interior of environmental education center, award winner for public architecture

Environmental Education Center, 2020 APWA Historical Restoration/Preservation Award

Originally constructed in 1942, the historic boathouse at Green Lakes State Park is an iconic structure to anyone who has visited the beach at the north end of Green Lake. The building had been in use since its construction but lacked an adequate foundation due to poor soils. The NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) selected Beardsey to design the restoration and conversion of the building into a new environmental education center.

To create the new environmental education center and alleviate structural issues, the existing structure was meticulously dismantled and re-built on an entirely new foundation system. Special care was given to preserving as much of the building as possible. Following relocation, the building was restored and renovated to provide four-season usage. The central exhibit space, anchored by preserved stone columns, includes educational kiosks and displays about the Park’s unique meromictic lakes, wildlife and habitats, and history. The building also includes restrooms, a small kitchenette, offices for Park educators, and generous storage space on the main floor and in the full basement. An outdoor education space was created for use by Park educators for school groups or other interpretive presentations. A small boat rental building was also relocated and renovated for continued use.