The Astoria Play Center is one of eleven immense new outdoor swimming pools which were opened in the summer of 1936. All were constructed largely with funding provided by the Works Progress Administration, one of the many New Deal agencies created during the 1930s to address the effects of America's Great Depression.
Opened in 1936 with a capacity of 6,200 swimmers, the Astoria Play Center commands a striking waterfront location in Astoria Park. The vast scale of the pool complex is complemented by that of its setting – the distant vistas westward framed by the monumental forms of the Hells Gate and Triborough Bridges.
The City commissioned the team of Counsilman-Hunsaker and Rogers Marvel to provide a facility audit to evaluate the existing lap pool and diving pool by identifying items that are substandard, not to current New York Department of Health public swimming pool requirements, or not operating as designed, to assist in defining a course of action regarding the future of the pool.