A Rare Brownsville Landmark

A photo essay

The original Betsy Head Outdoor Pool, built in 1914, was the city’s first recreation facility with an outdoor pool and bathhouse. The current bathhouse was built in 1937 following a fire, and its front entrance and gate have changed little since its construction.

The glass block windows and walls, a distinct feature of the pool, are a reason for its landmark designation. Today some are covered in paint or peeling paper.

The pool has been a pillar of Brownsville summer life, with many families swimming there for generations. The only other landmark in Brownsville is the Brooklyn Public Library a few blocks away.