PARKS & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and I recently celebrated the beginning of the citywide outdoor pool season and the opening of the newly renovated McCarren Pool & Play Center, the first of eight PlaNYC regional park projects to be completed.

Located within the 35-acre McCarren Park, McCarren Pool was one of 11 pools opened by Robert Moses in 1936.

It closed in 1984 and sat unused until the summer of 2005, when the empty pool basin opened as a venue for concerts, dance and movies.

It was designated as a landmark in 2007.

For the first time in 28 years, McCarren Pool is now once again a center for recreation for the residents of northern Brooklyn.

With McCarren Pool’s reconstruction, all 11 of New York City’s original Works Progress Administration-era pools have now been re-opened.

McCarren Park Pool has an illustrious past and a bright future.

The major investment we’ve made in this renovation will help return the pool and the park to their place at the center of community life for residents of Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

The rehabilitation of McCarren Pool preserves the historic bathhouse building and entry arch and creates a brand new swimming pool and recreation center.

McCarren Pool is 37,571 square feet, which allows for 1,500 bathers, and holds 1,057,914 gallons of water in its new configuration.

The pool area can accommodate an ice skating rink in the winter, and arts and music events will be returning to McCarren now that the pool is open.

McCarren Play Center is the 33rd recreation center in the city.

Joining a Parks’ recreation center gives New Yorkers access to a network of facilities in all five boroughs, including indoor pools, running tracks and fitness rooms, for 41 cents a day for adults.

Parks is looking to receive a LEED Silver rating for the project, having used materials and construction methods that are ecologically sensitive.

The pool has two disabled accessibility compliant lifts and one sloped entry.

Inside the recreation center, all bathrooms and rooms are accessible and fitness equipment that allows for people who use assistive mobility devices has also been installed, as well as upper body cardio equipment.

All 55 outdoor public pools in the city are open to the public.

As is the case each year, they will close on Labor Day — Monday, Sept. 3.

Daily hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Parks & Recreation offers children Learn to Swim, a free program at select pools, as well as the opportunity to join a swim team and train for the city’s annual Five-Borough Championship swimming competition to be held on Aug. 11.

Learn to Swim is also offered to adults at eight outdoor pools.

Beginning on July 5, Parks will be offering, for the 30th year, a free Lap Swim program for adults, which designates “Early Bird” lap swim hours from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and “Night Owl” lap-swim hours from 7 p.m. to dusk at selected pool locations.

NYC pools are also among the many locations across the city where kids 18 and under can receive free, nutritious meals throughout the summer provided by the USDA through SchoolFood and the New York City Department of Education.

For additional information on swimming opportunities and recreation membership at Parks, please visit

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