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PR- 528-09
December 7, 2009


Revitalization of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia-Era Pool is One of Eight Regional Parks Developed as Part of PlaNYC

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe today broke ground on the restoration of McCarren Pool in the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The $50 million revitalization of this Works Progress Administration-era facility is one of eight regional parks throughout the five boroughs that will be redeveloped as part of PlaNYC, the City's long-term plan to build a greener, greater New York. Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Benepe were joined at the groundbreaking by Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol, and Council Member David Yassky.

"As part of PlaNYC, we pledged to restore McCarren Pool to its former glory," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Thanks to the support of many community organizations who have worked side by side with the Parks Department, today we are fulfilling that promise and breaking ground on a $50 million revitalization of this historic landmark. The restored McCarren Pool will at long return as not only a swimming pool but also as a year-round recreational destination."

"The restoration of McCarren Pool is a dream come true for all New Yorkers," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg's commitment through PlaNYC, this historic WPA-era pool that had been abandoned for more than a generation is finally being transformed, providing for swimming in the summer, ice skating in the winter, and year-round indoor fitness and recreation. I am grateful to the entire community for their advocacy and their input into this facility, which will be a state-of-the-art recreational oasis for the neighborhood."

Under PlaNYC, 50 million was allocated to fund the renovation of the historic McCarren pool and to develop a year-round recreation center. The redesign also allows for a conversion of the pool to ice skating during the winter months; construction of a year-round recreation center with gym, weight and cardio rooms, multipurpose community rooms, and office spaces; and preservation and restoration of the historic bathhouse building and entry arch. Rogers Marvel Architects LLP designed the restorations with extensive input from the community through a series of public listening sessions.

McCarren Pool was one of 11 public pools opened in the summer of 1936 by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. It closed in 1984 due to deterioration of its infrastructure and public opposition to its renovation. The site was abandoned for more than 20 years and was an example of urban blight. Beginning in 2005, the empty pool basin reopened as an interim performance venue, hosting a variety of entertainment events including concerts, dance performances, and film screenings. The McCarren Pool complex represents an important opportunity to enhance recreational opportunities and improve open space for the growing North Brooklyn community.

Located within the 35-acre McCarren Park, the McCarren Pool complex is anticipated to reopen during the spring of 2012.

Other regional parks that will be developed as part of PlaNYC are High Bridge and Fort Washington Park in Manhattan; Soundview Park in the Bronx; Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn; Highland Park and Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Ocean Breeze Park on Staten Island.


Stu Loeser / Jason Post   (212) 788-2958

Vickie Karp   (Parks & Recreation)
(212) 360-1311

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