Faber Pool and Park

Faber Park and Pool

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

For outdoor pool details, including hours and rules, please visit our Free Outdoor Pools page.

What was here before?

Faber Park and Pool is located on what was once the Faber family’s North Shore property. Jenny Faber, a family member living in Port Richmond, was granted a deed in 1869 to the surrounding land under and above the Kill van Kull with the stipulation that she contribute to local development by erecting a dock for commerce or enjoyment. In 1905, Charles and Emma Griffith acquired the property from the Faber family, and in turn sold it to the Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity in 1906. Plans to build a municipal lighting plant on the site were never pursued, and the land was later given to NYC Parks in 1928.

How did this site become a park and pool?

Architect Frederick H. Zurmuhlen Jr. supervised the construction of the seawall, recreation building, playground, wading and swimming pools. Contemporary reviews compared the design, which included eighteen different hues of natural-colored stone, to the architecture of Southern California. Faber Park and Pool opened on July 15, 1932 to provide children with an alternative to swimming in the dangerous, polluted waters of the Kill Van Kull. Zurmuhlen’s design drew praise for ensuring the good hygiene of bathers, who had to pass through the showers before entering the pool. Faber Pool, at 140 feet by 75 feet, was the largest on Staten Island at the time of its completion.

In 1941, Faber Park more than doubled in size. In 1996, the park and pool were restored which included upgraded classrooms, offices, and locker rooms, as well as filled in the diving pool and repaired the exterior grounds. To provide more opportunities for active recreation and to fulfill the needs of the burgeoning younger community of park users, a skate park was constructed in 2015. Constructed with reinforced colored concrete pavement and cast-in-place skate components, the plaza-type course was set into the sloping topography of the existing park landscape.

In 2020, NYC Parks completed renovations as part of the Parks Without Borders initiative, which improved park entrances and perimeters and made them more open and welcoming. As part of the reconstruction, the 1930s-era park entrance that included a formal oval drive was reconfigured to include play spaces, a multi-use oval plaza with an amphitheater, and less imposing fences. The project also reinstalled the Washington Kill Von Kull Monument, a bronze plaque honoring George Washington and his passage through nearby waters to his inauguration in Lower Manhattan, which had been stolen many years ago. These enhancements provide better access and an improved experience for visitors and residents alike.

Who is this park and pool named for?

This park and pool are named for the Faber family. In 1761, Caspar Faber opened a lead manufacturing company in Stein, Germany. A century later, his descendant Eberhard Faber (d. 1879) came to New York and built the first lead pencil factory in the United States. A 1987 merger resulted in the formation of Faber-Castell, Inc. 

Directions to Faber Pool and Park

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