Red Hook Pool Front
Red Hook Park in Brooklyn was one of several major parks and hundreds of playgrounds created in New York City with Federal funds in the New Deal era. In this 1938 text, Robert Moses describes the work accomplished in New York City parks, including Red Hook, by relief workers:
“There are today 372 playgrounds, ranging from small neighborhood plots of a quarter acre to large developments such as Macombs Dam Park in The Bronx, Red Hook and McCarren Parks in Brooklyn, and Randall’s Island, adjacent to the East Harlem section of Manhattan, all developed to take care of every type of recreation for both children and adults and modern in every respect. They are paved in great part with surfaces that make them usable throughout the year, shaded by a profuse planting of trees, and modern, hygienic wading pools, used for basketball in the spring and fall and for skating in winter, have been incorporated in their design. 100 recreational buildings have been constructed to house toilet facilities and to provide indoor activities during inclement weather. The needs of every age have been satisfied from the tiny playhouses and little swings for children of pre-school age, the baseball diamonds, handball and basketball courts for the adolescents, and the croquet lawns, horseshoe pitching, shuffleboard and bocci courts for the adults.”
As researcher Frank da Cruz explains here, this relief work was likely carried out first by the CWA and, after April 1935, with WPA labor.
In addition to this range of amenities, the WPA also constructed the Red Hook swimming pool in 1936.
The park officially opened in August, 1936. Mayor LaGuardia attended the opening and was “greeted by the thunderous cheers of more than 40,000 area residents, many of them children.” (www.nycgovparks.org)
Progress in the Park Department: 1934-1938 New Deal Assistance in NYC Parks Department Projects, 1934-43 www.nycgovparks.org
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on June 9, 2016.
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