Brooklyn Bridge Park will be creeping further up into Brooklyn Heights with its newest addition: a public pool in Squibb Park, which sits between Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park (behind that large hotel/condo development). Squibb Park is not widely used—it's a large concrete area furnished with just a few benches and a public bathroom; it's mostly accessed to get to the pedestrian bridge.
While Squibb Park isn't technically part of Brooklyn Bridge Park, we're told that "subject to necessary approvals, NYC Parks intends to enter into an agreement with BBP for the development, operation, and maintenance of a pool and optional related amenities at Squibb Park."
This morning BBP will publicly announce plans to build a permanent swimming pool in Squibb Park, though not all details have been ironed out yet. Here's what we do know:
- Like all NYC Parks pools, this pool will be free and open to the public.
- There will be community planning sessions for the purpose of gathering feedback from the public. This input will inform the design of the pool, including size and capacity.
- Will there be an other amenities? "We want the community to help us determine a number of things during the public planning sessions," a rep for BBP told us, including what type of non-swimming activities should be included, and if there should there be a concession.
- The timeline on construction and opening is unclear, first there will be a fundraising campaign and those aforementioned community planning sessions.
- The current pop-up pool at Pier 2 will close down after this season. This is because Brooklyn Bridge Park will break ground on the Pier 2 Uplands project this fall.
- The new pool's hours will likely operate under the pop-up pool hours: between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Construction of the pool is estimated to cost between $10-$15 million. One-third of that will be funded by BBP; Midtown Equities and Alloy Development with Monadnock Construction, and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners have also dedicated funds toward the project; and the remainder will be raised publicly and privately in partnership with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.
Squibb Park, present day. (Jen Carlson / Gothamist)
Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park President, said, "We are always striving to provide the best amenities and activities for park visitors. The temporary pop-up pool has been a much-loved summer attraction and now we are thrilled to announce plans to bring a permanent pool to Brooklyn Bridge Park."
At the official announcement later this morning, Landau will be joined by Deputy Mayor and BBP Board Chair Alicia Glen, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, AND Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. We will update if any more information becomes available at the press conference.
Update: The pool will likely not open until 2020; community planning sessions will begin later this year.
This is not the first time Squibb Park has gotten a pool; in the 1940s (before it was named Squibb Park) there was a wading pool in the area.
A rendering from the 1940s showing a pool. (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)
A photo from the 1950s, showing a basketball court where a pool may have been. (Courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park)