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Press Releases

Monday, June 17, 2013
No. 56

NYC Parks Reopens Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center After $15.3 Million Renovation

NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White today joined Borough President Scott M. Stringer; Congressman Jerrold Nadler; Council Member Gale A. Brewer; Chair of Community Board 7’s 59th Street Recreation Center Task Force, Mel Wymore; and niece of Gertrude Ederle, Mary Ederle Ward, for the much-anticipated reopening of the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center.
"Opening the doors to this center and naming it after an inspirational athlete from the Upper West Side, makes for a great day for all New Yorkers, but particularly for this community," said Commissioner White. "The Gertrude Ederle Recreation Renter is a state-of-the-art facility with expanded programming to learn, to get active and to stay fit. I encourage everyone to stop by the center this week for our open house event and see what this low-cost center has to offer."

“Today marks a milestone for New York City and the Upper Westside, as we rename this new, state-of-the-art recreation center in honor of Gertrude Ederle, a local resident who was the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “I want to thank all those elected officials and members of the community who have worked so hard over the years to make this day a reality. The center we are reopening this morning will include new amenities--such as a state-of-the-art indoor pool, new and improved gymnasium and redesigned fitness facility, along with a youth activities room and computer room--and I am proud that my office contributed to the completion of this worthy project. I join with all gathered here today in welcoming it to the neighborhood.”

"The opening of the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center is a cause for great celebration,” said Congressman Nadler. “The community has long awaited the completion of this renovation and now, thanks to the time and contributions of so many, we have a beautiful new recreation center for area residents. I am proud to have helped to make this renovation possible, and I hope we can enjoy the new center for decades to come."

“For over ten years, I and many others have worked to envision and actualize the transformation of the 60th Street Recreation Center into an accessible, world-class fitness center,” said Council Member Brewer. “With support and involvement from the Upper West Side neighborhood and local city, state, and federal representatives, the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center has become a project designed by and for its community. I am thrilled that this Recreation Center is near-by to many public schools, public housing developments, in addition to Roosevelt Hospital and local businesses. In a city like New York, affordable, accessible, community-centered recreation centers are invaluable public resources, and they provide local and citywide residents, the unique opportunity to come together and engage in health-promoting activities.”

"It is a pleasure to be included in the opening ceremony for the newly renovated recreational center, being renamed in honor of my aunt, Gertrude Ederle,” said Mary Ederle Ward. “Aunt Trudy was a pioneer for women in sports and promoted physical fitness throughout her life. As a lifelong New Yorker she would be especially happy to be part of a facility that fosters the present and future generations to remain healthy through exercise and.swimming."

This new facility now has a new and improved gymnasium, a computer room, locker rooms, and activity rooms. Fitness facilities have been expanded to include a new cardio room and aerobic studio. The indoor pool has been reopened and will host lap swim, senior hours, Learn to Swim classes and family swim programming. All three levels of the new building are accessible by elevator, allowing for people of all abilities to enjoy the facilities. The building addition and renovation was designed by Belmont Freeman Architects.

Construction of a new playground, multi-purpose field and sitting areas in the area adjacent to the center is separately funded, and is expected to begin this summer.

This project was funded with allocations of $5.25 million from Council Member Brewer, $4.05 million from Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, $1 million from Borough President Stringer, $248,000 in federal grants obtained with the help of Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and $4.7 million obtained from private developers who built high rise buildings in the neighborhood.

The center has been renamed in honor of Gertrude Ederle, who grew up near the building in the early 1900s. An avid swimmer, Ederle competed in the 1924 Olympics and was the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. She learned how to swim by watching others at local pools, and through this recreation center named in her honor, children will be able to advance in sports, fitness, and healthy living.

Beginning today through Saturday, June 22, the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center will host an open house, allowing New Yorkers to try the center out for free. Beginning Sunday, June 23, membership will be required to access the facility. Hours of operation for the Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center are 6:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on weekends.

An NYC Parks Recreation Center membership gives you access to New York City’s most affordable and extensive network of recreational facilities across the five boroughs. We keep our fees affordable for everyone and we do not charge an initiation or joiner’s fee.

Since 1910, NYC Parks has provided the most affordable and extensive network of recreational services throughout New York City. Parks recreation centers offer facilities such as indoor pools, weight rooms, basketball courts, and dance studios, art studios, game rooms, and libraries. All of our recreation centers offer a range of programs for people of all ages. Membership for the center costs $150/year for Adults, $25/year for Seniors (aged 62 and over), and is free for Youths under 18. Soon, we will be adding a new membership category for Young Adults (aged 18-24) for $25/year. For more information on Recreation Center membership, please visit

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