The Incredible Secret of the Pool at the Hotel St. George

On Monday, I wrote an article about the Hotel St. George’s former pool and my attempts to find any hidden remnants that managed to survive.

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As it turns out, I missed the biggest secret of all…

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It might still be there.

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After I posted the original article, I received an email from a man who worked as an expediter during the building’s renovations. He writes:

“Please look deeper…The pool still exists. We were not allowed to nail, chip, or remove any part of the original pool complex. We ran sleepers (beams) across the pool and floor area and built the new floor on the sleepers. The new pool is suspended from this floor, set into the larger existing pool.”

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“We did remove and close the chlorine storage containers  located in sidewalk vaults as they were unsafe but…The old pool still exists in full in its original form, undamaged.

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In other words, beneath the floorboards, modern tiling, and drywall, this might be lying in wait:

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Does ANYONE know anything more? I wasn’t able to find a report in the Landmarks database, but their online records are only so recent. Will definitely be digging deeper into this, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from five years of writing Scouting NY, someone out there in readerland is a click away with the answer.

-SCOUT

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13 comments

  1. It did run through my mind as I read yesterday’s post that perhaps they had done that. Removing the pool would have been a costly project and there are many instances of pools being covered instead of demolished. Here’s to reclaiming a Brooklyn treasure!

  2. As recently as ’05, there was a basketball court in that area. The walls were tiled with mosaics that must have been in the original pool area.

    My mother, who grew up in Brooklyn, remembers swimming in that pool in the ’50s. Also, I’d heard it was actually a salt water pool, one of the largest in NYC.

  3. It’s fascinating to think that that old pool is still there waiting to be reclaimed

  4. In the yahoo group you posted there are pictures of the original pool with the new floor built above. It looks like a basement but it is the pool.

  5. I remember that too in Brooklyn

  6. hell. i remember swimming in that pool as a child! that’s all i got. it was amazing back then.

  7. There are a few pictures of the pool under the floor in the yahoo group. Lots of pictures to dig through but I’ll post two links. (You have to join the group before you can click the links.)

    The “deep” end of the pool.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/stgeorgetower/photos/albums/260942824/lightbox/141147925

    You can see the slope of the pool in this one very well.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/stgeorgetower/photos/albums/260942824/lightbox/983876359

  8. Why not just ask Ken, one of the owners of the gym? I happen to know his email address is:

    (removed! but I might email him! – nick)

  9. I knew a woman who said the pool had special machinery that allowed salt water to be pumped in and circulated (see Adam’s note). The machinery was not maintained properly and rusted. That’s why the pool was closed in the first place.

  10. How wonderful that you have uncovered this pool. My regret about the St. George pool, is that I didn’t see it when I had a chance. (I was busy with a toddler was my reason.) When my husband, son and I moved to Brooklyn we stayed at the Hotel St. George. My husband, a swimmer, took advantage of the pool. He must not have conveyed its beauty to me or I would have gone down to see it. I thought of the pool later, and inquired about it. It was gone by then. No accurate information was available until your post. Thank you, and thanks to the man who told you of the pool’s secret existence.

  11. Scout – I don’t think the link at the first line on this page (Hotel St George’s former pool) goes through to your previous story about the pool, “Searching for the Lost Pool at the Hotel St. George”. (Unless it is just my computer or my mistake.) Perhaps you would check it.

  12. I actually work at the gym. The pool is still there under the floor. I have been inside it. This pool would cost a lot to be brought back to glory. The saltwater did a number on the rebar inside the concrete etc. for the most part the pool is in tact. I actually have a picture of the mosaic that used to be above the current pool.

  13. barbara stark phillips

    when I was attending prospect heights high school I was on the swimming team. we were given free tickets to practice at the st. George pool as it was Olympic sized. we were allowed to swim only at the very early hours. I remember the people watching as I was swimming. (shortly after I made a new time record for the breast stroke at my high school (prospect heights) which also had an Olympic size pool. this was during the early 1950’s) the pool area at the st. George was a huge area. very impressive. the memories still remain. barbara

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