The McCarren Park Pool was one of the eleven massive public pools built as WPA projects during the Depression; it opened in the summer of ’36, with a capacity of 6,800 swimmers. The pool declined with its neighborhood in the postwar years, closing in 1984, but the massive vacant space was rediscovered by enterprising Williamsburgers in the mid-aughts. It’s been featured in movies, and hosted them (it was the original venue for Summerscreen), as well as summer concerts (and dodgeball and waterslides). After a $50 million renovation, begun in 2009, the swimming pool will reopen with the rest of the city’s outdoor pools on June 28, after the end of the school year.
On a recent sweltering afternoon, we stood on Bedford and North 7th, and asked passersby: Are you excited? Will you actually go?