Williamsburgers will weep with sorrow at the end of this month when McCarren Park Pool closes its gates. On Aug. 30, Sonic Youth will play the final show and all the kiddies will have to say good-bye to their Sunday funtime activities. The New York Times wrote an obituary of sorts for the pool, since the city will soon take back the cement-filled space and return it to its natural state, a public swimming pool.
Built by Robert Moses in 1936 with money from the Works Progress Administration, the 50,000-square-foot pool fell into decrepit condition and was closed in 1984, its steep brick archway a gravestone to the fun once had there. Now, after two decades of political stalemate, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to its renovation. The plan is to go before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission this month; if approved, shovels could be in the ground by spring, and the new pool could open in 2011.
In past summers, the pool’s concerts, dodgeball competitions and Slip N’ Slide activities have been a helpful distraction for the entire North Brooklyn partygoing population from the Sunday scaries (that feeling of doom come Sunday when one reviews the drunken, drug-riddled debauchery of the weekend and starts freaking out about one’s pathetic, directionless existence). May hipsters rest in peace everywhere during Sundays to come without the pool. At lease there’s still kickball.