Feb. 24, 2023 By Michael Dorgan and Julia Moro
Astoria swimmers will have to look elsewhere for a dip this summer as the neighborhood’s sizeable public pool gets a $19 million revamp.
The Astoria Pool, located between 19th Street and 23rd Drive in Astoria Park, is currently undergoing repair work, according to the NYC Parks Department. The agency hopes to reopen in the summer of 2024.
The NYC Parks Department said it is carrying out repairs to the pool tub and its mechanical systems. The project costs $18.949 million, which the mayor’s office is funding, according to the Parks Dept. website.
“We never close amenities unless necessary, and unfortunately… many of the pool’s features have reached the end of their service life,” a statement from the Parks Department reads. “We know this historic pool is a beloved neighborhood amenity, and these repairs will help to ensure that this 87-year-old icon continues to serve future generations of New Yorkers.”
On Friday, Feb. 24, workers were seen in the pool’s shell, reconstructing a new liner.
The Parks Department said they are also replacing the gutter and deck. There will also be new systems for filtration/recirculation, backwash, chemical treatment and HVAC (electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning).
Workers will also repair leaking issues in the filter room and tunnel.
During construction, the amphitheater on the south end will be closed.
However, the agency said the spray shower area on the pool’s north end would remain open so families could cool off during hot summer days.
“Fortunately, the recently renovated spray showers adjacent to the pool will remain open during construction, so there will still be a great option for families to cool off on those hot summer days,” the statement reads.
Legendary NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses built the Astoria Pool with funding from the New Deal agency, the Works Progress Administration, during the Great Depression; this was only one of 11 major outdoor public pools the Parks Department opened that summer.
Moses also constructed the Triborough Bridge, which overlooks the pool.
On Astoria Pool’s opening day — July 4, 1936 — it was used for the final round of the Olympic swim tryouts. A fountain at the end of the pool served as the Olympic Torch in 1936 and 1964.