McCarren Park Pool
POOL PARTIES AND SUMMER SCREENS
On Sundays in the summer, McCarren Park Pool hosts a free concert series from 2pm until 8pm. 2007 artists included: Blonde Redhead, Ted Leo/Rx, The Thermals, Ghostland Observatory, Octopus Project, Man Man, Illinois, I’m From Barcelona, Dengue Fever, TV on the Radio and many more.
These pool parties are free on a first-come first-serve basis, but you are able to RSVP to guarantee entry at http://www.going.com/poolparties. McCarren Park requests that guests please refrain from bringing chairs, bicycles, food/drink, or professional video/photography equipment, unless you have contacted them prior to the event for a press pass. They also request that you “DO feel free to bring along bathing suits, blankets, and a smile!”
Bringing your own booze or food is prohibited, but hot dogs and Brooklyn beer are sold inside.
Tuesdays throughout the Summer, Summer Screen hosts free movies at McCarren Park Pool.
McCarren Park is a public park in New York City, USA. It is located in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, and is bordered by Nassau Avenue, Bayard Street, Leonard Street and North 12th Street. It is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
Originally named Greenpoint Park, the park was renamed McCarren Park during the first half of the 1900s after Patrick Henry McCarren (1847-1909), an Irish immigrant who worked in the Williamsburg sugar refineries and eventually became a powerful State Senator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The park is a popular destination for recreational softball, volleyball, soccer, handball, and other games. It is also used for sunbathing and dog-walking. In late 2004, the park’s track was resurfaced and has been a popular destination for running enthusiasts.
The baseball fields of McCarren Park are frequented by members of the punk and indie communities, who gather to participate in league-controlled kickball tournaments, though this is not the primary event held on said fields. For several years, the baseball fields have hosted tournament play for the Hasidim; weekend afternoons provide T-ball and softball games for organized area youth groups; Latino families and friends often utilize the fields to play soccer and volleyball into the late hours of the night.
Since June 2003, McCarren Park has hosted the Renegade Craft Fair, a DIY event. The fair attracts artists and creative types, featuring a wide range of items such as reconstructed clothing, comic books, tote bags and other handmade goods.
McCarren Pool was the eighth of eleven giant pools built by the Works Progress Administration to open during the summer of 1936. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia attended the dedication on July 31, 1936. With an original capacity for 6800 swimmers, the pool served as the summertime social hub for Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The building’s vast scale and dramatic arches, designed by Aymar Embury II, typify the generous and heroic spirit of New Deal architecture.
The pool was closed in 1984. The reuse and reconstruction of the pool remained a contentious community issue for many years, until the community came to a consensus plan in 2001. The community sought to reconstruct the facility to encompass a skate park, an indoor recreation/performance center, and a smaller pool that could be converted to a seasonal ice rink. The plan was estimated to cost $26 million and had a good chance of receiving public funding, but unfortunately, the budgetary constraints of the City post-9/11 shelved the plan and the pool remained abandoned for the next few years.
In 2005, Clear Channel Entertainment and Sens Productions gave $250,000 to the City Parks Foundation, a private non-profit entity, to do basic stabilization and safety improvements to the pool structure. The first public event in the pool, a dance performance called Agora, was held by Sens Productions that summer. In the Summer of 2006, a number of free and cheap public events were held at the pool, including Jelly NYC’s pool party series and the Williamsburg Film Festival. Clear Channel Entertainment’s concert-promotion arm, Live Nation, put on a series of six concerts that were ticketed from $45-$52 (including ticket service fees).
In fall 2005, the City Parks Department sought an entity to manage the pool events for the summer of 2006, which many in the community interpreted to be a setup for a sweetheart deal with Clear Channel/LiveNation. In 2007, the pool is again being used for concerts, film screenings and other events. Many in the community would prefer that the pool be returned to its historic use as an active recreational facility, with some space dedicated to cultural events.
In the near-term, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation has committed to having the pool open for special events. As part of the 2005 rezoning of Greenpoint and Williamsburg the City appropriated $1 million in capital budget funds for restoration of the pool as a performance space, although the work has not yet begun. Also, $300,000 was allocated by the New York City Council in 2006 to support the construction of this seasonal rink.
In April, 2007, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that reconstruction of the pool was being funded as part of the City’s PlaNYC long-term planning initiative. Total budget has been announced as $50 Million. Design work is beginning in 2007, with construction slated to start by 2009.
The Entrance to McCarren Park Pool is on Lorimer Street, between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street.
FROM THE BEDFORD AVENUE L TRAIN STATION:
Take the L train to the Bedford Avenue stop in Brooklyn. Walk north on Bedford to Lorimer Street, take a right on Lorimer, the Main Arch of the pool is on the left on Lorimer St. between Driggs & Bayard Ave.
FROM THE METROPOLITAN G TRAIN STATION AND THE LORIMER L TRAIN STATION:
Take the G or L train to Metropolitan Avenue or Lorimer, respectively. Walk out of the station and cross Metropolitan on Union. Walk up Union under BQE overpass until you reach Roebling. Make a right, walk one block to Lorimer.
FROM THE NASSAU AVENUE G TRAIN STATION:
Take the G to Nassau Avenue. Walk South two blocks to Lorimer Street and take a left on Lorimer Street. Walk 1 1/2 long blocks and McCarren Park Pool will be on your left.
DRIVING DIRECTION FROM MANHATTAN:
Take the Williamburg Bridge and get off at the very first exit, immediately upon crossing the bridge. Take a left onto Havemeyer Street. It dead ends into Metropolitan, where you take a right. Go under the BQE and take a left on Union. Drive several blocks and McCarren Park Pool will be on you right.