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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
No.
www.nyc.gov/parks

The Floating Pool Makes A Splash At Brooklyn Bridge Park

The much-anticipated Floating Pool Lady, together with a new one-acre beach, will open to the public for the first time ever this summer at Brooklyn Bridge Park. A historically-inspired creation, the Floating Pool Lady will spend the season anchored between Piers 4 and 5 in the future Brooklyn Bridge Park’s newest recreational destination - Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach. It will bring beach volleyball, sand soccer, and sunbathing to the breathtaking waterfront harbor, offering New Yorkers a welcome respite from the summer heat.

The much-anticipated , together with a new one-acre beach, will open to the public for the first time ever this summer at Brooklyn Bridge Park. A historically-inspired creation, the will spend the season anchored between Piers 4 and 5 in the future Brooklyn Bridge Park’s newest recreational destination - Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach. It will bring beach volleyball, sand soccer, and sunbathing to the breathtaking waterfront harbor, offering New Yorkers a welcome respite from the summer heat.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach will mark the first time in more than 200 years that the public has had access to the piers area of the waterfront below Brooklyn Heights, site of the future Brooklyn Bridge Park. Both the pool and beach will be free and open to the public, seven days a week, from July 4 through Labor Day. Pool hours will be from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Beach hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

"The Floating Pool Lady addresses two very distinct challenges long endured in New York City: providing adequate recreational facilities for New Yorkers in under-served communities and maximizing the use of the long-neglected waterfront," said Ann Buttenwieser, founder of the Neptune Foundation. "After more than a quarter century of research and planning, the Floating Pool Lady will finally become a living reality."

The Floating Pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach opens this summer under the direction of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy in partnership with the pool’s creator and founding organization, the Neptune Foundation, and will be operated by the American Leisure Corporation and Brooklyn Beach Operating Corp. The Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corporation will run a free shuttle bus to the recreation site. The State of New York, through the Empire State Development Corporation, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the City of New York are sponsoring the summer-long recreational use of the park as part of their on-going effort to build and offer programming at the future Brooklyn Bridge Park. Law firm Cleary Gottlieb has provided pro bono legal consulting for the project.

The Empire State Development Corporation, the owner of the site, has been leading the redevelopment of the park– 1.3 miles along the East River that will be transformed into a rolling, waterfront playground stretching from Jay Street, north of the Manhattan Bridge past the Brooklyn Bridge to Atlantic Avenue. When completed, it will feature six piers, five of which are roughly the size of Bryant Park. Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach is the first-ever interim, recreational use of the piers. Twelve acres of the park are currently open, with construction on the remaining section south of the Brooklyn Bridge to commence by the end of the summer.

Patrick Foye, chairman of Empire State Development Corporation/Downstate said, "The floating pool and beach should provide New Yorkers with both a wonderful recreational opportunity this summer and a taste of what’s to come at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We expect to break ground this summer, and when finished, Brooklyn Bridge Park – the first major park to be built in Brooklyn in more than 100 years – will be a self-supporting gem featuring a range of recreational activities, from volleyball to kayaking, as well as unparalleled views of the city’s skyline"

"We are thrilled to host The Floating Pool Lady at Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach this summer," said Marianna Koval, President of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. "This truly is a summer of firsts – the first chance to swim in the Floating Pool Lady and the first time Brooklyn’s citizens will be able to come to the piers and experience the magnificent waterfront that will become Brooklyn Bridge Park."

The seven-lane, 25-meter-long Floating Pool Lady,designed by Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates with a team of engineering consultants, was constructed in the deck of an old cargo barge and is surrounded by a raised terrace with men’s and women’s locker rooms, showers and a children’s spray pool. Just off the pool deck, the 40,000-square-foot man-made beach will feature volleyball courts, sand soccer, umbrella and chair rentals and a food concession. Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach will be the city’s version of the famous – and wildly popular – Paris Plage, offering ample room to lounge, picnic, play, and take in the magnificent views of lower Manhattan, New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

Critical funding for the Floating Pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach has been provided through funding commitments from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilmember David Yassky, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said, "Brooklyn is back with a splash this Fourth of July. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Floating Pool is the perfect way for families to stay cool while celebrating American ingenuity this Independence Day and all summer long. The Council is proud to have supported this visionary project, a unique part of our booming cultural and economic landscape."

Free shuttle bus service from subway stations, funded by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, will provide the public with access to the beach during operating hours. The two shuttle stops are located are at Borough Hall and High Street at Cadman Plaza West. The shuttles are a pilot program funded by the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront LDC, which recently studied public access to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez said, "This is a great opportunity to connect families and kids to their waterfront and the community this summer. I applaud the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, the Conservancy and partners for helping to make Ann Buttenwieser's dream of bringing the floating swimming pool back to the City a reality. Thanks to the hard work of the Empire State Development Corp and numerous elected Brooklyn officials, people can enjoy the beach right here in Brooklyn."

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said, "With sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the internationally celebrated Brooklyn Bridge, the Floating Pool will immediately become the crown jewel of public swimming pools in America. And the best part—this is just the first of many great things still to come at Brooklyn Bridge Park!"

City Council Member David Yassky said, "I am excited to see the floating pool come to Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer. It is a long awaited event, and one that will add another wonderful dynamic to the area. All who were involved in bringing the pool to the park are to be congratulated, particularly Ann Buttenweiser who offered the vision and the means to see this project through to completion."

City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said, "The Floating Pool Lady revives a historic feature in an innovative way to provide a community recreational amenity and a spectacular new swimming experience, We hail the pool's inaugural summer at Brooklyn Bridge Park and look forward to its traveling to other waterfront parks in future summers."

For more information about The Floating Pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach, see www.brooklynbridgepark.org/pool.

About The Floating Pool Lady and Neptune Foundation

The Floating Pool Lady was the brainchild of leading urban planner and visionary Ann L. Buttenwieser, who retained renowned architect Jonathan Kirschenfeld and naval architect Kent Merrill, of C.R. Cushing & Co., Inc., to devise a way to transform the former, 80-by-260-foot cargo barge into a self-sustaining floating pool. The Floating Pool Lady arrived in the New York harbor in October 2006 after traveling up the Atlantic Ocean from its construction site in Amelia, Louisiana, and has spent the past eight months in its final phase of construction. In 1999, Ms. Buttenwieser founded the Neptune Foundation, a not-for-profit organization which funds the project’s design and construction. For more information, visit www.floatingpool.org

About the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has worked for twenty years to ensure the creation, adequate funding, proper maintenance, public support, and citizen enjoyment of Brooklyn Bridge Park through partnership with the public sector, development of programming, and active promotion of the needs of the park and its constituents. For more information, visit www.brooklynbridgepark.org

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency, encompassing business, workforce and community development. ESD also oversees the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information, visit www.nylovesbiz.com, or www.ILoveNY.com.

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