Barretto Point Park

Mayor Bloomberg Opens New York City’s Pools And Unveils The Floating Pool In Barretto Point Park

Friday, June 27, 2008
No. 251

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today opened the Floating Pool, a swimming pool in a barge that is docked at Barretto Point Park in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Beginning today, the City’s 54 outdoor pools are open to the public and will remain open through Labor Day. Daily hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week. At the announcement, the Mayor was joined by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd, Ann Buttenwieser, who conceived the pool, and children from local recreation centers. In addition to 54 outdoor pools, the City features 12 indoor pools and 14 miles of public beaches which are open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Labor Day.

“The Floating Pool is helping to advance two important public health and environmental goals: providing recreational facilities and green spaces for New Yorkers in under-served communities and maximizing the use of our waterfront,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Until recently this neighborhood didn’t have much green space, and it didn’t have any public pools. But all summer, Bronx residents will be able to swim laps, take lessons, or even just splash around in the Floating Pool.”

“We are thrilled to bring the Floating Pool to its picturesque perch off ‘La Playita’ in Barretto Point Park this summer,” said Commissioner Benepe. “We encourage New Yorkers of all ages to beat the heat at this floating barge, which offers a one-of-a-kind swimming experience against the stunning backdrop of the New York skyline. We thank Ann Buttenwieser and the Neptune Foundation for donating the Floating Pool to the City, which has allowed us to bring this unique waterfront recreational opportunity to Hunts Point, an area that does not have easy access to public pools. As always, please remember to swim smart and swim safe. We urge you to follow pool rules, listen to lifeguards, know your swimming limits and of course, have fun!”

The Floating Pool features a seven-lane, 25-meter swimming pool; pool house; locker rooms with showers; bathrooms; a children’s spray shower; a gangplank leading to and from the barge; and other amenities. The 20,000 square foot facility is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The pool maximizes underused waterfront space and allows for a large new facility to open along the South Bronx waterfront without acquiring any new land.

The Floating Pool, a project 20 years in the making, is the creation of Ann L. Buttenwieser, a leading urban and waterfront planner. Ms. Buttenwieser revived the idea of 15 floating baths that dotted the City’s coastline at the turn of the century and founded the Neptune Foundation, a not-for-profit organization which funded the design and construction of the Floating Pool. Ms. Buttenwieser collaborated with architect Jonathan Kirschenfeld, of Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates, and naval architect Kent Merrill, of C.R. Cushing & Co., Inc., to design the Floating Pool. The barge was purchased from a New Orleans shipyard in 2004, and over the next two years it was converted into a self-sustaining floating pool in the Bollinger Shipyards in Amelia, Louisiana. After the project was completed, the Floating Pool arrived in New York City in 2006. The Floating Pool spent its inaugural summer last year at Brooklyn Bridge Park, drawing 72,000 visitors over the summer.

This summer at select outdoor pools, including the Floating Pool, Parks & Recreation will once again host the popular Learn to Swim program, in which free swim instruction is offered to toddlers (ages 1 ½ -5) and children (ages 6 -14) during three two-week sessions. The program, made possible by Parks’ partnerships with the City Parks Foundation and the American Red Cross, will operate from July 8th through August 29th. The City will also offer outdoor swim team training at select pools throughout the five boroughs and host the culminating Eighth Annual Five Borough Championship swimming competition on August 9. For adults, Parks offers the 26th annual outdoor adult lap swim program which gives adults the opportunity for free morning and evening lap-swims at all of the City’s outdoor pools, allowing for uninterrupted swimming with a health and fitness focus.

To increase accessibility to the Floating Pool, there is a new, temporary MTA bus route servicing the Barretto Point Park area. Starting today, the route will operate 7 days a week on a regular schedule, with a bus every half hour from 8:12 a.m. to 7:22 p.m. for southbound service and 8:30 a.m. to 7:42 p.m. for northbound service. Regular service will be provided until September 1, when the pool closes. The standard $2 fare will be collected and standard transfer policy will apply.

For more information on locations, activities, and free swimming lessons, visit or call 311.

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