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Iconic Patio Dismantled At Pavilion Theatre; Penn State Builds Replacement

on June 23, 2010 7:49 AM

The popular covered patio outside Penn State's Pavilion Theatre was dismantled late this spring, taken down as the university improves safety and beautifies that part of University Park, spokesman Paul Ruskin said.

For years, the iconic patio at Curtin and Shortlidge roads was a favorite gathering spot for customers of the university Creamery. Until 2006, the Creamery was situated across Curtin in Borland Building.

But Ruskin said the patio's roof structure began to suffer from deterioration in recent years, as it started shedding chunks of concrete.

"It was old; it was crumbling," he said. "Safety is always a primary concern."

Beyond that, Ruskin said, the decades-old patio was "just getting a bit worn. The seating in the structure was aging."

This summer, Penn State is putting about $300,000 into an improvement project on the site. By mid-August, Ruskin said, a new patio will take shape there.

It will include better and more landscaping, new seating, energy-efficient lighting and access in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Ruskin said.

But it will not include any awnings or other coverings.

"Now that the Creamery is no longer there, we don't have to worry about sunlight melting the ice-cream cones," Ruskin said. "It'll be an open area, and it will add a new dimension to the theater and be a pleasant location for theater-goers."

The Pavilion Theatre itself, built in 1915, is a key venue for the university's School of Theatre. The core building will not be affected by the patio project, Ruskin said.

Penn State's Creamery is now located at Curtin and Bigler roads in the new Food Science Building.

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