New Signage for New York City's Eleven 1936 WPA Swimming Complexes

Copied and pasted from the Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation:
https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/historical-signs
by Jinx Roosevelt, 4.24.2022.

Converted to HTML by Frank da Cruz, 26 April 2022.
Last update: Thu Apr 28 14:43:27 2022

The texts are part of the Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found on the new signage posted at each pool. Note: The photos were provided by the Parks Department and in most cases are not big enough for the text to be legible. CLICK HERE for more information about the pools.

[Astoria]   [Betsy Head]   [Crotona]   [Hamilton Fish]   [Highbridge]   [Jackie Robinson]   [Joseph H. Lyons]   [Thomas Jefferson]   [McCarren]   [Red Hook]   [Sunset Park]

Astoria Pool - Queens [see gallery]

Astoria pool historical marker
Photo:  Jinx Roosevelt

What was here before?

At one time local children swam in the Hell Gate tidal strait at the base the natural hillside embankment here, and many drowned in the turbulent waters. The endangerment to citizens in Astoria and at coastal waters throughout the city led to construction of public bathing facilities.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Astoria Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterfront currents in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Framed by the Triborough and Hell Gate bridges, Astoria Pool measures 330 by 165 feet and is the largest of the eleven WPA pools. It was designed by John M. Hatton to accommodate 5,570 bathers at a time, and when opened on July 2, 1936 it was described by WPA administrator Harry Hopkins as "the finest in the world." Metropolitan Opera Company soprano Julie Peters sang at the dedication of the pool, underscoring the pool's epic quality. It is distinguished by its streamlined and simple forms, decorative glass block, deco-style steel railings, and Art Moderne style ticket booth. In 1936 and 1964, Astoria Pool hosted the Olympic Trials for the U.S. Swim and Diving Teams. In 2006, Astoria Pool was designated an official New York City landmark and remains an invaluable community resource.

Who is this pool named for?

The pool, park, and surrounding neighborhood are named after John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) who was a businessman in the fur trade industry and the first multimillionaire in the United States.

Betseyhead pool historical marker
Photo:  NYC Parks Department

Betsy Head Pool - Brooklyn

What was here before?

The park was previously vacant land purchased early in the 20th century through funds from local Brownsville property owners. The first outdoor pool in New York City was built here in 1915, replaced in 1936 by the current facility.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Betsy Head Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Betsy Head Pool, measuring 330 by 165 feet, was designed to accommodate 1,200 bathers at a time. It opened on August 6, 1936. Designed by architect John Matthews Hatton, the pool's Art Moderne aesthetic is distinguished by its streamlined bathing pavilion punctuated with glass block walls and a stylized parasol roof deck. In 2008, the facility was designated an official New York City landmark.

Who is this pool named for?

The pool and park are named for philanthropist Betsy Head (1851-1907), a British immigrant who was a philanthropist and businesswoman. Head left a substantial bequest stipulating that half go to the City of New York for the "purchase and improvement of grounds for the purposes of health and recreation."

Crotona pool historical marker
Photo:  NYC Parks Department

Crotona Pool - Bronx  [see gallery]

What was here before?

Crotona Park is one of the original six public parks acquired in 1888 to create the Bronx Parks system. It is characterized by rolling hills and lush greenery. Over the next half century, the borough's accelerated urbanization and explosive population growth created a need to build large-scale public recreational facilities. The land occupied by today's Crotona Park was once part of a large agricultural estate known as Bathgate Woods. The City of New York acquired it from Alexander Bathgate in 1888 as part of the effort to consolidate parks in the Bronx.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Crotona Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Crotona Pool measures 330 by 120 feet (nearly four times an Olympic-regulation facility) and was designed by architect Herbert Magoon to accommodate 4,265 bathers at a time. It opened July 24, 1936. The bathhouse features animal-themed sculptural elements (still visible today) created by Frederick George Richard Roth that exemplify WPA-funded art of the era. In 2007 the facility was designated an official New York City landmark.

Who is this pool named for?

Like the park in which it sits, the pool's name is derived from Croton-the ancient Greek colony famed for its Olympic athletes, a name it also shares with the oldest New York City aqueduct.

Hamilton Fish pool historical marker
Photo:  Jinx Roosevelt

Hamilton Fish Pool - Manhattan

What was here before?

A formal neo-classical park opened here in 1900 to serve the densely-packed Lower East Side community. A landmarked Beaux-Arts bathhouse, designed by the renowned architectural firm of Carrere and Hastings and built in 1898, is the only surviving feature of the original park and was inspired by Charles Girault's Petit Palais in Paris.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Hamilton Fish Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

The outdoor facility at Hamilton Fish Pool, measuring 165 by 100 feet, was designed to accommodate 1,700 bathers at a time. Its spare styling contrasts and complements the more ornate adjacent bathhouse. When the pool opened on June 24, 1936 the New York Times commented that it "lessen[ed] the attractiveness of the disease-laden East River and also helps to keep children off the streets." Hamilton Fish Pool was so highly regarded that the U.S. Olympic Team used it for practice sessions for the 1952 Helsinki Games. The pool and play center were designated an official New York City Landmark in 1982

Who is this pool named for?

The pool and park take their name from one of a long line of public officials, Hamilton Fish (1808-1893). Hamilton's father, Nicholas Fish (1758-1833), married Elizabeth Stuyvesant in 1803 and distinguished himself as Adjutant-General of New York State, Supervisor of the Revenue under President George Washington, and alderman of New York City. Hamilton Fish graduated from Columbia University and became a lawyer in 1830. His political career included terms as U.S. Representative, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State.

Highbridge Pool - Manhattan [see gallery]

Highbridge pool historical marker
Photo:  Jinx Roosevelt

What was here before?

This rocky precipice remained largely naturalized until converted to public parkland. The site of this recreational facility formerly served as the uptown receiving reservoir, built when the fresh water supply system was first opened in 1848.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Highbridge Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Highbridge Pool, measuring 220 by 165 feet, was designed to accommodate 4,880 bathers at a time and its footprint largely conforms to that of the old receiving reservoir. It opened July 14, 1936 and for decades has served patrons of Washington Heights and University Heights across the Harlem River. In 2007, the facility was designated an official New York City landmark.

What is this pool named for?

The pool, like the park, takes its name from the nearby Romanesque stone High Bridge that connected the aqueduct across the river. The surviving tower in the park was once used to create water pressure for upper Manhattan.

Jackie Robinson pool historical marker
Photo:  Jinx Roosevelt

Jackie Robinson Pool - Manhattan [see gallery]

What was here before?

Before the pool and play center were introduced to the park, the rugged terrain of glacial rock outcroppings and mature shade trees served the Harlem Heights community as a place of respite and passive recreation.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Jackie Robinson Pool and Play Center was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically-scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Harlem's Jackie Robinson Pool measures 235 by 82 feet was designed by architects Aymar Embury II and Harry Ahrens to accommodate 4,090 bathers at a time. Nestled in a steep bluff, with an arcaded façade and entryway resembling a medieval castle, the facility was once known as "Colonial Park Pool," in reference to the area's role in key Revolutionary War battles. The facility opening on August 8, 1936 was cause for celebration and featured Bill "Bojangles" Robinson singing "Battle Hymm of the Republic" to a crowd of 25,000. The facility was named for baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 1978, and a bronze bust of Robinson by artist Inge Hardeson was installed in the lobby in 1981. The pool and play center (including the atrium interior) were designated an official New York City Landmark in 2007.

Who is this pool named for?

Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) is best known for his pioneering role as the first black professional baseball player in the major leagues. Born in Cairo, Georgia, on January 31, 1919 and raised in Pasadena, California, he attended UCLA where he excelled in baseball, basketball, football, and track. After World War II, Robinson played baseball in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs. Robinson made history on April 15, 1947, when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers whom he would lead to six World Series appearances. Robinson retired from baseball in January 1957 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He later became involved with the Chock Full O' Nuts restaurant chain as well as several black-owned community enterprises. He was active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and served as a special assistant to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. He died on October 24, 1972.

Lyons pool historical marker
Photo:  NYC Parks Department

Joseph H. Lyons Pool - Staten Island

What was here before?

The property was part of the Staten Island working waterfront and transferred from the Department of Docks to the Parks Department for recreational usage in 1934.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Joseph H. Lyons Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically-scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Located south of the St. George Ferry Terminal and adjacent to the Cromwell Recreation Pier, the pool measures 165 by 100 feet and had a capacity of 2,800 bathers. Designed by Joseph L. Hautman, in an Art Moderne style, the pool is distinguished by its sun deck and campanile. Its opening on July 7, 1936 was attended by 7,500 people. The only WPA pool in the borough, Mayor La Guardia commented at the dedication, "The policy of this administration is to give Staten Island an even break with the other boroughs." He also described the opportunity to construct this elegant, modernist pool as "a monument to the progressive government which would not and could not see unemployed men on the breadline."

Who is this pool named for?

The pool was first known as Tompkinsville Pool, for the surrounding neighborhood named after former New York State governor Daniel D. Tompkins (1817-1825). In 1935, the year before the pool opened, the Board of Aldermen voted to name the pool in memory of World War I veteran Joseph H. Lyons (1874-1934). The pool was not officially renamed until Memorial Day 1938, when a dedication and renaming ceremony was held.

Lyons joined the New York City Club Unit of the American Ambulance Field Service in 1917. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Government for his service driving on the French and Belgian fronts. Upon his return from Europe in 1920, he organized the Staten Island Post No. 563, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), of which he was the first commander. As a result of his activity in the VFW, he became county commander of the American Legion. Richmond Turnpike, Victory Boulevard, and the American Legion ferryboat were all named at the suggestion of Lyons.

Thomas Jefferson pool historical marker
Photo:  Jinx Roosevelt

Thomas Jefferson Pool - Manhattan

What was here before?

This park in which this pool is located was planned and named by the Board of Aldermen in 1894, though the land for it was not purchased until 1897. The park opened on October 7, 1905 to provide organized play to the children of "Little Italy," as the crowded tenement district in East Harlem was then known.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Thomas Jefferson Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

East Harlem's Thomas Jefferson Pool, measuring 246 feet by 100 feet, was designed by architect Stanley C. Brogren to accommodate 1,450 bathers at a time, providing protected bathing as an alternative to the adjacent East River. Its opening dedication on June 27, 1936 was cause for community celebration. Reportedly 10,000 people attended the ceremony commending what was described as "the last word in engineering, hygiene and construction." In 1992, the former diving pool was converted to a wading pool. In 2007, the pool and play center were designated an official New York City landmark.

Who is this pool named for?

The pool and park are named for Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) who had a profound influence on the formation of the American legal and political system. Though Jefferson himself owned several hundred enslaved people on his Virginia estate, Monticello, in 1776 he was enlisted as the principal author to draft the Declaration of Independence. He went on to serve as governor of Virginia (1779-81), minister to France (1785-89), and Secretary of State under Washington (1790-93). He was elected Vice President in 1796 and then served two terms as President from 1801-1809. Aside from his political influence, Jefferson's legacy includes creating the decimal monetary system and founding and designing the University of Virginia.

Mccarren pool historical marker
Photo:  Jinx Roosevelt

McCarren Pool - Brooklyn

What was here before?

Prior to the pool's construction, the property was surrounded by a mix of light and heavy industry such as lumber and scrap metal yards. The vast local working-class population often lived in destitute conditions, and at the time the pool opened the neighborhood had one of the highest unemployment rates in the city.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. McCarren Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Opened on July 31, 1936, McCarren Pool originally measured 330 by 165 feet and was designed to accommodate 6,800 bathers at a time. In the off-season the pool bottom was adapted for basketball and shuffleboard courts. Its bathhouse was the largest in the system, with an open vaulted entryway reminiscent of the Roman baths of Caracalla and the Karl Marx Hof housing complex in Vienna. Other notable features include an Art Moderne-styled entry kiosk and flagstaffs supported by bronze eagles.

The pool is the only WPA facility to close due to dereliction, from 1984 to 2012. In 2005-07, a series of experimental dance performances and concerts were held in the empty pool renewed interest in the facility. After it was designated an official New York City Landmark in 2007, it underwent an extensive renovation. The pool reopened in 2012, with a smaller footprint for swimming but gained year-round features like a fitness center, community meeting room, and basketball court. In 2016, Mary Temple's Double Sun mural, a Percent for Art project, was painted on the entryway and invokes the cast shadows of local trees.

Who is this pool named for?

The park and pool are named for Patrick Henry McCarren (1849-1909), a popular local Democratic official elected State Assemblyman in 1881 and State Senator in 1889.

Red Hook pool historical marker
Photo:  Jinx Roosevelt

Red Hook Pool - Brooklyn

What was here before?

The tract of land encompassing the pool is landfill established in the 19th century for an industrial railroad depot. The land sat vacant for decades serving as an ad hoc baseball field from 1915 to 1929. In 1934, 15 acres were turned over to the Parks Department to develop recreational facilities. At that time the area was largely an industrial zone, supported by a working-class residential community serving the waterfront shipping industry nearby.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Red Hook Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months. Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Red Hook Pool measures 330 by 130 feet and was designed by Joseph L. Hautman to accommodate 4,460 bathers at a time. The opening dedication on August 17, 1936 was described by the New York Times as "Red Hook's event of the year," reportedly attended by a vast crowd of 40,000 people. With the demolition in the 1990s of a nearby stadium from the same era, three cast stone sporting reliefs from that facility were salvaged and inserted into the pool-facing interior wall. The pool, along with the Red Hook Play Center, was designated an official New York City landmark in 2008.

What is this pool named for?

The pool takes its name from the neighborhood. Dutch colonial settlers in New Amsterdam in the 1630s named this spit of land of red clay projecting into upper New York bay Roode Hoek, later anglicized to Red Hook.

Sunset Park pool historical marker
Photo:  NYC Parks Department

Sunset Park Pool - Brooklyn

What was here before?

The dramatic bluff at Sunset Park is part of a massive rock outcropping and ridge across Brooklyn and Queens created through glacial deposits during the last Ice Age. Facing west towards New York harbor and beyond, the park and pool take their name from this fine vantage point for viewing sunsets.

How did this site become a pool?

The summer of 1936, deep in the Great Depression, broke local heat records. Sunset Park Pool was one of eleven immense outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer. The heroically scaled pools project was financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), as part of a massive effort to alleviate adverse health conditions and provide safe recreation in predominantly working-class communities.

The pools were not just huge but also examples of state-of-the-art engineering and fine design. Each pool had separate swimming, diving and wading areas, perimeter bleachers, and bathhouses whose locker rooms served as gyms during non-summer months.Led by architect Aymar Embury II and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the planning team produced a series of distinct complexes, each one sensitive to its site and topography. Massive filtration systems, heating units, and even underwater lighting provided a more controlled bathing experience than the often treacherous and polluted waterways in which the City's masses had traditionally swum. The palette of pools building materials was mainly inexpensive brick, concrete and cast stone, but the styles ranged from Romanesque Revival to Art Deco.

Sunset Park Pool measures 256 feet by 165 feet and was designed by architect Herbert Magoon to accommodate 4,850 bathers at a time. The facility is notable for its gracefully curved façade. At the opening on July 20, 1936, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia dramatically flipped a switch, activating the pool's underwater lighting system. City Controller Frank J. Taylor himself, a Sunset Park resident, remarked that if the heatwave that plagued the city returned, he would have to don swim trunks and try the pool himself. The pool, along with the Sunset Play Center, was designated a NYC landmark in 2007 and continues to provide the community with critical relief during the summer months.


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