Everybody in the Water: McCarren Park Pool Opens
JUNE 25, 2012
A 1930s public pool restored to its former glory gets ready to raise the summer fun quotient for Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
Preceded by a $150-a-person sneak preview fundraiser on the evening of June 27, the long-awaited reopening of the historic McCarren Park Pool in the park shared by the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint will be arriving with a splash on June 28. The 37,950-square-foot pool’s newest incarnation promises to be yet another plus for two of the city’s most exciting neighborhoods.
Located within the 35-acre McCarren Park, McCarren Park Pool was one of 11 public swimming pools opened by Robert Moses in 1936, offering depression-era north Brooklyn kids and families a break from the heat (via CurbedNY). Closed in 1984, the pool was abandoned until 2005, when the unique public space–sans water–became a popular venue for summer concerts and outdoor movies. As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, an environmental and quality-of-life initiative, a $50 million revamp has given the landmarked public space renewed life as a year-round recreation center for local residents (the pool’s "beach" can accommodate an ice skating rink in the winter). Arts and music events will return as well.
Some unique historic structures have been preserved including the bathhouse and entryway arch. Salvaged wood from the Coney Island Boardwalk was used for interior partitions and exterior screens. The city is seeking a LEED Silver rating for the project with the intention of keeping materials and construction methods ecologically sound.
The green and vibrant parkside blocks between two of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods is also known as one of the area’s most desirable places to live. New residential developments such as the Northpoint Towers at 76 Engert Avenue and 20 Bayard Street overlook the park; closer to the heart of Williamsburg (with its own calendar of waterfront events happening all summer on the East River), sought-after addresses like Two Northside Piers at 47 North Fourth Street and the Edge at 22 North Sixth Street are a short walk from the park and pool.