The once-abandoned, recently hipsterized McCarren Pool in Greenpoint edged closer to respectability this morning when the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously designated it a landmark. The move comes at a peculiar time for the structure: Mayor Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to restore the pool, while young ‘uns are now flocking there for the pricey concerts that promoters have staged there over the last two summers.
The Department of Parks and Recreation, is now holding discussions with the community about how to restore the pool and whether to accommodate performances in the future. (The pool closed in 1984 because of the neighborhood's fear of crime and people of other ethnicities.) Although the landmark status means that any design changes will have to go before the commission, spokesman Phil Abramson said the department supported the designation
McCarren is just one of 11 Olympics-plus-size pools built in the heady summer of 1936, when Robert Moses reigned supreme. The Sunset Park and Thomas Jefferson, in East Harlem, pools and adjoining “play centers” were also landmarked today, joining three others that won the designation earlier this year and last.
Also on this morning’s docket: two federal-era homes in the West Village this morning, at 486 and 488 Greenwich Street; their designation was part of an effort pressed by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation to preserve 13 such homes from the early 19th century. The designations for the two row houses garnered unanimous approval.