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Image via NYC Parks and Recreation

As one of the largest green spaces in Queens, Astoria Park is a scenic getaway located in New York City’s most diverse borough. Sitting along the East River, the 59.96-acre recreational space offers access to outdoor tennis courts, playgrounds and multiple trails, in addition to “shoreline signs and sounds” that make it a popular a destination year-round. Beyond its attractions, however, it also harbors some interesting secrets, from its ties to the Olympics to its lost stream.

10. Astoria Park Contains the Oldest and Largest Swimming Pool in New York City


Image via NYC Parks and Recreation

Astoria Park is equipped with one of the most popular swimming facilities in the country, which also happens to be the oldest and largest swimming pool in New York City. Planned by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, the outdoor pool is 54,450-square-feet and measures 330 feet in length.

Harry Hopkins, the administrator of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which provided the labor to construct the pool, described it as “The finest in the world.” According to NYC Parks, it has been said that it was intended to be the “grandest” of the eleven pools Moses intended to install throughout the city in the summer of 1936 — possibly because it provided the best view of the Triborough Bridge, which was completed in the same year.

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One Response
  1. There are differing stories on the origin of Pot Rock and Pot Cove but we understand that they may have take their name from the Indian pots found along the waterfront which marked the location of the village. Other similar items were found where the power plant is and the former mound of the Steinway Mansion leveled just a few years ago. The native village itself was likely south of the park.

    You also mentioned Linden Brook twice. Perhaps you could have mentioned the Hell Gate Bridge Centennial this year and one of the great triumphs of the bridge builders art.

    There are a number of older swimming pools in NYC, the Woolworth Pool one example.

    You also missed the exposed hard rock outcroppings – just like the outcroppings in Central Park. Astoria Park was one of 3 or 4 places in Queens with this. The rest of Long Island is silt from the Terminal Moraine.

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