Sylvan Beach Pavilion, originally designed by Houston-based Greacen & Brogniez, first opened its doors in 1956. The building became an instant classic in the La Porte community and hosted weddings, graduations, and numerous musical guests. Unfortunately, due to its coastal location, the pavilion was damaged by seven hurricanes over the years. In 2008, Hurricane Ike finally caused its closure. In 2011, Commissioner Jack Morman, aided by local non-profit, Friends of Sylvan Beach Park & Pavilion, secured three separate historic designations for the space and made the renovation a priority. The pavilion is now listed in the National Historic Register by the Texas Historical Commission, is a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark, and is recognized as a State Archaeological Landmark.
The design team’s goal was to restore this gem to its former mid-century modern glory while updating it to meet current coastal windstorm requirements. By studying historic photos and original plans, the team was able to carefully restore the space. They replicated the original circular bar, restored existing hardwood floors, repaired the deck, and added a new egress ramp. New sump pumps were added and the concrete structure received an acrylic coating. The team worked with a manufacturer to custom-fabricate a window assembly that was tested for hurricane standard air and water infiltration and then reviewed by the Texas Historical Commission to ensure it met visual requirements. The result is a sympathetic renovation that empowers original mid-century modern design elements to shine while protecting the structure from future damage.