Swimming pool soon may float near you
A “floating pool” carved into a commercial barge will dock in Brooklyn in two weeks, Parks Department officials said. The so-called “Floating Pool Lady” will dock at Pier 2 near Brooklyn Bridge Park, and will be ready for dipping as early as next summer – once permits are issued.
“A floating swimming pool may soon land in New York, and that holds out a lot of promise for opening a whole new generation of recreational facilities,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who added that floating pools are cheaper to maintain than in-ground ones.
Benepe said when the pool opens, it could be docked near Greenpoint and Williamsburg or the South Bronx – all areas deprived of working swimming pools.
The seven-lane, 82-foot pool is half the size of an Olympic-sized pool, and is surrounded by men’s and women’s locker rooms, showers and a children’s spray pool.
If successful, the floating pool would be joined by two others, and would be free to the public during the day. In the evening, it could open up to concessionaires, Benepe said.
Neptune Foundation founder Ann Buttenwieser, a waterfront planner, said she stumbled onto the idea of a traveling swimming pool after researching New York’s history.
In 1870, William (Boss) Tweed opened the first of what would become a fleet of 15 floating baths, which drew more than 4 million people, many of them poor tenement dwellers.
That all stopped in 1915, when the Health Department discovered the pools were often filled with raw sewage.
“They were placed in areas where there were no pools, but mainly the idea was to open up the waterfront,” said Buttenwieser, who said she began working on the idea nearly three decades ago. “Now we’re reviving the idea.”
THE DAILY NEWS