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Born in Byronville, Georgia, Edward Fisher (1904-1970) moved to East Elmhurst in 1945 and became an active member of the community. Employed as a truck driver by Solomon Brothers, he is best remembered for his involvement in various civic movements, including the building of this pool.
Mr. Fisher was president of the 16 Square Block Civic Association of East Elmhurst, and a member of Community Board 3. He fought for alternative parking for the neighborhood, and helped eliminate plans for Highway 678, which would have displaced many residents and forever altered the fabric of the community. He also worked to improve public education. In 1969, Fisher was the East Elmhurst/Corona chairman of the Independent Citizens Committee for the Reelection of Mayor Lindsay. He was a member of the Mayor’s Urban Action Task Force and the Coordinating Council of East Elmhurst.
Fisher worked to have a nearby park named after Private William E. Gray, a Corona resident who died in the Vietnam War. In addition to his civic contributions, Fisher was active in the Jamaica chapter of the Keystone Lodge of Masons. At one point, he was president of the Ushers Board for the East Elmhurst Church; he later became vice-chairman of the church’s board of trustees, and served as a deacon.
This pool is located in the Queens neighborhood of East Elmhurst, to which Edward Fisher dedicated much of his time and energy. East Elmhurst is situated in north-central Queens, and abuts LaGuardia Airport. It is bounded by Flushing Bay, 85th Street, and Northern Boulevard. The region was developed in 1905 as a purely residential neighborhood, characterized by frame houses on 40 by 100-foot lots. After World War II, the neighborhood’s proximity to La Guardia Airport fostered commercial growth.
The City bought this property in January 1970 in response to community lobbying efforts led by Fisher. The parkland is home to two pools. The large pool measures 60 by 75 feet, and is 3’6” deep; it can hold 180 swimmers. The smaller wading pool is 20 by 20 feet, and is 1’5” deep, and 16 children can wade in it at a time. Also on the site are a pavilion with benches and a large comfort station. There is a flagpole with a yardarm, and outside the fenced perimeter is a patch of grass planted with a tree. In June 2001, Mayor Giuliani contributed $47,000 for reconstruction of the pool’s water-filtration system.