Hamilton Fish Park Pool

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Dry pools in early springtime

Hamilton Fish Park Pool was built by the New York City Parks Department using Works Progress Administration funds. It opened in June 1936. Located in the Lower East Side, the facility includes extensive facilities for filtering and purifying water, underwater lighting, and separate diving and wading pools. The largest pool has a main swimming area measuring 330 feet in length, with a width of 165 feet. The pool, situated at East Houston Street and Pitt Street, cost $1,000,000 to build. The park and pool are named after Hamilton Fish, a 19th-century politician who grew up in the neighborhood.

Park history[edit]

The pool represented the third stage in the development of Hamilton Fish Park, which was designed in 1898. The park opened in 1900, and features an impressive Beaux Arts brick and limestone gymnasium pavilion designed by Carrère and Hastings and inspired by the Petit Palais in Paris.[1] The pavilion was designated as a New York City Landmark in 1982.[2] A year after the park opened its grounds were damaged and it closed. In 1903 a more genuine park opened with asphalt walks, an eight lane running track, basketball, and tennis courts.

Pool design[edit]

Robert Moses, a Yale University swimmer and Oxford University water polo team captain, is responsible for building the Hamilton Fish Park Pool. He was New York City's first park's commissioner.[3]

The Hamilton Park Pool has a bathhouse capacity of 2,200, with a main pool measuring 100 by 165 feet. The recreational development occupied the majority of Hamilton Fish Park. The park encompasses two blocks bounded by Houston, Pitt, Sheriff, and Stanton streets. The pool's designers hoped to reduce swimming in the disease-ridden East River and keep children off the streets.

Hamilton Park diving pool was built in the shape of semicircle, with its deepest water being eleven feet six inches. It has since been converted into a children's pool and is now only 2 feet six inches deep. [4] It is surrounded by a red tile promenade measuring 25 feet in width. A main swimming tank extends toward Sheriff Street. Scum gutters on the main tank and diving pool are made of blue-glazed terra cotta.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Muschamp, Herbert (1992-09-06). "A New York Morality Tale With a Happy Ending". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  2. ^ Kennedy, Shawn G. (1984-01-08). "A Beaux Arts Playland on Houston St". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  3. ^ "Credit Robert Moses for Lower East Side's Hamilton Fish Pool". New York Times. 1994-07-18. p. A14. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  4. ^ http://marjorieingall.com/hamiltonfishpark/#comment-16591
  5. ^ "$1,000,000 City Pool Opens Wednesday; Mayor, Moses and Ridder Will Join Dedication Ceremonies at Hamilton Fish Park". New York Times. 1936-06-21. p. N1. Retrieved 2009-09-05.

Coordinates: 40°43′11″N 73°58′51″W / 40.71972°N 73.98083°W / 40.71972; -73.98083