The original pool, built in 1936, has been transformed into a sprawling oasis which ranges from deep-end swimming to an ankle deep wading pool complete with squirting sprinklers for summertime fun. McCarren Pool had not been used for its original purpose since 1983 until Mayor Bloomberg and his PlaNYC initiative saw it as the perfect opportunity to bring a public recreation center back to the Williamsburg area, and commissioned Rogers Marvel Architects to do a redesign.
Aside from a pool that can accommodate 1,500 swimmers, the complex also has a volleyball court, a beach, spray showers, a basketball court, a weight room, a dance studio, a cardio room and community space, making the facility an asset to the neighborhood year round. The $50 million renovations used reclaimed wood from the Coney Island Boardwalk, adding more history to the site.
Visitors to the pool are welcomed through the infamous McCarren archway, where they can check in at the information kiosk, or visit welcome desks to the left and right of the entry passage. Outdoor lockers are available for storing street clothes, and sun loungers and umbrella tables can be picked up for lunch or a picnic. Guests can also climb the arched façade stairs and look down over the pool from a covered elevated terrace, which will host music programming in the future. In the winter, the pool may become an ice rink, so that the locals can enjoy the complex year round, inside and out.
And the best part is that admission to the pool is totally free! Swimmers can enjoy the beautiful new center from 11am – 3pm and 4pm – 7pm every day!