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Summer 2024 Marks the Debut of + POOL's Innovative River Swimming in NYC, Expansion to Other New York Locations Anticipated



(C) Courtesy + POOL


Launched in 2010, + POOL has been a pioneer in providing accessible and secure river swimming experiences for New Yorkers. Recently, the initiative secured a significant $16 million funding boost to expand its unique pools to various cities and lakes throughout New York State, courtesy of + POOL.


Manhattan's surrounding waterways are infamous for their pollution, but + POOL, established 14 years ago by Dong-Ping Wong, Oana Stănescu, Archie Lee Coates IV, and Jeffrey Franklin, aims to change that. Their mission? To offer free and safe river swimming in New York City. Their innovative idea first gained attention in 2010 with the proposal of a cross-shaped pool in the East River near Brooklyn Bridge Park.


The pool's distinctive design and branding are the works of PLAYLAB. In 2019, a concept prototype was installed in the East River, featuring LED lights that indicated water quality through color changes. Following this successful trial, + POOL has been allocated $16 million to broaden its reach to include locations such as Buffalo, Newburgh, Rochester, Lake George, and the Finger Lakes.


This expansion is part of a larger initiative, NY SWIMS (New York Statewide Investment In More Swimming), announced by Governor Kathy Hochul, contributing $12 million, and an additional $4 million from the Adams administration.


Mayor Eric Adams has celebrated the project, highlighting its potential to transform and utilize local waterways for community swimming spaces, especially in historically underserved areas.


Plans are underway for multiple swimming pools across the state, including a 217 by 217 feet pool in the East River by summer 2024. These pools, which also function as water filtration systems, are expected to significantly contribute to New York's environmental goals and align with the objectives of the Clean Water Act. Conceptual renderings have showcased these pools against iconic New York landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Newburgh Bridge.


The architects have designed these floating pools to filter over a million gallons of water daily without chemicals, using a patented system that adheres to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's water quality standards. Beyond their environmental impact, these pools will offer a variety of recreational activities, including lap swimming, lounging, water sports, and children's play areas. They can be adapted to Olympic-size dimensions or a 9,000-square-foot play area.


Reflecting on New York's rich history of public swimming facilities, dating back to the post-Civil War era and the New Deal era under Robert Moses, these modern pools represent a revival of a tradition that once saw a decline in crime rates due to their popularity and social impact.


As Jeff Wiltse, author of "Contested Waters," notes, swimming pools have been a symbol of modern American life, equating their popularity to that of cinema in the early 20th century. However, budget cuts since the 1970s led to the closure of many municipal pools across New York's boroughs.


Today, the designers and supporters of + POOL are set to reverse this trend, bringing innovative and accessible swimming solutions not just to New York City but to other areas like the Finger Lakes and Buffalo. Coates IV, a designer for + POOL, expresses his excitement for this milestone, emphasizing the project's significance in enhancing the quality of life for all New Yorkers.


Source: ArchPaper, InnoWave Studio

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