Today in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint buffer zone, Mayor Bloomberg and friends gathered to break ground—or should we say threw some finely placed dirt on astroturf—on the long-awaited McCarren Park Pool renovation. He may have referred to it as McLaren Park for the first three quarters of his speech, but Bloomburg still managed to build excitement for the $50 million project to get off the ground despite a rough spot for funding public projects in the city. Originally constructed under Fiorello LaGuardia in 1936 as a WPA project, the Pool fell under disarray by 1984 and closed until being converted into the world's most fashion-forward music venue a few years back. The newfound interest in the old cement pit led to plans to turn it back into a swimmin' hole, as well as an ice-skating rink in the winter and year-round gym and recreation center.
Some fresh schematics for the makeover were shown off (see 'em in the gallery above), and the current plan devised by Rogers Marvel Architects has quite an emphasis on spray—not the oh-so-familiar hair and paint varieties, but a spray pond on the north end and spray fountains just past the arch. Refreshing! Other amenities include the gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms and a beach volleyball court where the legendary diving-board-to-nowhere currently stands. The renovation is seeking LEED Silver certification, which should please the more eco-activist sunbathers of North Brooklyn. While first targeted for a 2011 completion, McCarren Pool is now looking at a Spring 2012 ribbon-cutting—at which point Mayor Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz pledged to strap on their tankini's and be the first to jump in, hand in hand. In a cannonball contest, our bet's on Marty.