When Ann Buttenwieser decided that something needed to be done to help revitalize the New York City waterfront, she reached into New York City’s nineteenth-century past to find inspiration. Buttenwieser wanted New Yorkers to reestablish their connection their riverine surroundings and she was inspired by the prospect of city youth returning to the Hudson and East Rivers. What she didn’t suspect was that outfitting and donating a swimming facility for the free enjoyment of the public would turn into an almost Sisyphean task. As she describes in The Floating Pool Lady, Buttenwieser battled for years with politicians and struggled with bureaucrats as she brought her “crazy” scheme to fruition.
From dusty archives in the historic Battery Maritime Building to high-stakes community board meetings to tense negotiations in the Louisiana shipyard, Buttenwieser retells the improbable process that led to The Floating Pool Lady tying up to a pier at Barretto Point in the Bronx, ready for summer swimmers.
In The Floating Pool Lady, Ann L. Buttenwieser recounts the triumphant adventure that started in the bayous of Louisiana and ended with a self-sustaining, floating swimming pool moored in New York Harbor. Throughout The Floating Pool Lady, Buttenwieser raises consciousness about persistent environmental issues and the challenges of developing a constituency for projects to make cities livable in the twenty-first century. Her story and that of her floating pool is both warning and inspiration to those who dare to dream of realizing innovative public projects in the modern urban landscape.
As part of + POOL’s public program series, and on the occasion of the launch of The Floating Pool Lady: A Quest to Bring a Public Pool to New York City’s Waterfront, + POOL’s Archie Lee Coates IV joined author Ann Buttenwieser for a conversation on the trials and tribulations of reviving the lapsed tradition of river swimming in New York City. The conversation was moderated by the amazing writer and urban enthusiast, Karrie Jacobs.
The publisher has offered + POOL lovers a discount on the purchase of this book. Save 30% with code 09FLYER at check out!
Buy the book at https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/.