? I am completely disgusted. Can we get that fat cop from the menacing sign on the highway a couple years ago to come and do something about this? Are the people making these decision evil or just stupid? Wow.
By milkdilk (49), Southampton on Jun 17, 12 8:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
To answer your question- I believe they are neither evil nor stupid. They are simply afraid for their jobs.

Hence the need to hire STARchitects- so they can hide behind the "name" when the plan goes poorly.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Jun 19, 12 2:56 PM
Excellent idea and very cool looking. Some folks will freaking complain about anything
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Jun 21, 12 1:35 PM
The Parrish left because the village wouldn't let them put up something that wasn't in keeping with the feeling of the Parrish grounds. They were told they couldn't remove certain trees, plantings, etc. Now look at what the village wants to do! Too bad the Parrish Art Museum wasn't able to stay.
By susanarm (7), WATER MILL on Jun 21, 12 8:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hello, susanarm. You bring up a very enlightening and accurate point. It amazes me that the village was so strict with the Parrish's original plans yet they completely "rolled over" when the big money guys appeared.

Sadly, we all know the answer to this puzzling behavior on the part of the Village....money talks! Period! It has nothing whatsoever to do with "community" or "local history".
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Jun 22, 12 2:49 PM
2 members liked this comment
Can it be collapsed quickly in advance of hurricanes? Not wild about it, but I don't hate it...
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Jun 22, 12 11:34 PM
Not in advance of, but during.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Jun 27, 12 6:43 AM
Clearly some public discussion is warranted on this proposal, or--is it a 'done deal?'

Another "mushroom" project, springing up in the night without warning.
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Jun 27, 12 10:08 AM
A former Goldman Sachs bigwig bought the former Parrish Art museum for less than it was worth. His wife was on the museum's board. Mayor Epley assured us that whatever TF this Goldman Sachs guy is going to do with the property will be in the village's interest. I guess this is what he means. Putting up something that looks like it should be at a big Midwestern state fair I'd what is in the intere
By btdt (449), water mill on Jun 28, 12 3:58 PM