Lyons Pool

NYC PARKS TO NAME BRAND NEW RECREATION CENTER IN TOMPKINSVILLE FOR FORMER CHIEF OF RECREATION MARY CALI DALTON

NYC PARKS TO NAME BRAND NEW RECREATION CENTER IN TOMPKINSVILLE FOR FORMER CHIEF OF RECREATION MARY CALI DALTON
Friday, July 30, 2021
No. 81
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

NYC Parks today announced that upon construction completion in 2025, North Shore’s new recreation center will be named in honor of beloved Parkie and community activist, Mary Cali Dalton. The decision to dedicate the new facility to former Chief of Recreation Mary Cali Dalton was made with strong support from NYC Parks, local elected officials, Community Board 1, and members of the Staten Island community.

“Mary Cali Dalton was an incredibly special person who served Staten Island and New York City with unwavering dedication, creativity, and an unforgettable sense of humor,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Mary’s greatest gift was the ability to bring people together and make everyone feel welcomed – and so it’s a fitting tribute to name this center in her honor. Her legacy will continue to live on in Staten Island for years to come.”

The brand new Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center, which is expected to open in late 2025, will offer a variety of recreational amenities including sports courts, fitness equipment and multi-purpose areas for dance, yoga and exercise. The new facility will be built across from the former Cromwell site, over the footprint of the parking lot at Lyons Pool. The project is currently in procurement for design-build services.

This project is funded with a $92 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Bay Street Neighborhood Plan. The Bay Street Neighborhood Plan represents $250 million in investments in housing, public space, waterfront access, education, transportation, economic development and infrastructure.

Born in 1953, Mary Cali Dalton began her career at Parks in 1999 as a WEP participant before being hired as a Playground Associate one year later. Less than five months later, she was promoted to Recreation Specialist where she worked to enhance recreational programming until taking over as Borough Director of Recreation in 2002. Mary was best known for her mantra of being in charge of the “magic”, and diligently worked to provide Staten Islanders with the most innovative, cutting edge programming and recreational opportunities.

The site of the current Lyons Pool Recreation Center and Pool Complex was part of the Staten Island working waterfront, and the property was transferred from the Department of Docks to the Parks Department for recreational usage in 1934. In 1938, the existing pool and recreation center were renamed in memory of World War I veteran Joseph H. Lyons (1874-1934). Lyons organized the Staten Island Post No. 563, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), where he served as first commander. Richmond Turnpike, Victory Boulevard, and the American Legion ferryboat were all named at the suggestion of Lyons.

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