A permanent pool is coming to Squibb Park in Brooklyn Heights. Rendering courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park
A permanent pool is coming to Squibb Park in Brooklyn Heights. Rendering courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park Plans to Install a Permanent Outdoor Pool

Brooklyn Bridge Park is getting a new, outdoor public pool—eventually. After years of the public enjoying what was supposed to be a temporary pop-up pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the park has launched a fundraising campaign to fund the construction and operation of a permanent pool.

While the new pool won't be in the same spot as the pop-up pool, swimmers will still enjoy Manhattan skyline views from its location in Squibb Park, a portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park just above Pier 1 that sits in Brooklyn Heights at the entrance to the bouncy Squibb Bridge, which connects the promenade to the park. The construction of the new pool is expected to cost between $10-$15 million, according to park organizers. Admission will be FREE, as with the current pool.

Fans of the current pop-up pool may be wondering what this means for swimming in Brooklyn Bridge Park while the new pool is being constructed. The news is mixed.

The pop-up pool with its lemonade and concession stand, umbrellas, and sandy beach will officially close after this summer season to make room for the Pier 2 Uplands groundbreaking, according to Sarah Krauss, VP, public affairs and chief of staff of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Pier 2 Uplands project will include new grassy parklands, a water garden, a seating area, and other water play features, including spray jets.

Local activists have long lobbied for the city to make the pop-up pool, installed in 2012 and beloved by local families, a permanent fixture in the park.

“The temporary pop-up pool has been a much-loved summer attraction and now we are thrilled to announce plans to bring a permanent pool to Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park president, in a statement, announcing the new pool.

The permanent pool will be located in Squibb Park. Photo by Etienne Frossard for BBP

“On behalf of our 1500+ community members from across Brooklyn, we are celebrating the news of a permanent pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park,” added Lee Levine, of Love Our Pool, a community group united around keeping a pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the press statement. “We look forward to continuing our work alongside the Park as we further the focus on the community’s needs over the course of this summer’s planning sessions.”

Community planning sessions are planned for this summer and fall. Krauss declined to provide any additional information at this time, including an official timeline for the opening or what other amenities might surround the pool. State Senator Brian Kavanagh did hint at the timing in the statement: “I will work with Brooklyn Bridge Park, the City Parks Department, all my colleagues in government, and members of this community to try to ensure that the planning and funding process get underway immediately so our new pool is available as soon as possible and no later than the summer of 2020.”

NYC Parks and the nonprofit Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. agreed to the development and operation of the new Squibb Park pool earlier this month. One-third of the funds needed will be funded by Brooklyn Bridge Park, while the remainder will be raised publicly and privately with the Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy. Midtown Equities and Alloy Development with Monadnock Construction, and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners have also committed funds toward the pool, according to the news release.

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