9,000ft² cross-shaped swimming pool to open in New York City river by 2025

Concept art for a cross-shaped swimming pool in New York City's East River
(Image credit: Friends of +POOL)

It won’t be wild swimming exactly, but it’ll certainly be a pretty wild place to swim: a 9,000 square foot, cross-shaped swimming pool floating in either New York’s East River or Hudson River.

The exact location is yet to be determined, but apparently the project, which was first mooted way back in 2013, is now locked in to open to the public in 2025, with the pool starting construction later this year.

The pool will incorporate a chemical-free filtration system that will purify hundreds of thousands of gallons of river water to make it more appealing for swimmers.

The announcement was made by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York Mayor Eric Adams on Friday. They revealed that a test version of the pool and its filtration system will be placed in a yet-to-be revealed New York City waterway first  to ensure the project meets state and city health guidelines. 

New York state is ploughing $12 million into the pool, with the city chipping in a further $4 million.

The pool will be built by a company created especially for the project called +POOL, which launched originally a Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 to raise money for the project. It amassed over $270,000, promising donors that their names would be engraved on tiles used in the construction of the pool. 

In 2021, New York authorities gave a tentative green light to the project being constructed on the East River between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge, but apparently the final location of the pool has not yet been decided, so it could even end up on the Hudson. 

The announcement on Friday was a part of a series of financial plans for lifeguard training, swimming instruction, and swimming facilities throughout the state of New York. Governor Hochul promised to provide $60 million in state funds for grants to install floating pools in the state’s waterways.

“This is how you open up your rivers and waterways to the public,” she said.