Public Pools, Recourse for the Summer City Dweller – Next City

Public Pools, Recourse for the Summer City Dweller

The Floating Lady Pool, located on a repurposed barge on New York’s East River. Credit: Flickr user islandlife

You may have noticed that, lately, it’s been a little hot. As heat waves hit many parts of the country, city dwellers can have it especially bad (hello, heat island effect). What’s more, they usually have only a few options for recourse. One is air conditioning. The other: public pools.

In that spirit, we looked at some of the most populous U.S. cities and picked out five with, according to their official websites, the most public pools:

1. Chicago: 76 pools

The Skokie Water Playground is much more than a pool. Besides your normal lap lanes, it contains five water slides and an “interactive multi-level play area” with a giant bucket dumping water on kids (and some adults) throughout the day.

2. Philadelphia: 74 pools

Swimming lessons at the Bridesburg Recreation Center. Credit: Bridesburg Recreation Center

In 2010, Mayor Michael Nutter raised $600,000 through his Splash & Summer FUNd Campaign — with a $400,000 donation from First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. — to keep Philadelpia pools open.

3. New York: 68 pools

Credit: islandlife on Flickr

New York City, with a $4 million donation from the Neptune Foundation, bought a barge from Louisiana, turned it into the Floating Lady Pool and gave it an awesome view.

4. Los Angeles: 62 pools

Credit: The Flying Enchilada on Flickr

Santa Monica bought the former house of silent film star Marion Davis, including her gorgeous pool. The five-acre lot, developed for Davis by William Randolph Hearst, was destroyed by an earthquake and rehabilited by a $27.5 million donation from the Annenberg Foundation, which explains why it was renamed The Annenberg Community Beach House.

5. Austin: 50 pools

Credit: wallyg on Flickr

Named after pioneer William Barton, the Barton Springs Pool, although man-made, is three acres long and fed by natural spring water. It’s no ordinary public pool — it contains wildlife and visitors can rent canoes.

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