New visitors to Jones Beach will rediscover the grandeur its creators envisioned, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday.
Cuomo visited the state park to celebrate the latest improvements emerging from a $65 million renovation.
The governor marveled at how the grand Depression-era park was fashioned out of seven miles of “swamp, essentially.” But after decades of neglect, something had to be done, Cuomo said.
“The whole place was in a state of decay,” he said. “To now see it come back to its full glory is something special.”
The latest upgrades include new shuffleboard, Ping-Pong, corn hole and boccie areas, as well as a newly refurbished restaurant and catering hall called The Landing — previously the Jones Beach Marine Dining Room.
Previous projects ran the gamut from overhauling the boardwalk, pool and bathrooms to upgrading utilities.
More improvements are on tap: The nature center is being modernized, and new benches and landscaping are being installed. Future plans call for soccer fields and an adventure playground, complete with a zip line and water park, officials have said.
After a tour, Cuomo said he was impressed by the restored dining hall with its high ceiling and fine woodwork.
The improvements hark back to the vision shared by the park’s creators — power broker and master builder Robert Moses, and former New York governors Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Al Smith.
At a time when exclusivity ruled New York beach clubs, the leaders built a world-class recreation mecca “for the common people,” Cuomo said.