Cooling off at a city pool in Bed-Stuy, 1974

An Ephemeral reader sent me this link to Business Insider, which has some incredible photos of Brooklyn in the summer of 1974. They were taken by award-winning photographer Danny Lyon (and are now part of the National Archives).

The collection, making the rounds on different blogs, features beautiful and tender shots of burned out brownstones (now worth millions) and teens hanging out in the park.

But my favorites are the four photos that capture one July day at Kosciusko Pool on Marcy Avenue.

Opened in 1971, the pool must have been the place for neighborhood kids to keep cool, meet friends, and goof off—as 1970s New York sweltered and sputtered.

Scenes like these probably played out every day at dozens of city public pools, some built during the Depression with WPA labor.

Interestingly, Kosciusko Pool was designed by Bed-Stuy native Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach.

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5 Responses to “Cooling off at a city pool in Bed-Stuy, 1974”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Very nice. I also saw the original just the other day. Some years old but already has nostalgia scattered around it.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I feel like it’s timeless in a way–city kids will always flock to pools on hot summer days. I see the same scene at the pool in East Harlem’s Jefferson Park. I used to go to one on Thompson Street. Wonder if it’s still there.

  3. Roz Katz Says:

    And I used to spend time at the Betsy Head pool in Crown Heights
    Brooklyn. Us kids from the tenements of East NY, Brownsville, and other surrounding neighborhoods were thrilled to be jumping in to the cool water of both the swimming pool and the diving pool. It definitely beat hoping that someone could open the fire hydrant on our street to escape the summer heat.

  4. The swimmobiles that cooled off a hot city | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] for those who couldn’t get to a pool, the city brought a pool to them. These were the “swimmobiles,” pools attached to a […]

  5. Christine Boone Says:

    I did the pool across from Marcie Projects with my sisters. There was a great white wall we would sit on with our towels and snacks. Does anyone have a photo of that?

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