Jackie Robinson Pool
Originally known as “Colonial Park Pool” this was the tenth of eleven pools to be constructed by the WPA in New York. 25,000 people attended the opening ceremony on August 7, 1936, which was presided over by Mayor LaGuardia and Robert Mose. The pool is 82 feet x 235 feet and the diving pool is 65 feet x 82 feet. The press release announcing the opening explained: “While only the south half of the two story brick bathhouse building, of medieval architecture with Roman arched windows, buttresses and towers, accommodating 1800 persons, will be ready for the opening, there will be accommodations for 4100 when the entire building is completed.”
A press release describing the planned pool and bathhouse a year earlier described it in more detail: “The roof of the modern bathhouse will be utilized for the deck of the pool and spectator seats will be terraced against the rock ledge. The area used for a swimming pool in the summer can be converted into an outdoor gymnasium during seasons of no swimming. The south wing of the building will be built as a year round athletic hall, modern gymnasium and general recreation center for Harlem.”
The pool remains a popular source of entertainment today.
"Race, Place, and Play: Robert Moses and the WPA Swimming Pools in New York City" NYC Parks - History of Parks' Swimming Pools NYC Parks - Jackie Robinson Park Department of Parks, Press Release, August 9, 1935. Department of Parks, Press Release,August 7, 1936. Photos from 'Robert Moses and the Modern City'
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