McCarren Pool Up for Landmarking
McCarren Pool will be before the Landmarks Preservation Commission on January 30 for a landmarking hearing. Preservationists have had the pool on their landmarking list for nearly two decades. News of the sites around city that will get hearings on the 30th is passed along by the Historic Districts Council Blog. The historic pool was opened in 1936 and sat abandoned for years before being revived for use as a concert venue last year. Landmark status might actually give a boost to efforts to return it to life as a swimming pool. In any case, it would safeguard the facility from destruction or significant alteration. The Landmarks Commission document lists "the bath house, swimming pool, diving pool, wading pool, filter house, life guard house, brick perimeter walls, piers and cast-iron fencing, comfort stations, linking pathways, and the planter meridian paralleling the western side of the bath house, Lorimer Street between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street, Brooklyn." Interestingly, the diving pool has already been filled in with dirt.
The pool opened on July 31, 1936 and ceased operating as a pool in 1984. It was the eighth of eleven giant pools built by Robert Moses and the Works Progress Administration that opened during the summer of 1936. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia cut the ribbon at McCarren pool on July 31, saying "no pool anywhere has been as much appreciated as this one." It was built to handle 6,800 swimmers and cost $1 million to build.
The future of programming at the pool is still being decided.